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Monk Strap shoes – a timeless classic in menswear

One of the more popular designs in men`s dress shoes today is the double monk strap shoe. It can be worn in multiple situations – business meetings, nights out with friends, weddings.

Origin of the Monk Strap

This design has a deep history, it dates back to over 1000 years. The Alpine monks were most notably known to wear these shoes, which caused in the naming of the design. Monks wore these shoes for the additional protection compared to the sandals they normally wore. They used it as a work shoe because of its durability.

The Monk Strap became very popular in the United Kingdom about 250 years ago. George Washington was their fan too and wore them in the mid-1700s. Since the 1930s the design becomes to look like today – with two buckles instead of one and with a wider fold over panel.

How to recognize a Monk strap shoe?

The most noticeable feature is the lack of lacing. Laces are replaced with a distinct combination of a dual strap and enclosing buckle that secures the feet. This style is semi-formal. It`s less formal than the fully closed Oxford and a bit more elegant than the open Derby. As far as construction goes, it’s halfway between a loafer and an oxford. It’s a slip on, like a loafer, but includes a tongue or vamp like a closed shoe.

How to wear it?

Formal look

The monk strap matches well with suits. If you choose a black suit you don`t have many options, pair it with leather black double monk straps. Other colors will not match well and suede will make your vision less formal. If your suit is grey, a brown shade monk strap is an ideal option. You can experiment even with suede if you want. The navy blue suit works well with brown and burgundy. When you choose your shies don`t forget to pair them with a belt in the same color.

Casual look

Feel like going out with friends and not in the mood to dress up, yet still want to stand out? The Monk Strap is a great option for such an occasion. You can try this combination:
- A t-shirt in a bright color, blazer, and blue jeans with a pair of brown or beige suede monk straps. You can skip the blazer if you want a less formal look.

- A black leather jacket and black double monk strap shoes work really well together. This is a good way to look elegant but yet not overdressed.
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