Fall's Best Loafer Heels for All Budgets

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I love watching old trends come back into style, and the re-interest in loafer heels has me feeling particularly nostalgic. I met my best friend over a pair of identical stacked-heel loafers. It was the first our first semester of college. The big movie of the summer was Clueless, which had a huge influence on fall fashion trends. Soon-to-be BFF and I both showed up in identical black leather heeled loafers, which mirrored the loafers worn by Cher in Clueless. Really, there's nothing like identical taste in shoes to cement a friendship or start a rivalry... luckily we went the friendship route.

You can see why this fall's huge shoe trend -- loafer heels -- has me intrigued. It's one of the best trends of my fashion-formative years, reworked and refreshed for a new century. So, what's new since this trend arrived in the mid-'90s? This time around, the heels are taller and thinner, leathers and fabrics are more luxurious, and silhouettes are less about just adding a heel to a classic loafer and more about being merely inspired by a loafer and building from there.

In the spirit of spreading this fun Fall trend far and wide, we've scoured a pile of September issues and dozens of online shopping sites to dig up 7 of Fall's best loafer heels for all budgets -- from super affordable to investment-worthy.

These Ralph Lauren loafer pumps take the classic loafer shape and make it more feminine with a slender heel, platform and almond-shaped toe.

Ralph Lauren Viona Loafer Pump

→ Buy the Ralph Lauren Viona Loafer Pump, $625.00, at neimanmarcus.com.

Affordable shoe line Nine West has taken a modern spin on loafer heels by adding a patch of bright suede across the toes.

Nine West Unmixed High Heel Loafer

→ Buy the Nine West Unmixed Heeled Loafer, $109.00, at ninewest.com.

These chic high heeled loafers come in a range of J.Crew's iconic saturated colors.

J.Crew Biella High-Heel Loafers

→ Buy the J.Crew Biella High-Heel Loafers, $265.00, at jcrew.com.

Ralph Lauren earns a second spot on our list with these timeless tassel loafers. The chunky heel means these shoes are substantial enough to anchor wide-leg pants and comfy enough to endure a full day of work.

Ralph Lauren Collection Gianna Platform Loafer Pump

→ Buy the Ralph Lauren Gianna Platform Loafer Pump, $575.00, at nordstrom.com; shipping and returns are free.

Snag this trend on the cheap with these vegan loafer heels -- even a super close up look at the construction doesn't divulge their amazingly affordable price.

Bamboo Leighton 01 Black Penny Loafer Heels

→ Buy the Bamboo Leighton 01 Black Penny Loafer Heels, $32.00, at lulus.com.

Leave it to Diane von Furstenberg to find a way to make heeled loafers sleek and minimalist. These suede loafers are divine.

Diane von Furstenberg Roxanne Suede Loafer Pumps

→ Buy the Diane von Furstenberg Roxanne Suede Loafer Pumps, $280.00, at saks.com.

The list wouldn't be complete without a great sale find. These Boutique 9 loafer pumps can be yours for 30% off retail price -- a great deal for a Fall trend this early in the season.

Boutique 9 Night Penny Loafer Pumps

→ Buy the Boutique 9 Night Penny Loafer Pumps, $126.00 (was $180.00), at shopbop.com; shipping and returns are free.