Cold weather makes students say, "Ugg"

By Leah Pearlman

It’s officially cold out. And I’ve decided it’s official because I had to wear tights with my romper out the other night. And yes, I owned that look, but it made me see style versus sensibility in a whole new light: Why downplay the cold for the sake of a good Facebook picture?

Students here at the University bear winter weather for a long stretch of our school year. And the entire time you can witness everyone ignoring this by dressing completely inappropriately for the freezing cold temperatures.

The beginning of this cold season additionally lends itself to a complete wardrobe change. Along with the sweaters, parkas and beanies we drag up to campus, after a week off for Thanksgiving we also bring our winter shoes.

For lots of University girls, this entails our Ugg boots. These largely ridiculed boots can be seen on a majority of girls’ feet as you look around campus. In 2013, a study was done by shopping website Beso by Bizrate Insights that found more than a quarter of American women own a pair of the boots. The Ugg is a very common piece found in the back of most girls’ closets. They have always been a very “basic” shoe of choice and mocked for being ugly and ruining fashion.

As a freshman I have already seen the huge difference between high school and college fashion. I haven’t caught too many people donning anything past what could pass as pajamas to class; it’s basically a known fact that you only wear jeans if it is laundry day.

These differences created a big transformation in my life as a girl not used to walking out of the door in sweatpants to see other human beings.

However, we are here to learn. And in what better garb is this best done than in comfortable and sensible wear.

Ugg boots are the sensible shoes for us at the University. “They are the best practical shoe . . . because they can handle the slush on sidewalks and curbs while keeping your feet warm,” said André Leon Talley, a contributing editor at Vogue magazine, on the practicality of the boot.

In fact, many stylish celebrities have admitted to wearing and liking these practical boots. Alexa Chung tweeted a picture of her Ugg-encased feet in 2013 and captioned it: “My deepest apologies.” However, her guilty pleasure is nothing to feel guilty about or apologize for. There’s no shame in choosing sensible shoes over stylish ones.

Ugg boots are very warm, even for mid-January breezes when you may have to hustle from Altgeld to the Armory in ten minutes. Also, many fraternities and sororities do not salt their sidewalks, leaving the ice and snow for any passerby to slip on. The Uggs grip is great for getting through these potential slips on the way to class.

It still might be hard for some fashionistas to get on board and go sensible, especially with terrible memories of wearing the puzzling combination of tall Ugg boots and jean mini skirts in middle school.

However, as far as this cold freshman is concerned, I am beyond OK with slipping into my old, classic chestnut pair. And I’m sure many other Ugg-owning students at the University would agree.

“I don’t like Uggs because I think they are ugly but they are very comfortable and warm. I guess they’re kind of like Crocs because people say they are very comfortable, but they look stupid,” said Karen Wang a freshman in LAS.

Uggs mix a whole lot of function with a slight amount of fashion. And I am okay with giving up some trendiness for a warm and comfy day of walking around campus.

But don’t get me wrong — you will never see me stepping into a Croc, ever. I don’t cross the Croc line.

Leah is a freshman in Media.

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