Bass Weejuns Penny Loafers

Thinking today about the Spring – well it’s hard not to.

I have at least four favourite uniforms – broadly one for each of the Four Seasons.

Winter is definitely jeans – and my love of Levi 501s is well documented – Levi 501’s. Typically, depending on the cold, they will be coupled with a Woolrich shirt Woolwich shirt and T shirt underneath or for those warmer days a Ralph Ralph Lauren Polo Shirt or Lacoste Lacoste Shirt long-sleeved Polo.As we head into Spring, my wardrobe tends to consist of chinos and a polo shirts and for Summer Shorts and Polos are preferred.

For the warmer seasons – both with and without socks – loafers, particularly Bass Weejuns Penny Loafers, are a favourite – as I know they are with a number of our male and female audience. I particularly like the Logan Weejun – as in our featured image – and the Lexington Tassel Weejun.

In 1876 George Henry Bass became a partner in the shoemaking business, E.P. Packard & Co. in Wilton (Maine, USA) in only three years he had acquired sole control and changed its name to G.H. Bass & Co. His mission was simple “to make the best possible shoe for the purpose for which it was intended.”

In 1887, George moved the Bass factory to Wilson Stream, (Farmington, Maine (USA)) so he could use water-powered machinery.

In 1892, George created the “National Plow Shoe” particularly for farmers and the first moccasin, the “Bass Moccasin Cruiser”, designed for by woodsmen followed in 1906.

1910 the “Rangeley” style moccasin was created becoming the standard moccasin for campers and outdoors types. In 1918, Bass created the Aviation Moccasin Style 773  that became the official aviation boot for the U.S. Army, it was designed for use at high altitudes and in extreme cold.

In 1936, John R Bass, the son of the founder, launched the first Bass Weejuns, named after a slipper-type moccasin of Norwegian dairy-farm origin. The term “Loafer” is coined from the expression that the shoes were for “loafing in the field.”

The shoes were described as “Penny Loafers” because it became usual to add additional decoration to the shoe with items such as pennies – US 5 cent coin -being lodged in the “lips” of the strap across the front of the shoe.

By 1962 President Kennedy was photoed emerging from a classic Lincoln Continental wearing a pair of Bass Weejuns and, again, whilst playing golf. The popularity soared and Weejuns fast became part of popular culture. Other celebrity wearers included Ernest Hemmingway, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Miles Davis.

Weejuns popularity saw a revival in 1984 when Michael Jackson wore a pair of black Bass Weejuns at the opening of the music video that accompanied the release of his “Thriller” track.

In 1968, G.H. Bass & Co. was acquired by Burgess Shoe Store. In 1978, Chesebrough-Pond’s Inc purchased G.H. Bass & Co. and sold the company to PVH Corp. in 1987. In November 2013 G.H Bass & Co was purchased from PVH by G-III.

 

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