There’s nothing that fashion loves more than subverting expectations and flipping the script on antiquated fashion rules. The new prevailing fashion mentality puts unique personal style front and center, inspiring people to dress for no one but themselves.
That ideology is exactly what sparked the sartorial world’s obsession with “ugly” fashion. “Ugly” fashion is one big tongue-in-cheek response to dressing for one’s body or choosing “flattering” clothing. What was once considered lowbrow has become cool and is now worn both ironically and unironically. If you’re still confused, just think back to how Birkenstocks, once the premiere middle-class dad sandal of the century, became a fashion-girl staple, inspiring a legion of high-end designer copycats.
As is the way of fashion, even ugly fashion trends are cyclical, with a new crop coming in and out with each passing season. Narrowing in on the footwear styles from the S/S 2021 runways, we’ve rounded up six “ugly” shoes that are going to be big for the whole year and especially this spring. Read on to see which styles you should keep on your radar.
We spotted this trend on the S/S 2021 runways at ACNE Studios, Khaite, and plenty of others, which tells me that it’s one to watch. With elements like complicated straps and asymmetrical cutouts, no one will be able to take their eyes off of these.
Acne Studios S/S 2021 Sportmax S/S 2021
As we know well know, the pandemic nearly obliterated tall heels, making way for these ultra-low floor-skimming pumps. They remind me of the sensible heels my grandma used to wear—comfortable and practical—placing them squarely in the ugly-cool category.
Chanel S/S 2021 Bevza S/S 2021
Who else remembers those platform flip-flops from the early 2000s? These are like the elevated version of those retro sandals with cushy soles and extra-wide straps.
Jacquemus S/S 2021 Kenzo S/S 2021
It’s confirmed: Chunky sandals are here to stay. The spring runways were littered with sporty Velcro sandals (fashion’s take on elevated Tevas) with updates like colorful fabrics and whimsical embellishments.
Jason Wu S/S 2021 Sea S/S 2021
How could we forget house slippers? These cozy flats are what kept us the most comfortable last year, and they’re about to serve their purpose all the way through 2021 as well with luxurious updates like faux-fur and pretty pastel tones.
Molly Goddard S/S 2021 Balenciaga S/S 2021
Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that clogs are having a moment right now, and dare I say, they’ve never looked cooler. From cow-print clogs to patent leather, they’re completely taking off.