Dr. Martens, or “docs” as I know them, were a hip footwear option in the 80’s and early 90’s. My American friends say that docs weren’t as popular in the US as they were in Europe and British colonies at that time. Nike hi-tops were the American “it” shoe instead. An American friend tells the story this way: she went to London in the 80’s wearing hi-tops, but came back to the US wearing docs.
After an 80’s explosion the Dr. Martens brand lost popularity and became fringe fashion for 20 years thereafter. But docs have made a comeback along with the resurgence of 80’s looks this year. Their footwear range embraces both vintage and updated styling and is well worth a look if you fancy a tough edge to your style.
We recently stumbled upon a brand new Dr. Martens shop in Hong Kong and I was like a kid in a candy store. I had my eye on a pair of cream, patent calf-length docs (like the one on the right), but realized their impracticality for our rainy Winters. My black 20 eyelets would have to satiate my renewed Dr. Martens appetite. But we did come home with a hot pair of ankle boots for Greg. The men’s assortment was killer.
Understandably, docs aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. The vintage boot style can look masculine and bulky. But it’s precisely this contrasting effect that I find appealing. Adding a rugged element like a pair of funky Dr. Marten boots to an outfit can be stylish if you stick to wearing one rugged item at a time. I wouldn’t wear my biker jacket with docs. I’d match them up with a pretty piece of knitwear, soft scarf and tailored jacket instead. I love mixing an ultra feminine outfit with a tough biker edge. We saw lots of HK ladies matching biker boots with pretty skirt and dress ensembles.
One of my European clients (late 40’s) bought a pair of docs after seeing the pair I showed in my post on grey footwear. We’ve subsequently created exciting feminine combinations with blouses, scarves, jeans, knitwear, skirts and dresses incorporating the edgy look of the boot. I was impressed with her grace, spunk and confidence in this look. Very fab.
Dr. Martens has a much wider range these days. In addition to more refined styles like the cream boot I had my eye on, there are the vintage boots in new colours…
…and with an expanded range of interesting hardware.
The Hong Kong store was bustling with younger Dr. Martens newcomers and veterans like us rekindling their relationship with the brand.