First featured over here, these single monks from DSW’s house brand “Aston Grey” are like a darker, more dressed up version of the Zaras from last summer. The DSW pair are slimmer through the toe, fit pretty true to size, and the buckle has a slight brushed/matte finish. The color is labeled as “tan” but there’s some warmer tones going on here too. They brighten up in the sun, while the color starts to look like drying sand indoors. Construction quality feels awfully good for ninety bucks.
Single monks (or monks of any kind) aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But, in case they do flip your skirt, here’s a few options that’ll showcase how versatile these unique, and awfully affordable single monks, can be. Note: Outfits have been pulled from the personal collection, so not all pieces will still be available.
With a Summer Suit
- Suit: J. Crew Ludlow in Irish Linen (no longer available, purchased last year on sale, but their new linen/cotton suit is now 25% off w/ SOGOOD)
- Shirt: Ledbury – $115 (used a Gilt City deal and got it for $75)
- Ribbon Belt: Brooks Brothers (that exact color scheme is no longer available, but they have plenty more options here)
Like suede bucks, only more interesting and sleeker than bucks usually look. The colorful belt adds a bit of visual interest, but stays hidden most of the time. Clean and simple. Summer outdoor wedding ceremony & reception appropriate. Add a tie if you’d like, but tieless works just fine here too.
The Modern, Low Key, Navy Blazer/Light Pants Combo
- Blazer: J. Crew Ludlow Irish Linen Suit Jacket (No longer available. Like the grey in outfit #1, got it during an end of season sale. Try the Italian one they’ve got now? Or… the very affordable UNIQLO Cotton/Linen.)
- Polo: UNIQLO Dry-Fabric Button Down Collar – $29.90
- Belt: GAP Basic Leather Belt – $29.95
- Pants: Banana Republic Vintage Straight 5-Pockets (currently unavailable, but any off-white 5-pocket or chino should work. Maybe give these Bonobos Travel Jeans a shot)
Pleated Khakis + Clunky Dress Shoes + White Shirt + Oversized classic fit navy blazer = standard country club look for many men over 60 years old. This takes that too familiar setup, dresses it down a bit, and cleans up the lines… a lot. Go for a trim fit blazer, pick up one of those button down collar UNIQLO polos, and skip sad khakis in favor of a pair of white or off white chinos or mid to lightweight denim. Plenty respectable, without projecting that “I’m in the Cialis ad demo” vibe.
Untucked but not giving up
- Shirt: Stafford Prep Micro Dot (sadly unavailable… pour one out for our homies Wooster + Ronnie J.)
- Pants: Bonobos Oxleys – $98 (pair shown is from last year… not quite the same color as these. Got em’ during an extra 20% off sale promo.)
So you were going to lay super low some Friday or Saturday night, but you’ve instead invited a couple of friends over to hang out on the deck/patio, and you want to look presentable. Oxford pants are crazy comfortable and super breathable. And don’t brush off the dot-trend. Small dots (not big polka dots) on a shirt is a nice way to add variety to your collection of patterns.
With Jeans and a Blazer
- Blazer: J. Crew Ludlow Irish Linen Suit Jacket (as already mentioned, no longer available)
- Shirt: Ledbury – $115 (just use your favorite white shirt)
- Pocket Square: TheTieBar – $8.00
- Ribbon Belt: Brooks Brothers (other color schemes here)
- Jeans: Levi’s 505 in “Tumbled Rigid” – $40.00
Easy. Standard. And still plenty sharp. Since the suede on the monks is a deeper, darker form of “tan”, they can still look plenty appropriate when the weather cools off. So whether you’re wearing jeans now, or won’t pull on a pair until September, they’ll work with denim.
DSW’s Aston Grey Suede Single Monk lists at $89.95, goes on sale from time to time, and ships free if you join their email list and use the code SHIPR. Big thanks to reader “Diversification” for the style tip on these shoes.*
*That is a complete lie.