Creepers, also known as a Brothel Creepers, originated after World War II. During the desert war British troops wore suede boots with improvised rubber soles in order to better navigate the climate. The rubber was scavenged, usually from old tires but was soon commercialised in Africa. Soldiers could buy the thicker soled boots to wear in their spare time also. The term “Brothel” spurned due to the shoe’s reputation being seen in and around the darker parts of Kings Cross and Soho by returned soldiers. Creepers soon made their subcultural début when they were appropriated into the classic Teddy Boy style of the 50s. After that came Punks donning creepers, Rockabilly’s and now they’re beloved by millions worldwide.
The Traditional Creeper
The traditional Teddy Boy Creeper came in one main style which included crepe rubber soles, D Rings, quilted or interlaced front toe and the classic suede or leathers. While there was much less diversity – you wouldn’t have seen Teddy Boys rocking a double, triple or wedge platform – they did come in a vast array of colours.
Brothel Creepers Style Tips
The Creeper creates a unique shape that minimises the ankle and elongates the leg. The simplest way to rock a creeper for a die-hard worn-in look is to match it with tighter fitting bottoms – stockings, leggings or skinny jeans.
Take advantage of the masses of styles seen today – leopard, patent, wedged, etc – but at the same time unless you’re already super confident in wearing platforms you might want to start with the classic single sole.
When rocking your oversized jeans with them it’s easy to add a few sizes onto your belt because the Creepers make your feet seem larger and the oversized jeans attest to that. If you want to go for an oversize bottom try showing a little bit of ankle by cuffing the hem or wearing a cropped version. It will balance out your proportions and remove that heavy-on-the-bottom look.
Are you creeper fan? Let us know what you pair with your trusty creepers in the comments below! Don’t forget your expert tips for styling them too!