On Bass Weejuns, Tommy Hilfiger and the hunt for the perfect loafer

Continuing my Vassar Girls theme, I’m currently obsessing about the demise of the beloved Bass Weejun. I used to admire them from afar as a teen when the rich kids at school used to buy theirs from Meenies in Kensington High Street or The Natural Shoe Store. I didn’t buy my first pair til I was about 19 but they lasted well. Really well. In fact, I rediscovered mine a few years ago and gave them a good pounding, wearing them every summer until last summer they developed a hole. Oh my days! Cue the hunt for original deadstock on Ebay, egged on by finds like these beauties by The Weejun

Actually, I must confess, I did get lucky recently with a pair of 1980s Weejun tassle loafers which I bought with trepidation but fit like a glove. And for fortyish quid, I really couldn’t believe my luck…

But of course, one pair is never enough, I need back-ups. You can order from Bass in the US but they have modified the originals, made the instep shorter and, oh God I won’t bore on but they’re not what they were. So while I continue to stake out Ebay for mint vintage, preppy evangelist Tommy Hilfiger has stepped in with a timely solution. Its collaboration with Bass comprises of men’s and women’s penny loafers in leather, ponyskin and plaid and some spot-on colourways. Crucially, the last is similar for both the men’s and women’s styles so the overall look is nicely unisex (apart from the high heeled version obviously). See for yourself here:

Aren’t the rich navy and bottle green so handsome? The loafers feel nicely weighty which I think is important when wearing with trousers (nothing worse than too-delicate looking loafers) yet don’t look butch with skirts. The collaboration is on sale exclusively at Selfridges until stocks last, which from what I hear sounds like no more than a couple more weeks. There’s also an exclusive Selfridges design with jaunty yellow stitching and your shoes come in a natty Olympia le Tan shoe bag. Women’s prices are £170.00 for leather loafers and £215 for ponyskin. They will also be available online in September from Tommy.com.

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5 Responses to On Bass Weejuns, Tommy Hilfiger and the hunt for the perfect loafer

  1. I was looking at the Bass Weejun loafer last time I was in New York and you’re right, they’re not the same. I bought a pair of lace-ups instead. The Hilfiger version is lovely though – it’s either that or a pair from Church’s, for me!

  2. POPTUCKSHOP says:

    Love these! Saw them on the Colette website a couple of days ago and thought they were super nice- I didn’t even notice the coloured pennies at the time!! Guessing they are available at Selfridges from the photos, perhaps I have just discovered my new school shoes (nice school shoes at that!)!

  3. Joseph Lowrey says:

    What we really need is for the current owners of Bass to buy some ’60’s examples and figure out how to duplicate them. They wouldn’t need designers to give us what we want, and might be able to keep them affordable as well!

  4. Disneyrollergirl says:

    PopTuckShop, yes at Selfridges til they run out and then from Tommy Hilfiger in Sept.

    Joseph, you are of course absolutely right!

  5. TheWeejun says:

    Unfortunately the shine on the leather gives them away as being made of hard plastic like corrected grain leather, guaranteed to give you some nice blisters. Your vintage tassels on the other hand are fantastic. Thick hide but flexible and most important, unlined!

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