Heater, Mother of Lance

Only in Utah

There’s a disturbing new fashion trend among teenage girls in Utah of wearing fuzzy house slippers in public. Perhaps its not singluar to Utah, and maybe I wasn’t paying attention when I lived in Los Angeles, but it’s hard to go a day here without seeing a seemingly rational 16-yr old girl walking around in gigantic, dander-producing slippers fashioned in the likeness of rodents.

I’m not terribly surprised about this, primarily because I’ve been conditioned over several years to expect the worst from people in Utah when it comes to fashion. Now, you have to realize that everyone in Utah is blonde and blue-eyed and, if transported to another state, might be wildly beautiful. But when these Aryan specimens are gathered into one gigantic pigment-less mass it’s the scariest thing you’ve ever seen.

The typical Utah outfit consists of a starchy white shirt, a pair of pleated khaki pants that hit the leg just above the ankle, a brown belt and brown shoes. I know this doesn’t sound too bad, but even when they mix it up a little bit with a skirt or a sweater they’re still wearing the brown belt and brown shoes. I recently saw a woman dressed entirely in black, with a black silk shirt and black stretchy pants, and she still had on her brown belt and brown shoes. Last time I checked Johnny Cash was not the new Jennifer Lopez.

The next thing you’ll notice about people in Utah, as you glance upward from the brown belt and brown shoes, is the attention to detail they give to the back of their heads. It’s as if the whole state has been told that they can’t possibly go out with the back of their heads looking like that, and so they go back and spend ten more minutes with their backsides to the mirror creating what I like to call The Conflagration! It’s a miniature replica, in follicle form, of the ferocious fire that will swallow the earth at the second coming of Jesus Christ. It’s as if people are bearing testimony with their hair that God lives and is angry.

Now we’ve got the whole frightful furry slipper phenomenon, and I have to admit that I welcome the break from the brown shoes. But I wonder where it will go from here, you know? We can only hope they don’t follow my Aunt Lola’s lead and dress entirely in leopard-print negligee.

  • jennn

    2003/03/17 at 11:09 am

    This post screams for digital photo accompaniment. I just cannot imagine.

  • Grace

    2003/03/17 at 11:11 am

    Are you saying that you prefer to wear white Addidas instead of puffy rats on your feet? What’s your problem, anyhow?

  • Danika

    2003/03/17 at 11:11 am

    They actually wear the furry slippers out??!! Yikes that is scary!

  • Yahmdallah

    2003/03/17 at 11:12 am

    Are you sure you didn’t just fall asleep during an episode of “Sponge Bob Squarepants” and dream all of this?

  • pinky

    2003/03/17 at 11:13 am

    I think I’d sort of like it if the state of Utah went all leopard all the time.

  • Erika

    2003/03/17 at 11:15 am

    Well, I don’t want to offend anyone but here in Los Angeles depending on the area ..the how do you say … people with the least money are generally seen outside in robes and/or curlers in addition to their worn out slippers. Think “Friday”.

    On another note, girl after living here how the heck are dealing with the move back to Utah. I have family in the suburbs of Seattle and I absolutely am giddy with delight when the plane touches down into Burbank.

  • Leslie

    2003/03/17 at 11:22 am

    Every college town I’ve been to has had girls and fuzzy slippers. I was hoping it was just out of laziness and not fashion. Sigh.

  • eve

    2003/03/17 at 11:23 am

    well… when i lived in sf, i used to wear my fuzzy slippers to work and i’d go run errands (walgreens on the corner, store to pick up some milk) in them… then again, i never did see anyone else do it in sf, so maybe i’m just a freak.

  • Morgan

    2003/03/17 at 11:24 am

    I once had a business trip that brought me to LA and Salt Lake in two days. The one thing I noticed was that both places seemed to have exactly the same women, only the Salt Lake girls seemed to be a.) born that way and b.) completely unaware of their potential.

    If the Utahans (Utahers? Utites? Utorum?) ever collectively moved to LA, the plastic surgery industry would go out of business.

  • Xanthan

    2003/03/17 at 11:30 am

    Oh, I’m with Jennn – please post some images!

    And while I’m begging, Dooce could you please post galleries of your wonderful photos? You’ve got such a great eye for composition and we love looking at the former Congressman… please?

  • Broch

    2003/03/17 at 11:32 am

    Please tell me that Black leather jackets have at least gone out of vogue during colder weather! I seem to have found a city that is full of them. 1998 ended a long time ago, being land-locked sucks.

  • dooce

    2003/03/17 at 11:39 am

    Xanthan: if you take a look at the top right of the page you’ll see a site navigation area featuring a link to “photos.” i may be wrong, but i think that’s what you’re looking for.

  • lordgoon

    2003/03/17 at 11:40 am

    Cool. I wear my carpet slippers outside all the time – always figured it was just because I’m sort’ve a slob. The line between slobbery and hipness continues to waver, and I’ll be there for the final collapse.

    How’s the new Betties album? Still waiting for mine to arrive.

  • chris

    2003/03/17 at 11:43 am

    my wife had a pair of (indoors-only) frog slippers that were retired and given to the dog. he’s since made them his own by de-stuffing them and tearing the heads off.

    sounds like i better not take him for a walk at a mall in salt lake…

  • PJ

    2003/03/17 at 11:52 am

    I’ve seen that hair thing going on here in Illinois too, usually on Country-Club Blondes (you know the color).

    Also, about the annoying thing: my dog does it too, only she prefers the crunchy bits within used kleenexes. She’ll sneak them out of the bathroom and rip them to shreds on the living room carpet, then skulk under the table when I catch her.

  • Darren

    2003/03/17 at 11:56 am

    Do they look anything like this?


    I saw this article in my local paper yesterday and actually thought of you, Dooce.

  • Artemesia

    2003/03/17 at 12:08 pm

    Morgan – I’ve wondered the exact same thing (in this very same space, actually) … but I believe the answer is Utahn … Dooce, can you confirm?

  • Dawn

    2003/03/17 at 12:30 pm

    I really need a photo of the back of the head thing…I just can’t picture it….

  • Funtime Ben

    2003/03/17 at 12:40 pm

    I recently saw the fuzzy slipper thing here in Manhattan on a NYU student in Union Square, but that just could have been because NYU students, for the most part, are privileged little bastards and don’t feel like getting dressed up for the public. This is what happens when you make “The City” a campus.

    She was also wearing pajama bottoms, so look out.

  • dooce

    2003/03/17 at 12:43 pm

    it is indeed “Utahns” or “Utahans” but really you can just call them Aryan.

  • speedo

    2003/03/17 at 12:44 pm

    Frank Zappa actually wrote a song about this very subject…”brown shoes don’t make it-quit school, why fake it- TV dinner by the pool, I’m so glad I finished school…”.
    I am sure Frank and his Mothers of Invention have a huge following in Utah.

  • Jenny

    2003/03/17 at 12:45 pm

    As a fellow Utahn, I am here to tell you, what she says is true. Very very true.

  • nicole

    2003/03/17 at 12:46 pm

    if I was related, in some way or another, to an entire city of people, then it stands to reason that the city would feel like one giant living room to me.

  • alix

    2003/03/17 at 12:48 pm

    In high school I remember girls a class or two younger coming to school wrapped up in blankets. Fuzzy slippers are nothing compared to awkward teens tripping over ugly blankets getting on the bus.

  • April

    2003/03/17 at 12:54 pm

    Okay, hold on a second. People actually buy those fuzzy slipper things?

  • Don

    2003/03/17 at 1:00 pm

    Utah is the anus of America, don’t expect much.

  • Irk

    2003/03/17 at 1:19 pm

    At first I read that as “Aunt Lola’s lead dress.” Oops.

    I’ve apparently been doing this backwards, because I have a pair of Birkenstock clogs that have not seen pavement that serve as my house shoes.

  • semaphoria

    2003/03/17 at 1:24 pm

    i am a graduate of park (sin) city high school – and most of the girls there wore the fuzzy slippers inside the school. they were a “cozy” alternative to wearing sorrels all day long. this was in the early nineties – and it was only a matter of time until it spread beyond the halls of that evil institution.

  • chunderchud

    2003/03/17 at 1:26 pm

    aw man…I own a brown belt (two actually). Khaki pants. And I’m from Utah. I’m so uncool.

    But wait! No white shirt! And I used to live in New York. Oh! I’m cool again.

    Nope, cuz I’m back in Utah. So I’m not cool.

    Aw man…

  • PJ

    2003/03/17 at 1:36 pm

    Dawn: the hair thing kind of looks like crop circles, or really flatttened grass after a bad storm. (At least the kind I am familiar with.)

  • Zach Frost

    2003/03/17 at 1:44 pm

    I don’t think Utah is the only one…
    I live in Omak, WA. I have English 101 with a 17 year old girl named Crystal. She wears these same slippers. Come to think of it…She has blonde hair.
    …but as far as I know, she lives in Tonasket (A smalltown 20 miles from here, where alot of inbreeding and redneck antics occur).

  • antisocial diva

    2003/03/17 at 2:03 pm

    i love wearing pajamas out. is that taboo as well? ah, hell. i guess i already know the answer to that. sometimes my husband and i will walk to the store and i will be in some comfy jammies and he will say, “yes, i’m taking my mentally ill wife for a walk” because he has to justify my choice of clothing. i don’t dare try to justify the hair on his back when we are at the beach. that prick.

  • Libbyo

    2003/03/17 at 2:21 pm

    The fuzzy slipper phenomenon isn’t exclusive to Utah, or a recent fad… when I lived in Ontario Canada, girls would wear slippers AND pajama bottoms to highschool… frequently.

  • Libbyo

    2003/03/17 at 2:24 pm

    Oh, and by the way you could definitely be referred to as “a people in Utah” you are one of us again… ARGGGGG

  • Tom

    2003/03/17 at 2:26 pm

    Down with the FUZZY-slippers… 6″ Platform open-toed-come-fuck-me-shoes, all day, all night, all the time.

  • the propagandist

    2003/03/17 at 2:36 pm

    god IS pissed.

  • Agatha

    2003/03/17 at 2:41 pm

    Perhaps, but Jesus digs it.

  • the drifter

    2003/03/17 at 2:50 pm

    For the love of Brigham, it’s “Utahns.” I’ve never heard anyone in Utah refer to shimself as a “Utahan.” Just people outside the state, who usually then start talking about Utah’s rampant polygamy. I also read a book one time (a college book no less, in college, in Utah, as a Utahn), that said Jews AND Mormons refer to non-members as “gentiles.” I’ve never heard a single Mormon refer to me or any of my t’baccy-chewin’ brethren as “gentiles,” but I wish they did. That’d be tits.

  • frootbetty

    2003/03/17 at 2:54 pm

    There was a trend identical to what you described in Japan (Shibuya district of Tokyo)about 2 years ago, although the girls would actually buy two pairs of slippers (each a different color and then wear one of each, while a friend would accompany her wearing the other “pair”.

  • nicole

    2003/03/17 at 2:54 pm

    utahn, like ‘futon’ and ‘crouton’?

    right on.

  • russh

    2003/03/17 at 3:02 pm

    Dooce: judge not, lest ye be judicated.

    a) your Aunt Lola and the leopard print are HOT, HOT, HOT.

    b) Elizabeth Smart wears fuzzy slippers to the mall. (They make a great ensemble with the veil and sunglasses.)

    c) Don’t drink Stoli on an empty stomach.

  • Naaman

    2003/03/17 at 3:17 pm

    Pleated khakis?!! On 16 yr old kids?!!!! A part of me is dying inside.

  • Alex

    2003/03/17 at 3:27 pm

    Fuzzy slippers? Do the more conservative girls wear brown ones?

    I hope they don’t wear them back inside when they get home. Can you imagine how funkafied they probably get after walking through the city with them?


  • dvl

    2003/03/17 at 4:02 pm

    Those damn Steve Madden fuzzy pink slippers – I swear it’s like you can put shit on a cracker and add a shoelace, and if it says “Steve Madden” on it anywhere people will wear it!

  • quoias

    2003/03/17 at 4:09 pm

    Jenny…it’s pronouced you-taw-in, so it doesn’t really rhyme with futon. I lived there for 7 years with my brunette hair and black boots so I found this a little weird. I never wore fuzzy slippers out (or in), but I did go through a disturbing time wearing black long john bottoms as pants. They looked cool with the boots.

  • zchamu

    2003/03/17 at 4:10 pm

    Um. Don’t their feet get cold? Wierdos.

  • Marco

    2003/03/17 at 4:12 pm

    Hmm..this reminds me of my formative years when the pajama top became the must-dare-to-wear item.

    As you were…

  • Xanthan

    2003/03/17 at 4:37 pm

    Dooce, you’re not wrong…. that’s exactly it. Can’t believe I missed it! Viva La Dooce.

  • Malisa

    2003/03/17 at 5:00 pm

    First – is the hair thing the cowlicks (yes, it’s really spelled that way)? Half of my family lives in Utah and I’m thinking of the way we were taught to comb our hair.
    Second – I am all for running to the grocery store on Sat morning in my pajama bottoms and toe socks. They are the bomb. After all, I haven’t even had breakfast yet.

  • Brooke

    2003/03/17 at 5:04 pm

    Of course — Fuzzy slippers worn with pleated khaki pants and a brown belt… I mean how much sexier can you get?

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more