As a dapper young man that you are, t is quite important that you know that having at least a great pair of dress shoe in your closet is not a luxury but a NECESSITY! Even if you are the regular casual shoe and sneakers guy, there are days when you need to dress up fancy.
Monk Straps are the perfect kinds of dress shoes to don when you need your feet to speak volumes while you look your best at any event, interview, meeting, or date that requires a formal shoe.
Overtime, Monk Straps have become quite popular and hence this guide is intended to help you really know what to look for when shopping and how to/how not to wear it.
Just like many others, the exact origins of the monk strap are not so certain.
An account has it that the shoes were named after a monk from the Alps who created a special form of sandals in the 15th century.
A gentleman visiting from England took note of the shoes and was given a pair to take home with him and on getting back to England many fell in love with the design and it became an instant hit.
The monk strap shoe appeared as a registered design for the first time in 1901 and of today, it has become an integral part of a classic gentleman’s shoe closet.
Knowing your Monk Straps
The first thing you should know before getting your pair of this stylish shoe is that there are basically two types of Monk Straps — the Single Monk Strap and Double Monk Straps.
As the names imply, the Single Monk Strap has a wide swath of leather fastened across the front of the shoe to be fastened with a single buckle closure while the Double Monk is fastened with a double-buckle closure.
Monk strap shoes are often made with leather or suede and will sometimes have other decorative materials.
Styling your Monk Straps
The monk strap is now regarded as a very versatile shoe style that can be worn with casual, business casual, and less formal clothing items from cuffed jeans, blazers to even the most dapper of suits.
One very interesting thing about the monk strap is that despite it being a very popular shoe, it is still rarely seen in comparison to others like the Oxfords and Derbys. Since the average buyer may typically not be caught wearing monks, it becomes quite noticeable when someone wears them especially when they are unique and well-polished.
Tip One — Brown Does it
If it’s your first pair, stick with a shade of brown since it’s quite versatile. Since colour matching can be tricky especially if it’s your first buy, its easier to stick with neutral colours that can be paired with lots of outfits.
Once you have the basics covered you can consider lighter shades of brown and suede.
Tip Two — Buy Black only if……..
This is for the business tycoons/ meetings types of guys them. As tempting as it may be to buy Black Monk Straps, DON’T!
You should only consider black if you wear a lot of charcoal and grey suits. Otherwise consider other fancy colours like oxblood or burgundy (You will definitely stand out in these).
Tip Three — Spice it up by leaving one strap unbuckled
Leaving one strap unbuckled on a double monk adds some spice to your outfit. This popular trend is similar to unbuttoning one button on your jacket sleeve or leaving your shirt cuff undone. However, don’t leave a Single Monk unbuckled as you might with a double monk strap.
P.S: Don’t try this when you are going for a semi-formal outing else you will be taken for an unserious person (we don’t want that do we?).
Tip Four — Pair it right!
Pair these classic yet unusual shoes with striped, over-the-calf socks to add a subtle pop of color to your outfit.
Tip Five — Don’t Pair With Gym Clothes
As said earlier, Monk straps are versatile and can be paired with quite a number of outfits. However, you shouldn’t wear them with shorts or athletic apparel except you want to look weird…lol.
Tip Six — Not all that glitters is gold!
When choosing your Monk Straps, try to avoid big, shiny buckles as they may scratch easily, and look worn after a short while. It is wiser to consider smaller or larger brushed buckles.
You can also try to match the buckle to your jewellery in order not to look out of place with say a gold buckle on your shoes and a silver buckled belt.
Tip Seven — Don’t Slip them on
Due to a lot of reasons, you may be tempted to slip on your Monk Straps just like you do with loafers. That’s not a wise decision! It is always best to buckle and unbuckle your shoes so as to increase its lifespan.
Tip Eight — Quality over Quantity
When buying monk straps whether ready to wear or bespoke, choose quality over quantity. Avoid low quality and inferior brands, materials or craftsmanship because you will end up paying a heavy price for it.
A good pair of monk straps should last you a very long time while a poor quality needs replacement as soon as possible. Bottom line — invest in a good quality Monk Straps.
Ready to Wear or Bespoke?
You may be wondering — ‘So what kind should I buy?’ Well, the answer basically depends on your style and budget.
If you have no problems with the random/everyday styles and are working within a tight budget, you can go for ready to wear. However, if you like exclusivity and have a more flexible budget, getting a bespoke monk strap shoe is certainly your best bet, because no off-the-rack shoe will be able to provide you with the same level of fit, details, customization and uniqueness.
Where can you get yours?
There are a lot of Retail Stores here in Nigeria that stock high quality Monk Straps but if you need quality and bespoke pairs made just for you, you can check them out in our store here .
Monk strap shoes are worthy of any gentleman’s collection and we recommend them. Do you prefer the single or the double monk? How many pairs do you own?