Slipper Loafers or Cigarette “Smoking” Shoes

The ladies in the office are raving, “I have to have a pair!”

They’re so Fall 2012 and Hugh Hefner approved. A play on the loafer, the “smoking shoe” or slipper loafer (or “cigarette shoe,”) are a comfy go-to option any day of the week.

Some of my fave options via the Gap, top picks from TeenVogue, and more:

So why did my co-worker call them “cigarette shoes” today? Why are they even called “smoking shoes” in some instances as opposed to just “slipper loafers”? My assumption, and only because Hugh Hefner was born in 1926 and has kept his style consistent since then, is that they were worn by men to go outside, or to another room, to enjoy a smoke.

Paula Rath did a bit of research herself,

“In the interest of adding the term to my paularath.com Fashion Glossary series, I have gone through my entire fashion library, which is considerable, in search of history and information pertaining to the Smoking Slipper.

I was unable to find a single mention, whether in O’Hara’s “The Encyclopedia of Fashion,” Gorsline’s “What People Wore,” Boucher’s “20,000 Years of Fashion” or any of the half dozen books I have that are solely about shoes (pun intended).

The style of shoe is there, of course. But it’s worn mainly by men. And it’s not called a Smoking Slipper; it’s called a Sandal-Slipper (circa 1810) or bedroom slipper in later periods. In previous centuries, slippers, be definition, were meant to be worn indoors only.”

Paula agrees, “the Smoking Slipper is very Hugh Hefner, if you ask me.”

Either way, have you bought your cigarette-smoking-loafer-slippers yet?
I think you need them. That way when people ask you what the style is called, you can tell them all about what you learned today.

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