In the 15th century, Alpine monks devised the shoe which has eliminated the lace-up or slip-on dilemma—the monk strap. It swaps your cumbersome laces for a functional buckle and has become one of the big questions in men’s fashion (right up there with black or brown).
“Wear them informally or even with a suit,” says designer Ravi Bajaj, but keep these specifics in mind: The trousers should have a narrow to medium bottom width (14-17 inches). In fact, the strap should only show when the person is sitting.
“They might be inappropriate paired with suits at formal business meetings, but will look sharp when worn with a suit for a wedding or an evening out,” says designer Priyadarshini Rao.
Designer Raghavendra Rathore believes in strict shoe hierarchy and says you should go in for the monk strap only if you already possess a semi-formal pair, a formal pair and a slip-on like a loafer or a Kohlapuri slipper. “A novelty pair like a monk strap should only come in after that,” he says.
A rusty Coca-Cola colour is the most versatile, according to Rathore. It can be worn with trousers in most colours.
“I don’t see a tie going too well with these,” says Rao. She recommends them for club wear.“They would look stunning with a fitted linen shirt and a pair of great-fitting linen trousers, which have a hint of Lycra. Just avoid denim,” she says.