throwback for your shoe rack

what if i told you that the same shoes many of us were made to wear with our school uniform are the perfect, modern choice for right now? i got my first pair of penny loafers and saddle shoes for the start of 7th grade. after enjoying “free dress” for my entire elementary school career, i entered a life of mandated dressing. i’m still no fan of polyester grey pleated skirts, but i do love loafers and oxfords.

photo Orit Harpaz | i wear these all the time. they are as comfortable as my sneakers and as versatile, too. when i'm feeling cheeky, i add fun socks or colored laces. 

photo Orit Harpaz | i wear these all the time. they are as comfortable as my sneakers and as versatile, too. when i'm feeling cheeky, i add fun socks or colored laces. 

as moms, we need footwear that can work for a business meeting, an after-school trip to the park, and everything in between. ballet flats and sandals are easy, go-to options, but if you’re getting bored, revisit these school-age classics and drop them into your regular rotation.

sleek, right? these shiny beauties would make a basic black outfit a bit more interesting.

sleek, right? these shiny beauties would make a basic black outfit a bit more interesting.

start with a traditional color choice like a brown or black if you’re feeling unsure, or go bold with a fun color you’ve been wanting to try. two of my favorite ways to wear them are with a solid or striped button down + jeans that hit at the ankle to show off the shoe. or...a lightweight v-neck sweater, khakis and a necklace or chunky bracelet that either complements or contrasts the shoes in color. 

so...yeah. animal prints. they are a bold statement for a understated girl like me, so i let them do all the talking and keep the rest of my outfit quiet. fyi...i got them last week at banana republic on sale for $35. just sayin'.

so...yeah. animal prints. they are a bold statement for a understated girl like me, so i let them do all the talking and keep the rest of my outfit quiet. fyi...i got them last week at banana republic on sale for $35. just sayin'.

be careful not to slip back into your school girl ways by pairing your loafers or oxfords with short skirts - i think it would look too juvenile. and, on the other, ahem, foot, don't wear them with voluminous, moo-moo type get-ups or you'll go lunch lady/retiree real quick. these shoes need clean, tailored outfits so you look nothing but modern and fashionably informed. give them another look and i promise you'll be pleased.

below are some suggestions, and three fun facts for after you browse. 

 

these loafers are conservative, but the metallic color and shape spice things up and make them very modern. i would wear these with jeans all the time; black pants + sweater for work; and white in spring & summer. perfection! by gucci. get them here.

these loafers are conservative, but the metallic color and shape spice things up and make them very modern. i would wear these with jeans all the time; black pants + sweater for work; and white in spring & summer. perfection! by gucci. get them here.

this rich, bold color would be the star of your outfit. i'm thinking about them with jeans + white top & lots of gold jewelry to pick up that interesting heel. by nicholas kirkwood. get them here.

this rich, bold color would be the star of your outfit. i'm thinking about them with jeans + white top & lots of gold jewelry to pick up that interesting heel. by nicholas kirkwood. get them here.

love this classic remake. this pair should be considered a neutral; the light rusty brown will play well with other colors in your wardrobe. by steve madden. get it here.

love this classic remake. this pair should be considered a neutral; the light rusty brown will play well with other colors in your wardrobe. by steve madden. get it here.

i ordered these as soon as i saw them. they won't arrive until april (waitlisted), but i'm a mom, so patience is part of my skillset. classic and fun together. by everlane. order yours here.

i ordered these as soon as i saw them. they won't arrive until april (waitlisted), but i'm a mom, so patience is part of my skillset. classic and fun together. by everlane. order yours here.

a perfect starter pair; neutral color, traditional shape, just enough modern. i picked this one to showcase, but lots of other color choices. by j crew here.

a perfect starter pair; neutral color, traditional shape, just enough modern. i picked this one to showcase, but lots of other color choices. by j crew here.

these are so so good. they scream quality, and the perforations + color contrast strike the perfect balance between simple and intricate. by church's. get them here and love them forever.

these are so so good. they scream quality, and the perforations + color contrast strike the perfect balance between simple and intricate. by church's. get them here and love them forever.

are you thinking too plain? i thought so at first, but really the clean lines make these sophisticated and keep them from being clunky. thumbs up for these in black. by cole haan. available here. 

are you thinking too plain? i thought so at first, but really the clean lines make these sophisticated and keep them from being clunky. thumbs up for these in black. by cole haan. available here. 

penny loafers. in 1936, g.h. bass added a leather strip across the front of the original loafer design created by norwegian farmers. school children put a penny in the cut-out for (gasp) the pay phone.

oxfords vs. brogues. both are considered formal lace-up shoes with a low heel and sleek look. the brogue, however, has the perforation detail that takes things up a notch.

and driving mocs? from the algonquin language powhatan, moccasins are the heelless shoes ingeniously made from animal skins by native americans. modern day "driving moccasins" were created to wear while driving so as not to damage one's traditional shoes, and to have a more tactile experience of the foot against the car pedals.