In 1934, exactly 75 years ago, G.H. Bass began to produce a slip-on shoe inspired by a Norwegian shoe that had become popular throughout Europe. Bass adopted the shoe and added a strip of leather across the front. His shoe, called the “Weejun,” quickly became popular as a summer shoe, and in the fifties, became the quintessential piece of college attire, as students would often slip a penny into the leather strap across of the front of the shoe. This garnered the shoes the nickname “penny loafers,” and today, the shoes are perfect for all occasions for anyone interested in sporting a retro style.
The line has introduced a number of new styles of this classic shoe. The Gilman and the Gorham are more classic variations of the shoe, with a diamond cut-out on the upper strap just like the penny loafers of times past. The Larkin, the Larson, and the Layton sport tassels similar to shoes introduced to prep school students in the 1950s. These shoes run for around $120 and are sure to properly compliment any outfit.
Bass has also introduced a number of new Weejun styles in honor of the shoe’s 75th anniversary. A recent visit to a Bass outlet store showed a number of beautiful new models of the shoe, two-toned and otherwise, all packaged in a commemorative box complete with shoe bags and a shoehorn. Many of these models are not available on the website, but instead must be picked up an actual Bass outlet store. These cost around $200. If you’re looking for a retro style like those the Kennedy's and Michael Jackson sported, you should certainly pick up a pair of Bass Weejuns. Be sure to check the Bass website or your closest Bass dealer to see the newest styles.