Worn for centuries in European monasteries, it looks like the monk-strap is going to be the shoe to watch this autumn. This Methuselah of style was reportedly brought back from the continent by an English monk who has his eye on them during his travels and was subsequently presented with a pair to take home.
This shoe occupies a space of intermediate formality making it a step down from a true oxford (Balmoral in America) but definitely more serious than a slip-on. As expected, this shoe features a strap (sometimes two) across the instep which fastens with a buckle on the opposite side. The ornamentation can range from none (buckle excluded) to the fully brogued variety allowing us a assortment of ways to express our individuality.
Be sure to have a look at the four pages devoted to the monk-strap entitled ‘Laces Out’ in the August 2012 GQ (American edition).