Style + Ask The Edit

Faux Pas: The Cold, and the Devil, Made Me Do It.

As you know, I am originally from the West.  A place where the average daily high November-January is below freezing.  Last Thanksgiving, the temp took a precipitous drop to -22.  That’s right, negative 22.

So don’t bitch to me about D.C. being cold, because D.C. is tropical compared to that.  But I digress.

Combine the sub zero temperatures with the fact that the in-floor heating in my parent’s house is…well…broken, and it makes for fun chilly times at Original Casa de Belle.  My Father, of course, doesn’t think the house is cold.  My Mother and I, on the other hand, were so cold last Xmas that we thought about starting a fire in the living room to keep warm.  And we don’t even have a fireplace.

Clearly, that kind of cold will lead you do to crazy things.  How crazy, you ask? 

I am now the ashamed owner of these shearling-lined boots. 

Upon my Father’s return from the hospital, he looked down at my feet, tapped them with a rolled up magazine and said, “Am I having a hallucination, or are you wearing Uggs?”

He then proceeded to hang his head in shame and say, “I thought I raised you better than that?”

But does owning a pair of shearling-lined boots make me a hypocrite? No, and here’s why.

1) They’re not Uggs.  No money from this purchase went to those sheepskinning charlatans in Australia. I would sooner move to France and become a socialist than give those people money.  But the boots are an Ugg-like knock-off from Old Navy for which, I paid $25.  (Did you know real Uggs can run you up to $200? Insanity!)

2) I am still not a proponent of buying or wearing Uggs.  I still think they’re freaking hideous, and I feel the shame of Benedict Arnold each time they touch my feet.  But it was either shearling or frostbite.

3) The have NEVER, EVER been worn outside the cold comfort of my own home, and they never will be.  I have said from the beginning that as ugly as Uggs are (and THEY ARE), they are acceptable in only one context, as house slippers. 

Tis true, that the day we got up at 4:00AM to go to the hospital, I did think about wearing them outside.  “Who will see you?” I said to myself.

“It’s no big deal,” the Devil on my shoulder replied.  “After all, you’re in a town where pajamas are considered acceptable wedding attire, and women select a hairstyle at age 17 and wear it until they die.  Surely, if there was anywhere where you could break the rules a bit, it would be here?”  Then, he twisted his little mustache and winked at me.

Luckily, I realized that I was walking a fine line with my deceitfulness, and put on real shoes.  Because the second those shearling boots cross the threshold of my front door, the Devil wins.

So, to recap, yes, I own an Ugg-like boot.  No, the fact that they are covered in sequins does not make them pretty.  They are still uglier than a one-day-old panda cub.  But, when the cold forces you to spend an hour per day soaking your frozen feet in a hot bath, your moral code develops some malleability. 

I believe that as long as these boots never leave the house, I am well within my original shearling edict.  Feel free, to break out the pitchforks and torches in the comments.



  1. N says:

    it's okay Belle. we won't judge you!

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. Rachel says:

    Agreed. It's not a faux pas if you don't leave the house.

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  3. Sarah says:

    Excuse me, but…..AHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. As a long-time reader, the irony is just too, too funny. I love that you felt the need to explain yourself to us! I am also a secret “they don't leave the house but my feet are freezing” fake-Ugg owner. I won't tell if you won't tell.

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  4. loveit says:

    haha! it's ok, they're just superwarm slippers, like you said. this post is a turning point in the blog, though, it must be pointed out. 😀 hehe…

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  5. Belle says:

    I just figured that a public declaration would guarantee that they never, EVER leave the house. Eh-verr.

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  6. srslyserious says:

    I argue the opposite. They are a necessity. Just like Mukluks. I waterproof them/keep 'em clean so that when I tromp to the office through a foot of snow, winter is that much more bearable. And then switch to my heels once I arrive, of course. I buy a new pair every winter because they are destroyed come April. And there is nothing better for long car trips up north.

    I obviously don't live in DC, but seriously, get over it.

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  7. Belle says:

    No. I am unwilling to go that far. They are ugly, they are not work appropriate, and they should not be worn to brunch/birthday parties/ the bar, etc. Buy a pair of wellies and some fleece hunter socks for your commute and call it good.

    Uggs are glorified slippers.

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  8. Ellie says:

    Completely agree with Sarah… I laughed out loud reading this post. Love every part of it and completely agree. I have a pair of the Ugg clogs (bought them on super sale, I swear) but don't wear them outside my apartment. But they are oh so amazing as slippers.

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  9. Montana says:

    This is ok, as long as you don't have a Vera Bradley Robe to go with them………… hahahahaha!!

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  10. er says:

    Careful….I hear it's a gateway Ugg!


    December 1, 2011/Reply
  11. Belle says:

    ER-I've said for a long time that Uggs are a gateway drug…if you hear me saying nice things about Vera or Crocs, send the men in the white coats!

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  12. Ashley says:

    I had to look up of a picture of a one-day-old panda cub for reference. Both are ugly.

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  13. Lexi says:

    Still lol-ing at “I would sooner move to France and become a socialist than give those people money.” 😀

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  14. V says:

    I definitely agree with Seriously, life's too short not to have warm snuggly feet in the winter. Belle, next time it's cold and dark out and you're at your parents' house where no one can see you, walk to the mailbox in Uggs. Then try it in wellies with warm socks. No contest! I have no shame in busting out my Uggs for commuting on super cold days!

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  15. Belle says:

    V-Absolutely not. I fear the lightning bolt that would get me.

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  16. R says:

    Did you buy a Vera Bradley bag in the same shopping spree?

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  17. Mary says:

    LOL!!! I totally agree! Uggs are soooo ugly!

    December 1, 2011/Reply
  18. Jess says:

    I'm quite shocked by this, but we'll forgive you ; )

    Granted I've owned a pair since high school, before the craze. I wear them strictly after surfing, especially in the winter. They keep me perfectly warm in my towel and sweatshirt before getting home.

    December 2, 2011/Reply
  19. k says:

    I have Raynaud's and initially refused to give into Uggs. Then I moved to NYC and there was 3 feet of snow outside my apartment door. I am sorry but wellies and fleece socks do not cut it, the cold goes right through them. I may not look as fashionable as I trump to work in the morning but at least I am comfortable. I do however refused to wear them with a skirt, or when the weather is anything above freezing…

    December 2, 2011/Reply
  20. UGGlyisneverOK says:

    i love the uggs as slippers, my roomate likes subartic temperatures so i keep a pair around the house… never cross the threshold.

    i work mostly outside in dc in january for hours at a time every week. i still dont scumb to uggs. waterproofed leather with fleece lining.

    December 2, 2011/Reply
  21. Anne says:

    Hilarious post. I come from the same town, possibly.

    Vera Bradley and Crocs offend and mystify me but I can't live without my Uggs so I kind of figured you'd fold one day.

    But I totally thought you'd succumb once you saw Uggs Broome II or Brooks, which are totally respectable commuter-wear. Not a pair with sequins!

    December 2, 2011/Reply
  22. Govvie says:

    outside winter-wear: Merrell boots (Uggs are really not meant for “weather”)

    inside winter-wear: sheepskin slippers purchased from the gift store on a farm. Maybe I should start distributing them . . .

    December 2, 2011/Reply
  23. EFL says:

    Awww, come on … Come to France, Belle, we may be socialists but at least we don't have Uggs 😉 (errr … that's not exactly true, but they are few and far between, and definitely laughing stock).

    We have Desigual and Custo, though (google it and claw your eyes out).

    December 2, 2011/Reply
  24. V says:

    OH my god Anne the Broome II…I'm in love!

    December 2, 2011/Reply
  25. CynthiaW says:

    Oh, Belle – I love that you confessed your transgression to us and that you still wouldn't wear them out of the house even at 4:00 in the morning, far from D.C.

    I, too, have sworn that Uggs shall never mar my feet and, living in Houston, I don't even have to worry about putting them on in the house. I do have to admit to having a pair of Crocs – but they never leave my back yard and are only worn while picking up dog poop or taking out the trash.

    December 2, 2011/Reply
  26. amy b.s. says:

    i love this. and the pajamas with the uggs is likely the proper wedding attire, right?

    December 2, 2011/Reply
  27. Kaylee says:

    EFL, Desigual and Custo are my two must stop at places whenever I'm in NYC. I've introduced some friends to Desigual and they've all thanked me!

    As for boots, like k, I have Reynaud's. And Wellies with a fleece liner are not a good substitute for actual winter boots (for me, anyway, I'm sure it works for most people). I also disagree with the argument that Wellies are any more work appropriate than other other commuting boot (be it Uggs or anything else); I think they are all fine to wear on the way to work and then change upon arrival. Last year my go-to winter boots for days when I really needed the warmth were my Ugg Adirondacks (kind of similar to LL Bean Duck Boots). Hopefully my pair from last year will hold up well throughout this winter, too!

    December 2, 2011/Reply
  28. Anne says:

    (V, I KNOW, right? Check them out in espresso

    December 2, 2011/Reply
  29. Aussie says:

    UGGS ARE NOT FROM AUSTRALIA. Sure, the concept is originally Australian but us Aussies know that they are slippers and not outside wear. “Ugg Australia” is a company that has no connection to Australia. In fact the Ugg brand isn't even sold in Australia. So please don't disrespect Australians like that.

    December 3, 2011/Reply
  30. JB says:

    Belle I know you don't necessarily control your ads, but there is an UGG advertisement at the very top of the screen as I'm reading this post, and the irony is just too great. My parents house was built in the 1840s so I completely understand the need for the toastiness that comes with fake shearling fur. Enjoy!

    December 4, 2011/Reply
  31. Alex says:

    Not only are Uggs NOT from Australia (where we do indeed skin a lot of sheeps) but the evil Americans running the company came here and sued all the Ugg boot companies for using the word Ugg. They had trademarked a generic word. They stole our word!!! They are certainly charlatans and you shouldn't buy from them.

    December 5, 2011/Reply