Mule shoes are back in fashion (again) and are chicer than ever before. If you are here, you are rather someone who is purposely looking for the chicest (whether flat or heeled) mules to rock throughout spring and summertime, or someone who hoped the fashion industry had finally got rid of them.
Mules are, for the third year in a row, one of the industry’s must-have and most-acclaimed footwear items, and this article is here to celebrate them, giving you some advice on how to wear mules in style and making you change your mind if you would rather go barefoot for the rest of your life than wear a pair of mule shoes. Of course, we also present our chic list of the trendiest mule shoes to buy this spring, whether flat or heeled!
15 Chic Mules to Add to Your Closet Now
To help you change your mind about this practical and chic footwear style, let’s start off with the best flat and heeled mules of the moment!
1. Pastel Flat Mules
Mule shoes can be pretty ethereal when dipped into cool, pastel colors, such as these flat mules by Mansur Gavriel available for purchase at Net-a-Porter.com. Combine them with a striped balloon skirt and just get ready to feel flawless!
2. Knotted Heeled Mules
Proenza Schouler’s heeled mules come with a fancy metal loop and even fancier faceted heels and are basically “urban-chic” made accessories. Make your inner Carrie Bradshaw happy and get them from MyTheresa.com!
3. Ballerina Mules
When speaking of pastel flat mules, one cannot help thinking about Chloe’s Mary Jane mules, available at Farfetch. Featuring a lovely zig-zag front detailing, combined with the cleanly rounded toe, these mule shoes instantly catapult us in the most romantic of the fashion scenarios. These are the ultimate all-time must-have options, if you are looking for a pair of flat mules to wear forever at the weddings or during any special occasion in the years to come!
4. Heeled Mules with a Pop of Color
With this pair of By Far mule shoes, you’ll put a ray of sunshine even on the cloudiest days, which is no small feat considering how unpredictable the weather could get during spring. You can find them on Net-a-Porter.com, and we suggest combining them with a pair of light-blue jeans just to make them pop!
5. Nude Heeled Mules
This pair of Madewell heeled mules, which we feel like would easily appeal to Kim Kardashian, is available at Nordstrom and could be regarded as the epitome of chic. Wear them with a pair of mom jeans, a skirt, or a jumpsuit; they will make you look flawless regardless.
6. Hippy-Chic Heeled Mules
Of course, FreePeople.com managed to transform the trend of chic mules into something (slightly) hippie. Take your love for mustard-colored accessories to the next level with this pair of heeled mules, the elegant structure of which will instantly make you feel a million bucks (and also quite boho-chic).
7. Sunshine Flat Mules
For the quirkier side of the mule trend, however, head to Farfetch.com to get flabbergasted by these Aquazzura crystal brooch-embellished flat mules, which will turn heads, for sure. They are divine enough to be combined with evening looks, and comfy enough to complement casual day-to-day outfits.
8. Chunky Heeled Mules
Chic comes in a great variety of forms, including the most Seventies-inspired ones. On Net-a-Porter.com, you’ll find Mercedes Castillo’s chunky-heeled mules, which are polished and minimalist with a twist. They’ll unapologetically infect you with the best Saturday Night Fever virus of your life.
9. Sculptural Mules
While Aquazzura’s mules exude clear Nineties-approved quirky vibes, Jeffrey Campbell’s options are closer to the post-modernist side of fashion. And if your fashion sense of quirkiness is closer to the latter, we recommend checking these heeled mules at UrbanOutfitters.com!
10. Something Blue
Who says pointy-toe flat mules can’t appeal to hardcore pinup-style lovers? On Farfetch.com, you can get these flat mules embellished with pearls to wear from day to night. Just pair them with all of your Fifties-inspired skirts, blouses, and especially hairdos!
11. Geometric Heeled Mules
Unashamedly geometric, Jacquemus’ heeled mules are pieces of art and architecture. Get them from Nordstrom.com if you cannot wait to surprise everyone with your urban-chic outfit at the next party in town!
12. Dynamic Heeled Mules
Things never get boring at Balenciaga, do they? Particularly within the footwear department, which delivered this pair of gorgeously hot pink, ultra-pointy mules just in time for summer! Of course, wearing them with a pair of contrasting track pants is a huge fashion plus. You can get them at MyTheresa.com!
13. Day-to-Day Heeled Mules
If you love heeled mules but also simplicity, Urban Outfitters’ black suede mule shoes are just the best option for you, as they are, well, just pretty and simple, and you’ll easily pair them with anything, from daytime to night-approved looks. Get them at UrbanOutfitters.com!
14. These Flat Mules Are Made for a Holiday in Italy
As for the epitome of Italian quality and elegance, Marni’s classic sabot mules are basically any urban-chic lover’s dream come true. Available at Farfetch.com, they’ll give you the chic Italian look many strive for when dreaming of a sunny holiday on the Amalfi Coast.
15. Mustard Croc Block-Heel Mules
Last but not least, make your friends jealous with River Island’s bright yellow heeled mules, the patent croc finish of which is definitely not for the faint of heart. You can find them at RiverIsland.com.
What Are Mule Shoes and How Are They Different from Slides and Sandals?
As seen in the many pictures online, on Instagram or on any e-commerce website, mule shoes are not your average pair of sandals. Quite on the contrary, mules are not sandals (nor slides), and could actually be regarded as one of fashion’s most ancient and important pieces of history.
Like with many other fashion statements, to appreciate mules one should know their history.
First thing first: what are mules? With “mules” we refer to a style of closed-toe, open-back shoes that have no constraint around the foot’s heel. Unlike slippers, which are indoor shoes (meant to be worn with your pajamas) or slides that are outdoor backless open-toe mules, mule shoes are outdoor footwear options and are usually closer to the chic side of fashion rather than streetwear (although the extremes are nowadays blurrier thanks to Gucci’s and Vetements’ takes on footwear).
While you’ll easily find mules at any high-end fashion show now, mules are pretty old, as their history goes back as far as to Ancient Rome. They were also utilized in Europe during the Sixteenth century, as well as in the Middle East throughout centuries. While in the beginning mules were mostly boudoir shoes, quickly they turned into day shoes worn at practically any occasion.
Throughout history, mules have changed in style. While initially traditional mules were (and still are) low-heeled, closed-toe backless slip-on footwear options, the modern variations also include flat mules (again closed-toe), as well as open-toe mule shoes (both heeled and flat), which actually are slides per se.
Mules finally became an international fashion statement during the Nineties, when icons such as Sarah Jessica Parker, along with fashion houses like Gucci, became obsessed with them.
How to Wear Mules in Style
At this point, you either can’t wait to check a few fashion tips and tricks on how to wear mules in style, or you have eventually admitted to yourself that you are intrigued by them but still don’t know how to wear them properly. Either way, here are the style dos, don’ts, and best fashion tips for wearing mules like a real fashionista!
Before we proceed, treat mules as versatile footwear items, since they pair very well with dresses, skirts, culottes, cropped jeans and pants, jumpsuits, casual and elegant looks, giving that highly coveted granny chic appeal to any outfit they complement.
Do Consider the Heel Height
Mules can be flat, heeled, with platforms, and so on, and checking the heel height before choosing your favored color or style should be mandatory. That’s because, due to the trendy nature of mules, such shoes tend to be more stylish than comfortable (it is not always the case, but it could be).
If you suffer from any posture condition, unless severe, you can surely wear mules, but you’ll very likely have to favor heeled ones over flat mules.
Medical conditions aside, heeled mules can help those, who love mule shoes but think they are not flattering, feel chic, balanced, and empowered, and we all know nothing compares to a good pair of shoes that makes us look fabulous.
Do Wear Mules with Denim
Of course, mules look chic and flawless when combined with an elegant dress, but what about exuding edginess with bright mules paired with cropped, shredded jeans? And if so, why not elevate such a look to its Instagram-star counterpart with a denim jacket and a plain white logoed T-shirt? As Britney says, you’ll get all eyes on you!
Do Wear Flat Mules with Stripes
If you feel flat mules are your style but fear they’ll make you look shorter, combine them with (vertically) striped skirts, trousers, or blouses, playing around with contrasting shades and accessory items (such as hoop earrings, and long necklaces).
You’ll end up looking slender, chic, and comfortable!
Do Dare With Extravagant Detailing
If you are not that into mules, good chances are you like them only when solid-colored or embellished with nothing but a pointy toe. Although plain black or nude-toned mules are surely elegant and timeless, extravagant ones are equally unforgettable, and could easily help you channel something unique at any of your future red carpet-like events.
Plus, when wearing quirky mules, one can always tone her outfit down with a total black/ white look.
Don’t Combine Mules with Only Total Black/ White Outfits
Don’t get me wrong – mules are great with total black/ white outfits, especially during summertime. But given their innate chicness and versatility, mule shoes can actually give their best with ultra-colored outfits, whether it is a multi-colored jumpsuit or a pair of blue jeans and a gingham top. Such tips are particularly valid if your spring mules are nude-toned!
Don’t Relegate Mule Shoes to a Conventionally Chic Outfit
We can all agree on the fact that mules are the epitome of chicness, even if we don’t like them, but that doesn’t mean they can get along well only with conventionally chic clothing items.
Following in the footsteps of icons and stylists such as Lotta Volkova, we can always combine our soigné mules with a tracksuit or a pair of shredded denim short shorts, toying with proportions and different textures. If it is not too humid where you live, try combing a pair of bright, velvety mules with denim dungarees, and tiny sunglasses, and we swear you won’t regret it!
Don’t Pair Mules Only with Black Minaudières
I know it, whenever one thinks about mule shoes her mind automatically jumps to black minaudières or clutches. Mules, however, give their best with nearly anything, especially with unconventional accessory items that, apparently, don’t connect with each other.
Whether you are about to flaunt your mule shoes with an elegant mini jumpsuit or a pair of cropped jeans, consider completing your outfit with a chic and utterly cute straw bag and just get mentally ready to see all your friends steal your look.
Photos via @ohhcouture, @collagevintage, @aylin_koenig, @black_palms, @vivaluxuryblog