The Ugg-ly truth

The most significant fashion trend I’ve noticed walking around campus has been adopted from my very own country Australia… the Ugg boot. This was one clothing item I was not expecting to see in Western New York, as I have never associated Ugg’s being compatible with snow.

Well, apparently I was wrong. Ugg boots outweigh any other footwear I’ve seen so far, and are regarded as a serious fashion statement. I guess it makes sense; they’re warm, comfortable, and modified with thicker soles and ‘grip’ for the icy footpaths. However they certainly don’t come cheap; students are paying up to $200 USD for this fashion item! I know my pair back home cost $10 AUD, and I think I’ve only worn them twice…

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The stance on Ugg’s is very different on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Although most girls do own a pair, they aren’t worn as a fashion statement or on campus at our Universities, but more for practical use. Because of the extreme weather differences, we don’t really have a need to wear them often, and they are usually only worn on cold winter mornings around the house.  Wearing Ugg boots in public in Australia typecasts the individual as a ‘bogan’, which is a now socially accepted slang term for an Australian stereotyped for their lower-class background. Speech, attitude, behaviour and clothing, such as Ugg boots, contribute to the social makeup of a bogan.  For example, if you’re caught in public wearing Ugg’s, denim cut-offs and a street-brand ‘hoodie’ you’re relinquishing your rights to society to be labelled as a bogan.

It’s refreshing to arrive on the other side of the world and have the iconic Australian footwear worn and viewed in such a different and high regard, compared to back home. I interviewed a student and now friend of mine, Joylyn Kovatchev, a 20-year-old Environmental Science major, asking her where her Ugg’s were from and what she loves most about them, “I got them at Marshall’s, which is a store exactly like TJ Maxx. I love that they’re fuzzy inside and keep my feet warm in the winter”. Her passion for Ugg’s made me nostalgic for my own pair at home!

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As for myself, my black suede ankle boots haven’t been the most practical choice of footwear for the snow. On my first shopping experience in Buffalo’s ‘Walden Galleria’ I purchased a feminine version of the worker ‘Timberland’ boots, featured below.  I haven’t seen these style boots being worn by any female students, so hopefully I can bring a new trend to the campus!

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Not all students have been swept up in the Ugg-craze. I’ve seen a beautiful range of lace up and ankle boots, leather and suede, and have captured them for you (along with some more Ugg’s!) to enjoy below.

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