Everything old is new again! Whether you are excited for this must-have shoe trend or still experiencing deja vu from 2007, mules have officially made a comeback. Interestingly enough, the resurgence of trends about every ten years is often a topic of discussion in my “Trend Forecasting and Analysis” course; therefore, it is no surprise to me that designers have drawn inspiration from the mid-to-late 2000s to re-create the mule.
However, prevalence of the mule extends far beyond the 2000s. According to S. Marshall (2016), “The origins of the word mule lie in Ancient Rome, where it was mulleus calceus (a red or purple shoe worn by the three highest magistrates), but the contemporary appropriation refers to a shoe that is backless and usually closed-toed.” Additionally, Marshall (2016) adds that “when Comtesse d’Olonne, the risqué society beauty, wore a soft red pair of mules to church in 1694—daringly peeping from beneath her richly-embellished skirt—it paved the way for the style.” Continuing into the eighteenth century, mules “went on to become popular within the French Court, both Madame de Pompadour and Marie Antoinette donning variations” (Marshall, 2016).
Mary Kate Donahue, 2017.
Although fashion often incorporates innovations from past styles, why it is that mules are popular again right now? According to K. Abel (2017), Manolo Blahnik may have profound insight in assigning the state of our world as a contributor for the mass-consumption of mules. “It’s extraordinary that the times are so terrible and people buy these stupid shoes. Maybe they want joy for five seconds,” Blahnik claims in his new movie, Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards. Perhaps the mules’ unique shape, opportunity for creative designs and wide acceptance by the fashion cycle draw various consumers to the product.
“With the changing seasons, it’s time to pack away our sandals and flip-flops in favor of some sturdier choices. And while chunky boots are fall must-haves, sometimes we just need the cozy-cool feel of slip-on shoes on our feet” (Sirera, 2017). Although many believe that mules cannot fully translate into the cooler temperatures of fall, I beg to differ. While a pair of opened-toed chambray mules (see my pair pictured above) may edge more on the summery side, other pairs of mules are designed for the latter-part of the fall season, or potentially even into the winter. Also, with the rise of “seasonless” dressing, mules can certainly be incorporated into various ensembles, regardless of the month. Seasonless dressing provides an opportunity to pull “together pieces from across your wardrobe, regardless of whether they were designed for now or later,” to generate “more creative looks,” E. Stalder (2016) claims.
Looking for the perfect pair of fur-lined mules to carry you into the fall and winter? On the hunt for a a unique pair of heeled mules to pair with tights? Well, you’re in luck! Take a look at a few of my favorite pairs; all under $100!
Abel, K. (2017, September 8). Why Manolo Blahnik Will Be Closing His Eyes During the Premiere of His New Movie. Footwear News. Retrieved from http://footwearnews.com.
Marshall, S. (2016, May 10). A Brief History of the Mule. AnOther Mag. Retrieved from http://www.anothermag.com.
Sirera. L. (2017, September 27). 13 mules that will take your fall footwear game to the next level. Hello Giggles. Retrieved from https://hellogiggles.com.
Stalder, E. (2016, December 15). What Is ‘Seasonless’ Dressing, and How Could it Improve Your Style? StyleCaster. Retrieved from http://stylecaster.com.