Loafers or slip-ons are low, leather lace less shoes usually worn casually by both men and women of all ages. They have been nicknamed ‘push-ins’ because one doesn’t have to bend to tie shoe laces but enjoy the ease of a quick slip on in a rush.
But most interestingly they have infiltrated the previously impervious walls of the strict corporate dress code. The manufacturers with an intention of extending sales have fashioned them to now suit the corporate appearance.
The first pair was made in Norway in 1930, and later spread to America where it gained enormous popularity. Currently it has been fashioned to go with suits. One would believe that the ease associated with these shoes is penetrating almost every dressing culture.
James Karuhanga, a journalist spotting brown loafers at the work place explained that the reason he preferred them was because, they are easy to wear.
“I bought them because they are easy to put on. I don’t have to go down and tie shoe laces.” An employee of a local insurance company says that their dress code was too strict to allow such casual shoes.
“We want people to be presentable because they are dealing with customers.”
MTN’s Edith Kariza said that, “presentable loafers aren’t found anywhere in Rwanda.” However, she said different departments in MTN dress differently depending on the kind of work entailed.
An employee of another insurance company believes it was decent dressing that was a priority.
“So long as someone wears decent shoes which are not sneakers. A long sleeved shirt and proper trousers are compulsory. For ladies it is a suit as well.” He clarified that the shoes have to match well with what one is wearing to be deemed as ‘decency’.
Kariza, concludes that “those employees who attend to customers should be dressed decently.”
So it is evident that the loafer has come a long way. From being identified with the street to creatively redefined into the corporate world.