Penny for Your Thoughts

April 6, 2011 § 3 Comments

G. H. Bass Weejuns for J. Crew...next to a sweet ride

Some shoes can’t be improved upon: a stellar black pump, flat riding boot, and a classic penny loafer. Does the latter they remind me of my prep school days? Certainly. Maybe that’s part of their charm. Maybe with some of the intensely creative and sometimes outrageous footwear around I sometimes crave a perfectly classic pair of shoes. These burnished penny loafers by G. H. Bass and Company for J. Crew are a prep staple. In 1934 the boot-maker, John Bass, started making loafers calling them “Weejuns,” after the shoes worn by Norwegian farmers. Over the next two decades they evolved into the penny loafer. A great alternative to ballet flats when you have a serious heel hangover, I’ll be balancing them with feminine pieces and shorter hemlines. The rich, warm color can be worn with just about anything, and even better, all year round. My RL wingtip oxfords are getting a break; I’ll be rocking these all spring and summer. Happy days.

prov⋅e⋅nance

[prov-uh-nuhns, -nahns] –noun; place or source of origin.

Date of Purchase: Winter 2011

Circumstances: Fat Tuesday. For most Americans that means one thing, and that one thing has nothing to do with shoes. I, however, am not most people I’ve realized. Whatever the case, Fat Tuesday is historically the day to indulge, imbibe, partake, etc. in some decadence before the 40-day fast of Lent begins. This year, same as the last few, I have decided to fast from one of my favorite past times: Shopping. No purchasing anything for myself during Lent is tough…and it’s mildly embarrassing to admit that. No matter. Back to the shopping circumstances. I have known for several months that I would eventually own a pair of classic penny loafers. I knew they would be Bass and really only debated between tassle or no tassle. I also knew I’d be wearing these through the spring and summer, as they are a bit less heavy than my oxfords. Cue the Fat Tuesday shopping spree. I not only took a trip to Dallas’ Galleria mall (which I only do to visit 2 shops: Zara and Club Monac0), I also made a hefty purchase online at J. Crew. I’m now in the midst of my fast, and I am glad I didn’t have to wait to Easter to break this lovelies in. (More Fat Tuesday shoe posts to come…)

Compliment Meter: 3. I broke these in at SXSW in Austin, and got some nice attention from the gents at the Billy Reid/K. Swiss Shindig. I even got my photo snapped for Fashionista.com. I’m convinced it was the shoes. Shoe confidence level: High.

Comfort: As is normal, the leather is a bit stiff on first wear. I did get blisters, but then again, I did choose to wear them for the first time all around the city of Austin. Not their fault. Side note, I found them a tad big and ordered a half size down. Overall: 8 out of 10.

Worn with: Yellow university cardigan from Rugby, J. Crew brown leather belt, pearls, Randolph Engineering aviators, vintage Coach bag, Martin + Osa denim.

Thoughts: “Flat shoes are not sexy, but they’re cool, and it’s just as exciting to be cool as it is to be sexy.” ~Stuart Weitzman

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