Hello there 🙂
It feels like we have reached the climax "ugly" this year. Balenciaga cannot keep its chunky Triple S sneakers in stock. Long-time dad favorites such as baseball caps and Birkenstocks have become the calling card of street style stars and Instagram trendsetters. With the advent of these latest ironic fashion trends presented by brands like Vetements and even Gucci, it's cool for many women today to be uncool.
But the root of this "ugly" wave is something bigger, at least for me. After all, women choose practicality over everything else. Padded shoes, loose streetwear and comfortable fleece indicate that women can feel good, damn curvy. In order to be able to spend my days walking in sneakers instead of stilettos from day to day, high fashion does not have to be associated with costs (pain). At a time when the daily news cycle keeps frustrating me, I have little tolerance for discomfort in what I wear.
I've seen the sport slowly change from creeping pants sweat to a full hug of "dad" fashion, and I don't think this is just a temporary trend. Not too long ago (as my mother likes to remind me), there was a time when jeans were rejected for almost anything other than gardening. While some offices need a suit, visit a tech company and employees wear casual jeans, Patagonia jackets, and the sneakers of their choice.
We can see the prevalence of shoes like Uggs, Birkenstocks and Crocs as evidence of the growth and persistence of this trend. Studies show that every brand is lucrative season after season, although none of their shoes can be described as particularly delicate or pretty. According to data, Birkenstocks' sales tripled in 2017 compared to the previous year. In one Washington Post Article, Crocs CMO, Terence Reilly, also notes "a resurgence".
Even as an enthusiastic Birkenstock bearer, I was surprised that an article by my alma mater praising Crocs appeared in my Facebook feed and another in The New Yorker outlines "the life-changing magic of clogs". While we all have our own self-defined wearability spectrum when it comes to the ugly trend, there's no denying that the comfort that all these once mocked shoes offer has convinced many women, me and many Who What Wear readers ,
The pendulum of fashion will keep swinging, and there may be a time in the not too distant future when your father no longer prefers to borrow styles, but I expect the comfort of fashion to continue for comfort. I wouldn't go so far as to correlate convenient fashion choices directly to the rise of #MeToo or #TimesUp, but I think we've entered a time when many women feel empowered to choose self-care and what we do wearing does not matter.