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Filtering by Tag: Monk strap

The Burgundy Shoe

Kamau Hosten

Letter from a reader:

Good day sir,

First let me start by saying I'm a huge fan of your blog and style (that's putting it mildly, as I've learned so much from you)
I recently purchased a pair of burgundy wingtips and wanted your opinion. I noticed that not many gents wear the burgundy wingtip and wanted to know if this shoe is still viewed as a staple in every gents closet, such as the double monk and cap toe dress shoe. 
I have a beautiful linen suit that was given to me, and I'm afraid unlike my other suits, I have the slightest idea of how line should be tailored. Before I visit my tailor I wanted to be sure of what I wanted in regards to the fit. Linen is a bit different for me. I've owned linen pants but never a suit. That takes things to a whole new level of questions (what shoe, types of ties etc)
Again I appreciate and value your opinion highly.

Thank you for your time,


Gerald, I like the idea of the burgundy wingtips. While true cordovan is much more difficult to come by, shoes in oxblood and burgundy have the same effect and are much easier on the wallet. For men of style, yes, it's certainly a staple. I love the richness of the dark reddish tones beneath a navy or medium grey suit.

Trousers by Suit Supply, Socks by Brioni, Shoes by Sergio Rossi

Trousers by Suit Supply, Socks by Brioni, Shoes by Sergio Rossi

It's a pleasant alternative to the black and dark brown shoes that most men likely stick to. While it should be a staple, it's best for it to be purchased after the basics, as it's less versatile.

For linen suits, I've had them tailored similarly to worsteds. Though not as tapered. I like the lack of structure and the summery feel of linen. It shouldn't feel too snug, much like any suit. I prefer the trouser slightly tapered with a cuff and linen tends to sway when I walk, and it just bothers the hell out of me. Though when your tailor sees you in it, he has the most trained eye and can give you the best suggestion.

As far as shoes, I like suede loafers; with or without tassels.

Additionally, lighter calf split toe lace ups or derbies continue the casual nature of a linen suit. What's also crucial about linen is to embrace the wrinkles. I've heard the argument against linen too many times: "It's gonna wrinkle too much." That's fine, let nature take its course. It looks better; more lived in.

Blue Suede Monk Strap

Kamau Hosten

Brown and black shoes are the accepted choices for the foundation of a man's footwear selection. With good reason; both will pair nicely with a range of suits and odd trousers. Black with charcoal, navy and black and brown with just about every other option. Following a substantial collection of said basics, a rakish option is next. The blue suede monk is remarkable choice. With a relatively classic styling, the texture and color announces the wearer's confidence and, lack of convention. Chances are strong you'll be the only person in your circle wearing them, unless you're positioned outside the shows of the upcoming Pitti Uomo.

Shoes by Brioni

The monk strap is already a jaunty choice for those bored with oxfords and derbies. Though it's technically a notch down on the formality level for some, it's certainly welcome in a room full of laces. In black or brown calf, the monk has emerged as  smart alternative. For more substantial fabrics like donegal tweed or flannel, the suede monk, in chocolate or snuff  suede, compliments the more rugged texture of the trousers or suit. Add to that another element of, "And, what?" with the blue suede and you've about rendered the onlookers speechless.

With a shoe that's so attention-grabbing, the rest of the fit should be relatively restrained. I mean, you're wearing blue suede monks, so you kind of want them to be seen. Pale grey suits and trousers work best, to my mind. Such options offer a subdued contrast to the vibrant texture and color. The shoe may fade into navy trousers too much, though jeans are a decent option. Beige or light brown flannel would also highlight the shoe.

It's not for those wanting to blend it. To be clear, this is a shoe that will turn some heads.