In part one last week, we looked at the Balmoral Oxford (Dress) Shoe.
In part two this week we examine the (Single and Double) Monk Strap shoe.
The monk strap is so called because it derives its name from the sandals worn by Christian monks which had straps that lay on the outside of each feet. The double monk strap, the less formal brother of the single monk strap because two straps rather than one are more aesthetically pleasing. This shoe is ranked second on our formality scale due to the fact that it comes in colour black and equally comes equipped with a capped toe. However, because of its aesthetic nature with two straps, it can be paired with both denim as well as a three piece suit.
There is always a salient unspoken rule when wearing the double monk strap- The topmost strap must be left unbuckled which makes the wearer come across as more edgy.
A perennial shoe like the Oxford, monk straps are an important asset in every gentleman’s wardrobe for they can be used as a substitute to the often more expensive Balmoral Oxford shoes as they are equally classy and sophisticated.
When dealing with semi-formal to formal dressing be it with pairing shoes or wristwatches, simplicity is key. It is for this reason that most dress watches either come in dials that have roman numerals or common dashed lines. In the same light, a single monk strap is considered more formal than its double strapped counterpart because it has one strap.
This particular black suede monk strap worn in the ensembles featuring can deceptively double up as both a single and double monk strap for technically it only has one strap on its topmost buckle and in the place where the lower buckle reside shown there is a ring which acts as a buckle. This particular shoe even more protean than your conventional double or single monk strap.
A highly versatile shoe indeed which has earned a feature in the Timeless Gent Ensemble. It blended well with the grey and black colour scheme on the coordinated three piece suit. An ensemble that could be worn to any formal occasion except for black tie. Therefore appropriate for business meetings, networking seminars, weddings and the like. Similarly, this shoe would work with a less formal ensemble such as the Gent’s Sundowner Ensemble which could be worn to sundowners with office colleagues, birthday parties and a date due to the presence of denim trousers, a sports jacket and classy white shirt.
Next week we consider Brogue shoe. Stay tuned!