Ways To Wear: Summer Mules
Finally, after false dawns and rainy weekends, summer is coming into view. The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer and it’s time to put some serious thought into your summer wardrobe. Some parts of it – shorts, printed shirts – are pretty straightforward. But others remain a complicated issue. Ahem, summer footwear.
Should you stick to sneakers all summer long? Take the plunge and go for shorts and loafers? How often should you be getting your toes out? The solution to these issues may be somewhere in the middle: mules. The open-backed option is a perfect meeting point between the smartness of classic shoes and the comfortable informality of sandals. Mules, then, should be an essential part of your annual rotation, a versatile shoe that can be worn to the beach, to the office or, on a hot summer’s evening, out to dinner.
In other words, there are a lot of different ways you can wear mules this summer (and every summer). Here, we’ve pulled together three very different mules, and three outfits that perfectly complement each style.
The classic mules
Classic, yes. But Manolo Blahnik’s take on a mule is packed with luxurious details. The Capuleti features an understated design, with a light-brown calf suede upper and soft leather sole to increase both elegance and the comfort.
This understated elegance – dare we say “quiet luxury” – can be carried on into the rest of your outfit. Pair them with simple, lightweight trousers, such as this pleated pair by UMIT BENAN B+, which use a linen and wool blend for breathability and drape. The minimal style continues with an off-white silk and cotton T-shirt from Piacenza Cashmere and an embroidered camp-collar shirt from Kardo, worn open, which provides just enough detailing to keep things interesting.
However, the devil is in the details. We recommend pairing your understated attire with jewellery from Peyote Bird and Miansai, a blue suede belt from Anderson’s and a statement bag – in this case a Bottega Veneta leather tote bag in the house’s signature Intrecciato weave and a contrasting burgundy. As for sunglasses, we’ve gone for a smart frameless pair from Cartier.
The fun mules
Sometimes, it pays to have a bit more fun with your mules. If that’s the case, then Marni is an obvious choice. Under creative director Mr Francesco Risso, the Italian label has become known for its bright colours and sense of humour. Part of a collaboration with LA-based No Vacancy Inn, these mules are made from a woven raffia with a blue, beige and black-stripe finish. You know what else they’ll make? A statement.
When it comes to the rest of your look, we suggest leaning into that natural texture. Complement them with other earthy touches, such Isabel Marant’s cotton and hemp-blend denim cargo shorts and the palm tree embroidery of MANAAKI’s bright orange T-shirt. The theme continues with Carhartt WIP’s pre-washed Delray cap and Rostersox’s off-white socks, while LOEWE’s raffia bucket bag is the perfect throw-everything-in bag for summer days.
We recommend finishing off your earthy outfit with some statement jewellery – Hatton Labs’ La Croisette necklace and The Ouze’s recycled hammered sterling silver and sapphire ring – and laid-back sunglasses from Garrett Leight California Optical.
The streetwear mules
That’s your summer dinners and beach trips sorted, but mules can also be an everyday footwear choice during the warmer months. By using a durable rubber construction, off-white and brown colourway, and padded sole unit, Suicoke here has turned mules into a worthy alternative to sneakers.
Leaning into the sneaker influence, we recommend pairing the mules with a relaxed and streetwear-inspired outfit. Up top, we’re starting with a 1990s-inspired graphic tee from Brain Dead, which can be paired with Acne Studios’ distressed denim jacket and wide-legged cargo pants from Japanese stalwart KAPITAL.
To go with this relaxed approach, it’s worth going big on details. A pair of leopard-print socks from Wacko Maria helps to accentuate the Suicoke mules, while Acne Studios’ cotton twill bucket hat and Porter-Yoshida & Co’s bucket bag work as functional accessories for summer days. Round off the outfit with a pair of CHERRY LA’s all American tortoiseshell sunglasses and Balenciaga’s skateboarding-inspired silver bracelet, because why not?