The UGG Renaissance: Familiar fashion trend takes Vandegrift by storm


Bailey Niles

In their modern iteration, UGGs are styled for a variety of occasions, both casual and fashionable.

Isabel Young, Editor

If you were to ask any high school student to recount the single most cringe-worthy moment of their life, the vast majority of stories would be set against the same reviled backdrop of middle school. Although most young people have shoved their tweenaged traumas into the glittery, abandoned Justice backpacks where they belong, one controversial emblem of Gen Z’s past has snuck back into the mainstream: the UGG boot.

“I understand UGGs for comfort, but not for style,” senior Inaya Jabbar said. “I still see them in the same way I did in middle school. I think the updated versions, the slipper kind, those can be cute. But the old UGG boots just bring back bad memories.”

Despite many people’s hesitations to the boots’ resurgence in popularity, they have undeniably come roaring back into style– both on runways and school hallways.

“I think they’re being styled in a totally different way than people remember,” sophomore Claire Downs said. “UGGs used to be a kind of sexist way to insult girls– like, if you were a Starbucks and UGG boot girl, you were basic. I like that they’re now an interesting part of someone’s outfit.”

The newest evolution was initiated, as most Gen Z fashions are, by supermodel Bella Hadid, who was first spotted wearing low profile, platform UGGs in September.

“The trend cycle is so fast these days,” senior Myna Chilukuri said. “It’s crazy that people are dropping $200 on platform UGGs just because Bella Hadid wore them, even though we all have our boots from middle school sitting in our closet.” 

The shoes have always been luxury items, and many detractors of the trend recall middle school discourse on the validity of one’s boots, reflecting on the controversy surrounding fake UGGs– or, FUGGS.

“FUGGS are so valid,” Jabbar said. “Honestly, I think it can be really cute if done well, but if you’re going to do it, you should not be dropping hundreds of dollars on something that’s going to go away in a couple months. Especially when I know that everyone already has normal UGGs.”

Jabbar’s attitude toward the financial and sustainable aspect of participating in the trend is a popular one. Much of the discussions around the trend center more on what it represents than the actual style.

“The whole “It-Girl” aesthetic that UGGs are part of can be kind of classist,” Downs said. “Everyone loves when Bella Hadid wears uggs and sweatpants and calls it high fashion, because she’s a rich supermodel. But if anyone else did it, they’d just be called lazy.”

Since UGGs were first repopularized last year, their renewed popularity has only grown. Unlike the increasing number of microtrends popularized by the fleeting attention spans created by social media, UGGs seem to have claimed a more permanent place once again in the style rotation.

“UGG boots are becoming a modern classic,” Downs said. “In my mind, they have the same place in fashion now as Converse. People say they’re just back in as a trend, but I think they’re here to stay for a while.”