The buckle shoe is one of the most durable shoe styles of all time. Both chic and fashionable, they can be put on and taken off and are perfect for the gentleman who doesn’t like lace. The finely crafted nature of the monk bracelet gives it a touch of formality with a note of sophistication. Meanwhile, the suspenders themselves add a playful touch to any outfit. To help you rock those dress shoes with religious names, here are the best ways to wear monk strap shoes.
History of Monk Strap Shoes
The monk’s strap shoe originated in Europe in the 15th century. At that time, the life of a monk consisted mainly of worship and manual labor. For the monks located in the Alps, the manual labor component required a more protective footwear option than their traditional sandals. The result was a closed-toe version of strappy sandals. Over the next two centuries, the monk’s bracelet found its way into the wardrobes of the general public. This style became popular in the 17-1800s, but was pushed aside in favor of lace-up shoe styles. The buckled shoe reappeared in society during the 20th century, undergoing some stylistic changes. However, it wasn’t until the mid-2000s that the shoe entered the collective consciousness of the fashion world. Today, the monk’s strap is known as a savvy dress shoe, abandoning its handcrafted roots almost entirely.
Single Monk vs Double Monks
Ah, the eternal question – single or double? Many discussions turned into debates on this very issue; however, it all comes down to personal preference. Single and double buckle suspenders add versatility to your wardrobe. The single monk strap is understated and has a cleaner silhouette, making it ideal for business and formal wear. Meanwhile, the double-buckle strap provides the perfect opportunity to show off some personality. Their bolder appearance is perfect for casual and business occasions, as well as weddings and parties.
How to Wear Buckle Shoes
monk straps with a suit
The ultimate sartorial accompaniment to the buckle shoe is a well-tailored suit. Similar to other dress shoes, black and brown monk straps are the best colors to pair with costumes. When wearing a black suit, stick to black single-buckle shoes for a formal look. However, other suit shades such as gray, navy blue, charcoal, and beige can be enhanced with a pair of brown double bows. Otherwise, opt for a shade like a forest green or oxblood, or try different curls for a unique twist.
Monk Braces With Jeans
Ditch your trainers or loafers in favor of sleek buckles paired with slim jeans. For casual outfits, opt for beige double monks with dark skinny jeans and a white t-shirt. Or go casual and smart by pairing simple brown leather buckles with slim blue jeans, a brown belt, an unbuttoned Oxford shirt and a blazer. Brown leather monk straps are the most versatile, however, beige suede also works well with jeans. Once you’ve mastered neutrals, try experimenting with colors like deep blue, forest green, mustard yellow, and soft tan. Or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, opt for a pair of leopard print earrings or a pair of platform creeper earrings.
Monk Suspenders with Shorts
Shorts are notoriously difficult to wear with dress shoes; however, it can be done. When pairing shorts with buckled shoes, it’s best to choose double buckles, as the slightly bulkier silhouette works better with casual outfits. One of the benefits of buckled buckles is that, like their cousin the moccasin; they can be worn without socks. This quality makes them well suited for both casual and smart shorts outfits. Keep your shorts fitted and follow the same color coordination rules as for suits. In summer, pair brown double buckles with a gray or navy linen shirt and fitted white or beige shorts. For a casual office look on Friday, go for black double monks with black shorts, an Oxford shirt and tie, and a blazer. Alternatively, try teaming double brogued suspenders with navy shorts, an Oxford shirt and a cream blazer for afternoon drinks.
When to wear monk curls
Buckle shoes are versatile, allowing them to be worn easily in informal settings. In cooler months, try brown monks with navy or gray chinos and a sweater. In the summer, blue jeans with an open collar Oxford shirt and a suede double monk work well. Or, for a simple outfit, pair gray pants and a black t-shirt with black buckle shoes.
Adopting the smart-casual dress code can make it easy to transition from an afternoon drink to a casual Friday. Try lighter-colored suede bows with shorts, shirts and blazers for a polished yet laid-back summer aesthetic. Or maybe opt for neutral chinos or pants, an untucked linen shirt, waistcoat and suede double suspenders. For work outfits, it’s best to stick to a neutral color palette. Pair brown leather single buckle shoes with beige trousers or chinos and a white Oxford shirt. For the colder months, try rolled trousers paired with double suspenders, a neutral button-down Oxford shirt and a cardigan or blazer.
Business casual attire requires a bit more craftsmanship than the smart casual work look. In order to wear buckled shoes in a professional environment, it is best to stick to simple monks and use structured pieces. Well-tailored suit pieces, structured outerwear, and details like ties or pocket squares elevate buckle shoes to a professional setting. Try pairing oxblood patent leather monk buckles with a dark gray suit with a patterned tie. Or, wear a charcoal suit with a turtleneck shirt and brown leather suspenders. You can also pair heavy brown leather double buckles with a charcoal or navy suit and structured coat for an office-appropriate winter look.
Common for parties and weddings, the semi-formal dress code is more casual than formal attire, but it retains its sophisticated approach. Choose suits or suit sets in neutral or trendy colors and pair them with single or double bows. When going for a full suit, choose one-strap brown leather monks and soften the look with a polo shirt or turtleneck. Double buckles work well with a chino and blazer combo, paired with an Oxford shirt and accessories like sunglasses and a clutch.
Buckle shoes offer the perfect way to inject a touch of personality into a formal outfit. For dress codes with a black tie, opt for a black suit and white Oxford shirt paired with black leather single-buckle shoes. Other formal occasions are an opportunity to experiment with shades of clothing and footwear. Try a three-piece suit with an Oxford shirt and tie, and double suspenders. Or, choose a lighter colored double breasted suit and offset it with forest green buckle shoes. Alternatively, burgundy patent leather buckle shoes pair well with navy or dark brown suits. Keep it simple with a white Oxford shirt and add a patterned pocket square or tie to add interest.
SEE BUCKLE SHOES
Tips for Wearing Monk Straps
- For business or formal attire, the clean silhouette of the single monk strap works best.
- Go for double bows for a fun party or casual wedding look
- Make a splash with buckle shoes in colors like forest green, oxblood, mustard yellow and deep blue.
- Keep the simple black leather suspenders for black tie dress codes paired with a black suit, Oxford shirt and tie.
- When pairing buckled shoes with shorts, don’t wear socks.
Are buckled shoes formal?
Although buckled shoes are not the most formal style of shoe – that title would probably go to oxford – they are suitable for formal events and are considered more formal than a loafer.
Why are they called monk buckle shoes?
Monk strap shoes take their name from monks in medieval Europe, who wore them to protect their feet while working in the fields of monasteries. The shoes evolved from the traditional monk’s sandals, with a similar buckle closure and an added protective toe cap.
Are curls still in style?
One of the most enduring shoe styles for men, buckle shoes are still popular today due to their sophisticated appearance and easy-to-put-on design. A versatile shoe choice, buckle shoes look great with everything from suits to jeans and shorts, ensuring they’ll never go out of style.
Are buckled shoes comfortable?
Because they’re made of leather, with a hard sole, buckle shoes aren’t as comfortable as, say, a sneaker. However, as dress shoes, they can be very comfortable to wear. As with all shoes, construction is key – choose a quality shoe and your feet will thank you.
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