It’s back to school season, which—for those less inclined to perennial wearing—means back-to-loafers season. They’re fall’s ideal shoes for several reasons. First: They’re great with or without socks. Sorry, ballet flats, can’t say the same for your versatility. Second: Loafers feel serious—they have the power to transform a basic shirt and pants into a work-appropriate outfit. Third: The right loafers can be just as comfortable as sneakers. I’m not here to paint a rose-colored portrait of breaking in the shoe—it’s tough work.
Before the prep heyday of the early 2010s, there was a school of thought that promoted leopard as a neutral. While the movement claimed the pattern as its own for a while, leopard print is back in the mainstream. One of its many benefits is its easy pairing with any other neutral—black, navy, even cream. But if you're feeling bold, double down on the statement with a bright primary color. Extra credit if your top has feathers.