We often get asked whether it’s alright to wear loafers with shorts. Like wearing loafers with a suit or with jeans, many people are worried that they’ll stand out too much by wearing loafers and shorts, as opposed to sports shoes or another more casual footwear choice.
Loafers come in a wide variety of styles, ranging from casual to almost formal. If you stick with a casual loafer in a color that doesn’t contrast too much with your shorts, there’s no reason you can’t wear a pair of leather loafers with shorts in summer.
As always, the key is in choosing the right type of loafer in the right color. Since shorts are casual clothes, it’s best to stick with a casual loafer. Penny loafers with shorts can look great, especially if the loafers are tan or very light brown. Tassel loafers with shorts, on the other hand, is a lot harder to pull off.
One great way to wear loafers with shorts without looking too formal is to switch the standard leather loafers for a pair of driving moccasins. Driving shoes are very similar to loafers in terms of looks, but have a less structured construction, softer leather (and often suede), and have a rubber nubbed sole instead of the thicker leather sole that you find on most loafers.
In short, they’re a less casual loafer that’s perfect for summer. Driving shoes are also available in a huge range of colors, which makes it easy to match them with your shorts. If you don’t like the driving shoes look, you can also pair shorts with a pair of boat shoes. Both of these options look more casual than a pair of penny loafers, all while having a more dressy look than a pair of sports or streetwear shoes.
To summarize, tan or medium brown penny loafers can look great with a pair of blue or cream shorts. Tassel loafers are a little more risky, but can still work if you’ve got the confidence. Driving shoes and boat shoes are perfect for a casual, versatile summer look.
Need help choosing the right pair of loafers?
Whether you’re dressing for work or for a night out, loafers are versatile shoes that look good with almost any choice of clothing. Read our loafers buyer guides to learn more about the best leather loafers in all price ranges