The Mule Game

Womp, womp. Whap, whap. Clack, clack.

Familiar sounds?

Yes, it the sound dub step music makes.

It is a sound of loss heard on a game show.

It is, according to Urban Dictionary, something that is completely not up to regular standards.

A succession of clicks.

An annoying gum chewer.

All above answers are correct, and in the name game of high fashion, it is also the sound a mule makes when walking, or traipsing across a room. So the larger question is, will you play it?

I hate mules and no matter how many I have owned over the years, have never liked them. In fact, few accessories, been as maligned over the past decade or so as the mule. Carine Roitfeld hates them too, but let’s forget that for a second. Here are the many reasons for my complaints.

Those backless babies slap against my feet as I walk and I find them so uncomfortable. My ten toes get tired of keeping that mule on my feet. Anyone with me?

I can live without a lack of functionality in the shoe department, I have many times before. But the mule evokes grande dames in little jeweled, satin, kitten-heeled mules or ’50s starlets set in their boudoirs in embellished linen versions.

I won’t deny, however, that a pro-mule movement is afoot. After fading into the sartorial sunset more than a few years back, the mule silhouette is rising back up with a vengeance—and it is no longer a sensible shoe for the faint of heart. The latest reincarnations run the gamut from textured fabrics to wild patterns to classic shapes perfect for the wardrobe of a fledgling fashion blogger. Yet, those including me in the anti-camp remain resistant. Even when Céline, Chloé, Altuzarra and Victoria Beckham all went backless below the ankle in their spring collections.

Chloé mules spring 2014

Chloé mules spring 2014

Kenzo mules 2014

Kenzo spring 2014

 These mules are distinct from their counterparts of yore. The main difference is a higher vamp—which, for starters, offers a more covered-up and cooler look. And the bonus? The revamped vamp also secures the foot and does away with the dreaded clack-clack.

Celine Spring 2014

Celine Spring 2014

Any anti-mule sentiments surrounding these latest versions might simply be knee-jerk reactions, but I’m still not sold. Will the mule-haters out there eventually convert? I’m sticking to my guns for now even if the fashion Pied Piperettes like the Olsens twins, are already wearing the latest slip-ons.

If you are among those shifting to pro-mules, take note that they look best with skirts and dresses that land just below the knee or with cropped slim pants. And stick to those single-sole styles as with the right look, they could be elegant and sexy (see below).

Here are my top four mules out there right now for those willing to bare their feet and do the womp in these rigid temps.


From top to bottom left to right: Gianvito Rossi mules, get a similar pair here // Jenny Kayne mules // Alexander Wang white mules // Tibi Britt Crystal Mule Wedge

Will you wear them? I’m not a convert. At least not yet.



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