There’s something about a monk shoe. It pulls off a clever trick – it’s dressier than a classic Oxford lace-up and yet at the same time it’s more relaxed, somehow.
Perhaps that’s because these days we think of monk straps as a contemporary alternative to Oxfords, or it could be down to the clean lines that monk shoes bring to the table thanks to their sweeping side straps. Either way, no well-dressed individual’s footwear collection is complete without at least one pair of monk shoes in the mix.
At Crockett & Jones, we make several different monk shoes – both single and double buckled types – but our most loved design is the Lowndes, a sleek, dressy shoe that is most at home beneath the pressed trousers of a well cut suit. Lowndes is finished with a plain toe-cap and lasted on the chisel-toed 348 last, which it shares with some of our other dressier models like Alex and Westbourne.
It’s only natural then, that many of our customers prize the Lowndes for its sophistication. In Black Calf with versatile rubber City Soles it’s the quintessential formal shoe – perfect for business or special occasions alike – especially with muted burgundy socks, a powder blue shirt, navy silk grenadine tie and grey flannel suit (see @fashion_boys_club’s look for proof). Of course, the Lowndes looks just as polished in Dark Brown Burnished Calf too, this time with generously cuffed grey flannel trousers care of @the_shoeroom, or even with plain hems if you prefer (care of @fosta87).
Nevertheless, its contemporary looks also help the Lowndes to slide into smart-casual territory. Here, Mr @wild_strawberry_rabbit swaps his weekday tailoring for dark indigo jeans and a navy gingham shirt, which look understated and yet put-together with a pair of well-polished Lowndes in Dark Brown Burnished Calf.
Of course, for something markedly more casual we also offer the Lowndes in Espresso Suede, which pops against a pair of pale cords or chinos. @partner_nieruchomosci’s off-white needlecord and purple sock combination adds character to an otherwise understated pair of shoes. Likewise, @wndreas lifts his Espresso suede monk straps with soft blue chinos and a camel coat – tied together nicely with an olive canvas holdall.
The joy of Lowndes, particularly when it sits alongside shoes like the Westbourne or the Hallam, is that it’s ‘the same, but different’. It’s as smart as a lace-up, but adds flair to a formal look. In footwear terms, you can think of it as a change of pace or a breath of fresh air – there’s nothing radical about the Lowndes, but it’s an elegant choice nonetheless.