Saturday, November 17

What are Weejuns?

On Friday, during Friday's Feast, several people asked, "What are Weejuns? They are loafers made by Bass.

I began wondering why they were called Weejuns, so Googled the term and here is what I found.

I learned loafers were re-introduced to the United States in the 1930’s via pictures of Norwegian farmers wearing them to perform work. The shoes featured no buttons or shoestrings, had a low heel, and fit below the ankle. Loafers suddenly became quite popular, and were manufactured by both Spaulding and the Bass Company. Bass retained the Norwegian name for loafers, calling them Weejuns. One can still purchase Bass Weejuns today, though technically they only differ from other loafers in name. The shoe had a mouth opening which soon was used to hold an ornamentation - perhaps a penny and thus penny loafers became a style. Penny loafers often held a dime instead of a penny. If a girl's date got out of line she could call home on a pay phone--which accepted dimes during most of the fifties and sixties.

We were not cool unless our penny loafers were Weejuns. By that statement I'm not confessing that I was cool in high school, I just had to have my Weejuns.


8 comments:

Susan said...

I remember begging for them...getting them...and hating how long it took me to break them in! They killed my heel! For me, it was my first year of college.

Susan

Nonna said...

Wow!! I owned Weejuns and didnt even realize it!! LOL

Theresa said...

I loved bass shoes, mainly becuase the made them wide enough for my feet.

Liked the reasoning behind the being "dime" loafers instead of what I called them penny loafers.

Sometimes you wonder who is behind all these fads that get started. (there is your next research project!)

Gill said...

I want a pair of Weejuns!!! They look lovely, my kind of shoes...

SnoopMurph said...

Ohhh! That's what Weejuns are! Thanks for posting! I had penny loafers at some point with pennies, not dimes. I like the back story too!

Anonymous said...

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