Ugg! Boots tread across campus fashion scene

Online Poster

Online Poster

By Courtney Pischke

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, one Australian boot company should feel pretty good about themselves.

UGG Australia, the shoe company that can be held responsible for the brown suede boot craze, has attracted all types of attention in the past two years.

A couple of years ago, Australia’s now-famous beige boot made its debut on such celebrity A-listers as Kate Hudson, Julia Roberts and even Jennifer Lopez.

“I wanted them because I read about them in some magazine and, embarrassingly, I saw Pam Anderson wearing them and I liked them,” said Meggie Boyle, a senior in fine and applied arts. “I got them last fall and still think they’re cool, but not with anything super trendy.”

Boyle admits that while she would never wear the boots with a skirt, they provide quite a comfortable environment for her feet when paired with “casual clothes.”

Both Boyle and her roommate, Tori Bettasso, find that one of the most popular times on campus to sneak a peek at the trend is when waiting in line outside the bar for Friday happy hour. According to the Boyle and Bettasso, pairing skimpy tank-tops and short jean skirts with the boots has become commonplace.

“Everywhere you look there are freshman girls wearing jean skirts with UGGS in 30-degree weather,” said Bettasso, a junior in LAS. “Personally, I just bought my UGGS at American Eagle because I didn’t think they were worth the money.”

An associate at Champaign’s American Eagle said the store currently only has one pair of the boots left after a giant leap in popularity this winter. The main appeal of the store’s boots deals with the price: actresses might be able to dish out $200 for the real UGGS, but most students can’t afford to do the same.

While the authentic UGGS that Boyle owns put a $160 dent in her wallet, American Eagle and Rocket Dog offer their versions of the boots for around $60. Unless you consider yourself the Sherlock Holmes of designer labels, most people on campus probably can’t tell the difference.

“I paid full-price because I bought them before the fake styles even existed,” Boyle said.

As time goes on, more shoe companies are copying the boots and offering them at much cheaper prices. But today some students feel that the boots are just a flash-in-the-pan craze.

“I originally got mine after I sprained my ankle and had to wear an air-cast — the boots were the only thing that fit around it,” Bettasso said. “Come spring and summer, it would be social suicide to keep wearing the boots.”