Doc Martens are more than just a pair of boots, they’re a revolution, with laces. From the unofficial footwear of the counterculture to leading sustainability efforts and endless style potential, Doc Martens are a wardrobe must. Here’s how to style them.
Doc Martens, also known as Dr. Martens, or simply, Docs, are a distinctive style of boots that have been popular since their introduction in the 1960s. Doc Martens have become an iconic symbol of youth culture, rebellion, and individualism. They were originally worn by workers in the U.K., but over the years they have been adopted by subcultures such as punk rockers, skinheads, and grunge fans. And with such a far-reaching audience, their style potential knows no bounds, either.
Doc Martens: subculture and style
The history of Doc Martens can be traced back to Germany in the 1940s when a doctor named Klaus Maertens injured his ankle while skiing. He designed a comfortable and supportive shoe with an air-cushioned sole to help him recover. Later, he teamed up with a British shoe manufacturer named R. Griggs Group Ltd. to develop the shoe into what we know today as Doc Martens.
The first Doc Martens boot was released in the U.K. in 1960, and it quickly became popular with workers who needed sturdy and comfortable footwear. The boots were originally made with black leather and a simple design, but over time, they became more stylish and colorful.
In the 1970s, Doc Martens became associated with the punk rock movement. Bands like the Sex Pistols and The Clash wore the boots as a symbol of their rebellion against mainstream society. In the 1980s, the boots were adopted by skinheads, who wore them as a symbol of their anti-racist and anti-fascist beliefs.
In the 1990s, Doc Martens became popular with grunge fans. Bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam wore the boots as a symbol of their rejection of mainstream culture. The boots have remained popular with young people ever since as well-suited in dark clubs as the red carpets.
Doc Martens sustainability
Recently, Doc Martens has been making efforts to become more sustainable. The footwear giant introduced a range of eco-friendly materials as well as lower-impact production methods aimed at reducing its carbon footprint. The company also recently added a take-back program to recycle old boots and give them a second life. Customers can send their old boots to the company, and they will be cleaned, repaired, and resold. This program helps to reduce waste and give old boots a second life.
One of the ways Doc Martens is becoming more sustainable is by using vegan materials. The company has introduced a range of boots made from synthetic materials like polyurethane and polyester, which are more eco-friendly than leather. It also introduced boots made from upcycled plastic bottles.
Production processes have been streamlined to use less energy and water than traditional bootmaking methods. Doc Martens is also working to reduce the amount of waste produced during the production process.
How to style Doc Martens
A pair of classic black Doc Martens is a must-have for any wardrobe. They are the perfect boot to wear in nearly every situation, and their color and shape make them incredibly easy to style. You are missing out if you don’t already own a pair of these iconic shoes; Doc Martens are not just a shoe option but a way of life.
Wear the rainbow
A pair of black Doc Martens will complement any outfit, but if you are hoping to create an eye-catching look, swap the traditional black for a white, printed, or colorful pair instead. Paired with black trousers or jeans, the shoes will create the perfect contrast.
If you don’t want to invest in additional pairs, swap out the standard laces for something bright and bold to add fun and spice to your look.
Or try brightening up your clothes to offset your boots. When wearing dark shoes, you are often tempted to stick to darker or neutral-colored clothes, as this combination blends together with the most ease. But this is not a hard-and-fast rule, and choosing to style bright or soft pastel colors with dark footwear is a match made in heaven.
It creates the ideal balance of freshness and fun, with the contrasting colors playing off of each to get their moment to shine. This combination works best with dresses, but be bold and explore trousers and jumpsuits.
Of course, the flip side of this is that there is nothing more sophisticated than a black-on-black outfit. Whether it is a little black dress or a formal pants suit, a full black attire is chic no matter the time or place. For a more comfortable spin, swap out wedged winter boots or sky-high stilettos for your trusty Docs.
The shoes’ bulkiness compliments the clothes’ feminine tones while maintaining the long and sleek silhouette. Add a pop of color with a bold handbag and bright sunnies. Or hold the edge with dainty jewelry and black accessories.
Dress them up
Wearing Docs with skirts is not a new style discovery. It has been a popular trend for many fashion seasons and can easily complement various materials and styles. But why not go a step further and pair these boots, which carry a strong masculine influence, with a sexy and feminine slit skirt.
Finish it with a crop top or vintage t-shirt, and you have a well-balanced and comfortable outfit suitable for lunch with friends or a day of errands.
Docs also match with a wide range of dresses ensuring you can always choose an outfit on the days you find yourself rushing out the door.
Pair with an airy mini summer dress and leather jacket for date night or an evening out with the girls. Or pair your favorite summer maxi dress with a distressed jean jacket for a day of errands or your favorite Sunday market.
Wearing Docs to the office or formal gatherings is also typically as acceptable as wearing them anywhere else.
Pair these bad boys with a chic black blazer, a button-down, and fitted black or dark blue jeans, and you have a sophisticated and fashion-forward look. A formal updo and dainty jewelry round out this outfit.
Opposites tend to attract, and you can use this theory in fashion too. Sequin dresses, polka-dot tights, and big bunches of tulle are toned down by the everyday nature of Docs, making them more appropriate for daily wear and potentially giving you your next big fashion inspiration.
It may seem like an unusual pairing, but when one considers how comfortable Doc Martens are to wear, it is no wonder they pair nicely with sweatpants, oversize shirts, and sporty crop tops. This outfit is perfect for those days you can’t be bothered to put a look together but still need to leave your home.
Your footwear will elevate your clothes in a simple but stylish way even in inclement weather as the rugged nature of Doc Martens makes them ideal for mud, snow, and rain. They will easily see you through many winters, keeping your feet warm and dry if properly maintained.
You might find wearing any other shoes during the winter months difficult, and nobody would blame you. Doc Martens match perfectly with trousers, jeans, sweatpants, long winter coats, cozy sweaters, and thick socks. If winter wardrobes are your place to shine, you will have endless fun mixing and matching these versatile shoes.
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