Behold… the Weejun
The Gentleman is always looking for clothing that can bridge the gap between the professional and casual worlds. There is no better shoe to wear on casual Fridays at the office (or everyday if your office is business casual) and at the bar after work than the Bass Weejun, the iconic American penny loafer. At less than $100, it’s also one of the best deals that you can find in classic men’s footwear.
G.H. Bass & Co. began making shoes in the late 19th century, and in 1934 they introduced their trademark loafer, the Weejun, modeled after shoes that Bass’ designer saw in Norway. The loafer grew in popularity and by the 1950s it became a staple of the prep school class, who began putting pennies in the little slit right below the tongue of the shoe as a fashion statement. This practice spawned the nickname “penny loafer.”
Unfortunately, the Weejun is no longer made in America. However, it still retains high quality construction, especially at the less than $100 price point. It comes in two colors, black and burgundy. I’m partial to the burgundy, largely because it’s warmer and goes with more trouser colors.
So, with autumn approaching, I decided to pick up a pair of Weejuns for myself. Something about them just feels collegiate, and this is fitting as I just started my second year of law school. Dressing the part helps you play the part.
In addition to working well in a casual law school wardrobe, Weejuns actually look quite good with a suit. However, this is a look that is too easy going for many business events.
They can also be paired with jeans and a polo for a slightly dressy but still relaxed after work look.
You’ll probably see a lot more of me wearing my Bass Weejuns this season. If you’d like to pick up your own pair, I recommend checking out eShoes. At $85 with no shipping or tax, this price is as cheap as I’ve seen them. Their customer service is also quite good and shipping was prompt.
Next week, the Gentleman experiences fantastic leather…