This last month, as I perused my "Aerosoles" footwear catalogue, I noticed something odd on the front cover: the model was wearing a poncho, fishnet tights, and Ugg-like boots. (I realize that "Ugg" is the company that makes the boot, and that other people make boots like Ugg, but they couldn't rightfully be called Ugg. For the sake of smooth writing, I will refer to all Ugg-like boots as, simply, "Uggs.") Immediately, I grabbed my husband and asked him to look at the picture to be sure I wasn't dreaming.
"You know what we've got here," he said, furrowing his brow and drawing a long, thoughtful breath, "we've got ourselves a trend gone terribly wrong." Actually, Mike didn't say that, and I didn't immediately think of him as my fashion consultant (the guy's idea of fashion is a foam mesh John Deere hat with Carhartt coveralls), but I think that any lay person would agree that this is a bad combination. Furthermore, the poncho was, like, a purple fair isle print, the tights were green, and the model was in mid-twirl. Visions of Barabara Streisand in "What's Up, Doc?" kept dancing in my head, and it wasn't pretty, people.
Having said that, I must admit that, taken separately, I am a friend to the poncho, to fishnets, and to Ugg boots. Like most American consumers, I have succumbed to the incessant barrage of celebrity-influenced trends. Give it to me on a manequin in Nordstrom's, and I am all over the idea of a poncho. Show it to me delicately hanging off of Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Anniston in People Magazine, and I can be there for you. But put a poncho on an Aerosoles model, mixed with fishnets and oversized animal skin-and-fur Uggs, and somehow, the whole vision just crumbles. I guess the fact that these three odd trends have reached the fashionably conservative editors of Aerosoles tells me that some trends can go too far.
My sister Heidi believes that like/dislike of the poncho can be summed up in two words: generation gap. She sees a poncho--even a tasteful one--and thinks of a rather incriminating picture of herself as a child. I, thankfully, just missed the early days of the poncho, and think of it as a refreshing new look, a cool retro style gracefully combined with modern sensibilities. Heidi is shocked by the resurgence of the poncho, equating it with powder blue tuxedos and ruffled shirts.
I was a little surprised, too, when fishnets became popular with the masses. Afterall, the "Bombshell Manual of Style" (ocasionally refered to as "the bible") places fishnets under the category of "reckless attire" on page 12. Additionally, the last time I wore fishnets was during the painful, and most wretched "ice skating days," at which time ANYTHING was better than wearing NUDE pantyhose with your ice skating costume. I had to draw the line somewhere, and fishnets were my line. I am sorry, but I will not wear anything that is referred to as "nude." However, in a huge break from tradition, I recently purchased NUDE (I like to call them tan, or beige, better yet, camel), fishnet--get this--KNEE-HIGHS. (I won't even begin to explain my past issues with knee-highs. Just think "old lady support stockings" and you'll get enough of a mental image.) I blame the celebrity trends for this radical purchase, although I must say, they look stunning with my brown high heels.
As for Uggs: I love them. I love the ones at Old Navy with the pom poms hanging off the zipper. I love the ones in the Aerosoles catalogue. I love the ones at Target. Some people have taken Uggs too far--big, furry, rescue-hero-sized boots do not compliment any outfit, but they do make your legs look pencil-thin. My sister Erin owns a pair of pink Uggs that I covet. Uggs are cool because they are ugly. They really are "uggs" (if you talk in a cutesy, word-shortening way like I do: "those boots are totally UGGS!"). They are like the moon boots of the 00's. Hopefully, moonboots will NOT have a resurgence--I'm still smarting from the backlash I received from my bright red American flag moon boots, which I wore while all the other girls in Kindergarten wore pink-and-purple-My-Little-Pony moon boots--but Uggs help me heal from my past.
You see, I am from the "moon boot generation," and Heidi is from the "poncho generation." I guess that means that my neice, Maggie, is from the "poncho, fishnets, and Ugg boots generation." Hopefully, she won't wear them together.