Supermodels and Celebs Have Decided It's Time to Bring Back This Clunky '90s Shoe Trend
Aside from a pair of stretchy black slip-ons and maybe some thickly-soled Skechers, chunky loafers were in every '90s girl's shoe rotation. While the thought of introducing a pair into your adult wardrobe may have once made you cringe, these bad boys are back with stamps of approval from celebs like Bella Hadid, Katie Holmes, and Rita Ora. And, honestly? There's no better time for them. Since summer is on the way out, the perfect autumnal shoe is in order.
The original quintessential chunky loafer emanated quite a few different vibes: goth, preppy, punk, you name it. The same can still be said, but in this era, anything goes when it comes to sporting heeled loafers.
If you're going the route a la Bella Hadid, you'll want a pair of particularly thick loafers, which she has made the case for pairing with both a cardigan and bike shorts as well as wild early-2000s prints.
You can also tone down the chunky silhouette like Katie Holmes does and opt for a sleeker shoe that still provides plenty of style and sophistication. (Though even she tried out a pair of super chunky soles earlier this year).
And, surprisingly, less edgy looks can be completed with the right pair of leather loafers, whether you're a cottagecore fan or researching some cozy cabin looks —just try a creamy suede or white shearling chunky shoe.
So if you're suddenly craving a dose of semi-ugly '90s-inspired fashion (yeah, us too), we've pulled together several options that are perfect for working into any outfit this season.
The Classic ’90s Chunky Loafer
Though it was founded in the 1940s, Dr. Martens’ chunky shoes were synonymous with the grunge era. So if it’s a no-fail classic you’re after, these derby platform shoes deserve a spot in your closet. The sky-high platform sole amps up the drama, but the black and white color options ensure the shoe can go with any outfit. “Just got these in the mail today and I am obsessed with them,” wrote one reviewer. “They fit like a glove and my feet aren’t sliding around in them like they do with my other ones.”
Your Go-To Fall Slip-Ons
Everyone should own a pair of leather shoes that reappear on their rack year after year the second pumpkins and witch hats take over. If you’ve yet to find your trusty staples, I’d like you to meet Sam Edelman’s Tully loafers. Pair them with a sleek pantsuit, pop them on with your favorite jeans, or layer them with a sweater and dress and you’ve instantly fall-ified your outfit. It helps that they fit well, too, with one reviewer noting “they are pretty comfy right out of the box…often not the case with loafers!”
Loafers for Roaming Around Your Gothic Manor
I’m not in charge of a haunted Victorian mansion either, but if I were aiming to emulate the one and only Morticia Addams, my search for a pair of shoes would end here. Outside of fall activities, these lug-sole loafers are quite a fun and preppy heel with a nice bit of additional height. “I’ve been looking for a chunky heel loafer to replace mine from the ’90s,” explained one shopper. “This is exactly what I wanted. Well made true to size and SO COMFORTABLE!!” Even if these are a bit too goth girl for you, they make for an impressively chic addition to a Halloween costume.
For Adding That Extra Element to Your Outfit
As you already know, shoes can make or break an outfit — but they can also be the missing piece that takes a look from plain to smartly pulled together. The luster in the faux patent leather and silver hardware make these an instant statement piece that would satisfy minimalists, too. And that 1 1/4-inch platform makes them ideal for clomping around all season. If black isn’t quite it for you, they’re available in a wine-colored red and a matte cream for catering to your own style and the fact that fall is nearly here.
Loafers for Lounging Around Your Cabin
Sipping tea and roaming around with crunchy leaves underfoot during an autumnal weekender won’t be the same without this cozy pair that doesn’t falter in style. They’ve still got the chunky sole, but the faux shearling detail softens them a bit more than their patent leather counterparts. Plus, the insole contains a three-part insert that makes wearing them feel just as comfy as they look. That forest getaway is calling your name.
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