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The Return Of Ugly Shoes

2 min read

Whether you love them or hate them, ugly shoes are more popular than ever. Coming back into the spotlight as not just practical or lazy choices, but statements of their own, they have conquered almost every midlife woman.

Your best friends can’t leave the house without a pair of purple Crocs, your mum wears her Worishofer sandals with pride and celebrities from Katie Holmes to Reese Witherspoon keep wearing Birkenstocks, and even Margot Robbie in “Barbie The Movie” has worn these staple summer shoes (the Arizona style). 

Why? There are a few reasons why Birkenstocks and other ugly shoes have become a must among women in recent years. According to style experts, they usually belong to those who are unafraid to own their aesthetic, have fun with fashion, and perhaps don’t care what others think. However, we can’t deny that fashion trends have also shifted towards more comfortable and practical clothing and footwear in the past few years. Also, many midlife women have long-ditched glamourous shoes for those that they can wear for long periods and be worn with a variety of different outfits. 

And guess what? Believe it or not, they all fall under the “crunchy” sandal category, which also includes Tevas and other hiking trail-approved sandals that have crept into streetwear.

SEE ALSO:  Summer Style Tips: How To Wear Kimono Jackets When Over 40

 “Ugly fashion attracts attention because it is different,” explains Carolyn Mair, PhD, a cognitive psychologist who specializes in fashion. “We tend to ignore normal or average objects since we know how to process them“, she says, “but we pay more attention to complex or unusual objects — ugly shoes included“. 

Think chunky accents, sky-high platforms and other unconventional designs. They may be considered aesthetically unpleasing,” she says, “but these exact features appeal to others. Wearing something different that draws attention could be interpreted as risk-taking, which may be perceived as exciting, adventurous, and fun.”

Let’s be real, we all have quirks that make us unique. So, why hide it? Life is too precious to waste on figuring out if something is worth wearing. If that ugly shoe makes you smile, then, by all means, wear it.  If you are a midlife woman who has just embraced your second chapter maybe a pair of ugly, comfortable sandals would help you to enjoy summer at full speed. 

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