Call of Dutti

In praise of the humble monk…

I make no secret of my passion for monk straps, as those that know me well will vouch, I’m seldom seen
without them. I love their versatility, they’re as at home dressed up with a suit as they are dressed down with
slim denim or chinos and a polo shirt.

Historically-speaking, the monk strap, a laceless shoe closed by a single or double buckle and strap fastening, gained popularity with Europe’s Monks and Roman Catholic clergy as early as the 11th-century. It offered more protection than the traditional open sandal they were accustomed to wearing. Admired for its sturdiness, durability and longevity, the monk soon became the go to shoe in monasteries and vestries.

My first incarnation with the hallowed monk was when I spotted a respected media mogul wearing them back in the mid-90s. I don’t know how they’d escaped my attention before, but I was intrigued. I admired the style and have been smitten eversince. I’ve always had a penchant for things that are slightly out of the ordinary and this shoe definitely falls within that category. Although they are definitely more mainstream now than they were back then.

This dark brown suede pair from Massimo Dutti (pictured above), a brand I have long admired,  are a slight departure in that they’re a monk strap boot. I like the fact they’re not immediately obvious as boots until the break in my trousers reveals so when I walk. In true classic tradition, you feel like you could wear them forever and they wouldn’t date.

Photo courtesy @blueloafers