• Ralph Lauren Singleton Loafer

    Prep Essentials  

    “In Japan, consumers want English things to be from England, French things to be from France and American things to be made in America. It’s a quality that I believe is derived from a devotion to authenticity.”      —Michael Williams

    In search of the perfect penny loafer, I found them in Ralph Lauren’s Singleton Burnished Loafer ($475). Proudly made in America by Mainer craftsmen, these embody the panache of genuine Maine hand-sewns. Previously Ansewn (until around 2003), Bangor, Maine’s Highland Shoe Co. hand-sews leather shoes for the likes of Polo, Bass (Weejuns), Paul Stuart and Sid Mashburn. The hand-stitched leather sole and outside reinforced heel feel solid on my feet. Apparently only available at RalphLauren.com, I found myself fit testing with other American made models in Ralph Lauren stores and moved a half size down. They fit brilliantly. And despite its presence in the current trend, the penny loafer is a simple, classic and understated shoe with practical, long-term fashion value.

    *The penny loafer originated in the 1930s. Somewhat unbelievably, this fashion started with the Spaulding company when they produced shoes styled after those of Norwegian dairy farmers that had appeared in an article in Esquire Magazine.

    Aug 23, 2010 | Permalink (15) Total Comments

    Andrew left a comment on 12/20/2013 at 6:46 PM:

    Greetings from a long-time reader (and first time post-er),

    I was fortunate enough to come by a pair of these loafers and was wondering if you might impart some wisdom as to how you care for yours; regarding, water proofing and general maintenance.



    George left a comment on 12/5/2013 at 12:27 PM:

    You didn’t talk about the penny! Otherwise, nice shoes. There are light years of difference between RL and RL Polo; these are the former…and better.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 11/25/2012 at 2:28 AM:

    @Johnny Reb—While still being made in America, Allen Edmonds makes similar styles to this penny loafer at a less expensive price point.

    Johnny Reb left a comment on 3/22/2012 at 5:48 PM:

    Can anyone answer ZG’s comment. Much appreciation.

    ZG left a comment on 11/24/2011 at 1:45 AM:

    I love the way these look but, being a college student, these are a little out of my price range at the moment. Do you know of any less expensive look alikes?

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 1/6/2011 at 1:15 PM:

    @Mark Adams—Here are some options.

    mark adams left a comment on 8/30/2010 at 9:28 PM:

    what color socks do you wear with these shoes and navy pants

    Joey dee left a comment on 8/23/2010 at 7:14 PM:

    Hats off to Ralph Lauren making something in USA. in these times, nothing could be more important than buying American, whether it’s shoes, local organic strawberries, ETSY. It is high time we as consumers and citizens for better dressing start supporting the artisans and producers in our back yards and neighborhoods. The shoes are fabulous, by the way.

    fsp left a comment on 8/23/2010 at 5:55 PM:

    These are really great but, believe me, the Loafers from Lottusse are greater!

    Genevieve left a comment on 8/23/2010 at 3:23 PM:

    These are great, but I would love to see some women’s shoes on here once in awhile!

    Mark Sinclair left a comment on 8/23/2010 at 1:58 PM:

    Love this loafer, great choice! The story is a nice read as well. Thanks.

    Christian Bourasseau left a comment on 8/23/2010 at 12:28 PM:

    They are a real beauty.

    Doc left a comment on 8/23/2010 at 12:10 PM:

    They are quite stunning looking shoes, though I am somewhat astonished that you did not have success with Allen Edmonds.  Their Westchester has been around for some time, is hand-made, and is beautiful in every dimension.  For only a few dollars more than the RL you feature, one can have a pair of Westchesters in cordovan in a myriad of sizes and widths (perfect for my 12B feet!). 

    I find the simple lines of both shoes attractive.  Leave the beef roll to more casual shoes.

    AEV left a comment on 8/23/2010 at 11:38 AM:

    These are really, really nice….though, in my mind, nothing beats an Alden shell cordovan penny - and, I’m guessing, they cost about the same.

    Also nice to see RL selling American made shoes…I didn’t like the Italian made models they were selling last season, and I never understood why folks paid the RL premium for UK made shoes you could always buy direct from the manufacturer for less….

    L.A.S left a comment on 8/23/2010 at 11:06 AM:

    Where’s the beef…roll?