UNIFORM | Dr. Martens


Photo via One Facade.

In the mid 1990s, everyone in my school had a pair of Docs. Boys, girls, nerds, jocks, everyone. Looking back, I think most of my preppy-suburban cohort would agree that the iconic work boot-made-stylish by London punks looked about as natural on us as Napalm (but we totally felt hardcore at the time).

In 2007, I wrote this piece for the L.A. Times observing the (now 51-year-old) shoe resurfacing on runways. Four years later, I'm seeing Dr. Martens retailing at Madewell, Asos and Nordstom. Have you ever worn Doc Martens? Would you wear them again?

42 comments:

Felicity said...

I don't think I could pull them off now but oh how I loved them when I was in middle and high school. I had the dark green pair pictured above and I wore them with everything. I'm not sure whether I should be happy or sad that there aren't many pictures of me from this era...

Carlene said...

I wore them then, and I'm wearing them (the same pair!) now. I'm 51, and somehow seem to be able to pull them off.

Jessi said...

I have worn Doc Martens for years... and love them so. they're sturdy, cute and practical... and i'm very happy they're in style again. i had felt very out of style since i've never stopped wearing them... its the ONE thing i just can't give up from highschool.

currently i have a pair of the kelly green boots (pictured above in this post) and a pair of oxblood double tstrap maryjanes...

love them!

Jessi
finnpuppy@gmail.com

victoria / cats dreaming in keylime said...

I had the oxblood 8 or 9 eyelet. I love them dearly. Then had the dyed black. Still loved them dearly. Now, at 38, I have a version of them that are just a smidge daintier and more feminine but not quite as gritty as Doc Martins.

Luda said...

I'd feel a lot more comfortable in them after they got worn in a bit and weren't quite so shiny and new-looking.

I wore them when I was a kid and loved everything about them.

Sarah said...

YES! I had a pair of square toes that I found at a weird thrift store in a tiny town. They were already worn in and wonderful.
I do have a pair of Doc Martin clogs that I also found used. They are bright green with white daisies.
I'm hoping to one day stumble on a pair of mary janes.

Annie said...

I saved up for a pair of Docs and loved them to death back in high school. Now I'm tempted to get another pair!

Ashley said...

I'm wearing some brown leather ones right now!

Simple Pleasures said...

I wore them in the 90s ... fell in love with them while living in London actually ... and still wear them today although I typically only where them on days I visit construction sites. (I'm an architect). I think they are hands down the best looking shoe for site visits. (I'm 44)

Andy said...

I wore them all through elementary school in the 90's (love my sparkly red pair!) but I haven't gotten into the current trend...

Susanna-Cole King said...

Yes! I have a pair of black patent ones (which my grandmother declared were the ugliest shoes she'd ever seen, haha). The floral ones are tempting, but trickier to style well with what's in my wardrobe. I find docs especially good winter shoes, and in snow (unless it's really deep which is well ... who am I kidding, last few winters have been all blizzards!) and bad weather, as my Converse high tops just don't keep your feet warm and get soaked through in such wintry conditions.

rooth said...

Throwback to middle school! I loved my Docs back then and would probably wear them again today if they were not so heavy! Does anyone know if they're lighter these days or still clunky?

Becky said...

I wore mine to death in grad school (and I'm not old, merely unhip -- this was in the early- to mid-aughts). The only reason I don't have a pair of brown or burgundy ones now is that I live in a warm climate.

LPC said...

Wore them to counteract the minivan, when I had two little kids. Kids are grown. I still have the Docs, but I doubt I'll be wearing them much. Have to keep them for the sentiment though, and to remember how I tried to keep from falling down the suburban mom hole all the way.

kathy peck said...

I wore them all the time for many years and have been tempted to get a pair again. I was an architect/designer, so they were great for visiting construction sites, as someone else mentioned. Now I'm a painter, and I think they'd be great shows for standing in the studio all day. Would love them with my paint drips all over them too.

Sherri said...

My Docs were and are my favorite shoes. I still have and wear my very first pair, which are pushing about 10 years old. It's almost time for new ones, which is pretty exciting after a decade of use.

I'd never really given a thought to the fact that they were no longer in style. I think they're so cool, it had never occurred to me that other people didn't feel the same way. Ha.

Nomadic D. said...

I was more of a used combat boots girl in the 90s, but yes, they were everywhere, and yes, they are everywhere now again! So funny. And I find myself getting sucked in, I feel like I shouldn't but I can't quite help myself. First I was attracted to these:

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/2011/08/monstruo.html

but now I'm thinking the traditional doc in white or dark cherry patent or something fun like that. What is happening to me? Why am I reliving my high school years?

http://nomadic-d.blogspot.com/

Christina said...

I wear Doc Marten service shoes; they're three hole oxfords but with a pointed toe. They're amazing. They go with everything and don't have that large, rounded toebox that sometimes makes docs feel like clown shoes...

ND said...

I had so many pairs of Dr. Martens! My favourites were my tall black ones -- 15 eyelet, I think? -- and a pair of black patent oxfords with rainbow stitching. I would definitely wear Dr. Martens again, although I think I'd go for the Juney pull-on boots instead of the 8-eyelet.

Sofie said...

I *only* wear Doc Martens or Clarks desert boots!

Simply Marilla said...

Yes, I had several pairs in high school and I still have a pair from college that I wear occasionally. I'm glad they are making a comeback now I wont look so outdated!

positdesign said...

I'm STILL wearing the same pair I bought in the 1990s--on a school trip to London. Oxblood four-eyelet creepers.

anne b. said...

I had a pair of black 4-eyelets in the nineties, and *loved* them. they always seemed like a sort of archetype of a shoe - what a shoe would look like if you drew it in the simplest way. I still have that pair, but I never wear them anymore. I think I need to be a little bit older (I'm 28 now) to be able to pull them off again. maybe when I'm 50, or 60? they will still look like archetypal shoes then, I think.

Linh + Tina said...

i knew it was only a matter of time before these came back. i had a much loved floral pair that i wore throughout middle school and high school and saved, assuming the trend would resurface someday when i had kids (who could wear them). they came back a little earlier than i expected though. or i'm just getting old. ;)

Paulina B said...

Wore these in the early 2000s as a teen into riot grrrl music. I was a bit late for the riot grrrl movement and a bit early for the resurfacing of this trend, but I sure loved my Docs! I would wear them again... I want my 8 eyelet oxblood back.

Emily said...

Honestly, I really hate Doc Martens. Probably because I already have size 10 feet and would look utterly clownish in them. My sister wants a pair and I always sort of grimace when she mentions them, haha. But! The Madewell fall look, probably the one you're referring to having seen, almost persuades me. Almost.

BuenoBueno said...

oh boy do I wear the heck out of some Docs! Never stopped loving them
http://muchomuchobuenobueno.blogspot.com/2011/08/covering-my-skivvies-girlie-comfort.html

love your blog!
b

christen said...

I had a green pair too! Wore them to my college prep highschool and was such a stlyer ;-) I must have given them away a few years ago and so so sad about it now.

Hannah Elise said...

Doc martens are the best! I wore them when I was in my early teens, and I just picked back up. I actually used a pair in my fw collection photoshoot. I think when they are worn with the right things they can be really great!

Lotte said...

I had them in high school. Simple black ones. All grungy and 90s.
Now i'm rocking pony hair leopard print ones. Not sure why, cuz they're totally ridiculous, but they seem to work well on me.

angie said...

One of my best pairs of shoes ever. I wore them non stop through winters and summers for a couple of wears. Remind me of my early 20s. I might try to incorporate them in my mid 40s wardrobe.

julia wheeler said...

i had so many pairs in junior high and high school but never got the one pair i totally coveted -- those flower ones! part of me wants to get those to wear now!

Ali said...

I cannot shake my love of docs 9 eye boots and 3eye oxfords. I always have one pair of each. The last 2 pairs I found 2nd hand and have lasted me over three years. I am 37 and will wear them until I am 107. Maybe the exact same pair I have on today.

inspirationCOOPERATIVE said...

Hi Lizzie,
How funny, I did a similar post on the doc marten love affair, as well. I tell you, great minds...Like Christina, I loved my three hole oxford with pointy toe.

Theresa

PS~As a fellow tomboy, I love your site! Can't wait for the book version (congrats!).

rena said...

i usually bought the somewhat softer-looking monkey boot - remember those? i rode my skateboard around campus in monkey boots or vans chukkas (suede, black) for years.

MEL said...

I was just day dreaming about my brown 8 hole Docs that I couldn't live without for so many years. I think I wore out 3 pairs....is that possible. Those were the days of bootcut jeans and a good pair of Docs that gave any woman a strut.

Michelle said...

Wore a low black pair in college...over 25 years ago! Eeek. Bought the classic 3 inches-below-the-knee black-leather lace/zip pair 5 years ago, right before I turned 40 (vs. getting a tattoo or a piercing.) Great with everything. Perfect in the snow (traction!). Guys dig 'em, too. Now my 15 year old tried to steal them from me.

Janelle Fey said...

I had a great pair that I loved, wore them all the time...to break them in I drove over them with my car several times to give them a lived in look....nice brown broken in leather ones.....boy they made my feet look huge!

Chuck said...

I have those white patent ones. And a couple of other pairs... I haven't worn them in a while actually but they are great boots -comfy, hardy, grippy, fairly waterproof etc. Will have to dig them out when winter hits properly. I'm definitely not a summer Docs kind of gal!

Wendy said...

Still have mine (and still wear them) and I'm pushing 43. I bought my daughter her first pair when she was 12, 10 years later she still has hers, too.

Lea Anne said...

I was in 8th grade in the mid 90's and had a pair that I wore almost every single day for a few years. I tucked them away and forgot about them, then when I was home over Christmas a few years ago, I pulled them back out and brought them back to NYC with me. All my co-workers flipped because I had this perfectly broken in pair of Dr. Martens!

etoilee8 said...

I just bought another pair. They are plain, black with no laces and lined with fleece on the inside. I love them, love them, love them!