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

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Uggs: The Thoughtful Dresser recants

Winter has come cold and early to Britain. Frost on the car roofs in the mornings, biting wind, clear skies. I bring out my year-old brown shearling (which has suffered a small amount of unaccountable wardrobe shrinkage in the past year, a condition only solved, in my experience, by going more regularly to the gym - a scientific mystery!) I have lots of knee-high leather or suede boots, but it is so cold. Meeting some old friends for lunch at a Lebanese restaurant on Edgware Road yesterday, and walking up Oxford Street, into Marks and Spencer and out again and into Selfridge's for rather longer, detained by a DvF dress that just might go in the sale, what I cannot help but notice is

Everyone is wearing them, Everyone is wearing their jeans tucked in, or with thick tights. All the shops are selling variants of them. This once teenaged fad, Uggs worn with bare legs in the summer, has decisively passed into the mainstream. The basic, classic Ugg has been superseded by sheepskin boots that no longer look much like Uggs, laced up, cuff turned over, split side seam . . . there are endless variations.

These are mine, but in black

Even M&S is doing its own Ugg.

Warning, not made from real sheep

And indeed I was wearing them myself, and so warm did they keep my toes, that in a shearling, cashmere sweater and my new John Smedley scarf, I felt like I was in the Bahamas.

So, yes, I am prepared to recant. The cold snap did it and now smart British women who shop on Bond Street are shod in Uggs. Thus does an ugly fashion with pluck and determination eventually win us over. The only downside is that you have to take them off when you go to bed.

But absolutely no to Crocs.


Toby Wollin said...

And thus, the sartorial line has been drawn in the sand.

Thomas said...

I think the telling point is this -in Montreal, where temperatures routinely drop to -20 degrees Celcius, people don't wear Uggs.

Deja Pseu said...

Personally, I have no qualms with Ugg-esque boots when "the weather outside is frightful," but seeing them worn with a sundress and the mercury topping 85F is a bit much.

Mopsa said...

Hoorah, hoorah, hoorah! But what are M&S thinking of? It HAS to be sheepskin. No compromise.

Kelly said...

A friend once described Uggs, very astutely I think, as "winter's flip-flops"

That means, I won't be ashamed of wearing them when taking my dog out for a quick run, a midnight excursion to the grocery store, or walking next door to have breakfast with a close friend. But those are about the limits. I don't have any, but I plan to some Ugg-type boots soon to keep by the door to slip on and off while taking my dog out. I can't imagine I'll use them much more than that.

lagatta à Montréal said...

Thomas, I do have sheepskin-lined lace-up booties though. They are actually prettier than Uggs, though I sure wouldn't be seen in them in Paris or anywhere in Italy.

Meg from The Bargain Queen & All About Appearances said...

I agree with Deja Pseu.

I have no issue with people wearing them to keep warm, just with the posers wearing them because they're 'like, so trendy'.

I routinely see them here being worn with shorts and a t-shirt -- and maybe a hoodie when the temperatures drop below 80. Now that looks ridiculous!

kenju said...

Have you ever worn Crocs? You might change your mind.

Meg from The Bargain Queen & All About Appearances said...


I absolutely hate the look of Crocs and wearing them would never change my mind on that. For some of us, comfort isn't everything. Some of us still want to look nice, and some people like myself want both comfort and style. Yes, it is possible to be comfortable and dress nicely!

I will admit that I did try on a pair once. Personally, I didn't find them extraordinarily comfortable and certainly not remotely as comfortable as my pair of black ballet flats that are actually cute. My mom's orthotic, diabetic shoes are immensely more stylish than Crocs and a heck of a lot better for her feet.

Linda Grant said...

I have tried on a pair of Crocs and I didn't find them comfortable, no.

Phyllis said...

Okay - Enabler Alert for my Stateside sisters: Costco has a knock-off Ugg in real shearling for $49.95. I saw them my local store this week; they had dark brown and tan. I'm not the Ugg type (I don't hate 'em, they're just not me) - but these are well made and wicked cute.

Icy said...

For me, it's the fact that they have been slippers in Australia as long as I can remember. They are to be used the way Kelly suggests.

I have no problem with lambswool boots, just Uggs are so... You do know Ugg Boots are short for Ugly boots?

Try something like Heirs and Grace boots instead (, just as warm, but look great.