Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Fringe Element

I know. They’re thought to be the greatest bastardization. Too fuzzy, perhaps, for even ADG. Neither fish nor fowl. Neither here nor there. Naff. Very non-U.

(Black leather, lace-up ankle boot man, Honest Abe.)

President Lincoln is credited with having said that you can fool some of the people all the time, all the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. Back in the 1980’s, when my local Nordstrom hit town, Salvatore Ferragamo had most of  us convinced that we could wear kiltie loafers with tassels. I did. I was working on my feet all day on marble floors — mine are a wide, so are the black pair that I bought — and the appeal of a slip-on was that it could be easily slipped off before plunging myself into an ice-cold martini and a foot bath, courtesy of Mrs. E. .

(I would not wear them myself, but you are not Italian.)

Then I started delving into the men’s wear writers and somewhere someone wrote that the kiltie/tassel was an abomination. The sort of thing that went with fish-width ties and shiny sharkskin suits. They were just too much of a good thing. So I packed them into their boxes with shoe tress firmly anchored and relegated them to the top of my shoe shelves.

And then I discovered the tassel loafer in cigar cordovan by Alden. Love those shoes, chunky and serious as they are. The Aldens led me into wearing slipons with suits, not just odd trousers! At least some of the time.

Slippery slope.

Out came the Ferragamos. On a particularly hot day last week, off came the socks. Cotton glen-plaid trousers seemed to need an oxblood coloured shoe. I have two. A pair of Sebago penny loafers and these.

So, here I am out on the frontier, another one of the fringe element, a long hair with kiltie/loafers whose judgement must be somewhat suspect.

Next week, I might even wear ’em out of the house.

10 thoughts on “Fringe Element

  1. I never gave up my tasseled kilties.
    There are menswear writers who preach the cummerbund is dead and other silly things. Some people just beg to be ignored.

  2. Not officially in the office today, I wore Johnston & Murphy tassel loafers, size 12A, today with linen trousers, a button-down collar shirt, and a lightweight silk/cashmere pullover. The shoes do not have a kiltie, but do have a woven leather vamp. I thought the whole look was more than acceptable.

  3. I bought a very attractive pair of kiltie loafers at the Andover Shop in 1967, and I never heard a negative comment about them. & I moved in very grand circles in those days, LOL. I think each pair has to be judged on its own esthetic merits, & there should be no blanket condemnation of kiltie loafers.

  4. Wear them…a lot…!
    Remember, ADG still wears baseball caps with suits.
    Can you really trust him?

  5. Serves to put the exclamation point on this Allen-Edmonds Bradenton pair that I’m wearing today: a kiltie, tassel, wing tip, with braiding that I bought expressly because of it all. I’m not saying that everything plays well together, just that if there’s going to be crosstalk, might as well make it a cacophony…what the hey!

  6. Standing ovation…. not becuae you are wearing tassles ( I despise them) but because you are wearing them against advice because you like them… ROARING applause.

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