Shoes — Part 2: Style Names & Terminology — Derby’s, Monk Straps & Others
With the second installment of ‘Style Names & Terminology,’ I will finish off laced shoes and monkstraps, before getting onto loafers and boots. As I mentioned the majority of oxford styles (or closed-lacing shoes) in Part 1, it is now time to introduce their counterparts and show the open-lacing models, as well as some of the other styles that I forgot. Enjoy!
Derby (Darby in England) AKA Blucher AKA Gibson (far less known):†
As you can see above, I started with what I believe is the most iconic derby in shoe history. And even though the model is not that old, once you see it, you know instantly who it is made by, as it was the first to start this two-eyed trend in derby history. This model that I am referring to, above, is made by Pierre Corthay and is called ‘Arca.’ Now derbies come in all shapes and designs, most of which, at least in my mind, take form within the more casual side of the footwear industry, as they are not as dressy as their counterpart, the oxford. This could be why I am so drawn to the model above, as it’s cleanliness gave it a dress feel that most derbies just don’t seem to possess.†
It is my general belief that the more eyelets (the holes punched for the laces) that a derby has, the more casual that it becomes. Something about the extended facing part of the quarter, just makes it look so much more cluttered and therefore less elegant, as opposed to the single eyelet plain-toe by Berluti, above left. To me, that is just as elegant, if not more, than a whole-cut oxford. The extension of the vamp leading almost up to the ankle, just gives off such a beautiful look. As you can see here, I went on the extreme of both ends, showing a 5 eye and a 1 eye derby, where I believe that you will find the majority of dress derbies will have 3 eyelets. And speaking of eyelets, I know that many people have a hard time knowing what shoe lace length to get for their shoes. So here is your model:
27-30 inch laces (67.5-75 cm) = 3-4 eyelets in shoe;††† 36 inches (90 cm) = 5-6 eyelets in shoe
Monk straps are the shoe style that I have not taken fully advantage of, and of which I desperately need to. I don’t know why I don’t own more because I really really like them, all of them, even the triple monk straps (see below). I particularly like this model, above, one that I believe was popularized by John Lobb. Having that galosh-like quality about it, it poses as a elegant alternative to the oxford. Many people will disagree, believing that the metal buckles take away from it’s elegance, but in my opinion, it’s quite the contrary, where I see laces as posing a bigger threat to elegance. That’s not to say that I believe that loafers are the most elegant, as they have no laces, but between this side buckle monk strap and it’s galosh-like counterpart oxford, I believe that this takes the cookie for being dressier. However, it is generally regarded (by most) that monk straps sit in middle of oxfords and derbies when it comes to the scale of dress appeal.
This style of shoe fits many different looks, color combinations and designs. Most likely, when you think about a spectator you probably picture the Barker Black golf shoe below, as this is something that I feel like is driven into the minds of people in the States. But for me, a spectator or co-respondent is a shoe that has two contrasting colors and/or even contrasting materials, say for instance leather and suede, such as the Gaziano & Girling below. This is a style that I am definitely no stranger to, as I love the mixture of colors, hence my infatuation with saddle shoes and galosh styles with opposing colors.
The spectator, according to Wikipedia, was claimed to be invented as a cricket shoe, by none other than John Lobb. The height of it’s popularity grew until about the 20’s & 30’s, where it was a mainstream shoe, even worn by the likes of my sartorial role model, Fred Astaire. To this day, it’s a model that remains in the seasonal line up, whether Church’s, Crockett & Jones, Allen Edmonds or some other classic shoe brand is releasing it’s latest model. And while I do own one of the classic full-brogue spectators, I prefer two-toned shoes in different manners, such as saddles, galosh styles and anything with multiple materials. Well that is it for this week. Stay tuned next week for all of the different types of loafers, there are many!
-Justin, “The Shoe Snob”