New Member
I am a recent college grad starting a job on Wall Street in the near future. I have been searching for a pair of penny loafers that are dressy enough to wear to work but also suitable to wear on weekends with a pair of shorts.

After some research I think I have decided on the following in burgundy:

I stumbled across an earlier thread on the topic of "Penny loafers and shorts" and a few members posted about Alden 986s. I think I found them on the Alden site: http://www.aldenshop.com/DrawOneShoe.asp?CategoryID=44

I am looking for a timeless, traditional penny loafer, in a traditional color (which I think is burgundy.)

I could be mistaken, but IMHO the 986s look very casual. Alden even calls them the "Leisure Handsewn Moccasin." Am I mistaken? I also think that a full strap loafer looks dressier, is that correct?

The AE Randolphs are beautiful but I just cannot afford a $525 pair of loafers right now.

Any recommendations? What is your opinion of my choice, the
Alden "Full Strap Slip-On?"

I would appreciate any feedback.


Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I'm not sure penny loafers are right for a Wall Street firm. My uncle works at an investment bank and no one would dare come into work in penny loafers, especially on a day in front of clients, lace ups only. Personally I find them to be a very casual shoe, I don't wear mine with a suit, only slacks. I'm interested to see what others opinions are.

Kurt N

Super Member
I am a recent college grad starting a job on Wall Street in the near future. I have been searching for a pair of penny loafers that are dressy enough to wear to work but also suitable to wear on weekends with a pair of shorts.
I would hesitate to buy shoes, whether penny loafers or anything else, with the plan of wearing them both at work and at weekend picnics. First, I'd want to make sure I knew the standards of dress at my new workplace and knew that it was even feasible to look for shoes that could cross over like that.


Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Harmony, FL
United States
First, welcome to these fora, NYtrad! As to your question, while I too am a fan of penny loafers, having several pair in my shoe rotation, I would not be inclined to wear them in a Wall Street working environment. You might consider a pair of AE Park Aves or perhaps Alden's version of a cap toe balmoral (black or burgundy)... such would be more appropriate, methinks! ;)


I am also considering buying a really good pair of loafers. The company I'm looking at is WC Russell Moccasin in Berlin, Wisconsin. They do a handmade custom pair for $188. They do mainly stuff for hunters and I've heard good things about them.


Super Member
Welcome to the forum NYTrad. Congratulations on graduating (and finding a job for that matter, haha.)

I agree that you should go with laceups with a suit and in the WS environment. Captoe Balmorals (Alden or AE Park Ave's) are an excellent suggestion.

Regarding Alden loafers, the LHS is IMHO one of the most classic and elegant renditions of that style. I wouldn't take the "Leisure" title too seriously. Also, be careful with the model numbers. The 986 refers to the #8 (burgundy essentially) Shell Cordovan model which is more expensive than the $525 Randolphs (in shell). The 984 is the burgundy calf model.

In the future, when buying shoes, you'll need to consider which last the shoes are on. The LHS is on the Van last which is a pretty accomodating fit. The Full Strap is on the Aberdeen which, in comparison, is significantly more narrow. You'll definitely want to try these on in store, or be prepared to send a pair back if they don't fit properly. I've never worn a pair of AE's so I can't say anything about the Randolph.

If you like the shape of the Randolph over the LHS (the differences being a slightly longer and pointier toe box, full strap, cut out shape) then you can always get it in calf which will be less expensive, too.


Super Member
United States
I definitely agree that your "go to" shoes should be cap toe Bals for the WS environment. That being said I do not think you could go wrong with the Alden 986. I would never wear them with a suit but they are a very versatile shoe that can go with anything. I am breaking in my first pair now and love them. If you do go with the 986 I recomend getting them from Brooks Brothers when they have a sale. Shell cordovan shoes never go on sale at BB but I have seen them on sale several times in the past 8 months due to the economy. Happy hunting!

The Louche

Super Member
As others have said, penny loafers are probably not your best bet. The only loafers I've heard about on WS are Gucci bit loafers, but apprently those are for relative big-timers only and will draw scorn if worn by a young man. Get some cap toe bals.

All that aside, I am impressed with your pick for penny loafers. While pennies may not be the bst choice for you right now, the pennies that you picked (full strap) are decidedly the most formal of any penny on the market. If you could wear pennies on WS, full straps would be the choice.


Inactive user
United States
Los Angeles
Assuming you are not in the mailroom ( then you could wear penny loafers) and are on the floor selling, I agree with Louche. laceups with suits. Oxford captoes. I would and have seen tasseled loafers with suits, but not penny loafers. The full strap is more dressy than the LHS.