The British welly 時尚達人必備雨靴

更新時間 2013年 5月 2日, 星期四 - 格林尼治標準時間16:53
Wellington boots in the mud at the Glastonbury festival

Wellington boots are popular at music festivals, like Glastonbury

Vocabulary: fashion 詞匯: 情緒和情感

The economy might be depressed, but the British are still splashing out on wellies. One shoe company has reported sales of the boots are up 673% this year - they're selling 15 pairs a minute. They thank the snow for our enthusiastic welly-buying. It's true we have had a few cold winters in recent years, but our love of wellingtons probably has more to do with fashion sense than common sense.

Ten years ago, wellies came in black or dull green. Farmers wore them. But now shops are selling wellingtons of every colour, decorated with stripes, spots, flowers, animals and even fake diamonds.

That's because the Wellington boot has been fashionable since around 2004, when fashionistas in New York were spotted wearing them. British model Kate Moss made a splash in 2005 when she wore wellies to the Glastonbury Festival.

But the welly has been fashion-forward before. It began in 1817 when the Duke of Wellington started wearing a narrower, simpler boot. Being a famous war hero, men were quick to copy his style and the Wellington boot was soon all the rage. It went out of fashion at the end of the 19th century, but farmers, workers, dog walkers carried on wearing them.

So why have they become fashionable again? It's part of a general trend for big boots: biker boots, cowboy boots and Doc Martens are all popular. Wellies also benefit from music festival chic, with models and music stars being photographed in them at muddy outdoor events. But surely it's a class thing too. The British upper classes have an outdoorsy image – often seen with waterproof coats, dogs and wellington boots. This aristocratic connection gives wellies a certain social cachet which trainers will never have.

But retailers should enjoy the welly craze while they can. Wellington boots are probably at their peak now, and will soon start to lose favour. The last big boot fad was Ugg boots. Worn by the stars, they were soon so desirable that everyone had a pair – or a cheaper copycat version. And that was their downfall. Now everyone has them, they're not special anymore and sales have fallen by a third.

Quiz 測驗

1. What is welly short for?

Wellington boot.

2. According to the article, are British shoppers buying fewer wellies?

No, they're buying more.

3. Who invented the Wellington boot in 1817?

The Duke of Wellington.

4. According to the article, who has an outdoorsy image?

The British upper classes.

5. Is the following true, false or not given? Wellies are only available in black and dull green.

False. They're available in many colours.

Glossary 词汇表 (点击单词收听发音)

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