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Over It: Uggs

Welcome to Over It, in which we allow a disgruntled UTB contributor to rant at length about some thing or another. (How is that different from every other post on UTB, you ask? We're not sure!) Today, Michael Gold takes on that most odious form of footwear, Uggs.

We were all around in 2003 when Ugg boots exploded onto the scene. "How cute!," we all squealed, running out to buy a pair of sheepskin boots, rejoicing in the comfort afforded to us by the soft fleece lining. The modern woman was glad to have an alternative to the cowboy boot craze (which had began to manifest itself as the "hooker boot"), particularly one that was much more affordable than leather. To the consternation of many (who preferred the moniker "Fuggs"), knock-offs began rolling off the shelves, and soon every American female had one or two pairs of the boots in their closet.

Those of us who hated the Ugg simply waited. Like all fashion trends, this one was destined to die. If the disappearance of leg warmers and the extinction of the denim jacket were any indication, Uggs would be on their way out sooner than the animals they came from, hopefully to be replaced by something shinier and sleeker. And yet as we stroll around Penn's campus, we are plagued by the fact that the plague Ugg boot has spread more than SARS. Ladies, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this trend officially died near the end of 2006--if not earlier. So why do a good number of Penn students insist on wearing their Uggs everywhere?

"They're just so comfortable," these girls whine, "and warm!" And yet we know these same ladies wouldn't be caught dead wearing a pair of Crocs in public (for the record, the only thing less acceptable than a Croc is a Croc-Ugg hybrid), and since most wear their boots with mini-skirts and leggings, we can safely assume that warmth is not the chief issue here.

It's a shame, too, considering the chic new alternatives that are readily available for purchase. First and foremost, we'd like to introduce you fashion-challenged ladies to our favorite new trend: the ankle bootie. Perhaps inspired by the trend in men's ankle boots that dominated the mid-2000s, the ankle booties is a cute hybrid of heel and boot that is all over the place right now. We're loving this purple suede pair from Nine West (which, of course, can be purchased in more functional colors), as well as the details on these Kenneth Coles. For a more dressy outfit, I'd recommend a nice patent leather shoe--perhaps with menswear-inspired--to take business-casual to a more intriguing level.

For those who prefer a more traditional-length boot, we point you to the resurgence of the riding boot as a fashionable choice. True fashionistas will opt for a leather boot with a cognac hue, but leather's not the most practical choice for a college setting. A suede pair will be much easier to clean--and generally more affordable. Since riding boots never really go out of style (they just vary in relative popularity with the times), we'd recommend staying away from a pair with an abundance of "trendy" details (for those who dare, just remember to be cautious of excess; riding boots are classic because of their relative simplicity).

Finally, though we're not crazy about it (likely because they're too reminiscent of the Ugg), slouchy boots with a small wedge provide a nice transition from Uggs to a more classy look. You're most likely to find these in suede, so spring on some suede cleaner, particularly if you stick with a lighter color.

Bye bye, Uggs!  What are you totally over?  Tell us.