I’ve been trying to avoid this one. Ever since the 90s, when I first experienced this trend as a fashion newbie, I’ve been aware/wary of this accessory. My first foray was a pair of black soft suede, block heeled mules. They were so cool. I thought I was so cool. Teenaged and trying to find my style, I’m not sure I nailed the style part, but I did have one thing going for me: young feet and untarnished heels.
Youth makes everything easy when it comes to clothing. Only when one looks back do we wish we knew what we know now. Perfectly gorgeous bodies that didn’t get as much empathy as they should have. And perfect feet. Feet that hadn’t been squashed and squeezed and abrased and mistreated. Feet that had no callouses, bunions, cracked heels. Just un-mottled, smooth and baby-soft.
Bliss. We didn’t even know we had to grateful for them.
Fast forward 20 years. The mule is back. Only this time, there’s an older foot to put in it. Nothing fully-exposes a woman like a mule. It reveals your darkest secrets to the world. What we can hide with Spanx and hair-dye remains between us, but a mule will out you. Its a candid screenshot of a woman’s lifestyle just by the mere inch or three of skin on show. It is an unforgiving footwear piece that many love because of its slip-on ease. Who pampers her feet and who does not. Don’t let that irony be lost on you – if the appeal of a casual slider warrants, the prep and hard work must be done beforehand. Unsightly heels are an outfit-breaker. Nothing can save it. Nothing.
In summer, I’ve seen many attempt diversion tactics from un-kempt heels by painting toenails in candy colours. Nah. Doesn’t work. Good, old-fashioned putting your back into it does the trick (or getting someone to do it for you)! Rub shea butter into those feet, scrub, pumice, soak, paraffin wax – do whatever it takes, but don’t let cracked heels out into daylight!
It doesn’t stop there. In Autumn/Winter it may have been tempting to neglect ones feet because of the cold weather, but no. As shown by Gucci, these new mule hybrids, lined with softest shearling, are to be worn without socks. Your entire rear must be in good shape for these babies, but when they look good, they look really good.
To avoid looking like and old donkey from the knees down, here are the Mule Rules:
- Heel health – prep those feet. Pamper them until they are saturated with moisture. Hobbit feet are a no-no.
- Exfoliate feet, heels and ankles. Unsightly self-tan doesn’t go well with these backless beauts.
- Blisters – avoid a mule if you’ve been hiking across The Alps. Best wait for those sores to heal and soothe them with Vitamin E oil.
- Buy the right size! Nothing more unsettling than foot overhang. I find it mesmerising, gross, but mesmerising. If you happen have larger feet, you’re not going to make them look any smaller by buying the wrong size, it’ll have the adverse effect.
- Heeled v flat. If you struggle to walk in heels, then heeled mules are harder. Just something to bare in mind. Walking in heels is an art. Running in heels deserves medals.
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Note: All images have been credited to their original websites
Image: Christian Vieri Getty Images