By Jess Beech
Affectionately referred to as Docs and DMs, Dr. Martens have been a style staple since the 60s. And although the brand might have branched out into sandals and shoes over the decades, it’s always the iconic boot that springs to mind when picturing Doc Martens outfits.
Just as Levi’s often tops lists of the best jeans, Dr. Marten’s always come up trumps when it comes to top-tier boots. Easy to spot thanks to their distinctive track sole and signature yellow tab, they’re not only enduringly cool but incredibly durable too. Making a pair of Doc Martens a worthwhile investment.
Most might use the phrase ‘nothing worth having comes easy’ to describe relationships or career moves, but it also sums up the experience of wearing in a box-fresh pair of DMs. Originally designed as a work boot, Dr. Martens are still made from the same sturdy leather today, and that takes some getting used to. We’d recommend short walks and chunky socks for your first few wears until the leather starts to soften. Once you’ve broken through the blister barrier, they’re easily among the comfiest footwear around, so it pays to persevere.
Now you’re standing comfortably, we'll show you how to put together stylish Doc Martens outfits, plus fill you in on the best styles to invest in now. So, whether you’re looking to breathe new life into an old pair gathering dust in the wardrobe or are gearing up to take your new pair for a spin, we’ve got your next look covered.
Doc Martens outfits inspired by street style
How to wear Dr. Martens with... your prettiest dress
Make flouncy, hyper-feminine frocks more wearable for every day by using Doc Martens to give them an edge. The flat sole means they’re far more practical than teetering around in heels too. While Dr. Martens can be paired with pretty dresses of all styles and lengths, bear in mind that the shorter the hemline, the more of your boots you’ll see. Mini’s and midi’s will really show them off, while maxi’s offer just a hint.
How to wear Dr. Martens with... your favorite denim
Another capsule wardrobe staple, weekends are rarely complete without an appearance from your trusty jeans. Although DMs will go with all types of jeans, we’d recommend bootleg, flared, or wide cuts for easy layering. If you are loyal to your skinnies, no problem, just tuck the hems into socks and wear your boots over the top. Black and indigo tones will coordinate best with the classic black boots, while pale washes and white jeans will create a cool contrast.
How to wear Dr. Martens with... your fanciest pieces
Those luxe, occasion pieces that you can never quite justify wearing? We’ve all got at least one sitting pretty in our wardrobes. For a fresh new take, try teaming previously kept-for-best items like silky slip dresses, cashmere camel coats, and velvet trousers with DMs. The boots' utility shape will instantly make them feel more casual, opening up a whole new avenue of outfit possibilities.
How to wear Dr. Martens with... your warmest coat
As we’ve already mentioned, one of the biggest selling points of Doc Martens outfits is the practicality they bring. The durable sole is tough to be worn on pretty much all terrains and in all weathers, while the buttery soft leather outer will keep your toes toasty during the winter months. It makes sense, then, to wear with your best winter coats, whether you favor a snuggly parka or a more structured style.
Dr. Martens: Our fashion team’s top picks
Now you’ve been inspired by our Doc Martens outfits, you might just want to invest in a brand new pair. And there are plenty of variations on this classic to choose between. Will you opt for timeless black and white or mix it up with a limited edition pattern? Do you prefer smooth leather, or is high-shine patent more your thing? The number of holes your boots have will dictate how high they sit on your leg, so bear that in mind – especially if you’re petite. A stacked platform sole will add extra height, too.
Dr. Martens 2976 Smooth Leather Chelsea Boots
More pared back than the lace-ups, this pull-on pair have been iconic since the 70s.
Dr. Martens Jadon Patent Leather Platform Boots
Boots with plenty of personality, this towering pair boast a stacked sole and glossy patent finish.
Dr. Martens 1460 Pascal Floral Leather Ankle Boots
Proof that DMs can, in fact, be pretty in their own right, we love this pansy-printed pair. The grained leather adds to the grunge feel.
Dr. Martens Vegan 1460 Ankle Boots
Not keen on wearing leather? No problem. These look just like the real deal.
Dr. Martens 1490 Virginia Leather High Boots
The 10-eye is something of a Docs classic, and we can guarantee you'll be wearing these for years to come. The soft, flexible leather makes them easier to wear in too.
Dr. Martens 1460 Serena Faux Fur Lined Ankle Boots
A cold-weather favorite, Dr. Martens, has added an even tougher sole and faux fur lining for extra protection against the elements.
Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is currently Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC.
She caught the magazine bug during a stint as Fashion Editor of her university newspaper alongside her English degree, and hasn’t looked back since. As for the fashion bug, that came as part and parcel of growing up in the 90s, but the less said about that the better!
Jess’ average day in the office is spent researching the latest fashion trends, chatting to industry tastemakers and scouring the internet to bring you this season’s must-buy pieces - as well as advice on how to wear them. Weekends are equally fashion-focused, and Jess has been known to visit no less than five Zara stores in a single day in search of the perfect occasion dress.
The only thing that comes close to a buzz of finally tracking down that much-coveted dress is the joy of discovering a new beauty wonder product or hero ingredient. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.
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