Get your creep on. Release your inner far-from-orthodox, ‘nobody understands me’ teen… Become a new romantic. Not the dinner-by-candlelight type. Stand up for renegade and hang round Camden markets. Why don’t you dye your hair blue while you’re at it? Actually, maybe multi-coloured? Much more avant-garde. One thing is certain: whether they’re made by Prada or Underground and sold at Topshop, your mother will frown and think they’re weird.
Creepers. I never thought they would grow on me, but last week I bought a pair by Underground from Topshop and well, what a shoe.
Traditionally the original Underground creepers were worn by new wavers, new romantics and Goths in Camden, North London. They’re kind of like the love child of punk and rock n roll, inspired by and founded during the aftermath of punk.
…their crepe-soled boot became known as ‘’brother creepers’…
The extra thick, corrugated rubber platform on the Underground creepers is what makes the shoe unique. Before Underground designed their first creeper, this particular style of shoe made from suede with a hard-wearing crepe (rubber) sole was designed for soldiers following World War II, who were based in the deserts of North Africa and needed a suitable boot to cope with the harsh climates of the North African dessert. Some of these ex-soldiers were spotted in the nightspots of London where their crepe-soled boot became known as ‘’brother creepers’’.
In 2011, artists such as Rihanna and Rita Ora were seen wearing pairs by Underground England and due to the resurgence of grunge culture, even luxurious fashion labels such as Prada have designed pairs.
How to wear creepers
You don’t have to wear an outfit dripping with street style to pull off creepers or the grunge look. Although originally associated with Goths and punks, you outfit needn’t be black head-to-toe to make a statement. They look cute paired with a skirt and a shirt. Buy some ribbon from a market stall and tie it round the neck of the shirt to create a bow in the colour of your chosen creepers. Throw on an oversized cardigan, some woollen tights and wear with a blasé attitude.
Try them with skinny jeans or velvet leggings and an oversized shirt and jumper. Costume jewellery with complete the look so opt for an oversized gold look chain. American Apparel sell velvet leggings in various colours for £37 and you can find oversized jumpers in most charity shops or vintage market stall.
Your outfits are limitless as the creeper is a multi-tasking shoe that looks great with anything.
Where to buy
Topshop sell some Creepers by Underground for £95.00 in a variety of colours. With a student card you can also get 10% off. Topshop also give you a choice of patent creepers rather than the usual suede material. Word of warning: buff until they shine.
If you can’t afford to invest in a sturdy pair by Underground, you can buy some fake creepers from ebay which come in all different colours and start from as little as £14.99 excluding post and packaging prices. The shoe looks exactly the same except the upper material is synthetic rather than suede and so they won’t be as durable as the original ones made of suede. Nonetheless unless you told nobody would know. Go on, your secrets safe with me.