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Fashion Challenge: Doc Martens


doc martens
Photo Credits: 1 – Coconut via Chictopia, 2 - Emma Roberts, 3 – Alva via Vanessa Jackman

I figured that Doc Martens would be the perfect Fashion Challenge to complement the return of ’90s grunge to the fashion scene. Dr. Martens celebrated their 50th birthday on April 1st, so it’s no wonder that their classic boots have become a staple for numerous fashion icons. Agyness Deyn is often spotted in the classics, and you’ve probably seen the controversial Doc Marten ads featuring Kurt Cobain and Sid Vicious, among others. Although you often see Doc Martens paired with grunge-esque floral dresses, they work easily with a variety of other styles. So, will you take this week’s Fashion Challenge?

Tips and Tricks for Wearing Doc Martens

As far as advice goes, I don’t have much. That’s because Dr. Martens were meant to break fashion rules! Don’t worry about what you think is “fashionable” or “in style”, just rock these boots with confidence and you are set! That said, here are a few pointers:

  • Don’t be afraid to step (pun intended!) outside the box. Doc Martens come in a variety of styles, so don’t be afraid to try something other than the basic 8 or 10-eye styles. I think these floral ones would be perfect with a LWD for summer.
  • Mix it up. Don’t think you have to imitate Claire Dane in My So Called Life to pull these off. Dr. Martens work just as well with a classic striped shirt and basic skirt like Rachel Marie’s below:

Rachel Marie
Photo Credit

  • Pull on and go. These boots go with everything: tights, skinnies, dresses, and even shorts. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Throw them on with one of your favorite outfits for an unexpected twist.

Get the Look

Doc Martens outfit

Product Information: Patent pink Doc Martens – Dr. Martens, Tank top – Steven Alan, Lace crop top – Wet Seal, Black jeggings – Dorothy Perkins, Feather headband –, Cross-body bag – Urban Outfitters, Necklace – Forever 21

The inspiration for this outfit came from all the amazing outfit shots from Coachella. Doc Martens are the perfect shoes for a music festival, because they prevent your toes from getting trampled in the crowd. I kept things casual with denim leggings and a cool tank top. The tank top reveals your entire side, so I added a crop top for just a peek of lace and texture. A feathered headband worn Nicole Richie-style gives this look the hippie-chic look that’s so popular right now. A simple cross-body bag finishes the look.

Extra Credit Reading

Want more information on these iconic boots and how to wear them? Check these out:

  • This post from Polyvore was written in 2008, but the outfit inspirations are to die for!
  • According to WWD, a certain celebrity bought Dr. Martens as favors for his daughter’s birthday party. If you aren’t a WWD subscriber, you can find out who here.
  • For more info on Dr. Martens’ history and their 50th birthday, read this article from The Fashion Feed.
  • Women aren’t the only ones rocking this classic boot.

So, will you take the Fashion Challenge?

Do you already own a pair of Docs? Do you prefer a grunge-girl look or do you rock your Docs with a different style? Did any of you witness Coachella style first hand (I’m jealous!)? Already work this trend? Send us pictures of you in your Dr. Martens and we’ll feature them here!* As always, we are open to suggestions for future fashion challenges and we’d love to hear from you!

* Send your outfit pictures to fashionchallenge AT collegefashion DOT net!

Posted on on April 28, 2010 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , ,

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45 Responses to “Fashion Challenge: Doc Martens”

  1. 1
    April 28th, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I’ve never thought about owning a pair of Doc Martens, but now I really want to buy some.. I love those unconventional floral ones you linked to!

  2. 2
    April 28th, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I found my docs at a THRIFT STORE for 13.99$… they were not the high top style I wanted, but who could pass that deal up!!? They are soooo comfy, and keep my feet really warm! I wear them with skinnies, skirts and stockings, just about anything! GO DOC!

  3. 3
    April 28th, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I looooove Docs! I’m waiting for my perfect pair (that I’ve been searching for for MONTHS!) to arrive from Etsy. I love them on guys and girls. I’ve loved them since the 90s, actually… so I will absolutely take this challenge! :)

  4. 4
    April 28th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Uh, I really don’t know what to think about Docs. The outfits look cute, but they aren’t my style.. maybe I’ll try them sooner or later ;)

  5. 5
    April 28th, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I don’t see the attraction with these. I think they are hideous and will do nothing for you.

    So, no, I will not be taking this (lack of) fashion challenge.

  6. 6
    April 28th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I love these! My favorite way to see them is toughening up an otherwise delicate and girly look. Yummmm. :D

    However, they’re rather pricey, and I haven’t been able to find a pair that I really like within my price range. Sigh…. Hopefully I’ll save enough money this summer for them.

    <3 the dress darling

  7. 7
    April 28th, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    yaaaayyy finally an article on docs!!!

  8. 8
    April 28th, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    I need a pair of white Doc Martens. Or the floral ones. They are fantastic!

  9. 9
    April 28th, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Lol… I cannot wait until people stop wearing these *__*

  10. 10
    April 28th, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    i don’t think DMs really qualify as a fashion challenge. you either love them or you don’t (as reflected in the comments). i recently got myself the heeled ones, and love them to bits!

  11. 11
    April 28th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Noooo…I would personally never wear these, i’d feel/look like a clown!

  12. 12
    April 28th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I don’t own a pair of Doc Martens right now but I wouldn’t mind owning a pair of floral ones.

  13. 13
    April 28th, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I love the look of doc martens, but I don’t want to pay for shoes I won’t wear often. Can you give recommendations on shoes that look like doc martens but arent too expensive? I prefer brown!
    I’ve checked thrift stores but had no luck.

  14. 14
    April 28th, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    I really think this is a trend only skinny girls can wear and not look bad…
    So, no, I wouldn’t wear it, although I love how they look :(

  15. 15
    April 28th, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Nope. Not okay. They make everyone’s feet look enormous.

  16. 16
    April 28th, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    See I am loving these Doc Marten shots, but I think combat boots might be an easier alternative to work into the rest of my wardrobe. I agree in that they would be absolutely perfect for music festivals! :)

  17. 17
    April 28th, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    I’ve been wearing Docs since the 90s. They are great shoes – they take awhile to break in but they last forever. I would advise against buying them just because they are a trend right now – they’re a bit pricey for something you’ll wear for only a year. But maybe if we’re lucky this late 80s/early 90s-throwback stuff will keep being popular. I’m really enjoying the fact that my docs and floral tights and babydoll dresses are “in” right now… I feel very stylish :-)

  18. 18
    April 29th, 2010 at 12:25 am

    I LOATHE these shoes. Its means something if I am using the word loathe in a sentence, lol.

  19. 19
    April 29th, 2010 at 5:51 am

    i would LOVE to get a red pair. i’ll have to look into getting some this summer.

  20. 20
    April 29th, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I LOVE DOC MARTINS! It’s probably the goth in me from when I was 14 and 15, but I love, love, love these boots. I saw a white pair in seventeen a couple of years ago and I’m still dying to own them. If only the price tag was a little more reasonable for a pair of shoes that would only go into my once in a while wear pile.

  21. 21
    April 30th, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I just don’t know how I feel about these shoes! They look like a cross between high top sneakers and combat boots. My style is more girly so I’ll pass but if you have a boyish-grungy style they do look kind of cute with skinny jeans. I would avoid skirts and dresses though!!

  22. 22
    May 2nd, 2010 at 4:56 am

    I would really like to try this challenge but I just don’t think my chunky, muscly legs will look good with them. At all. Just another fashion dream for me then …

  23. 23
  24. 24
    May 2nd, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I used to wear these back in the day. They seem silly on adults though (especially females), in my opinion… unless you’re in the military or you’re a police officer.

  25. 25
    May 4th, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I have to agree with the person who said Doc Martens only work for skinny girls. :(
    I love Doc Martens but unfortunately cannot work them. However I am still looking for a pair in electric blue.

  26. 26
    June 4th, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    I LOVE Doc Martens!!!
    I’ve been wanting to get either the red ones or the florals for a while now but I still can’t afford them :(.
    btw I don’t think it has anything to do with your weight … first of all if you have the confidence you can rock anything and second I think it would be harder to rock this if you have short legs because they make your legs look shorter but your weight shouldn’t matter!

  27. 27
    June 10th, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    guys , do you have the habit to buy the clothes through the internet ?

    we are a team from China , and we sales the clothes on internet . if you want to buy the clothes cheap and beautiful . come to our website to have a look .

    I am sure you will find your style !

  28. 28
    November 4th, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I disagree with some of the comments here, I’m 5″2 & a size 16 (uk) & I love my docs, they’re 7 hole & black, i leave them open & they actually make my legs look thinner! i think it’s because they are so chunky, they make my legs look dainty lol :)

  29. 29
    December 24th, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I’m getting a pair of white docs tomorrow (because its xmas) and I’m going to wear them with just about anything I can get my hands onto , black leggins are FAB with white docs , it doesnt matter what colour you get though , you could wear doc martens with denim shorts? for the summer look , it would look great , also you could wear some docs with a jeggin styled elastic skirt , vair vair nice , and you can even pull off the look of wearing them with red skinny jeans , I would highly recommend a pair of doc because they are a bit pricey YES but , theres nothing like a warm comfy cushion were you can rest you’re feet on (: they are all you will want to wear ;) anyway I hoped my reply helped , and thankyou for reading xxxx

  30. 30
    August 6th, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I have owned my pair of black DMs for over a year and I always wear them, they look great with anything, I have even got a pair of the high heeled ones :)

  31. 31
    August 30th, 2011 at 7:18 am

    I own a pink pair, i love them to bits and they look great with shorts in summer which looks hotttt! But in winter i dont know what to wear with them without looking like no affense but im not really a goth sort of person! Im more indie, like sort of cropped jeans and blazers! Can anyone help puhleassssssssssse(-:

    Thanks X

  32. 32
    October 25th, 2011 at 12:14 am

    I have a pair of black DM’s , i love them but sometimes find that they are hard to match a outfit to(contradicting what people say about them). Also they do tend to make my legs look fat or stumpy, but i still love them and suggest people to get them as they last agggeeesss and are handy when your looking for a certain look when going out (if that makes any sense at all??)
    I <3 Docs :)

  33. 33
    December 22nd, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Finally saved up for my first pair of DM’s! My style has always been putting contradicting looks together (and normally works-I hope!)
    I’ve saved up £70 pounds and cant wait for them. I’ve got a gig Im going to in february and Im getting navy ones as they can go with anything and I plan to wear a fair isle skirt and David Bowie top (and I know who he is!)
    Glad to see doc’s are being recognised as style!

  34. 34
    December 26th, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    My boyfriend got me my first pair for xmas! I love them so far! But is it just me or do they make your foot look bigger?? I only wear a 8 1/2..but those are a 8 and they look like a 10 lmao maybe thats just me?

  35. 35
    April 28th, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    have been debating buying a pair of Docs for the longest time! but as some people said above, I think only skinny girls can pull them off. :’\ I’m not necessarily “fat”. I’d say my legs are.. I guess I’d say thick to muscly. The only reason I think I might have the smallest possibility of pulling them off is because I’m pretty tall. from what I’ve heard, boots work with tall legs..

    anyways, I really do want to buy a pair though. but to spend over 100 bucks on something that might end up not looking good on me and that I’d end up wearing only a few times, I’d beat myself up and its not even my money thats going to buy it! I guess I’ll have to battle it out between myself for a little while longer..

  36. 36
    August 24th, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    omg i <3 fashion but i have pink doc martin shoes but i was thinking about wearing them with black leggings, a zebra print skirt, and a pink vest…. but im not to sure wut color shirt to wear…… @_@

  37. 37
    August 16th, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Any one thought if they have two pairs of docs with same pattern of wearin them odd so I wear mine one pink and one blueberry and I love the looks I get

  38. 38
    November 11th, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    I have a pair of white ones and a pair of red ones, I wear black skinnies, a plain white t-shirt and a hat with one red shoe and one white :D it may not be for every one but i adore mine!

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