Bass Weejuns: The Original Penny loafer

By Adam Thursday 19th Jan, 2017

From being a staple part of the mods attire in the 1960’s through to a must have for today’s city boys, the penny loafer has been a global attraction since the 1930s.

US shoemaker G.H. Bass & Co was there from the very start, commissioned to design the shoe in 1936 following the lure to Norway for British gentry who wanted to fish for salmon and favoured wearing the locally designed slip-on shoe style.

Esquire Magazine also played its part after discovering the style at various European resorts and along with New York City store Rogers Peet, put G.H. Bass & Co to work to put a line into production for the first time.

The result is the now world-renowned Weejun (Nor-weejun) and at Dapper Chapper we have been lucky enough to road test the classic Larson Moc Penny in Wine.

To wear the Weejun, a style favoured by the likes of President JF Kennedy, is to have history literally at your feet and if history could be captured in a sensory sense, then it would be one of comfort, warmth and style – tick.

The roll-out of various manufacturers who carry the penny loafer design is well documented, but to wear the G.H. Bass & Co Weejun is a different story and a different league.

It is in fact an intriguing part of the story that the original design of the penny loafer strap by George Henry Bass’ son John Bass was supposed to look like a pair of lips, but latterly, as an additional style statement made for the perfect slot to hold a penny – hence the name.

Established in 1876 by George Henry Bass of Wilton, Maine, G.H. Bass & Co began with a man on a simple mission ­ to make the best possible shoe for the purpose in which it will be used. A mission that still survives today.

For further information on G.H. Bass and to see the full Weejun range please visit