How to Wear Loafers with Shorts

by jacky chou
Updated on

Loafers are slip-on shoes with no laces or fastening mechanism shaped like a moccasin and have a flat heel or low heel. They are comfortable and stylish and can be used by men, women, and children. Loafers can be casual or business shoes. Many have been seen wearing loafers with pants, prompting the question, “can you wear loafer shoes with shorts, and how?” The answer is yes.

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For one to have a nice outfit of loafers with a pair of shorts, there are factors you need to consider: types of shorts, occasion, types of shoes, and how to accessorize your outfit. Let’s look at how these factors affect our combination of loafers with shorts for a dapper look.

Types of shorts

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Shorts should be considered casual, although there is a variety of them ranging from super casual to more formal, and the type of shorts you choose should pair well with the loafers you got. Examples of shorts include polo, athletic, flat-front, and denim shorts.

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Denim or khaki shorts matched with loafers are perfect for a casual outfit. Loafers would as well make an excellent fit with tailored shorts of the length just above the knees.

Not all shorts make a friendly match with loafers. The three-quarter legs and baggy shorts do not fit with loafers. Always try to pick shorts with colors that blend well with the loafer type and color. For example, white shorts and navy blue loafers are a classy blend.

When to wear

Before making that dapper look in your shorts and loafers, you may want to consider the occasion you are attending. In most cases, shorts with loafers are considered casual outfits, and you wouldn’t want to pop up at a formal event in your dress code of shorts with loafers. Avoid this dress code when going for business and other formal occasions.

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Consider climate. Shorts and loafers are attire for warmer months, summer, and spring. It may seem odd to rock this outfit in cooler temperatures.

Types of shoes

Loafers are available in different types based on the materials they are made of. Loafers may differ in structure, color, and material but when looking for what to match with shorts, consider the material. The material will determine how casual or formal the loafers are.

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Some loafer types may be dressier, so choosing the right one will help you not ruin your overall look. Make sure the shoes fit well and are in perfect shape. Imagine walking around in tattered oversized loafer with shorts, it is odd.

How to accessorize

Do not forget the rest of the outfit when thinking about making a kill in shorts with loafers. How you’d accessorize it for a formal look differs from the casual look accessories. You might also want to go easy on the colors of your loafers and shorts to get a matching top of personal preference.

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Pairing loafers and shorts with a polo shirt or t-shirt is best for a casual look. On the other hand, a button-down shirt and a belt to define your waistline complement the formal look. You may consider adding a blazer.

Types of loafers

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You need to choose the right type of loafers for a good match of shorts and loafers for a formal or casual look. Here is an overview of different types of loafers.

1. Penny loafer

It is a l0afer shoe decorated with a slot of leather strap horizontally over the upper part. Penny loafers usually come in dark colors like black, brown, burgundy, and espresso.

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The suede penny loafers are generally considered casual, but the shiny look of leather may make you consider them for a formal outfit. Penny loafers would work better with khaki shorts, chino shorts, and flat-front shorts.

2. Tassel loafers

Tassel loafer is a product of Alden shoe company which combines oxfords with tassels and a slip-on loafer. Tassel loafer can either be in suede or leather material, and it is distinguished by the long decorative tassels on the upper part. Suede tassel loafers are more appropriate with shorts because they enhance the casual look.

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Casual shorts such as polo and athletic shorts would be a safer bet with a suede tassel loafer. On the other hand, the leather tassel loafers look too formal and would probably look appealing when worn with suits or super dressy shorts.

3. Slip-on dress shoes

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These type of loafers are low and has no decorative styles. The slip-on dress has a moccasin structure, designed with a sleek silhouette and often made of leather and suede. Also known as slippers, slip-on dress shoes are designed to be formal and are often a good choice for dressier occasions. So if you are thinking of that semi-formal look of shorts with loafers, this type could be an option but not the best.

4. Horsebit loafers

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It is also known as Gucci loafers. The distinguishing factor of a horsebit loafer is the metal buckle with a horse’s snaffle shape on the upper part. It is made of leather. The shiny nature of leather and the metal makes it glossy and eye-catching hence too formal when worn with shorts. However, it is a good fit for a suit.

Tips for wearing loafers with shorts


Every outfit has tips to follow to make a good look. Loafers with shorts are not exceptional. Always look out for the following when planning to do this particular outfit.

  • Ensure it is appropriate.

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Loafers with shorts are not an all-occasions outfit. For some dress code, you wouldn’t dare pull it off. The dress codes you can usually use them for are casual and smart casual. For smart casual, sneakers and moccasins would be too relaxed; hence, loafers and shorts can be a better option if chosen right.

  • Choose the suitable loafer material.

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The most common materials for loafers are suede and leather. Shorts are majorly considered casual wear. Suede loafers fit well with shorts for a casual look compared to leather loafers.

  • Select the right loafer style.

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Any loafer style would work with shorts, but penny and tassel loafers are more flexible and work best with shorts compared to horsebit and slip-on dress shoes.

  • Choose the right shorts.

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Just like loafers, shorts are available in different styles. Shorts such as polo and athletic shorts are casual and would be a safe bet when worn with suede loafers. On the other hand, khaki and flat-front shorts work better with leather loafers.

  • Choose the right accessories.

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T-shirts and polo shirts complement the loafers with shorts outfit. T-shirts are great for a casual look, while polo shirts fit a smart casual look. You should add a belt to define your waistline when you wear a dress shirt with shorts.

  • Choose the colors correctly.

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Any outfits stand out according to color matching. Stick to neutral colors when matching loafers with shorts. Brown and black loafers are mostly resourceful. Shorts can work well with shades of whites, blues, and greys. Keeping the match simple makes it easy to add accessories of different colors. For example, a mix of navy blue shorts and white t shirt with brown loafers is classic.

  • Choose the right socks.

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No-show socks are ideal for loafers because loafers expose a better part of your ankle. Wearing socks extending beyond the ankle may look odd with loafers and shorts. Otherwise, some people would consider quarter length or ankle socks. It entirely depend on personal preference provided it is comfortable and hygienic.

Dos and don’ts

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  • Don’t forget to put on a belt while wearing a dress shirt with loafers and shorts
  • Don’t pair tattered loafers with shorts
  • Do ensure the shoes fit well.
  • Do accessorize shorts with loafers outfit in consideration of the general look.
  • Do try out different styles and colors to get your best preference.

Final thoughts on wearing loafers with shorts

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Wearing loafers with shorts is one of the most popular styles and can be comfortable and stylish. With proper planning considering the occasion, this outfit could be dapper. Always remember to choose the right shoes for the suitable shorts and complement your look with the relevant fitting accessories.

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About the author

jacky chou


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