During the 90s, I felt stuck as a teenager growing up in a typical suburb outside of Los Angeles. I would have given anything to go to a grunge show at The Whiskey with my big brother or skip high school all together and go straight to the neighboring Cal Arts, the out-of-place art school that educated Tim Burton. But being underage and a kid of MTV circa Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, I did what most teens in the suburbs do. I used fashion to make a statement about the person I would be … if I wasn’t a teen stuck in the ’burbs. For some it was flannel shirts, for others it was cut-off jean shorts. But for me, it was my pair of black Doc Marten boots and my seven sets of colored laces.
My obsession with Doc Martens was gradual. I saw the new wave teens wearing them on my first trip to England; Dolores of the Cranberries was wearing them on the cover of To the Faithful Departed album cover; and Angela Chase of My So-Called life had a maroon pair that she wore in every episode. I just loved them in all forms.
Wearing Doc Martens at my school (where they filmed the teen angst, Christian Slater movie Pump Up the Volume) was a statement. We were all just trying to be a little different. All my girlfriends had a pair ranging from neon-pink to flower print, but I was content with my classic black and interchangeable laces.
Looking back, my obsession with my combat-looking, clunky boots seems ridiculous, but back then they were apart of my identity. I wish I’d kept them because a statement shoe like that will definitely make a comeback. And when they do, I’ll buy a another pair of black Doc Marten boots and seven sets of colored laces.
Next in The Trends Back Then series: The Best Jeans? Take a Guess
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Photo courtesy of zigwamp (cc)