Category Archives: Penny Loafers

These Aren’t Your Mother’s Penny Loafers

If you visit this blog often enough, you know that I like to talk about American-inspired shoes that I come across up here in the Nordic region of the world.  So in my latest installment, I give you…Swedish Hasbeens’ loafers!

While AMERICANA was at Bakåt:Framåt vintage fair a few weekends ago, we had the good fortune of being neighbors with the ladies from Swedish Hasbeens.  They are a fun & super-sweet bunch of girls. We immediately fell in love with some of their new styles, as well as the classics they had on display.

These shoes are straight-up fashionista certified back home in the States, where Sarah Jessica Parker has given up her Manolos for Swedish Hasbeens.  Personally, I love their nod to their American fans through their American-Swedish remix of penny loafers & clogs.

Indeed, penny loafers were inspired by Scandinavian shoes, as I mentioned in this post. Plus, Americans have been worshipping clogs for decades, as also noted in my earlier video blog.

So hats off to Swedish Hasbeens for bringing the Swedish-American mutual admiration society a bit closer!

Now, all I need are a couple of pennies for the cut-out part of my new shoes…or should I place a couple of kronor there instead? 😉

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Two Types of Penny Loafers

Allen Edmonds Walden & Bass Weejuns

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Penny Loafers

Penny Loafers Are a Classic American Shoe (photo via Life Archive)

Penny loafers are black or brown slip-on shoes for men or women, based on a moccasin design.  Inspiration for penny loafers came from handmade shoes made by Norwegian fishermen in the early 20th century.  The first penny loafers were made by G.H. Bass in Maine in 1936.  The company’s brand-named version of the shoe “Weejuns” was taken from the word “Norwegian.”

Penny loafers became very popular with young people in America in 1950s and 60s.  At that time, pennies were inserted into the instep’s cut-out for decoration, and perhaps as a lucky charm. Girls of that period were also known to sometimes put a dime in their penny loafers, just in case it was needed to make a phone call when they were away from home.

Later in the 1980’s, penny loafers became the must-have shoe for preppies, who usually wore them sockless.  The shoes were also made famous by Michael Jackson, who donned them with glittery white socks.

Weejuns Are The Original American Penny Loafer (photo via G.H. Bass)

Penny loafers är svarta eller bruna slip-on skor för män eller kvinnor baserade på en mockasindesign. Inspirationen för att göra penny loafers kom från handgjorda skor tillverkade av norska fiskare på tidigt 1900-tal. Det första paret penny loafers gjordes av GH Bass i Maine 1936. Bass kallade sin version a skon “weejuns” från “Norwegian.”

Michael Jackson Wearing Penny Loafers (photo via Getty Images)

Penny loafers blev mycket populära bland yngre amerikaner på 1950- och 1960-talen. Vid denna tid började man lägga i ett 1 centsmynt på utsidan av plösen som dekoration eller kanske för att ha tur. Ibland la flickor ett 10 centsmynt på utsidan av plösen ifall de skulle behöva ringa hem när de var ute.

På 1980-talet blev penny loafers en populär sko bland preppies som ofta hade på sig dem utan sockor. Skorna gjordes också Berömda av Michael Jackson som bar dem med vita glittriga sockor.

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