All About Dr. Martens

Dr. Martens History

British footwear Dr. Martens have a air-cushioned sole called “Bouncing Soles” which makes a well broken in pair so comfortable to walk in and possible to run in an emergency.  Although this brand is highly popular in British culture they have also found their way around the world to many feet and hearts.  Dr. Martens became a staple originally with the skinhead culture in the 1960s.  This brand of boot went on to becoming embraced by punks and goths in the 1980’s and then by the grunge fashion scene. Other youth subcultures in the early nineties emerged flaunting Dr. Martens.

The impression I got from this style was “I don’t need to blend in with mainstream styles, I enjoy being different.” 

Photo by Komadori Potography in Halo Studio Lounge
Artwork by Hayley Moran

What makes me happy? Leather and Lace! These black Docs work perfectly for this sultry winter look.

I knew the boot originated as part of a subculture which already attracted me.  They represent the part of me that is a little rebellious. 

Dr. Martens Versatility

Currently I own 3 pairs of Dr. Martens but I remember the day I paid for my very first pair about 15 years ago….. Apache and I were hanging out in Greenwich Village in NYC. I knew I needed a boot that I could actually walk in, that would look cute with a dress or jeans.  We walked into this store where I saw a tall, black army boot (Dr. Martens) and my heart just melted- I knew instantly this boot and I were meant for one another!!!  Immediately I remembered my inspiration as a child sitting in my living room watching “Little House On the Prairie” and seeing little girls in dresses running in dirt with lace up army type boots.  I knew one day I would have a pair and also have complete freedom even if I chose to wear a dress.

Feeling fabulous hiking Crowders Mountain State Park in my white Docs in the Fall.

 My feet can barely tolerate heels these days. I probably can count on one hand how many times a year I wear them.   I tend to be more of a boot or sneaker kind of girl.  Developing my style around my comfort looks sexy and feels empowering!

Dr. Martens are so versatile, they can handle a variety of different types of looks as you can see in these photos.  I dress according to my mood so i need lots of flexibility.  Fortunately, you can rock these bad boys with shorts, a dress, jeans, leggings or whatever and put together an original look. Dr. Martens also carry a line of vegan boots and shoes.

Why not pair a prom dress with some Dr. Martens? Demonstrating how versatile this boot can be.

Dr Martens are my prize possession because they keep me ready for anything!  I literally can go from hiking in the mountains to a night out dancing in these boots.  

Dr. Martens Styling Inspo

Photography by Komadori Photography
Pairing black Docs with some RP styles

Dr. Martens provide shoes and boots in a slew of shapes and designs so you can really personalize your look.  Style diversity is important to me and the Dr. Martens give me a lot of leeway for showing that. 

I found that I can pretty much pair my white Dr. Martens with almost anything.  Let me show you….

Here i used a white tank top and socks that have white on them to pull the outfit together with the white Dr. Martens boot but it is not always necessary. This outfit was for a glow-in-the-dark themed House Party!

Dr. Martens age well honey!  It seems the older they get the better they look and the more broken in they are the better they feel in my opinion. Quality over quantity wins in life and also as it applies to footwear.   Give me a worn in pair of Dr. Martens over a pair of cheap heels any day!

A Spring look. These are the first pair of Dr. Martens I ever bought. I purchased these boots about 15 years ago and they are my most comfortable.

A Summer look. The option to wear a flat boot instead of a heel with a dress has been such a gift! Dr. Martens style can be worn all year long!

A Fall Look. Dr. Martens meet casual high fashion!

Another Fall look… leather and lace is always a yes for me and I am not sacrificing my comfort for a hot feminine look

I think Fall is my favorite season for fashion! Here I get to pair these burgundy Dr. Martens with plaid pants and a thifted suede vest– so much fun!

Winter look. Black is my favorite color to wear in the winter and these black Docs have weathered many storms over the years.

How to care for Dr Martens

How do I care for my Dr. Martens? 

These boots are very easy to maintain and they can endure a lot.  Personally I clean and polish my boots once or twice a year depending on how they are looking or the style I am creating.

 If you want to rock a more laid back, distressed look enjoy wearing your boots often, break them in well and don’t bother primping.   You can also clean and polish them as often as you like depending on how polished a look you want to present.   I went to the shoe store and purchased a container of Meltonian Saddle Soap which cleans all smooth leathers.  Saddle soap removes embedded dirt, shines and softens the leather.  

Dr. Martens also work well with leggings

1) First I use an old clean rag or a stiff brush to brush off excess dirt from boot/shoe. 

2) Use a clean end of the cloth or a sponge and dampen it with water, squeeze out excess water and then rub onto saddle soap until a rich lather is produced.  

3) Rub lathered cloth/sponge well into entire surface of boot/shoe to remove embedded dirt.  Repeat as needed.

4) Remove excess lather with a clean, damp sponge or cloth.

5) Rub boot/shoe well using a clean, dry, lint free cloth to produce a shine!

Photography by Komadori Photography
Dr. Martens look great with a RP top hat and bustle.

Next… if you would like to freshen and even out the color of your boot /shoe then use a shoe polish that is the same color.  I enjoy using the shoe polish after cleaning because it makes the boot/shoe look brand new.  I purchased a small can of KIWI shoe polish in the same color of my boot.  The nice thing about purchasing from a shoe store is that if you are unsure of which color will match your boot or shoe the closest they can definitely help you figure that out.  If the color of your boot/shoe is not black or white you should bring them into the shoe store with you so you can be as accurate as possible in choosing the color.   To apply your shoe polish ….

1) Apply polish using a clean dry cloth or polish applicator.  Rub polish in a circular motion into leather completely until you see full, even color.

2)  Allow boot/shoe to dry.

3) Buff your boot/shoe to a gloss with a soft, dry cloth.

4) For extra shine you can apply another coat of polish, sprinkle with a little water and then buff again with a clean soft cloth.

Photography by Komadori Photography in Haylo Studio Lounge
Pairing Docs with shorts work for me. Artwork by Hayley Moran

How to stretch Dr. Martens

Some Dr. Martens will have stiff leather to begin with becoming more flexible and comfortable with wear over time. I noticed that my white ankle Docs were tougher to break into than the calf length boot.

Some style inspo fo ya!

My right foot has a bunion and is bigger than the left (blank stare). Subsequently, in order to relieve the pressure, I stretched out my right boot (White ankle Dr. Martens) by:

  1. Soaking two washcloths through with warm water
  2. Squeezing out excess water
  3. Stuffing the wet balled up washcloths tightly into the front of the shoe. Let the washcloths dry in the boot until ready to wear them again.
  4. I repeated this process twice before they felt comfortable for me.
Nothing screams freedom like a pair of white ankle Dr. Martens with a cute short black dress- of course i exaggerate a little bit. But yeah, heels be gone!

Ultimately Dr. Martens can compliment a wide array of looks and the more creative you are the more you can personalize the style.  Personal style should reflect who YOU are.  Choose a pair of Dr. Martens that call to you, then just play around with pairing different items of clothing until you see which outfits feel right. Inspiration is everywhere so keep your eyes open for it. 

I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

Most of all just make sure to have fun. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous and keep your look YOU because that is where the sweet spot is!

If you enjoyed this blog you may also like these for more style inspiration ….

Easy Outfit Ideas for CouplesWhy Wear Upcycled Couture Fashion ,  My First Fall Fashion Blog 

“You have to be unique and different and shine in your own way” -Lady GaGa

Written By: Nikia Knapp , Editing By: Craig Greshaw


My First Fall Fashion Blog!

Feeling fabulous in my new Pikolinos boots! (Praise hands)

Excitement galore! This is my very first fashion blog which also happens to be Fall oriented! 

Sometimes style can be a form of self expression for me.  I am also a mood dresser.   My colors and style vary with the day depending on if I’m feeling excited, brave, sexy, tired or solemn- just the truth. 

For my introductory Fall fashion blog I want to share some of my basic ideas about style. 

First, confidence can make or break most looks. Secondly, I think it’s really cool to pair old items with new ones. Tying in older clothing pieces with new ones can turn a trendy looking outfit into a creative looking one!  I begin to see the older piece of clothing/jewelry in a new light.  Shopping vintage, goodwill and going through my older items I find treasures to pair with newer fashion items to help create my personal style.  Lastly, in general I’m very attracted to clothing that looks like a piece of art work.  When I find a piece that looks like art or that i find very unique, it will stay close to my heart, be re-used for many years to come, and I may invest (out of my budget) if I can.

In my opinion, artful pieces are not trendy so they never go out of style.  In addition, Apache has been very helpful over the years sometimes finding amazing items for me that I may overlook initially.  We make a great team!

All that being said, it’s been a long and lovely summer and I am super ready to rock some Fall fashion! One of my favorite Fall colors is ochre, it’s so rich and I think it looks really great on all skin tones! This color does something for picking me up and making me feel beautiful.

Confidence is all in our heads

Looking good on the outside is an inside job.

Some people dress down because that’s how they feel about themselves or they are just not confident enough to wear what they truly like. Others just enjoy dressing down which is cool as well- i do too sometimes. Confidence or lack thereof is what could make a very casual outfit look like more than it is or not. Really it’s not about the outfit but more about what a person feels about themselves that others will see.

Nobody knows what’s going on inside of your head. Although, we can give away clues by our posture, the projection of our voices and also facial expressions. All of this begins with what’s going on inside of our heads. Check your thoughts.

The insecurities that we may choose to believe in is not who we are. The negative self talk does not make those thoughts factual. Negative self talk is just something we decide to take on as a self defeating belief system. Although this will take practice, guess what, we are allowed to change our minds!

A little confidence can go a long way! But, if you can’t find a little, fake it until you make it! Act as if until it becomes true for you!

At times i have to work on changing my mind. I have been guilty of this type of self abuse and therefore spent many years preventing myself from enjoying great experiences and joy. If you start changing the words you tell yourself, you will begin to project out more good feeling and self confidence. Try it out! Walk tall, know you are God’s beautiful, unique creation and tell yourself that your awesome just the way you are. I guarantee that whatever you wear will look a lot better when you embrace self love.

Fall Fashion- Pairing the New with the Old

Shopping for new Fall fashion items

Obviously the color attracted me first but upon laying my hands on the stretchy fabric of this dress I knew we would be one! 

The stretch in this dress is crazy ladies; and as much as my weight has fluctuated since I bought it a year ago from Urban Outfitters, it’s been a great gift.   When I bought this dress in Urban Outfitters I was just happy it stretched nicely across my then wide muscular back and today I am happy it flows loosely around the waistline- no bulge showing here!  As women our bodies tend to go through so many changes so i love an outfit that can adjust accordingly. When I turn this baby around there is this plunging crisscross back- a unique twist, yes it’s one of my fall favorites!

My Pikolinos ankle boots are so dope-says me!

The burnt sienna color opaque tights I got from Target. There is a special place in my heart for Fall colors!  I have quite a few pieces that I can pair these tights up with for a cozy feeling so they made a perfect purchase. 

Trying my burnt sienna color stockings and Pikolonos boots with a different outfit!

I couldn’t say too much about my new favorite footwear brand Pikolinos – LOVE!  They save my feet with ultimate comfort and style.  I can rock these leather boots and walk all day long like I did in Asheville, NC boutique and gallery crawling without a problem.  At 41, I am so over being uncomfortable in an effort to look cute.  The outfit must be functional or i can’t be bothered.

I wish I had learned the lesson in my thirties that being uncomfortable aint cute!  My fellow sisters, we need the full package so we can feel our best.  I love these brown ankle boots because I can wear them with a dress or jeans and Fall thru Spring easily!  Pikolinos produce quality leather shoe craftsmanship. So although these boots are expensive they were worth every dime for me.  Also, I purchased another pair when they were on sale in Delaware for 50% off so keep an eye out for those deals and save. 

Shopping for something old

Now, on to my oldest piece- I found this vintage men’s blazer in a thrift shop probably 8 years ago. It’s a timeless piece that adds class, a pinch of androgyny (which I love) and angle to an otherwise very girly look. I knew I could wear this jacket every year because it was classic as opposed to trendy. I also noticed this gem was 100% pure wool- another investment. This blazer kept me oh so warm in my ochre colored dress – jackpot!!! Make sure to raid the vintage and thrift shops, I didn’t pay more than $8 for this jacket. 

Fall Fashion Colors -adding artful accessories

The earrings I bought at the LEAF festival up in Black Mountain from a Native American craft maker.  They were $35 but I felt they were so beautiful and could dress up most outfits.  They paired well with this outfit because the colors were in the same family as my outfit including yellow and orange.  The color of rust is a mix of red-orange-brown and so I pulled in the same colors with this blazer.  The pop of blue in the earring and in my hair was minimal enough to just add a spark of surprise to the color scheme.  The other statement piece of jewelry worn is my wide gem bracelet which was a gift from my other Mom.  This bracelet speaks for itself as far as color choice.

I would say don’t be afraid to try adding a bold statement piece to your outfit if it makes you feel great. Your outfit should make you feel like the best version of yourself. Create how you always wanted to see yourself. Make sure to have fun experimenting with looks you want to wear but are just doubtful to rock- you may get a pleasant surprise. 

Congratulations to me on my very first Fall fashion blog!!!  This was fun! Please let me know if you enjoy this type of blog and wanna see more!

By Nikia Knapp  

If you enjoyed this blog you may also enjoy…

My Fashion Coming Out Party , What To Wear with Dr. Martens  and  Reinvent Your Look – Fashion Upcycled Couture !