Mule sandals are a type of footwear worn by both men and women. Named using the French word mule, this style refers to open-back and often closed-toed, versatile sandals, which can be styled with different kinds of outfits, both ethnic Indian and Indo-Western. Although there isn’t any recorded similarity in construction, the name of this shoe style is rooted in the footwear worn by magistrates in Ancient Rome. This shoe style has been adapted to complement varied Indian styles of clothing. It is worn with sarees, salwar kameez, lehenga cholis and various Indo-Western ensembles by women. It is also worn by men with kurta pajamas and sherwanis.
Men’s mule sandals are comfortable and diverse in the sense that you can make them with a wide variety of materials. Amongst the most popular, however, are men’s leather mule sandals. These shoes go very well with casual kurta pajama ensembles. You can find them in different colors like camel, tan, black and even olive green. There are also other materials that are frequently used to create this type of sandals. They are faux leather, pleather, suede and rubber. Moreover, men can choose open toed sandals that go with ethnic Indian men’s wear. On the other hand, Indo-Western apparel like kurta and jeans are popularly teamed with close toed sandals. One of the most favored embellishments on mule sandals, especially for men, is buckles. Usually seen in a color similar to that of the strap, buckles are simple yet classic.
Ladies’ mule sandals are extremely sought after and have a lot more variety in them than their male counterparts. The appeal of these chic sandals lies not only in their versatility but also in the styling of the heel and the variety in the embellishments they sport. One of the most popular, evergreen styles for women’s mule sandals are the high-heeled variety. High heel mule sandals give the wearer a choice of different heights along with different heel styles like kitten, pencil, cones and so on. This style has been prevalent for many years owing to its universal appeal and ability to complement most types of Indian ensembles. Wedge mule sandals for women have become popular in recent times and are heavily sought after because of the comfort they offer. However, they are just as modish and fashionable as other styles of mule sandals. Women opt for single strap as well as double strap mule sandals in different girths, right from thin, delicate straps to bold, heavy straps. Apart from the straps, modern embellishments on them like dainty buckles and bold color choices like hot pink and metallic hues have made this style of sandals popular among younger generations. The myth that strappy mule sandals should only be worn by older women has been busted in recent times. This factor makes these sandals all the trendier. Another factor that has contributed heavily to its rising popularity is the availability of style in different heel sizes and types. Double strap mule sandals are also available for men.
Years of innovation and reinvention have brought about a more contemporary version of mule sandals called slip-ons. They are stylish and classy, and can be worn by both men and women. String ties are a more recent yet widely popular embellishment on slip-on mule sandals for men, while thin straps, bows, flowers and other knick knacks are more popular with women’s sandals.
Styling and Trends in Mule Sandals
There are certain essential mule sandals, which retain their importance owing to the reliability factor.
Black mule sandals or mule sandals in other neutral hues like brown or beige can almost be classified as staples for a woman’s wardrobe. You can pair them with nearly all outfits. The chunkier variety can be teamed with ethnic salwar kameez sets while daintier pairs can complement more formal and heavier garments like traditional sarees.
Mule sandals in metallic colors are ideal for any party wear ensembles for women like kundan work lehenga cholis, anarkali suits or modern saree styles. These can also complement different, modern saree drapes such as saree pants.
Closed toe mule sandals for women, although underrated, can be a great addition to accessorize with fitted bottoms such as cigarette pants or even ethnic Indian ensembles with churidar pajamas or leggings.
As opposed to the commonplace mojaris or jootis, mule sandals can be the go-to footwear for men. As they are often available in muted, neutral colors one can always pair them up with nearly all kinds of ethnic kurtas and pajamas, especially churidar pajamas. Close toed mule sandals can also be paired with casual western wear like shirts, pants or even a shirt and jeans. This is the ongoing international trend.