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5 mistakes not to make when wearing mules and clogs

Summer's best shoes, but with a modicum of caution

5 mistakes not to make when wearing mules and clogs Summer's best shoes, but with a modicum of caution

If the news hadn't arrived (and it should have by now) closed sandals, mules and clogs are the new standard of summer shoes. «But will it be possible to go out in slippers?» lace-up shoe fans always ask, which, fortunately, go unheeded. Far be it from us to gatekeep and despise lace-up shoes. Yet those who know the thrill of mules know something that the rest of the world ignores. Distinctions need to be made here: for the sake of convenience in this article we use "mules" as an umbrella term to describe anything ranging from actual mules, and thus with a bit of a heel and no platform, to clogs with a platform but no heel, all across slippers, slides, sabots, backless slip-ons, and you name it. The experience, leaving aside outward appearances, remains the same: a shoe without laces, wearable without particular mechanical operations, very close to a slipper but never as fragile or homely as a slipper. Some mules may have as an element of convenience a strap or band that holds the heel in place (purists say that the true mule has nothing around the heel) but we might find a reasonable compromise by saying that the mule never has an upper that surrounds the entire foot

Wearing mules and clogs is not super complicated, the styling practically does itself, however, there are some cautionary measures to employ to avoid faux pas that ruin your look. After all, as they often say, the devil is in the details. And what follows is a list of five details you should not overlook for anything in the world.

1 – Going sockless with rubber clogs

The idea of your bare skin being in direct contact with a synthetic surface in an outside temperature ranging from twenty to thirty-five degrees always has something disturbing about it. We are human after all and therefore we all sweat. If the clog is leather, suede, canvas, straw or any organic and even vaguely breathable material you are excused-it is the famous "Riviera" aesthetic after all, a little scruffiness is the rule. But if you're wearing rubber or plastic clogs there's no point roasting your extremities in that synthetic furnace, put on a pair of matching socks and you'll stay cool as a cucumber.

2 – Out-there colors

You can love mules and clogs even while admitting that, as footwear, they are a bit borderline. That's why it's important to avoid making them the absolute center of attention of your look. To the already somewhat childlike and naïve form of a mule/clog, crazy and colorful colors do no good. To avoid looking like someone who stole their shoes from a six-year-old, it's best to focus on neutral or otherwise muted colorways - your flair should come through in silhouette selection and overall styling. Remember: they are shoes and not signage.

3 – Un-aesthetic socks

Socks with mules/clogs are a topic of heated debate (see above) yet in many cases they should be worn. Let's say it bluntly: absolute no to visibile "invisible socks" and socks with quirky patterns and micro-designs. The sock should be terrycloth, it should come more or less to mid-calf, and it can be colored but always only monochromatic and, in the statistical majority of cases, it should not be in open contrast with the rest of the colors you are wearing.

4 – Clogs with formal clothing

If we live in a world where the sneaker and suit combo has stopped being as cool as it was cool in 2016, the combo of a dressy look with such sporty shoes is as jarring as ever. It is clear that this talk applies to the more sporty clogs and not to mules, which can definitely be more dressy even if they remain quite casual. So if you want to be like Nicholas Braun (aka Cousin Greg for the more seasoned) at the 2020 Emmys and mix formal dress and clog, or even like Kanye who put Birkestock Boston Clogs together with a navy blue suit, think again.

5 – The Ballerina Effect

The dreaded ballerina effect occurs when the sole of the mule or clog is so thin that it makes the wearer look as if he or she is not separated from the ground, imposing a duck-like gait, almost as if he or she were scampering around. As we said above, the difference between clog and mule lies precisely in the thickness of the sole, which, regardless of the model chosen, nonetheless exists to some extent. The flaw is even more obvious when the shoe being worn is a very low canvas slip-on or even the classic house slipper that many West Coast stars like to wear to go out flaunting a certain insouciance. Needless to say, for both stars and the rest of the planet, the style choice is not among the best ever.