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The Hybrid Heel

Mules are part pump, part clog, part slipper, and all the rage again. Last popular in the 1980's this hybrid heel has managed to sashay back into the fashion limelight and will be popping up all over again soon.
Loving these Vivenne Westwood mules with a bow.

The mule seems to be the distant, and infinitely more wearable cousin to the chopine. Characterized by its lack of back and high heel, it's a shoe that can either be so wrong, or so right, and it's all in how you wear them.

Mules are not meant to be paired with any old thing. Best paired with cropped pants, skirts or dresses, it's the perfect summer shoe. The closed toe version is especially nice if you're between pedicures. Wearing these with pants can work, but a pant tends to hide the open back and the fact that it is a mule, and can create the awkward problem of getting your pant hem pulled under your heel and into your shoe.

Mules are hard enough to walk in without pulling your pants into them.

Walking is a delicate balance, and if you've never tried, I recommend a lap around the house prior to going out. They're deceptively easy to accidentally walk out of, and the smaller and higher the heel is, the more balance they require.

Louis Vuitton does this perfectly with a cap toe.
If you love the open mule sandals, often called slides, the balance required is even greater, but the look is totally worth it. Just be sure to skip the ones with feathers on them if you're leaving the house (wrong look). Instead go for something sleek and open without a platform, or a wider strap across the top of the foot with a bit of a platform. And while there are a variety of heel heights to choose from, for the most part the more slender the better or it starts to look a little too much like a clog.

I had a pair of bronze sequin mule sandals that I wore to death and had to retire at the end of last summer (because I can figure out how to make sequins a daily thing) but I am definitely going to have to get another pair this summer. For me they're almost like flip flops, but better looking. They're easy to put on, go with anything and are perfect for almost any occasion.