Know Your Terms: Weejuns

Because dropping the lingo is half the fun of dressing well.

Even if you didn’t go to an Ivy League school, chances are you’ve heard the term weejun bandied about. Maybe you even kinda think you might’ve had a pair once yourself, but aren’t really sure what it means. So, a refresher: In the late ‘30s, Maine-based shoemaker George Henry Bass spotted a moc-toe slip-on shoe being worn by farmers in Norway, and adapted them for American use. In homage to his inspiration, Bass called his model “weejuns” (as in Norwegian), and by the time preppies were slipping pennies into the Bass Weejun diamond-shaped cut out in the 1960s, the shoe had become a classic—versatile enough to be identifiable with everyone from James Dean to Warren Beatty (and, later, to Michael Jackson and Tucker Carlson). Whether you call ‘em weejuns or just plain penny loafers, they’re still a bona fide classic.

Good news — we’ve got the classic on sale today.

Shop Bass on Gilt >

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