This week I did something I haven’t done since I was 17: I bought a new pair of Dr Martens. My interest in wearing them in about 1994 came about as it does for many: through music. Mine was a route that went via a dabbling with grunge to a full-on obsession with the suedehead-influenced style of Blur during the band’s Modern Life Is Rubbish album (a sartorial choice that meant I was refused entry to Harrods because of my attire – my most anarchic moment!).
I loved that look of turned up slim-fit jeans with lace-up boots; a style I still employ most days of the week, arguably more successfully now that skinny jeans are so easy to come by. I was far too vain to actually cut my hair, mind you.
There aren’t many trends (Fred Perry shirts perhaps being the only other example) that transcend so many British style tribes. Dr Martens have been worn by pretty much everyone since they were introduced to the UK in 1960 – from mods to punks to goths – and there are even pictures of policemen breaking up fights with skinheads on Brighton beach in the eighties where both sides are wearing their trusty DMs.
The brand itself has had something of a revamp in recent years. The genius decision to make Agyness Deyn its poster girl and collaborator, combined with having stylish fans such as Alexa Chung and Gwen Stefani, has put Dr Martens firmly back on the fashion radar.
There are so many options available – patent pink, matt grey, Liberty floral prints, paint spattered – whatever floats your boat, you’re bound to find something. It’s hard to beat those classic rusty coloured boots, but I’m delighted with my new brogues (with proper Harris Tweed, no less!). Besides, I didn’t need to buy new cherry reds. They’re so well made that my first pair are still going strong.