Gone are the days when I would suffer all day in a heel because I thought they were so chic. Agh, the follies of youth. Firstly, I am 5'9.5" (that half inch really matters, guys), secondly, I'm an idiot. I basically stand and/or walk around New York City for a living. I'm on my feet for shoots, I am walking - scratch that, running - through stores with my clients, or schlepping bags around while prepping. Heels? Seriously? But even for someone who doesn't spend that much time upright, heels can be a real pain in the you-know-what (hint: rhymes with beet). So it is with great joy and enthusiasm that I embrace the flat footwear trend now and forever.
One of my absolute, totally coveting, can't-get-them-out-of-my-mind favorite flats for the season is the ubiquitous Gucci loafer you've been seeing everywhere.
Super soft, a convertible heel that allows you to make them into a mule, classic styling, they are the BMW of the shoes. And, alas dear reader, with that kind of description comes an equally luxurious price tag. A mere $695 will get you into a new pair of Gucci's and will keep you eating cereal three meals a day for the foreseeable future. As a woman on a budget, these little numbers are regretfully out of the question for me this season. But fear not, an inflated price point has never stopped me before! Here are my selects for comparable loafers that are as easy on the bank account as they are on the eyes.
If you don't yet know about & Other Stories, you really should. They are a owned by H&M and have a very cool European vibe with well made and unique pieces at a reasonable price point. These babies are $135 and the leather is soft as a baby's bottom. I tried them on recently and was pretty impressed.
I've had great luck with Louise Et Cie in the past. They are a part of the Vince Camuto group and have a bit more edge than their sister brand. I have a different pair of loafers from them and they are amazingly comfortable and have been with me for at least 4 years. This loafer with a variation the Gucci bit are really cool in off-white (I would't get them in the brown or black lest you look like you are trying to knock off the real Gucci's ... shame, shame, shame) and at $97.30, a steal-and-a-half.
Green! And $59! Get backups!
As I was about to finish this post with the classic Bass penny loafer (see below) I came across this little gem also by Bass for $118. I can't even get over this studded tassels... Yes, yes, YES! The toe shape and soft black leather mimics the Gucci variation most closely but the unique details make this loafer stand alone.
Below. To finish off my swoon-worthy list of Gucci loafer alternates, I submit the classic penny loafer. I have owned this exact pair for the past 5 years and although they aren't always my number one shoe, they make a steady and consistent appearance in my wardrobe for days where a classic, menswear look is the right costume for the day.