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Uggs seem to be popping into conversation left and right these days. A couple weeks ago, my sister had a movie night at her pad and people were discussing Uggs and how there isn’t anything else out there that is nearly as comfortable or warm on a cold winter’s day. That yes, they may be ugly but it’s okay since they are popular and so comfy.
My current Facebook status is that I, “[think] Uggs should only be worn as slippers and [do] not want a free pair shipped to [me] so please stop sending the group invites. Sorry folks, Uggs are NOT stylish, they are NOT cool. Yes, they are comfy but they are not proper footwear for out of the home. XOXO.”
I cannot believe how many responses I have received on this status.
I hate to tell you ladies this, but Ugg boots are not proper footwear. Yes, they are all cozy and comfy and keep your tootsies toasty warm. But they are tacky, they are ugly and their original purpose is all they should be worn for – to be slippers.
I blame Paris Hilton, who started the look over a decade ago with her tattered denim minis and baby tees. But even so, Paris wouldn’t be caught dead these days in a pair of Uggs and neither should you. Uggs are tacky, they are ugly, they are passé. No woman with style would dare step foot out of her house in a pair of Uggs (inside your house is a completely different matter).
If You Love Uggs Because they are Boots:
After that Ugg boot conversation on Movie Night, my friend asked me to help her find a worthy alternative to Uggs.
I mentioned that I find my Bern boots from DUO to be a great choice for me – they fit my wide calves, they are super comfy even after an entire day on my feet, they have a Sherpa lining which keeps me warm in the winter and sweat-free in the summer. I waterproofed them with some product from REI and now they are great in rain and snow. I can throw them on with any socks, under jeans, with sundresses and be cozy, comfy but not look as though I just rolled out of bed. Something like my Berns are a great alternative.
My friend is blessed with lovely legs that can fit into standard width boots, so she had more options than I. My friend is an attorney by day, but loves to hit a concert, bar or party on the weekends. Her style is very J. Crew – classic, feminine, with preppy and whimsical touches. We started her anti-Uggs search by heading to the mall, where she could try on a variety of boot heights and silhouettes to find one that fit her body and her sense of style (and saw far too many paird of Ugg boots on women, children and everything in between). After trying on many classics like the Frye Harness boot, we realized that a taller boot was more flattering to her slim petite frame, a more feminine silhouette (less cowboy, more city dweller) fit her figure as well as her wardrobe, and though she is one to usually rock the black ankle boots, she found a dark brown to be a great neutral for her casual clothes.
After figuring out the color and the silhouette, she then went online to find the best price. She ended up choosing the “Veronica” boot by Frye. They work under jeans, over skinny jeans, with dresses and skirts. The low heel makes the boots wearable for long periods of time. They are a very classic silhouette that will be stylish even a decade from now. They are casual enough to pull on with jeans and a sweater to head to the market, or even wear to work at the law firm. Frye is a brand known for quality, so she knows that her boots are a good investment and not a passing fad that will end up in the garbage or donation bin come next season.
I belive Uggs are popular because they ARE boots – they can be worn with jeans or with skirts. They are extra warm because of the height and stand out in a crowd because of their size. A riding boot, engineer boot or some other style of tall boot with low heel and solid sole is a worthy alternative that will have much more style. Leather can easily be weatherproofed, and leather softens with age and care, making them more comfortable and molded to your body with every wearing.
There are many styles that are easy to slip on as well. I have a pair of ankle boots from David Tate that have an elasticized gusset on the side so I can pull them on in a jiffy and can slip off using one foot to slip off the other foot’s shoe. I used to have a great pair of ballet-inspired flats from Naturalizer that had a really cushy supportive footbed, a squishy rubber sole, were made of butter-soft leather and felt just like a pair of slippers. However, these flats could be worn to work and for play without looking as though I was a lost Eskimo.
If You Love Uggs because they are Cute:
They aren’t cute.
Okay, they can be slightly cute on a little toddler who needs puffy warm shoes to protect her toes in cold weather, but they aren’t cute on adults. Seriously, they aren’t. Sorry.
If You Love Uggs because All Your Friends Love Uggs:
Be a trendsetter in your clique! Show your friends how utterly stylish yet comfy your new Mary Janes/riding boots/ankle booties/ballet flats can be. Lead by example with your elegance and chic feet. And know that style doesn’t come from imitation, but personal realization.
Though the cozy shoes were once considered a fashion don’t and perhaps a shoe style you’d only wear to stay warm indoors.
And by the way…anyone that follows a fashion trend set my that ugly cow Paris Hilton is should be arrested by the fashion police and forced to wear prison orange coveralls and combat boots-but they would still look better that PH the trashy slag!
Uggs are so completely tacky. I shamed my coworker and friend into throwing hersem! in the trash when I showed her all of the tacky, orange faced big-haired slags in Glasgow that wear them!
Allie at Wardrobe Oxygen says
If they are ‘sooooooooo comfy’ then why the hell do they make ugg boot wearers either drag their feet, or make them walk on the side of their feet. They are so gross. I hate them so much that I am obsessed with it.
Allie (Wardrobe Oxygen) says
It makes me think of things like Carhart and Dickies – brands associated with working labor jobs but had a heyday in fashion in the ’90s. Or Levi’s – when exchange students in HS would come they would want to buy as many pairs of Levis that they could and at that time we found the brand cheap and passe – worn by hicks! 🙂
I know this is a year late (approx.) but I have to comment. It is HILARIOUS to us Australians how Ugg boots – an Aussie invention – took off in the US and became mainstream wear. They were known as ‘ugg’ boots simply because they are ugly. There was no branding of the term ‘ugg’ until an American company adopted the name officially. They’ve been around for decades in Australia, and were originally usually only made in beige and tan. And here’s the important bit: they were exclusively worn by what we call ‘yobbos’ or ‘bogans’ and you would call ‘hicks’ – but even they only wore them indoors. You’d only see them worn outside by surfers warming up after a day of surfing in cooler temps. No self-respecting regular person wore ugg boots.
However, because they became a fashion icon in the US, suddenly and mysteriously after decades here being a joke, they are now available in great colours and nice tall heights. So even I have to confess to now owning a pair of knee high black ugg boots – which are perfect around the house in winter. And I do think they’re cute. So thank you for the Hollywood treatment of our humble ugg boot!
But if only you knew how deeply dorky their heritage is – you would laugh!
I don’t get why Uggs are so popular for winter wear. They’re possibly the worst kind of outdoor wear aside from suede boots. They’re not waterproof and are so hard to clean when crusted with winter muck from mixed street dirt, salt and snow. If winter boots are needed, then you should spend that money to get winter boots that will actually protect your feet and legs from the elements. Sorel makes many cute options. That said, I would love a pair of Ugg slippers for around the house. They certainly last longer than cheap ones from Target!
We have 3 feet of snow here along with temps that have rarely been out of the teens for the past few months. If I want to wear my uggs and look *gasp* like I don’t have any fasion sense because some random blogger said so, I don’t care. I like my feet warm. If I wore them as slippers around the house my feet would start on fire.
I don’t have uggs but I’d wear them out of the house if I wanted to. I don’t care if someone doesn’t like the trend, if *I* like ’em, I’ll wear ’em.
Late commenting here, but I just happened upon your blog (which I am enjoying a lot!). However, I have to come to the defense of Uggs. I live in Alaska, where I really don’t care what I look like walking around outside, because if my feet are numb, I can’t think straight. Also, I’m usually wearing a giant head-to-toe North Face down coat, again putting survival first. Finally, in a state where everyone takes off their shoes upon entering a home, Uggs are easy to slip on and off at the front door. Every now and then I see some twit mincing across the ice in stilettos and laugh to myself, because sorry, but how fashionable is a broken ankle?
Now, Uggs in L.A.? I don’t think so.
You definitely hit the nail on the head with this article! There have been countless days where I would wake up scratching my head wondering why so many women were out wearing these like they are wearing flip-flops!
Its always the least expected item that should be kept in the comfort of your home, that somehow makes its way to the streets in your everyday attire! Im just dreading the day where a snuggie breaks free from the confides of a closet and is seen being worn out and about as though its a v-neck sweater.
I’m from Australia. I don’t think these were designed to wear in the Australian outdoors. I could be wrong. I’m in New York at the moment, and can’t believe how many people are wearing them. I know they did get a bit trendy, but in Australia, I would still view people wearing them as bogans (bogan = suburban, low income, low education, see Wikipedia). Having said that, I intend to buy some for the next Australian winter (but only for home..I would probably wear them out to the front mail box).
My sister just pointed me to this post about Uggs. She wears them all the time but she’s got long, lean legs and they look great on her. I, on the other hand have thicker, shorter legs-not so great.
It seems to be a matter of porportion…Uggs make stumpy or thicker legs look that much more. Uggs on long, lean legs are a contrast so they will just look better.
That said, I wear mine only in the house because they FEEL the best on my feet but boy do I wish I could get over my vanity and wear them outside!
I can agree to some extent. Take one trip to Europe (where we all swear fashion is at its peak) and you will see countless women in Uggs or Ugg-knockoffs. In the winter months there is nothing better than the Ugg. Some styles are so ugly, I can agree with you with no debate, but some style are cute and worn with leggings and a comfy sweater – make for a great casual outfit. They should not be worn on date-nights, somewhere fancy, etc. they are purely a casual weekend boot or commuter wear. Try on a pair. Your feet will never feel happier.
Elle Bee... says
They were designed to wear in the Australian outdoors, not as slippers.
I had a pair and I loved them. In Canada, when it’s -40 degrees Celcius in the winter, fashion is less important than function. I could walk to work and my feet would still be warm — quite the accomplishment for boots here. I think they are cuter than Sorrells, which is pretty much the other option. However, I never wore my Uggs with miniskirts, and I always changed into heels once I got to work. They were merely for trucking around in the snow.
I wore them out, and got other boots instead of investing in a new pair. My boots this year are cuter, but are nowhere near as warm.
In the last ten years, I’ve only worn three brands of flat boots…Fryes ( I buy one pair a year), Cole Haan (Air Nike !) and Uggs. In California, Uggs are more than appropriate for running around town definitly.
Yesterday,I went jeans shopping (oh, the misery!) and Uggs were the footwear of choice for all that walking and trying on 25 plus pairs of jeans in six different stores.
Anyhoo, I thought that they were designed for after-surf wear outdoors in Australia, not as slippers?
It was -10 the day I bought my Uggs. I was vacationing in Alaska and the Steve Madden boots I packed just weren’t cutting it.
I think these boots are *fine* to wear for running errands in the winter, when the temperature calls for it. With their soft fleecy lining, they are most definitely not meant to wear with skirts (style issue notwithstanding)
The Naked Redhead says
Oooo! Cue shitstorm! 🙂
I’ve never understood why people are so tied to their Uggs, but apparently this is a really personal topic. Who knew!? I do remember, though, when they caught all kinds of pics of Marlon Brando wearing them a few years back…talk about a fashion “jump the shark” moment.
But hey, if you love your Uggs, you love your Uggs. Whatevs.
I remember seeing a fake inspirational poster saying, “thanks Ed Hardy for telling me who the d-bags are”, I thank Uggs for this also.
I wear a pair of Gripfast engineer boots to keep my feet warm and dry and so I’m told, biker boots are all the rage now. (I didn’t know I was so fashion forward)
This posting is funny because it’s so true! Thanks Allie!
For snow, I have my snow boots from LL Bean. For rain, I have my classic Wellies. For street wear, I have my various pairs of boots. I do have a pair of fleece-lined slippers for home that have a rubber bottom so I can go out and get the morning paper. I live in Wisconsin, it is cold up here and I still don’t see a need for Ugg boots in daily life. Thank you for this post – another job well done Allie!
FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com says
I wear them at home and ONLY at home 🙂
I have and wear Uggs. However, I mostly agree with this post. Uggs aren’t fashion wear–they’re to keep your feet warm. I wear them when it’s cold. I don’t try to pretend they’re stylish, and I sure as hell don’t wear them with shorts or skirts.
That said, I prefer your Bern boots, or the Fryes. Of course. But those? Don’t come in my size.
Whatever to this post. To each her own. I think you could have approached this a little differently.
Uggs are great boots. I’ve NEVER found anything as warm. I own Frye’s and just about every other brand you mentioned. NOTHING keeps my feet as toasty as Uggs. I wear them in the snow only. NOT in the summer, not with shorts, not with dresses. It’s just to keep warm. They are NOT cute. They are NOT flattering on anyone. They are utilitarian. Period.
Southern Belle says
*raises hand tentatively* I have a pair of Uggs. And I like them.
I used to feel the same way–I really did. I made fun of them openly to my friends who had them. I called my mom “Stumplestiltskin” when she bought a pair because I thought they would make her look stumpy. I rolled my eyes each time I saw a teenager in the mall wearing Uggs with a miniskirt.
But then I lost weight and skinny jeans and boots became my new uniform. I bought some of the boots you mentioned as alternatives–Frye knockoffs, Steve Madden Intyce’s (that I love). And then one day I just decided to try on a pair of Uggs. And I ended up buying them. No, I don’t wear them to work or to the opera. I don’t even wear them out to eat or on any kind of outing. But I do wear them to the grocery store, on errands or to take the dog for a walk. And they were perfect during the holidays when we were doing Christmas stuff (cutting our tree, shopping at 3 AM, making candy with my grandmother) because they were comfy, easy to get on and off and warm.
And I think they are cute. There. I said it. I like them. I think I look cute in them. My husband, for some odd reason, adores them, so maybe I’m not totally delusional. They are just fun shoes. And isn’t that what fashion is all about? Having fun and wearing something that you like and are comfortable in?
Anyway, I can’t believe I wrote something this long about a freaking pair of Uggs. Anyway. If you don’t like Uggs, you’d really hate my 10 year old daughter’s new boots–they are big furry Mukluks! She does look like a lost Eskimo–but hey…she’s happy.
jenny bento says
once a woman in front of me in line at the airport was not given an upgrade to first class (the only available seat for standby) because she was WEARING UGGS!
i think the people who say uggs are “so comfortable” are the people who usually wear really uncomfortable shoes. If you just don’t wear heels all the time then crocs arent that big a draw. Also, I don’t see a lot of Uggs/Crocs overlap. If Uggs are all comfort and no fashion, why aren’t those people also wearing crocs? why? cuz they’re ugly and not worn by celebs.
I agree completely, I wouldn’t be caught in or out of the house in a pair of UGGS. Too bad all the ads on the blog were for UGGS!
I’m a reforming clueless shoe-wearer. I’ve been thinking a lot about getting a pair of real boots. I have some very comfy ballet flats by What’s What that get a lot of casual wear.
But my biggest issue with so many shoes is, why do they make them so they try to curl up, with elastic in the sides? It rubs the bejeezus out of my heels and makes cute shoes completely unwearable.
I love that the ads on your sidebar right now are for Uggs. And I agree with all of your conclusions.
I highly recommend Merrel boots. I have a black leather pair that are knee high, lined with Thinsulate, and are comfortable as sneakers. Since I only wear skirts I wanted a pair of boots that would keep my legs very warm and the pair I have do the trick.
I have a pair of Uggs slippers and they are perfect in that role!