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28th March 2022

Uggs and Moon Boots: why can’t we let go of the past?

Our favourite chunky footwear this winter – practical and avant-garde? Or just another fashion regurgitation from the noughties?
Uggs and Moon Boots: why can’t we let go of the past?
Photo: Glocalabel, Creative Commons License

Surprise, surprise – guess what’s back? Another y2k trend has made its way back into our fashion staples this winter, and this time it’s excessively chunky footwear.

I have to admit, I wasn’t too annoyed about the return of Uggs and Moon Boots, having saved both of my pairs from my childhood wardrobe (and successfully managing to squeeze my feet into shoes two sizes too small).

But why does it seem that every new trend we see these days is a reminder of the past for our parents who wore all of these trends 30 years ago?

Perhaps, simply, they did it best, and they did it first. The 90s and 00s shaped today’s fashion landscape more than any other decade. The 90s defined fashion as a global phenomenon rather than just a necessity.

‘Y2k’ fashion has dominated the scene for the past 5 years or so, with Gen-Z repopulating Paris Hilton-esque fashion with juicy couture tracksuits and low waisted jeans.

For many, y2k fashion like Moon Boots and Uggs are a sentimental reminder of simpler times where your favourite tv show characters would roam their fictional school’s hallways wearing Uggs and a mini shoulder bag.

Bringing them back is a familiar comfort – it’s safe and risk-free, which makes sense for a generation that is afraid of controversy and the unknown.

The TikTok generation reinforced repetitive fashion trends, with influencers making y2k fashion even more popular. They share y2k inspired outfits from their own wardrobe along with the appropriate hair and makeup.

Mini Ugg Boots made their way through TikTok a few months ago as influencers styled them in a range of colours.

The irony is that the younger generations on TikTok did not take part of the initial wave of Moon Boots and Uggs, but their exposure to the chic and stylised trends of the 2000s era is enough to make them want to replicate the trends. The fashion industry calls this the 20-year cycle – the concept that after two decades, everything becomes exciting and new again.

Nostalgia is a crucial part of this cycle, which YouTuber Joyce Sseguya-Lwanga comments on: “Considering the world we live in, I believe that people want a form of escapism, and a lot of people taking part in the trend either lived through the early 2000s or wish they did.”

Gen-Z kids want to be like their parents in their photo albums, wearing classic pairs of Moon Boots on snow days.

But it’s not only about nostalgia. We’re in a ‘culture-stuck’, and it’s not just fashion: we also listen to the same music they did in the 70s – the Beatles, ABBA, Michael Jackson…

People are aware of this stagnation, but are indifferent to it, because of a seeming lack of alternative, we are constantly dragged back into the past. There is no easy way out of this stagnation, but what is needed is new thinkers, fresh ideas and creative individuals (independent designers!).

It is effortless to resign to past ideas, because if they were successful once, then they are bound to be successful again. However, newness is exciting and stimulating: it opens up new pathways of possibilities.

Whilst Moon Boots and Uggs are a classic piece of aughts fashion, there are endless possibilities out there for new trendy footwear, they just need to be taken to the drawing board.

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