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Chic and easy. Photographs from @stubbsandwootton and @my_pony_lifestyle

Current obsession: velvet slippers

Aristocrats and plebs both like wearing the cushy slipper—a footwear style that also bridges the gap between formal and casual. 
Monchet Olives | Dec 04 2018

I can’t get enough of these velvet slippers. They remind me of Playboy’s Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion in a long plush velvet and satin dressing gown, silk pajamas, and yes, his velvet monogrammed slippers.  In much the same way we have been dressing down over the decades, clothing once kept to the home has become part of daily streetwear.

One of the coolest style trends in this shift is the renaissance of the velvet slipper. No longer exclusive to British aristocracy, these loafer-like slip-ons have been around forever. The Pope is known to wear nothing but these luxurious things—and in red, made precisely for him. Over the years, I have made it a mission to pick up a pair of slip-ons where I can, and try not to be tempted by online shopping.

Traditionally embroidered with a family crest or coat of arms, the slipper is now embellished with pretty much anything you can think of—from initials (a safe choice), to irreverent messages and graphics, to emojis. Although still most commonly worn in formal settings, the slipper can now be worn for just about any occasion. I’ve seen stylish men rock a pair with dark jeans and a blazer, and look darn good doing it. 

Click on the image below for slideshow

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Photograph from @hadleighs

Photograph from @dukedexter

Photograph from @dukedexter

Photograph from @stubbsandwootton

Photograph from @alexander.kraft

Photograph from @toshihiro_yasutake

Brands like Hadleighs, Farfalla, Edward Green, Stubbs and Wootton and Del Toro Shoes have made velvet slippers their trademark offering, with both bespoke and ready-to-wear lines. But the style is now popular enough to be found in less-specialized stores like Brooks Brothers, J.Crew , Massimo Dutti, Zara and even (occasionally) H&M.

Would I suggest you wear them? “Too soft pare”, the rogues among us might say with a sneer. As for me, I think they are like the Gucci loafer, a pair that helps bridge casual and formal attires. It is more fun than fusty, and with many types of fabrics available—yes, they're no longer just in velvet—there can be a lot to choose from.

I always thought loafers were the greatest footwear-specific trick men ever played on the world, allowing them to leave the house with confidence in something so close to a slipper.  A linen barong, trousers, and a pair of funky slippers spell business, with a dash of flair. Sporting these, I felt like I was getting away with something, like being Hugh Hefner with his bevy of women, or being some British aristocrat sans title.