Cavendish Loafer

There is no tassel loafer more iconic than the Cavendish loafer by Crockett & Jones. And while I know many Americans might not agree as Crockett & Jones is not as widely known here, as say Allen Edmonds is, what one might fail to realize is how that is the opposite for nearly the rest of the world. They have a cult-like following in countries like Japan and Sweden, not to mention their home turf of the UK. And that is just scratching the surface.

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When I lived in London, you wouldn’t believe how many gents in the street were wearing the Cavendish. It was literally everywhere. And while I am sure that it was quite concentrated due to the location of where I typically spent my time i.e. the West End (Mayfair, Soho, St. James etc.) as well as the financial district of Liverpool st, the fact of the matter was that the Cavendish ruled the streets. It was basically black oxfords and Cavendish loafers, of all colorways. Mainly black though, naturally, as for many in London the Old World rule of ‘No Brown In Town’ still rings true for the ultra-conservative (in style).

Some might say, ‘It’s just a tassel loafer’ and while that is completely true as there is nothing truly special about it, the reality is it is a well-made tassel loafer from one of the oldest and most reputable living shoe brands. On top of that it is one of the most renowned models of footwear and comes in a classically elegant last with no frills. Its lack of specialty is also its greatest strength. It’s the perfect pattern, simple and precise. And that’s why it has stood the test of time and to this day remains among their top sellers.

Over the years, Crockett & Jones has tried new colorways and iterations to the Cavendish but at the end of the day, what’s usually left are the classic colors of Black and Dark Brown Calf, as well as Dark Brown Suede and some sort of Snuff/Polo suede. In the last year or two, however, they have added a ton of new colorways and sole types. One of my favorites is the Black Suede and the hatch grain cordovan options. My only wish is that they continue to expand that offering.

Adding a navy suede, a cream suede, or maybe a dark green suede, for me, would only boost its popularity. But I know C&J likes to keep it classic and rarely strays from that notion. But let’s see what is in store. I know that C&J is full of surprises these days and just might bring some bold colors to the mix. After all, Spring 2023 is just around the corner!

I believe that tassel loafers will have a resurgence in popularity. With the blend of prep and casual style into the classic menswear scene, I can see the tassel loafers being worn a lot with jeans and a sport coat. In fact, I love wearing tassel loafers with jeans and this Summer you will certainly see me doing it. And if you have ever been to Florence, you will see a sea of dark brown suede tassel loafers worn with navy suits. It simply is an Iconic model and none are more famous than the Cavendish. If you don’t have your tassel loafer in the collection, well now is the time to update that!

Find your pair:

All photos were taken from Crockett & Jones Instagram, less the main photo, which I took.


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5 thoughts on “Iconic Shoes: The Cavendish by Crockett & Jones”

  1. What I wore from the early 80’s on was the Alden tassel loafer which to me is a very close approximation. Did not learn of Crockett and Jones till about 2000.

    Never considered Allen Edmonds.

    1. Justin FitzPatrick

      Good points. I don’t consider AE either, but it’s the size of them that makes them relevant and they sell a lot overseas too. Alden is smaller and way more expensive overseas, hence the comment about some considering them

    1. I believe Kostas Mandilaris of the online shop, The Noble Shoe, also sells them, though only in two colorways currently – brown suede and burgundy shell cordovan.

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