Technically, a suit refers to a formal suit as traditionally worn in business culture. This means dress slacks with a same-colored matching jacket, collared shirt and a tie. nike free A casual alternative to the suit is the sport jacket with less formal, and not necessarily same-colored, pants, such as khakis. A man's decision on whether to wear loafers depends a lot on whether he'll wear a suit or a sports jacket and pants.

Style Distinction

Another important factor is the distinction between different styles of loafer. The website Shoe Buff, presents the penny loafer in a favorable light, saying it may be worn in both casual and formal settings, and can be worn with a suit -- provided that the penny loafer has a lean profile. Many also approve of wearing tassled loafers with suits. nike womens trainers But there seems to be a general understanding that anything less formal than that, such as the "cheap square-toed loafers" mentioned by author Donna Wilkinson in "The Only 127 Things You Need: A Guide to Life's Essentials", don't work with formal wear.

Opposition to Loafers

Some hate the idea of loafers with suits, even if they're lean-profiled, tassled penny loafers. "GQ" magazine's the Style Guy notes that tassled loafers are casual wear, but because of their northeastern-preppy heritage they're thought to convey class, and so are perceived as dressy. Ultimately, though, he decides against them. He continues to say that penny loafers are just too casual for formal wear, in spite of the numerous middle- to retirement-aged male professionals wearing them in Washington, D.C.

Consequences of Your Choice

Heeding what's considered professional in your area may benefit you, and may even allow you to sidestep the strict opinions that others hold against the loafer. At Atlanta's Morehouse College, for example, educators encourage their upcoming graduates to be ready for job interviews after graduation, which means giving special attention to attire. This attire, according to them, deems loafers and penny loafers acceptable, as long as they're shined. It might also be wise to err on the side of caution. Larry Winget, nike air max 2015 author of "People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It!," says, "Loafers never go with a suit. Penny loafers don't really go with anything ... and ... tassle loafers work only when you want everyone to consider you a pretentious goober named Biff."