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Words by Mr Peter Henderson

"One who spends his time in idleness" is how the Oxford English Dictionary defines a loafer, the term that subsequently lent its name to this relaxed style of slip-on shoe. Although we can't wait to idle away the summer wearing light suede loafers with shorts or chinos, loafers have evolved since they were first conceived as leisure shoes in Norway in the 1930s. They are no longer confined to off-duty wear, coming in distinctly boardroom-appropriate designs too. The lack of laces or fastenings effectively makes them a blank canvas for dandyish decorations, from tassels to embroidery, although understated pairs can look equally effective. And what's more, loafers are wonderfully comfortable, particularly in warm weather, and they are ideal for travelling because they slip on and off easily at airport security. Click through the gallery above to see five of our favourite pairs this season.

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