Why the Ginko & not Penny Loafer?

Black Penny Loafer in Styled outfit

With the recent launch of the Millwoods Ginko Loafer, we thought we would walk you through the history of a shoe that has historically been known as the Penny loafer. But before we get into that, why did we choose to call this shoe the Ginko Loafer rather than the Penny Loafer?? Because the Ginko Bilboa Tree is one of the oldest living species of trees in the world. It is sometimes referred to as a living fossil as it is part of an ancient group of trees that date back to before the dinosaurs. For us this works perfectly with a shoe that is around to stand the test of time. A shoe that is not in your wardrobe for a season, but one that works with your wardrobe and evolves over time, places and seasons. Buy it once and buy well. 

The Penny Loafers for women have been a timeless classic in the world of fashion. These versatile shoes are loved for their comfort and effortless style. One of the most distinctive features of penny loafers is the small slot, often known as a penny slot, located on the vamp. Although it serves no functional purpose, it adds a unique touch that sets these shoes apart.

The history of penny loafers dates back to the early 20th century. Originally designed as casual footwear for men, they gained popularity among Ivy League college students in the 1950s. The penny slot on the vamp was initially intended as a functional detail to hold a penny, which was often used for emergency phone calls back in the day. However, over time, it has transitioned into a purely decorative element. 

As with many fashion trends, penny loafers eventually made their way into women's wardrobes. Women embraced these comfortable and stylish shoes, making them a staple in their own right. The transition was seamless, as the classic design and versatility of penny loafers easily adapted to women's fashion.

Today, women's penny loafers come in a wide variety of materials and colours, catering to different tastes and styles. Traditional penny loafers are commonly made of high-quality leather, offering durability and a polished look. However, modern iterations have expanded the range of options, including suede, patent leather, and even synthetic materials.

The colour palette available for women's penny loafers is vast, allowing for personal style expression. Classic hues like black, brown, and tan remain popular choices for their timeless appeal and versatility. These neutral shades effortlessly complement various outfits, making them go-to options for everyday wear.

For those seeking a bolder statement, penny loafers can be found in vibrant colours such as red, blue, or even metallic shades. These eye-catching choices add a playful twist to any ensemble and can be a fantastic way to showcase individuality and personal style.

The versatility of penny loafers extends beyond colour and material. They can be styled in numerous ways, adapting to both casual and formal occasions. Pairing them with jeans and a relaxed blouse creates a chic, laid-back look suitable for a weekend outing. Alternatively, dressing them up with a tailored dress or trousers adds a touch of sophistication, making them suitable for work or a dinner date.

One of the reasons penny loafers remain a beloved footwear choice is their comfort. The slip-on design and low heel make them easy to wear throughout the day without sacrificing style. They provide the perfect balance between fashion and practicality, making them an ideal option for busy women on the go.

Another notable aspect of penny loafers is their ability to transcend trends. Despite the ever-changing nature of fashion, these shoes have maintained their relevance and popularity over the years. They have become a reliable wardrobe staple that can be relied upon season after season, making them a worthwhile investment. Whether worn with jeans or a dress, these comfortable and stylish shoes are here to stay, standing the test of time as a true fashion icon.

If you have any questions or if you would like to share your feedback with us, please get in touch! We’d love to hear from you. Just send an email to or reach out to us on Instagram.

J xx

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