If you’re serving in the United States Army, you’re likely styling your Army Green Service Uniform (AGSU) with brown leather combat boots. If you’re not a military soldier, your combat boot styling choices aren’t so clear cut; there’s an infinite number of possibilities to consider. You can style combat boots with almost any outfit. Perhaps you’re wondering where you should even start.
You probably expect to see combat boots paired with biker jackets or jeans, but you have many options beyond those dependable combinations. You can experiment with styling your combat boots to go with any garments you already have in your closet or any items you’re considering buying new this season.
Besides basic jeans and T-shirts, try wearing them with shorts, pants, dresses, jackets, long coats, and skirts of every length. If you need more specific styling ideas, have a look at some combat boot outfits fashion influencers are wearing right now.
Need evidence that you can wear classic Doc Martens no matter your personal style? Check out this easy, elegant outfit designed with sumptuous velvet fabrics and classic silhouettes. This ensemble demonstrates that you don’t need to be a tough punk rocker or a battle-hardened soldier to successfully incorporate combat boots into your everyday wardrobe. To achieve this look, layer a long velvet blazer over a velvet button-up shirt. Secure a pair of black jeans with a black leather belt, and choose a pair of Dr. Martens or similar combat boots as your footwear.
For many people, sneakers are the default footwear choice when wearing athleisure clothing. That combination gives you a casual, dressed-down look. What if you want to make the look more sophisticated without sacrificing comfort? Combat boots can give your athleisure separates a bit more attitude while also looking somewhat dressier. You can make your athleisure look even more chic if you exchange the usual T-shirt for a form-fitting turtleneck. Layer it under a baseball jacket and add your favorite aviator-style sunglasses plus combat boots for the perfect relaxed, comfortable, up-to-date out-and-about ensemble.
Glamorous probably isn’t the first adjective that comes to mind when you think of combat boots, but it is possible to incorporate them into some incredibly glamorous looks. For example, you can pair combat boots with shimmery silver pants, a long pink coat, a pink turtleneck, and a pair of sunglasses with bold pink frames.
A babydoll dress is the ideal garment to reach for when aiming for a flirty, sassy look and a fit that allows unrestricted movement. This example has flutter sleeves and a collar that enables the addition of one of this season’s hottest accessory trends: the necktie. Lace-up combat boots, dangly heart earrings, and bright red sunglasses complete this look that fashion journalist Agus Pedano sports above, but you might want to choose different accessories for yourself. Wouldn’t it be fun to finish off this type of look with a fedora or bowler hat?
Combat boots and miniskirts were a couple of iconic fashion trends of the late 1960s. If you’re into shopping at thrift stores and secondary market websites, you can still sometimes find colorful printed vintage 1960s miniskirts to wear with your combat boots. Some contemporary brands offer clothing inspired by the retro ’60s aesthetic, as demonstrated here by model and presenter Isabella Charlotta Poppius wearing a colorful miniskirt and cropped top. Poppius accessorizes her colorful attire with basic combat boots and a dazzling metallic blue handbag.
Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel influenced fashion history with her tweedy, nubby skirt suit designs. When you envision the classic Chanel suit, you probably picture it worn with Chanel’s signature two-tone shoes, high-heeled pumps, or slingback shoes. While those looks remain stylish and lovely in 2023, they aren’t your only possibilities for accessorizing a Chanel-style skirt suit. A pair of combat boots give you a more comfortable footwear option. The combat boots also present an edgier attitude. If Coco could see this combination, we’re positive she’d approve.
Pinstriped suits have historically been a staple of bankers’ wardrobes and were also a favorite of American gangster Al Capone. Nowadays, pinstripes are evolving, and they aren’t just for suit fabric anymore. Pinstriped fabrics are popping up in separates like pants, skirts, shorts, vests, and tops that can be worn together or styled in other ways. Wearing pinstriped pieces with combat boots is one way to differentiate them from office wear. You can team up pinstriped bottoms with a casual gray top, a black jacket, combat boots, and cool shades for a fabulous weekend look.
You can style a button-up shirt with wide-legged pants for an on-trend look this season — but beware. Pairing up basic separates like these can get boring if you fail to incorporate interesting details into your ensemble. Combat boots are one element that can keep the yawns from onlookers at bay; this footwear choice takes the look in a less conservative, slightly more provocative direction.
Like combat boots, cargo pants originated as functional apparel for soldiers. Some World War II-era British battledress included trousers with one thigh pocket and one hip pocket for holding battlefield essentials. Although there’s no longer any need to carry field dressings like soldiers would, it’s logical to style your combat boots with cargo pants. Nowadays, it would make more sense to carry your phone and hand sanitizer in those pockets and to update your combat boots with on-trend pieces like a tailored vest, long coat, and tote bag.
Some of 2023’s top fashion trends are flared jeans and colored denim. It can be tricky to select footwear that looks amazing with the latest flared jeans for a couple of reasons. Wide legs compete for attention with the shoes, so the footwear you choose must harmonize with the flares rather than work against them. Furthermore, wide pants can engulf and partially hide your shoes; some shoes look silly peeking out from under flared legs. Combat boots like Dr. Martens offer an ideal solution to both problems, as their classic silhouette enhances flared legs.
Do you remember the fashion adage that says you should never wear horizontal stripes because they make you look bigger? It’s an outdated fashion rule that’s made to be broken, and here we have an example showing exactly why you’d want to dispense with this old, tired directive. Bold horizontal stripes look daring and fabulous when rendered in luxurious satin, and they pair beautifully with high-attitude combat boots, a midriff-baring top, and a trendy quilted shacket.
In the 1980s, fashion influencers like Oprah Winfrey, Princess Diana of Wales, and “Dynasty” star Joan Collins wore power jackets with substantial padded shoulders. The fashion cycle has once again brought oversized ’80s-style jackets back on trend. The latest twist on this look: Celebrities including Elizabeth Olsen, Kaia Gerber, Reese Witherspoon, Karrueche Tran, and Rita Ora have been omitting the bottoms on their power suits and wearing their blazers like mini dresses. Tall, studded combat boots give you a surprising way to perk up a blazer minidress and keep the ’80s style trend current for 2023.
There’s nothing surprising about pairing black combat boots with a classic black leather jacket. If you’re going to wear these items together, it can be fun to take an unexpected approach while putting the rest of your outfit together. For example, you can make an interesting fashion statement by choosing to wear flapper-style clothing and accessories evocative of the 1920s, like a cloche hat and a retro dress. Intriguing details like these make an otherwise predictable combination look imaginative and unique.
Combat boots don’t have to look edgy, rebellious, or subversive. Model Sara Grace Wallerstedt paired combat boots with unadorned high-waisted jeans, a T-shirt, and a trench coat, resulting in a casual, comfortable look. This is an idea to copy if you want to wear combat boots in a way that isn’t likely to shock anybody.
A denim maxi skirt and matching jacket are tricky to accessorize because they’re super casual, yet some would argue they’re a bit too dressy to wear with sneakers. Combat boots are the ideal footwear to reach for in situations like these when sneakers would be too casual, yet you’re hoping to wear comfortable, informal shoes.
Combat boots will easily add an edge to your winter outfits. You can wear them with a long studded coat; the combination will make plain off-white jeans and a printed top appear bolder and more charismatic. You can add even more personality to the look by styling this outfit with an intricate pendant necklace and a chic shoulder bag with a chain strap.
There’s a failsafe recipe you can rely on for styling a wearable combat boots outfit: Start with a black and white printed dress, top it off with a black leather jacket, add jewelry, and put on your combat boots. Possible variations abound. Your dress doesn’t have to be black and white; your jacket doesn’t have to be black or leather, and you can skip the jewelry. You can actually adapt any element in the recipe as desired.
You know how birthday cake can taste too icky sweet? Lacy looks can be like that, too. Combat boots make an outstanding antidote when your outfit is in danger of looking too sugarcoated. You can counterbalance the frou-frou elements of your lace ensemble with the subversive aura Dr. Martens provide. Conversely, lace can be your secret weapon for beautifying rough-and-tough combat boots in situations where you don’t want to look like you’re headed to Fort Benning for basic training.
Above, we see actress Alice Hewkin wearing shiny black platform combat boots peeking out from underneath an elegant satin ensemble. This is a smart footwear choice considering the expected alternatives, like high-heeled sandals, would be considerably less comfortable. This look works because the sheen on the boots echoes the lustrous finish on Hewkin’s clothing, and the platform soles on the boots lend height and provide a casual feel. You can save your own feet from high-heeled torture by choosing a pair of combat boots with a shiny surface and pairing them with a similar long satin ensemble.
Model Alizee Gamberini offers inspiration for styling combat boots with an all-black ensemble. Gamberini chose a cropped top, oversized jacket, textured skirt, and black tights to complement her classic black combat boots. This look works well because the different textures in these pieces contrast with each other enough to be interesting, but they also enhance each other.
While combat boots are ideal for fall and winter, you could also wear them in the spring and summer if you style them with summer-appropriate fabrics and silhouettes. They look fantastic with black flare jeans and a cropped denim vest. When the weather in your neighborhood is sweltering hot, you could swap out the jeans for shorts or a miniskirt. Grab a pair of sunglasses, and you’re good to go.
Influential fashion director and stylist Denisa Palsha shows off a fun, flamboyant way to style high-heeled combat boots. She rocks them with dazzling silver sequin pants, a black designer bralette, a houndstooth jacket with puffed sleeves, a chunky choker necklace, and a sizable helping of attitude. If you’d rather not bare that much skin, you could layer a pretty top over the bralette for a look that’s more modest but still exciting.
Bright, eye-catching colors such as hot pink, yellow, and cobalt blue are trendy in 2023. If you decide to get in on the vibrant color trend, one approach is to choose printed garments that combine several of these colors. You can anchor this sort of colorful look with calmer black accessories like shiny black high-heeled combat boots and black sunglasses.
A plaid scarf is a cold-weather fundamental that can look dressy and formal enough to wear to the office; it could also look more casual if you style it with jeans, khakis, or overalls. When you don’t want to appear overdressed but still want to look sharp enough that people will take you seriously, try pairing your plaid scarf with a long coat, jeans, and combat boots.
You’ve no doubt seen people wearing puffer jackets around. Lately, designers like Louis Vuitton and Conni Kaminski have also offered similar companion pieces, including quilted, padded, and puffer skirts. Even mass-market retailers have been stocking affordable variations of this style, making it broadly available for anyone who wants to get in on the look. And the good news is combat boots tend to make a fantastic complement to these richly textured skirts. You can style an all-black outfit with pieces like tights, a scarf, a jacket, and a turtleneck. It’s also possible to find colorful puffer skirts in hues such as yellow and blue. Model and influencer Chloe Lecareux has paired her combat boots and leather jacket with a long, trendy slit skirt embellished with buckles and eyelets. Although a biker jacket plus combat boots is a predictable combination, the interesting skirt design helps to take this pairing in a fresh, novel direction. If you emulate this look, you can personalize it further by choosing a necklace and other jewelry that characterizes your exceptional sense of style.
Could you wear combat boots with a preppy school uniform or an outfit that resembles one? Yes, yes, you could. Start with a sleek black turtleneck. Throw on a pleated plaid skirt and matching coat. Add a chunky gold necklace if desired. Another option would be to replace the skirt with a pinafore and top off the ensemble with a matching preppy jacket. Instead of the expected loafers or high-heeled pumps, complete the look with tall lace-up combat boots.