Lawrence Laundry: UGG boots a point of contention

When I interview some of Lawrence’s fashionistas (and fashionistos) for the Style Scout feature, I ask 17 standard questions for the column, including the person’s hometown, relationship status and, of course, their deepest secrets.

I can usually count on one of two comments being made when I ask the question, “What are some trends you hate?”

A majority of the time, people answer this question of distaste with either “sweatpants” or “UGGs.”

After a multitude of interviews yielded this same disdain for UGGs, I’m convinced that this brand may be the greatest fashion controversy in Lawrence. Undoubtedly, it represents an idea far deeper than the shoes’ sheepskin-lined interiors.

Though I’m not an UGGs wearer, some of my friends are.

I confided in one of my best friends, Whitney Cordes, who personally owns eight pairs. As someone who’s significantly invested in the UGG brand, I felt she was most knowledgeable on the subject.

And me? I’m an unbiased third party, a blameless bystander. I’m only presenting the other side of the argument, the pro-UGG side. I feel that it’s the least I can do, because, I mean, really, are they that bad? Or are they just something simple to hate?

Whitney lists plenty of reasons she supports the UGG brand: comfort, warmth, versatility and, most importantly, optional sock-wearing. In fact, all five Cordes family members own at least one pair of UGGs. Even Whitney’s farmer/lawyer father pads around the house in UGG-branded slippers.

While the origin of UGG is disputed — both Australia and New Zealand claim they are home to the boots — there’s no question that they were never meant for high fashion. In fact, even today in Australia, they’re perceived as unfashionable.

However, they took America by storm in the ‘90s and quickly became one of the hottest shoe trends in the States. And even now, you can’t walk downtown in the winter or summer months without seeing at least a couple people wearing them.

Whitney wears them because they’re comfortable and because she likes the way they look, but I can’t help but think that she wouldn’t wear them if there weren’t an element of “cool” to them.

In the same way, I can’t imagine there’d be as much hate for them from other people if they didn’t have this same element of cool.

All I’m saying is that whether you’re a Whitney or not, it’s undeniable that UGGs represent an idea deeper than the comfort and warmth they provide. And whether you’re a Whitney or not, you can recognize that they are a trend: meant for some people, not for others. But even though I don’t own a pair of UGGs, I have to say Whitney’s right: They’re incredibly comfortable.

— Ali Edwards can be reached at


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