Tag Archives: fashion advice

Trend Alert: Monk Straps for Everyday

The Monk Strap shoe, a classic mens dress shoe featuring a strap and buckle closure once reserved for cocktail parties and formal occasions, is breaking into the casual realm of dressing. GQ published a great article on Monk Straps almost two years ago, and in it suggested that monk straps were already acceptable for every day wear, but, personally, I am just now beginning to see this acceptance in action, and am more frequently noticing stylish men sporting single and even double straps on less than formal occasions.

Here are a few of my favorite monks and how to wear them:

Monks

  1. Rush by Gordon Rush Leather Monk Straps: These monks are versatile for the man who lives in business-casual attire. (So, basically any yuppy) Wear these beautiful brown monks with black, navy, or khaki slacks at work. After work pair them with navy, dark green, or khaki slim cut, cuffed chinos. For an even more casual look you can wear these with a very dark, denim pant as long as you have a nice shirt and even a sports coat to go with it.
  2. Del Toro Suede Monk Strap: These monks are definitely more casual, but equally as stylish as their fancier counterparts. I love the combination of the deep red suede with the bright blue sole. However this color combination limits what colors you can wear with them. For these particular more casual monks, I would pair with them a rich slim cut denim pant, patterned sock, blue or white button down, or a navy and white striped tee. Accessorize with a brown belt, fedora, and or a funky bow tie.
  3. McCarren & Sons Cap-toe Nubuck Double Monk Strap: These monks are probably one of my favorite for the following reasons: the cut of the toe is neither round, square, nor pointy; the colors are classic neutrals that can go with just about everything; the wooden sole makes them appropriate for cocktail hour as well as work, in addition to more casual circumstances.
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Fashion Chameleon or Individual?

Growing up, I envied certain people’s ability to be anybody, any character. You know those people who can go anywhere and look like they’re a part of the scenery; they have a knack for knowing exactly what to wear to blend into any environment or setting. I used to strive to be that way. What I have realized over time is that these people might have an uncanny ability to understand what certain times and places demand from fashion, but they don’t have the ability to understand and cultivate their own sense of style.

So as I have matured and developed my own sense of self and style, I admire and aspire to be the individuals who know exactly who they are in terms of their fashion and personal style. I admire the people who can walk into any room or setting and look like themselves. Sure, they may pick and choose certain outfits or styles to suit the mood of the occasion, but they are always uniquely them. These people remain true to their aesthetic and they are comfortable and confident in their style. They are themselves, not some character or cliche.

In order to be a person whose character is themselves, and is not constantly changing, you must first develop and understand your own personal sense of style. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, and can take years to accomplish.  What you wear tells the world who you are, so keep that in mind as you get dressed each morning and in the long term how you develop your style. Part of the reason this is so hard is because until you know who you are, how can you possibly use fashion to represent that? That’s why growing up, throughout middle and high school, people were constantly changing their sense of style; as kids we don’t really know who we are, and even if we did we were too self-conscious to show it, making it impossible to have a true sense of personal style.

Good news is that if you’re reading this, chances are you’re not a tween or teen, and at this point in your life you’re either on the voyage to self-discovery or you already have a good sense of who you are as a person. Use this to your advantage when making choices pertaining to your fashion. Don’t concern yourself so much with other people, or with trying to be something you’re not, even if just for a night. What I mean by this is not to disregard completely that certain venues have dress codes and that certain outfits are inappropriate for certain settings. What I do mean is that what you wear should be a reflection of you, not of your surroundings. Develop a style that makes you feel good about yourself and the image that you’re portraying to others; be confident and comfortable being your own character.

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