Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Only Belgian Loafer

If you've never tried on a pair of Belgian Loafers, then do yourself a favor, and treat yourself.  One of my old friends has a stash of these WASPY shoes in her closet (and she has great style and taste).  I had never tried them on but the next time I was in New York, I went to the store, and I was hooked.  And I have feet issues so, finding a comfortable, classic pair of shoes, that I can wear, that will never go out of style, well, what's not to love?

You may think they are frumpy, old school, matronly, whatever, but wearing a pair of these is like having slippers on your feet all day.  And they are not inexpensive.  And let's get one thing straight, "Belgians" is not a shoe category - there's only one place to shop for these, at a small, discreet storefront in New York, the Belgian Shoes Shop on East 55th between Park and Lexington. 

Belgians can only be purchased at the shop, or by filling out a mail-in order form which you can mail or scan and send.  They’re constructed by hand in Belgium, as shoes have for over 300 years, sewn inside-out in peoples’ homes before being turned and finished at a family-owned factory outside Brussels. Town & Country labels Belgians the "secret handshake shoe of the country club set."  I just call them sensible comfort totally worth the price.  And you may have to wait to get yours - some orders have been known to take up to 12 months to fill.  They are just as popular with the men today as with the women.  And celebrity sightings wearing Belgians are not uncommon.

The store was started by Henri Bendel, yes, the same Henri that started his namesake flagship store on Fifth Avenue.  He passed the store to his nephew, another Henri and in 1956 the young Henri purchased two 300-year-old shoe companies and started making Belgians. The rest is history.

Once you buy a pair, you're told to "break them in" and later send them back to the company to have rubber soles applied to the bottoms (for $65) and horror stories abound of clients having their Belgians "ruined" by non-sensical shoe repair stores who don't understand how to treat a Belgian.

Belgians come in a number of colors, some conservative others more preppy (pink and green or tartan plaid) and there are three styles from which to choose.  I prefer the Midinette style, with a small heel.  Sadly the price has gone up, but you'll not regret owning Belgians.


  1. so comfortable and discreetly stylish.... I have never had a problem with my local ( long island ny) cobbler adding the rubber sole. ( never sent them back to the store )
    love your blog!

  2. In the country, I would not take any chances with Belgians! Thanks for reading.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...