How to wear Dr. Martens

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I have now reached a certain age where items you wore earnestly as a clueless teenager are worn as a trendy item by the next generation. Dr. Martens are one of those. I was inseparable from my green Dr. Martens boots when I was 16 (that came as a twin pack with a shapeless Nirvana shirt) and have been welcoming the recent revival of this classic. No surprises there – I still like Dr. Martens the second time round!

This shoe formally worn as utilitarian boot by workmen has gone through many design transformations, but the original shape of the models hasn't changed much (the first ever Dr. Martens design is still in production today). Most people associate Dr. Martens with festival attire and punk rock, but thanks to the different silhouettes and models, it is actually a really versatile shoe.

OK, but how to wear Dr. Martens? I have compiled a little guide on how to best style this all-time favourite.

Go for classic 90s grunge

Yes, this is certainly the most obvious look, but that doesn't mean it's not cool, and you don't have to be a teenager to pull it off, either. Just layer a dark strappy dress over a T-shirt or longsleeve and combine with a black pair of Dr. Martens ankle boots (try the 1460 model). If you want to make this look modern, get yourself a pair of fishnet tights – I don't know where this trend came from, but they are suddenly the toast of town. Oh, and some smudged black eyeliner won't hurt – or try it with the very current glitter lips.

Go for contrast

One of the standout features of Dr. Martens is the chunky, almost clumpy design (at least with the classic models). Sometimes, it can be really exciting to lift that heaviness by pairing the shoe with lighter, daintier styles. Since florals are everywhere this season, why not get in on the trend and pair your Dr. Martens with loose-fitting shorts or skirts printed with delicate flowers, ideally made from chiffon, silk or light polyester. Choose a thin, flowing fabric since that creates are particularly interesting contrast with the thick leather of the boots. Keep the rest of the look simple by adding a fine-knit sweater or a feminine blouse.

Make colour your friend

You may have noticed on this blog that I am partial to the occasional colourful detail. For the photo above, I chose baby pink Dr. Martens (available here) merely because I think I have never seen a finer pair in my life. I combined them with grey skinny jeans from Topshop and a classic black leather jacket from All Saints (get it here).

Let details shine

I think the brand Dr. Martens is being very smart by constantly updating the design of their models, be it with new patterns, different leather treatments or metallic effects. If you want your Dr. Martens to take centre stage, why not choose a pair with special details? My favourite is their Pascal boot made from velvet – they have a current version of this style, but I prefer older ones in jewel tones which you can find on eBay. Wear with a simple black skirt and polo-neck jumper for maximum effect. If you prefer an over-the-top, crazy look à la Gucci 2017, choose a low-cut Dr. Martens style and pair with a patterned trouser suit. Yes, really.

Wear it like a brogue

The ankle boot with 8 eyelets is probably the most famous Dr. Martens model, but they also do many Chelsea boot or low-cut styles that certainly have their place in your wardrobe. A great choice are the all-black Dr. Martens brogues that are a neat style for the office – combine with a silk blouse tucked into a skirt and a touch of red lipstick.

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