While we love all our amazing Italian shoes, there’s something about the ease of a slip-on that evokes the perfect aesthetic for an easy autumn day. The Van Damme Belgian Loafer is definitely a favorite. Relatively simple with its distinct knotted detail on the upper, the preppy staple can be styled to look polished and modern. If you’re wondering what to wear with your Belgian loafers, we have some ideas.
For a hip, casual look:
You may think the Belgian is the dressiest of loafers, and in that assumption you are correct… mostly. As with most Italian leather shoes, their value is in their versatility. You can look sharp without much effort when you begin with the right pair of pants. Try a pair of chinos in a dark red. Red pants may sound scary, but if you go for a dark pair, you’ll find they are as easy to pair as jeans. Add a little fun to the ensemble with a detailed polo and keep warm from the chilly autumn breeze with a fitted denim jacket. The trick is to get everything as close a fit as possible; baggy makes the whole look sloppy no matter what shoes you wear. But you don’t have to worry about that because when you cuff those chinos a couple times, your suede Belgian loafers will finish the outfit—along with a solid brown belt, of course.
To look office appropriate:
Unless your office dress code is extremely strict, there’s no reason why you can’t pair your Belgian loafers with a suit. Like we said above, they’re the dressiest of the loafer family, so they pair nicely with your autumn suits. We like the way Dan from Articles of Style styled the Van Damme in his editorial “The Return of the Belgian Loafer.” The chestnut suede loafer looks sharp paired with an olive suit, dusty lavender shirt, and rust tie. This is a perfect example of how experimenting with color can pay off—try it.
If you really want to wear denim:
Because who doesn’t want to throw on a pair of jeans from time to time? Don’t let the decorative touches of the Belgian deter you from pairing it with the workingman’s pants. Take a cue from this Details street style shot. When it comes to the jeans, go for a straight fit in a dark wash. Their simplicity prevents any unnecessary juxtaposition when paired with the stylish loafer. Instead, the entire ensemble looks like a natural fit, even with the most casual of casual accessories—the Yankees baseball cap.