Men’s slippers reached new heights of celebrity fame last month when the Financial Times ran a piece titled ‘The Rise of the ‘Stealth Wealth’ Slipper: How Tycoons and art-world titans step out in style – and comfort’.
Australian journalist Corrie Perkin gives us the 101 on Men's slippers for 2022.
For centuries, men’s slippers have embodied informality and leisure time. Occasionally they may have been spotted at spa resorts, around hotel pools, or late at night when the man of the house takes the bins out. But wearing a pair of slippers has always been a private pleasure, usually confined to indoors.
Not anymore. In his April 20 FT article British style writer and podcaster Teo Van den Broeke argues times are changing, thanks to Covid-19 and the world of Lockdowns. And, he adds, the super-wealthy have now embraced the slipper as an emblem of their new under-the-radar approach to life.
Observing the well-heeled/well-slippered crowd at London’s Frieze Art Fair recently, Van den Broeke observed mega-wealthy males were “identifiable by their white rubber soles and snout-like moccasin uppers, most commonly crafted from pastel-hued suedes, these loafers are redolent of a specific type of understated “I don’t really give a damn but totally do” style.”
The Frieze Art Fair crowd includes international tycoons who, this season, are discovering the new (and expensive) slipper ranges of Lora Piana (we spied a lovely cashmere pair on mrporter.com for AUD$877), or Prada’s shearling sabots (AUD$1500) and Gucci’s shearling-lined slip-ons (AUD$1640).
This new-found enthusiasm for the humble slipper, moccasin, mule or men’s Ugg slipper suggests a fashion re-set, not only among the wealthy and celebrity echelons, but also for the wider community (we spied a smart pair of stripe slip-on pool sliders at marksandspencer.com for AUD$27.50). Since Monte was born in 2018 we have promoted the idea of a beautiful pair of slippers that takes you from sofa to street. But in 2022 , a pair of men’s slippers worn outside are de rigeur. And we are celebrating!
The arrival of covid-19 and the stay-at-home culture that emerged has certainly influenced men’s and women’s fashion. Says Teo Van den Broeke: “The reason for the wider shift towards extra-comfortable footwear is probably because we all acquiesced to the tyranny of the house slipper during the pandemic, and it’s a habit many of us are finding difficult to break.”
Van den Broeke suggests another factor in the men’s slipper trend: social media. “Alternatively, it could simply be due to the rise of Instagram and TikTok, platforms where classic smart shoes don’t hold nearly as much currency as schlumpy slippers, mules and sneakers cooked up by hype-y designers.”
We would add a third influence. In 2018 a photograph of Canadian singer Justin Bieber wearing hotel slide-on slippers in a New York street went viral (Bieber has more than 114 million followers on Twitter). A few weeks later Elle ran a story with the headline “Nine Possible Explanations For Justin Bieber's Hotel Slipper Obsession”.
Meanwhile, Teen Vogue (27 million monthly impressions though various platforms) reported that with one outing, the singer had made the “bath-time staple the new summer shoe”.
“While spending some time with rumored girlfriend (now wife) Hailey Baldwin in Brooklyn, Justin was spotted wearing what appeared to be hotel slippers,” reported Teen Vogue. “He coordinated the slippers with a pair of black socks, athletic shorts, a deep blue tee, and a backwards pink ball cap. The white slippers weren't too different from the white athletic shoes he wore during a recent matching appearance with Hailey. And the bath-time approved fashion still incorporated the singer's love for all things athleisure.”
Teen Vogue was quick to acknowledge what many Ugg Boot-wearing Australians have known for years – we wear slippers at home because they are comfortable and they make us feel chilled, relaxed, and ready to play. Why, then, wouldn’t we wear them out shopping on a Saturday morning?
Here at Monte, we suggest the key to wearing men’s slippers outside your front door is what you wear with your slippers . As Teen Vogue noted, “although Justin didn’t incorporate a terry cloth robe or a colorful towel with his look, the soft slippers are a perfect interpretation of the comfortable – yet chic – ‘gram-approved trend”.
Too often, men’s slippers are dismissed because of the outfit they accompany. A bloke in a pair of Ugg Boots, a faded, grubby, over-sized pair of trackie dacks and a windcheater suggests slob rather than style. But team those Ugg Boots with a pair of designer jeans, or even a thin-cotton track pant and a long-sleeved Nike zip jacket, and suddenly you have a cool look.
Some of our customers worry about taking Monte velvet slippers outdoors. Monte loves to go shopping, we say. Monte loves a visit to the park or the pub or visiting friends. And how best to dress with our velvet slippers? One tip, gents: keep it simple with a pair of chinos or jeans, or cotton shorts in the warmer months.
Monte is the ideal men’s winter slipper. Our Terry slipper, also, is stylish enough to take to the streets, especially in Summer – it’s just a matter of what you wear with Terry. We suggest having a bit of fun with the lemon, peacock navy and powder blue shades by bringing them into the rest of your outfit. And the new Summer men’s fashion – Bermuda shorts, the return of the Preppy look, the easy jogger pant, board or swim shorts and a polo top, breathable fabrics, the sun-washed color palette – suggest Terry will have many stylish companions this year.
Slippers are now a legitimate daywear fashion item for men. And men with confidence – tycoons included – are embracing this new look. As French Vogue declared in its February edition: “The key men's fashion trends for Spring/Summer 2022? In two words: positive attitude.”
Men’s slippers: the dos and don’ts of wearing them inside – and out:
Ensure you have a good fit, especially with slide-on styles and mules. Too large and your foot will slip and move around. Too small and your heel will overhang at the back
Velvet and suede are beautiful fabrics for men’s winter slippers but beware of rain and puddles if you’re taking them out for the day (you can also weatherproof these fabrics)
Winter slippers with fleece or shearing inside provide more warmth than your average loafer or sneaker
If you are unsure about the men’s slipper trend, why not ease into it with a pair of moccasins? Ugg moccasins work well in winter
Men’s summer slippers are a chic alternative to thongs or flip-flops
Wear your slippers outdoors with confidence
We recommend having a house slipper that is just for home use, as well as one or more pairs of outdoor slippers
Luxe slippers can look great with a suit – it’s all about nailing the balance of pant length, fabric, and style of slipper