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.