Monk strap or Penny loafer?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Semin Park, May 23, 2014.

  1. Semin Park

    Semin Park Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    I'm still a student, just graduated secondary school (high school) in Europe, and I am going to get a new pair of shoes.

    I would like to become fashionable, but still I need to think about building my basic wardrobe, so here's the question.

    I already have a pair of classic black oxford, so this time it's either going to be a dark brown penny loafer or a dark brown monk double strap. I'm thinking of getting it from Meermin.

    This shoe will be worn either with a suit (in casual occasions) or with casual clothes (even with shorts in the summer, without socks). So if it were you, which would you pick? Also, would suede be better, or would leather look better? I think suede will be hard to fit with a suit as well as to wear it without socks, so I'm leaning towards leather, but I'm open to other opinions and suggestions, so please share your wisdom with the newbie :)
     
  2. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

    Messages:
    6,501
    Likes Received:
    473
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Location:
    The Arena - Centerfield
    Wearing penny loafers with a suit will get you slapped by the Styleforum police (we are global). With the monkstraps you may receive a brow beating, but if you move quickly, you'll live to see another day.
    Welcome to Styleforum.
     
  3. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Likes Received:
    159
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    I wouldn't wearing straps with shorts
     
  4. Semin Park

    Semin Park Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Thanks for your reply.

    When I say 'suit', I'm talking about a casual look, but is that not acceptable?

    http://www.maxmayo.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/navy-grey-cognac-double-monks-men-style.jpg

    This is kind of similar to what I'm aiming for, although I am going for a much darker monk strap as I don't want the whole attention to be on my foot...

    What would then be a good shoe to buy that could pull off both a casual suit look and a real casual (shorts and shirt) look, if you don't mind answering?
     
  5. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Likes Received:
    159
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    There is no one shoe that does everything well. I can't think of a single shoe that works well with a suit or with shorts. Really though, why would there be? These looks are at the extreme ends of the formality spectrum.
     
  6. Semin Park

    Semin Park Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Yeah you're right. I thought I've seen people wear shorts with monk straps and pull it off great, but now that I search again, I think I saw something else.

    Then how about chino pants with monk straps? Is that okay? I think I've seen that combination often in preppy style with a blazer on top.

    I think I'll search a little more on which shoe goes well with what style and come back :)
     
  7. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Likes Received:
    159
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    I think you are better off getting 2 pairs. One for casual suits/sport coats/chinos, and a completely different pair for shorts.
     
  8. Semin Park

    Semin Park Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Thanks for the advice.

    With my current broke student money, I can only afford one, so I think I'm going to go for dark brown double monk strap and wear it with casual suits and chinos.

    I have a couple pair of espadrilles for shorts anyway, so no problem with that.
     
  9. Count de Monet

    Count de Monet Senior member

    Messages:
    1,061
    Likes Received:
    581
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Well, it's an interesting question. My own list of shoes to wear with shorts is a short one and includes neither of your choices.

    Having said that, obviously there are many pics on SF of guys pulling off penny's and shorts. But at the other end of the "loafer spectrum," the only suits I've seen paired with loafers to good effect are very casual/seasonal suits like linen, seersucker, etc.

    So, given the two options, a penny loafer might technically qualify. But practically speaking, you are probably better off selecting your next two pair, buying one now and the other when funds allow.
     
  10. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

    Messages:
    2,139
    Likes Received:
    159
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    Location:
    NYC
    As for shoes with shorts, I have a hard time figuring this out. So far I have come up with Allen Edmonds Sanibel and Preston. Any other recommendations?
     
  11. SimplyLime

    SimplyLime Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2014
    Monk strap with shorts tried it, very hard to pull of the model look.

    Stick with loafers for more casual outfits (chino pants, shorts)

    Stick with monk straps on dressier casual outfits (chino pants, slacks)


    IMO monk straps are somewhere between loafers and laced up shoes
    could be used to dress up casually or dress down formally

    Advice: Get one of each (double monk straps pref in dark brown/tan and loafers in any brown)
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  12. Balfour

    Balfour Senior member

    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    143
    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic
    Oh, whatever you do please avoid double monks. It's such an iGent cliche, and they look fussy. Someone once commented "leprechaun's shoes" (forget who), and the expression stuck with me.

    A single monk has long been established as a classic in England (although again not to my taste).

    As for loafers, one can certainly wear loafers with suits. In the real world this happens all the time (and not just by the Dilberts of this world, Prime Minister Cameron and President Bush for example often wear / wore loafers with suits). Tassled loafers with suits in an American classic. But starting off I'd aim to learn the rules before deciding which ones to break.

    In your position, you're covered for suits with your oxfords. I'd consider looking at bluchers in mid-to-dark brown for maximum versatility, picking up a cheap loafer (Sebago) or boat shoe as well to cover off the shorts.
     
  13. Cleav

    Cleav Senior member Dubiously Honored Moderator

    Messages:
    11,021
    Likes Received:
    17,831
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    English Flower Garden
    Get the basics sorted then move along to get some flexibility.

    Do not wear loafers with a suit. Tasseled or otherwise. This is emphasised by the fact that if Cameron and Bush threw them on why would you?

    Double monks work superbly well and are in no way a cliche, Balfour says they look busy and they can do, fair enough. Done well, they look very good look :nodding:
     
  14. Balfour

    Balfour Senior member

    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    143
    Joined:
    May 27, 2012
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic
    As you say, there are different perspectives on this. I would encourage anyone attracted to the double monk to consider a classic single monk as an alternative.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  15. Cleav

    Cleav Senior member Dubiously Honored Moderator

    Messages:
    11,021
    Likes Received:
    17,831
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    English Flower Garden
    

    Fair enough.

    Do not wear loafers or tassels with suits.

    It's still my opinion Balfour. Without what you call a throwaway remark

    I didn't introduce those characters you did. I am not the one obsessing here....

    Are you putting those individuals up as style icons for anyone, SF or otherwise, to emulate?

    Nonetheless, in my opinion do not wear loafers or tassels with suits. Ymmv.

    Classic single monk? Sure, I have them, DM, I have them. Levels of formality or difference therein... I wear with suits. I understand the rules but also appreciate that I like to do what I want to do sometimes.

    If someone asks for an opinion, I'll offer it.

    Thank you though. :satisfied:
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by