Monday, March 2, 2015
Style: High, Medium, and Low Vamp Tassel Loafers
I've been thinking about aesthetics and how certain things appear to the third person. You know, sometimes, you always ask the opinion of another person just to ensure that you look presentable and acceptable. I've been asking myself this very same questions regarding tassel loafers and, where and how they measure up in terms of dress code and formality. I find that what may work with a business suit won't necessarily work with a casual ensemble.
First let's define the vamp: it forms part of the upper of the shoe, anywhere from the toes to the part where the toes and the leg connect. In other words, the top part of the foot is where you'll find the vamp. The high vamp tassel loafer such as the one pictured above is most suitable for business dress code. It'll work well with business dress comprising a business suit made of wool or wool blend and lightweight socks. They can also work with a casual suit such as cotton or linen. What gives the shoe its business tone is the high vamp. This shoe covers almost the whole foot and that's why it's suitable for business dress. They are not suitable, however, with any ensemble comprising shorts. The issue goes back to the vamp once again and just how inappropriate they would be with shorts. Some gents might try a high vamp loafer with shorts and it'll work for them, I am not an advocate of the style.
The medium vamp tassel loafer is where things can go either way and it gives the gent a lot more leeway in terms of styling. This one by Allen Edmonds, clearly demonstrates the middle ground in terms of the vamp and it is suitability for both a suit and shorts. Gentlemen will agree with me that there is enough proof on the internet evincing just how compatible the medium vamp tassel loafer is. A business suit would be perfect with this kind of shoe and it can also be worn with shorts because it's not as serious as the high vamp loafer. It's clean smooth lines are a further indication that they are suitable for business, however, it's design also allows it some casual flair.
The low vamp tassel loafer illustrates its casual vibe and how inappropriate it is with a business suit. You can never look right pairing the two together. A casual suit, shorts suit, and shorts will work tastefully well with these loafers. The embellishments such as the extra stitching and 'complicated' vamp are a clear sign that they're inappropriate for business. A cotton suit with no tie would also complement the shoe well. Tassel loafers with a low vamp can also work well with jeans, something the high vamp one's can't execute quite well.
There is one caveat to be considered with all these shoes however, their relationship in terms of the trouser opening in proportion with the shoe. The high vamp works well with a narrow hem, so that it doesn't engulf the whole shoe. The medium vamp will work with a narrow and slightly wider hem because it will touch just at the start of the top of the vamp. The low vamp will work with a narrow hem because a wide hem will lead to a baggy opening. In all this however, personal style and preference must consider the overall aesthetic.
PG: Man to man, generation to generation.