Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Monday, 12 November 2007


Hadley Freeman in the Guardian today takes on the Uggs question in a response to a reader who wants to buy some:

. .. come ON! How can you, a wise woman I have no doubt, actually want to spend your hard-earned money on an item that has the onomatopoeic name of a grunt of disgust? There is nothing acceptable about the Ugg: it is girlishly fluffy ("Ooh, look at me, I'm so cuddly I wear pillows on my feet!"); it is smelly; and it is such a tediously obvious means of making one's legs look thinner. If you bought a pair when they first emerged a handful of years ago, that is just about acceptable (though, Christ alive, they must be proper rank by now), but to buy into them now, since their adoption by the most grating examples from the D list of celebrities and It girls, well, that is just not acceptable, Debra.

I am all about the comfortable shoe. But last time I checked on the BBC weather site, Hackney's climate was not exactly Californian and a shoe that is little more than rain-sodden soggy mulch is not comfortable. What is wrong with a nice flat boot with a cosy woolly sock inside, I ask you? It's warm, it's waterproof, it's comfy, it's easy and it runs no risk of you being mistaken for Jennifer Ellison, and with that final reference I think I can justly say, game, set and match.

Hadley is quite right. There is frankly no excuse for wearing anything that is uggly about one's person, even when constrained by comfort and warmth issues. Some trends do become essential classics - the pashmina is not a style statement, but it it plays the same role in one's wardrobe as, say Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour balm, or Yves St Laurent Touche Eclat. You don't want to draw attention to it, but you need to know it's there. Owning a pair of Uggs is like wearing blue mascara. Unnecessary, adolescent, cringey.


Ms Baroque said...

Sentiments with which one can only agree. I couldn't believe it recently when I saaw some in a shop. I thought: still??

Not sure you're interested in this kind of thing!But I have awarded you a pink lion "Roar for Powerful Language" award, over at my blog, for the kind of writing that gives the blogosphere a good name.

Linda Grant said...

Who wouldn't want a pink lion? Thank you.

Will take up the task later today.

Anonymous said...

I actually love sheepskin boots, they are really warm in the snow :)

Linda Grant said...

It rarely snows in London.

Mopsa said...

Without my sheepskin boots I would freeze in my almost radiator-free house. They keep me warm whilst I stoke the fires and are better than bedsocks when sitting at a desk in an office that has no other heat source. As for the pong, the dog hairs on the rest of my clothes battle for that supremacy; I don't even notice.

dachs said...

These things look like Yeti feet and belong in the group of clothing and shoes that look good on absolutely noone (other participants in this group: crocs, birkenstocks and leggings).
Now I'll wonder all day why one would want to have a house like Mopsa without a nice central heating system.

twollin said...

OK, let's differentiate boots from...mmm..shall we say, slippers? Boots have utility - they are meant to protect you from the elements of cold and wet (be it snow or rain). Slippers are meant to be indoor foot protection and if they keep your feet warm, so much the better.
Uggs descended on us in the US from California from the feet of the "celebutants". California. Not Minnesota, North Dakota, Maine or Upstate New York. California. Except in the mountains, it is not cold there and as we have seen from the wildfires lately, it is not WET there, either. Uggs work perfectly there as "fashionable" but not utilitarian footwear. And, I suppose, if you live in a place like that, you can wear what you please.
But, if you need protection from cold temperatures, the wet AND want fashion at the same time, there are plenty of wonderful leather boots out there that will meet that measure. If you have wet but not snow, then wellies will do (and I have seen some truly adorable ones lately with wild prints).
But Uggs - if you want to wear them indoors to keep warm, then I suppose that works. In my house (which has a thermostat set at 58), I just put on lovely socks, good shoes and a sweater.

Linda Grant said...

I think we're talking here about Uggs being worn in a centrally heated office in London, then dinner at a restaurant in the West End. Which people do.

Overpriced Designer Man Bag said...

People still buy those...?

Anonymous said...

Why are these not dead yet? They're still all over Toronto, even if it's finally gone past High Street.

On the other hand, today I saw someone in cable-knit beige Birkenstock clogs. That was a special sort of horror.

Mopsa said...

dachs - the house is an early 17th century farmhouse built of stone and cob (that's mud to those who aren't sure) in the depths of Devon. Warm in summer, cool in winter, neoprene lined wellies outside and Celtic sheepskin ugg rip-offs inside. Keep's life simple, if not elegant.

Linda Grant said...

I'm going to allow you Uggs, mopsa, in those conditions I too might even be persuaded. The rules are a little different in the country.

Dachs said...

Ah, Mopsa, I'm like Hercule Poirot, very partial to a nice central heating system. Though I'm sure your house is very beautiful indeed.
I've spent one winter in Japan where they don't have heating (the aircon is taking that part) and mostly it's warmer outside than inside. When it comes to winter and indoors I've found out for myself that I really prefer it warm.
Wishing you nice warm feet all winter long in your well justified celtic uggs!