Style Clinic

Mon, Dec 10, 2012, 00:00

Cosy but not chic: Uggs give fashion the boot

I am a 29-year-old woman who should know better but I can’t stop thinking about buying a pair of black Ugg boots. Ankle or knee length or, heaven forbid, both. Do I need help, or just some clever ways to wear them?

Ciara, by email

Let’s just get this out of the way right now: in style terms, there are no clever ways to wear Ugg boots. They look like large, furry alien feet, and no matter how many pairs of skinny jeans you tuck into them or how much like Sienna Miller circa 1999 you look, they will always look like large, furry alien feet.

However, in terms of comfort (and so long as it’s not raining) there can be no cleverer footwear choice than the cosy, comfy, sheepskin-lined Ugg boot, which will keep you toasty warm as you wait for the bus/sit at your desk/sip hot chocolate in front of re-runs of Friends while stroking your cat.

Take note, Ciara, that I didn’t include in the above list of activities “chat to your boyfriend”, “hang out with your friends”, “grab a drink with colleagues”, all of which will be precluded by the wearing of said monstrosities.

In short, buy the Uggs. Wear them indoors, or on the commute, or under your desk. But that is it. When you find yourself putting them on for a casual trip to the cinema or to go for dinner with a friend on a Wednesday night, you’ll know you’ve gone too far and it’s time to re-teach yourself the hard lesson that fashion and comfort do not go hand in hand.

Have wedge, will travel, and look smart, too

Are wedges still trendy? Anna Wintour has apparently denounced the wedge, but I still love them – am I going to be hideously out of fashion if I keep wearing mine?

Kerry, by email

Here’s where fashion gets hypocritical. Despite what I said to poor Ciara (above), the wedge is the one instance in which I think comfort is allowed to trump trends.

There are some among us who find it impossible to teeter in a stiletto heel, or to walk more than one block in a slingback. Why so? Nobody knows. I harbour an entirely unfounded suspicion that those women who can walk well in heels are the self same women who were brought to ballet classes as children (but don’t let this influence you in how you bring up your daughters).

For the rest of us, wedges are the saving grace, allowing us to give a cheeky nod to fashion while staying relatively blister-free and, crucially, upright at all times.

As to the Anna Wintour question, I have done some extensive research (ie googled at least once) and I cannot find word of la Wintour proclaiming herself to be anti-wedge. That’s not to say you are wrong and I am right, but rather that the fashion world at large has not yet made a fuss about her proclamation, and therefore you are safe to wear your wedges for at least another season, or until you break an ankle and are confined to Birkenstocks and Ugg boots. (Again, see above.)

Regardless of what Wintour has to say about it, mind you, wedge trainers are most certainly over.

My recommendations? Walk on the wild side with Diane von Furstenberg’s leopard-print wedges (€435 at my-wardrobe.com), clomp along in Asos’s velvet stud-detail wedges (€90.29) or defy gravity in Jeffrey Campbell’s Back Off wedges (€169 at folkster.com).

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