For the past few months, my blood pressure has been rising in increments as I peruse online shopping sites and street-style photos. The culprit? Mules with fold-down backs, a trend that started on the Paris runways and has since become a common sight at retailers from Zara to Everlane.
They’ve brought out my inner curmudgeon, because for the first 18 or so years of my life, I got in trouble constantly for smushing down the heels of my shoes. Growing up, I wore a uniform to school every day—green kilt, green knee socks, and shiny black oxford shoes, which I always, always ruined within a year or two. Mainly, this was because I never took the time to undo the laces, leaving the backs mangled beyond repair.
Only recently have I finally amassed enough nice shoes that I’ve been motivated to kick the habit—honestly, I’ve unlaced my Rihanna x Puma creepers every single time I’ve worn them so far (OK, fine, almost every time). And now all of a sudden this is the cool thing to do? What gives?
As with many things in fashion, the original offender behind the latest proliferation is Céline—for Resort 2016, the label showed black lambskin babouches (a style of soft Moroccan slipper) with buckled straps that have since become a favorite among editors and street-style types.
To be clear, it’s not that I don’t like the shoes—believe me, if someone bought me the Brother Vellies denim babouches today I’d be a very happy camper—but it’s somewhat disconcerting to see everything from block-heel pumps to canvas sneakers styled like someone was too lazy to put them on all the way.
Want to contribute to my somewhat irrational angst? Shop the trend in the slideshow.