Loafers, Slippers And Slides: What Your House Shoes Say About You

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Loafers, Slippers And Slides: What Your House Shoes Say About You

Words by Mr Chris Elvidge

22 May 2020

Being stuck indoors for several months has made it necessary to rethink every aspect of our lives, including the way that we dress. Garments that once formed the cornerstone of our wardrobes, such as trousers, have been temporarily downgraded to non-essential status, while previously underappreciated items have come to the fore. 

How many of us, for instance, had considered owning a pair of house shoes before this pandemic occurred? Once upon a time, it might have seemed extravagant to spend money on footwear that’s destined never to see the outside world. In today’s “new normal”, where our entire lives are played out within the walls of our homes, it’s a far easier purchase to justify. 

Like a second computer screen in your home office, nobody needs a pair of house shoes. It’s possible to get by with just a pair of socks, or even a pair of terry-cotton slides purloined from a chain hotel. Hell, you can loaf around barefoot if that’s what you’d prefer to do. It’s your house. But when something so small has the potential to offer such a major life upgrade, the question you have to ask yourself is not why, but why not? Given the current state of affairs, surely this is a luxury that we all deserve.

Here, we pick out five of our favourite pairs.

There’s something of the fin-de-siècle dandy about these Moroccan-style suede slippers. We can imagine them going rather well with a belted silk brocade dressing gown, a fez and a hookah pipe. Crafted by the esteemed Parisian shirtmaker Charvet and set on generously cushioned leather soles, they’d make an excellent gift for any house-bound gent with a taste for the finer things in life. Alternatively, if that description applies to you, why not buy a pair for yourself? Seen here in a rich auburn, they’re also available in an intense shade of royal blue – a colourway amusingly referred to by the designer as “wizard”.

Sure, they’re a little on the flamboyant side, but who’s going to judge? One of the benefits of quarantine is that we’re no longer expected to dress for anyone other than ourselves, and we can think of no better way of exercising this newfound freedom than by stepping into a pair of magenta-coloured suede slippers. Adorned with the iconic horsebit detail, a callback to Gucci’s history as an equestrian supplier, but in an eye-popping shade of pink that’s more reflective of the brand’s modern, maximalist identity, these slippers are an instant mood enhancer that’s sure to brighten up any outfit. (By “any outfit” we of course mean pyjamas.)

Elegant, understated and rendered in beautifully supple lamb’s leather, these elasticated-heel loafers from Bottega Veneta are typical of a designer that embodies better than any other the concept of discreet luxury. The brand is renowned not only for the supreme quality of its leather goods, but also for letting that quality speak for itself. You won’t find a logo on the outside of any of the brand’s products – but when the products themselves look this good, who needs to advertise?

Rubinacci’s Marphy loafers are a somewhat contentious addition to this list, as you could certainly get away with them outside of the house. The Neapolitan brand’s poster child, Mr Luca Rubinacci, is (was?) regularly spotted wearing them on the streets of Milan, and even suggests matching them with a tuxedo. Loath as we are to contradict the advice of a modern style icon such as Mr Rubinacci, we’ve found that their combination of comfort and practicality makes them ideal for wearing at home, too. Just slip them on over a pair of light cotton socks. 

When we designed these suede slides for our own label, Mr P., we imagined them being worn in some exotic destination with a pair of pleated shorts and a camp-collar shirt. We didn’t anticipate that the most exotic destination we’d be visiting this summer would be the back garden. Luckily, they’ve proven to be an ideal choice for padding around the house in, too. Guys who live in warmer climates will prefer the open-toed construction over a pair of slippers, but they work just as well in cooler temperatures where you can slip them on over a pair of socks.

Let it slip