Monks: business style or casual?
Monks: business style or casual?
There are fashion trends even in the world of classic shoes, and monks are one of them today. That doesn't mean, however, that they'll go out of fashion in a couple of years. No, if you choose a classic model, it will be relevant for years to come, and you'll have many reasons to wear it, because monks are very versatile. This article will tell you in detail how and when they should be worn.
When monks are appropriate, and when they aren't? Main situations and combinations
Probably one of the reasons for the trend for monks is their versatility. They do not look too formal, but can be very strict and elegant, at the same time managing to harmonize perfectly with frankly informal clothing such as non-pleated chinos and jeans. However, monks do not look appropriate at official events; they should not be worn with tuxedos, white ties and morning dresses. In addition, it may be better to secure yourself and put on lacing shoes in case of important business meetings.
For everyday wear in the office, however, monks are quite suitable. You can boldly wear them with business suits – if the dress code of the company where you work allows it, of course.
American fashion expert Tim Gunn wrote in his book "The Fashion Bible": "Men often ask if it is necessary to wear classic shoes on laces under a suit. No! My alternative to laces is monks with buckles. They look formal enough to be worn under a suit".
The French like to wear monks not only with suits, but also with strict unpaired pants and jackets. According to Bernhard Roetzel, author of the best-selling book "Gentleman", "black shoes with buckles can often be seen in France in an ensemble with dark gray pants and blazer".
It is worth noting that the French, like Italians, prefer monks with two buckles (double monks) — this model is the most popular today. However, single monks also have the right to life and are no less versatile. Among the famous people who wear monks with one buckle, we can mention Luciano Barbera, Fabio Attanasio, Lapo Elkann.
Let's add that Italians prefer to wear brown monks of different shades instead of black, and often decorated with picturesque patina and painted by hand. Such models are often combined with cotton and linen trousers, either pleated or non-pleated. Moreover, you can wear monks with jeans if you want — and as a result, it turns out that a dark brown model made of smooth leather, for example, is suitable for wearing in the office, and for walks around the city, and for visiting cafes, theaters, exhibitions and other places, not to mention informal meetings. However, keep in mind that you can't wear monks with shorts — it's not the espadrilles after all.
Textures and colors
The success of the combination of monks with one or another suit depends on colors, shades and textures. Today, however, monks come in a wide variety of leathers, and pebble grain models, on the other hand, will look better with flannel or tweed suits, as well as denim and other dense cotton.
Michael Anton, who wrote the iconic book "The Costume", says: "Monks are quite narrow and visually reduce the foot, so they are combined with lightweight suits and narrow silhouettes".
The smooth calfskin monks are probably the most versatile ones. Suede models have less potential for compatibility but can look very stylish — they are ideal for combination with unpaired jackets and trousers, as well as jeans. Monks in grained leather, as well as two different types of leather, are noticeably less versatile and should be bought only if you already have many other models of classic shoes.
Dark brown and burgundy are the most versatile colors. Black, so beloved by Russian and German men, is less universal — black monks are worth paying attention to if you often wear suits or dark unpaired pants made of wool.
As Sven Raphael Schneider, editor-in-chief of the Gentleman's Gazette, pointed out, your first monks should be brown (he also allows burgundy), and black should be bought only if you regularly wear gray and dark gray suits.