The Pandemic Makes ‘Ugly’ Fashionable

ugly shoes

Shoppers are willing to spend hundreds on supposedly “ugly” apparel and accessories. Dressing ugly has become amusing, and people are more drawn to more functional and comfortable garments.

Ugly footwear has made a comeback. UGGs, Birkenstocks, and Crocs are all part of the “uglycore,” a subculture that has developed around unconventional footwear. 


Given their frequent appearances in street-style outfits and on the catwalk, it is impossible to deny that ugly shoes have a place in the fashion industry.

Birkenstocks, a shoe that has been around for a while, are popular again because they evoke the look of the 1990s. Birkenstocks are best worn with relaxed attire, such as a shirt dress and bohemian jewellery. 


Clogs, popular in the 1970s, have made a reappearance in recent years. We are no longer confined to the wooden clog fashion of yore. Today’s clogs are more conspicuous than their forebears, with a wider sole and a thicker heel that might be cumbersome to labour in.

Shoes that many people consider to be ugly will likely never go out of style. There’s no denying that trying to keep up with work and family responsibilities while holed up at home is stressful, which is why so many individuals end up wearing the same thing over and over again. Comfortable shoes and clothes may provide a modicum of regularity that helps individuals feel more at ease in an otherwise chaotic environment.

The time for attempting to make an impression with clothing choices that are particularly fashionable or inspiring is over. To replace it, we have added conveniences and pleasures that enrich our lives. Although the significance of fashion during times of crisis is up for debate, what we could all use right now is a bit more lightheartedness and comfort. And if it has to be shoes, so be it.

It’s easy to see that customers like the familiar atmosphere since business is booming. Consumers’ need for familiarity in unfamiliar times may be linked to a search for comfort, and this desire will be reflected in shoppers’ clothing choices.

This might be a contributing factor to the firms’ approachability. The slogan “Come As You Are” used by Crocs rings particularly true as a message of acceptance and a place of solace at this time of transition.

An unabashed love affair with ugly & sensible footwear has emerged after two years of barely fitting a foot into a heel, pump, loafer, wingtip, oxford, or even a pair of ballerina flats. Uglycore, or fashion that shuns beauty in favour of self-affirmation, is nothing new. Fashions that were formerly reserved for specific reasons may now be seen on virtual meetings, fashion runways, and hangouts.

It’s almost like a competition to see who can be the ugliest. The pricey Yeezy Foam Runners, which appear a rubber mould gone wrong, were a huge hit for Adidas. It’s unclear why, but Balenciaga designed a pair of heeled Crocs. Like art, fashion often seeks to challenge conventional notions of beauty rather than only presenting visually pleasant pieces. Hence, if clothing is considered a kind of art, then “ugly” is perfectly acceptable.

The leaders of the uglycore movement have profited from this historical period. Stock in Crocs Inc. hit all-time highs in 2017, and the firm expects sales to quadruple, to $5 billion, over the next four years. In a transaction valued at almost $4.9 billion, L Catterton, a private equity group backed by LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury corporation, purchased Birkenstock.

Yet, a third, lesser-known player has also successfully negotiated these seas. Deckers Outdoor Inc. has, over the last 49 years, quietly amassed a multibillion-dollar ugly shoe business. The famous Ugg sheepskin boots are a mainstay.

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