Monk Strap

Gifted Giver: Jorge Valls

We’re counting down the crucial pre-Christmas shopping days with a series called Gifted Givers, in which friends old and new share their thoughts on stylishly spirited giving and receiving.

It’s one of our favorite Nordstrom success stories: Men’s Shop Fashion Director Jorge Valls started in the mail room and worked his way into the high-style world of buying and presenting the best looks for our stores and website. Should you assume, however, that his brain is dedicated solely to suits and boots, we’d have to point out that he’s also an expert on French and English lit. For a worldly, classics-influenced take on the art of style and gifting, read on…

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The thing about the monk strap is that it’s a very statement-y classic. On the continuum of classics from subtle to strong, it hits the right end of the spectrum, and rings a couple of bells and whistles while it’s there. Smart, sophisticated bells and whistles, though. Think, free jazz bells and whistles. Think, well, Thelonious Monk.

We typically stay away from blanket statements, but in today’s jogger pants-with-a-sport-coat economy, you really can’t go wrong with this style: put it with a sharp, slightly short trouser or throw it under some cuffed premium denim. For your consideration: three of our favorite specimens.

To Boot New York ‘Burns’ | Prada ‘Spazzolato’ | Northern Cobbler Double

SHOP: Monk-Strap and Double Monk-Strap Loafers
SHOP: Our Favorite Fall Shoes


Ferragamo is really a footwear dynasty and incredibly masterful when it comes to building a shoe. I always tell people to spend a little more than you would normally want to on a pair of shoes, because it will be worth it in the long run. The last is built to last a lifetime on these double monks, as long as you take care of them, and the rubber sole helps to keep them light and comfortable from the get-go.

“Wear these with jeans, or a suit, and unbuckle the top for a little extra savoir faire. This is the quintessential monk strap in a rich brown that goes with everything – especially those heavyweight fabrics you’re going to be wearing for fall.”

—Jim Moore, GQ Creative Director


Each month, the editors of GQ, in collaboration with Nordstrom Men’s Fashion Director Tommy Fazio and the Men’s Shop, will select key items from the pages of GQ to feature right here on

For the second edition of GQ Selects, we’ve chosen 16 Fall essentials from the August issue. Check back every month for more.