Monk-strap shoes are leather shoes that come with a leather strap and a buckle in lieu of the more common shoelaces. The name came about as these shoes were originally worn by monks in Europe as an alternative footwear option to open-toe sandals.
These days monk-strap shoes have been elevated by many designers, to the point that some consider it the most advanced type of dress shoe. Naturally, a wide variety of designs have emerged: with double or even triple straps and some decorative patterns. The single-strap variant is the perfect understated styling option, while the double- and triple-strap monk shoes can act as rakish statement pieces. Both brogued and suede monk-strap shoes are quite popular.
For the most part, monk-strap shoes are usually seen as acceptable for formal events. Still, it is considered less formal than a pair of Oxfords, but still a considerable step up from open Derby shoes.
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