Friday, January 21, 2011

Dear Shopping Savage...

Dear Shopping Savage,

What is your opinion on the UGG boot? I will wear them out when I am shopping or doing errands (never to a fancy occasion or a night out), usually with a pair of skinny jeans. Usually I wear them because they are SO warm. Also I think they are way cuter than a pair of sneakers and more comfortable than a pair of boots with a heel. I have read some people say they shouldn’t be worn out. What are your thoughts? Are they ok to wear out or should I keep them in my house?


Ugg Boot Etiquette


Dear U.B.E.,

Safely assuming you're referring to the classic short UGG boot style, it can be inferred from this post that there is no reason for you to relegate your boots to being expensive slippers. The classic style in particular predates the Hollywood-induced mania at the turn of the millennium. Although they can be traced back as far as the 1920's, it wasn't until the late 1970's that Australian surfer Brian Smith would introduce UGG boots to the U.S. Like Smith, they were favored by surfers who would slip them on after hitting the waves because of their warmth and absorbency.

Fast forward to 1995 when UGG began nationwide campaigns to expand the companies image beyond that of a "beach boot". Within five years, the company was a household name, thanks to celebrities and the country's growing obsession with not only their every move, but what they wore while moving. Celebrities wardrobes became the new social status standard to reach. Even after it was revealed that many of the stylish celebs were doing more borrowing than buying, companies had already exploited the middle-class's never ending pursuit to keep up with the Joneses. Many had already invested in what they thought were celebrity-approved fashions when in fact, they were just pawns in the game of excess. Since the classic short UGGs meteoric success was considered a trend popularized by celebs, they fell victim to fashion critics who swiftly gave them the metaphoric boot.

Consumers were forced to either choose to eat the cost and move past the "trend" or stand beside, or really in, their sheepskin footwear. As a result, the argument as to whether UGGs are "out" or "in" continues to play out, but that doesn't mean you have to play into it. Celebs may have popularized the boot to the brink of fashion ruin, but they at least had good reason to. For the quality and workmanship, UGGs provide the sort of comfort and warmth that makes them worth the ambiguous notoriety.

In the future, if you ever grow tired of your current UGGs, keep in mind that the brand offers a variety of boot styles and even added casual footwear so you now have the option to schlep around in sheep all year long. The companies expansion into apparel, home furnishings and children's wear just further proves that the company is staking its claim and proving that they're larger than a fad. So be assured that your boots, and this company, are here to stay. And judging by their ability to make such a fuss every year, it wouldn't be a surprise to find that they have more plans up their sheepskin sleeves.

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  1. Very good in cold NY winters, well made too. I hope to have these boots for years to come.

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