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Beverlyheels StyleFootwear: Monks

Footwear: Monks

Posted on Mon, Oct 23rd, 2017

Dressy Monks

One of the most advanced dress shoe is the monk shoe, or the monk strap shoe, with no lacing, closed by a buckle and a strap.

Although the monk strap shoe originated long ago, it was registered for the first time in 1901. The exact origins of this style of shoe is unclear; experts believe it could be somewhere around High Middle Agesy (ca. 1000-1350BC). According to a theory, in the 15th century a monk from the Alps created a special form of sandals and the shoes got its name thereafter. An English gentleman took note of the shoes while visiting and took a pair with him home. When he got back to England, the locals were so smitten with the shoe that it became popular almost immediately.

A monk style shoe is identified by a single broad strap that closes across the instep and fastens using a saddle buckle on the outside, the only difference between a single and double strap is the number of straps used to fasten the shoe to the wearer's foot.

Traditionally the single monk strap was the only one around until the double monk strap was designed. To give the wearer a more comfortable fit the monk strap uses a wider tongue compared to other shoes to help secure it around the ankle. Some designers also came up with the 3-trap shoes, but it was actually a short-lived fashion.

Monk strap buckles come in manifold shapes, thickness and sizes, and are made of brass, chrome or, even, silver or gold.

Today monk strap shoes are an integral part of a gentleman's shoe collection as they establish a certain kind of mainstream appeal. The hype around the double strap monk straps is said to have started by Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent while others suggest that Italian style icon and store owner Lino Ieuluzzi wore it frequently. George Washington also wore them in the mid-1700s making it a favorite among most men.

The monk straps are traditionally made of soft leather but some fashion brands use unusual manmade and synthetic materials. Others use alligator or lizard skin. However, one must stay away from boxy high shine shoes as they look quite cheap. Choose a leather one for anything formal or outdoor and match it with your belt. Go for brown, black or oxblood double monk straps with dark jeans.

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