Shoe Crush: White Mules

Polished casual outfit with a check blazer and white mules. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Sometimes a trend comes along that both intrigues and intimidates me. White footwear has been one of those.

Above: earrings | blazer | top (similar) | scarf | ring | jeans | bag | shoes

Modern White Mules

I first noticed white shoes popping up Pinterest and some style blogs about a year ago. I thought they added something fresh, crisp and a little unexpected to a denim look. So I tried on a few pairs at the time, but the pumps just looked too 80’s and the loafers and oxfords were too reminiscent of golf shoes.

Fast forward a few months…and I’m now seeing more pointed toe mules (and ankle boots) in white and ivory. These styles feel current rather than nostalgic.

I love that angled heel on the style shown in the collage above. Cool and modern.

White mules from Naturalizer. Details at une femme d'un certain age.


I like the criss-cross detail on these, and they have a cushioned footbed. Available in N, M, and W widths too.

Textured loafer style mule in white. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This pair has classic loafer styling and textural detail.

Pour la Victoire ivory kitten heel mule. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

For those who prefer ivory to white, these have a feminine kitten heel and are quite comfortable with soft leather and a nicely padded insole.

Croc-embossed white chelsea booties. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

And if you just can’t with the mules, here’s a cute croc-embossed chelsea boot that’s not too Go-Go Boot Literal (and it’s currently 40% off).

True, a white or ivory finish may be more prone to scuffing and be higher maintenance. A water- and stain-proofing spray may help.

What do you think? Would you consider adding any white footwear to your wardrobe, or are they strictly no-go?

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  1. March 1, 2018 / 3:33 am

    This are all very cute and avoid the Mrs. Thurston Howell III/retiree-on-a-cruise look that too often comes from white flats.
    Personally, I’d be more inclined toward a beige/tan that offers a nude leg-lengthening look and that doesn’t feel out of place in the shoulder seasons. But I’m a minimalist with a small closet.

    • March 1, 2018 / 4:40 am

      Mrs. Thurston Howell III — lol, that made my day!

    • Lisa
      March 1, 2018 / 6:32 am

      Mrs. Thurston Howell III also made my day! I have a pair of white chunky heeled Marc Fisher “Regina” mules that I just love. Very Marcia Brady 2018!

      • March 1, 2018 / 7:32 am

        Marcia Brady was always très chic! (A chunky heel makes all the difference)

        • Marie
          March 3, 2018 / 1:22 pm

          Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! 🙂

  2. March 1, 2018 / 3:49 am

    Go-go boots and footwear for the drill team. That’s what non-sneaker white shoes remind me of. So that’s a tall threshold for me to cross.

    Like Francetaste, I’m in the mood for shoulder-season, leg-lengthening shoes in neutral colors like beige, tan, light grey, pewter.

    And then there’s the matter of my size ten feet, which white shoes in any style don’t do many favors.

  3. Rondi
    March 1, 2018 / 4:26 am

    I think I like the white shoes. I’m sure its helpful that I live in Florida. The only white shoes I currently have are sandals. But I would consider the mules. I think it will be hard for me to feel confident about what I choose to wear with them. Thank you for including shoes that come in a narrow width. I walk right out of any shoe in a medium. I have to skip over all the pretty shoes in your posts for that reason. Narrow shoes are increasingly hard to find.

  4. Ellen
    March 1, 2018 / 5:20 am

    Never. They send many messages, none good: they too often look like nurses shoes. Having worked in a hospital for much of my career, they conjur up no good style memories. Or: they remind me of my mother in law wintering in Florida the retirement home; again an image I have no desire to duplicate. In general, white says to me the absense of color, as if someone forgot to finish the picture, or was not creative enough to think of a better idea I never wear it inless it is part of a pattern or design that has another color.

    • March 1, 2018 / 2:43 pm

      I’m the same. Summer is when I want to get out some colour, not white.

  5. March 1, 2018 / 5:22 am

    I just can’t do white shoes…evocative of so many memories from days gone by – polishing them for church, Pat Boone and Pee Wee Herman…they are fun, though, If they speak to YOU, go for it!

  6. Patrish
    March 1, 2018 / 5:51 am

    Not for me; I put them in the ‘trying too hard’ category. Sandals, yes. Sneakers, yes. Proper shoes/boots no.
    They simply scream ‘look at me’. It’s all about being comfortable in your own style.

  7. J'Laine Bradley
    March 1, 2018 / 5:55 am

    I love the white mules. I have only recently began to see them in photos. Here in Arkansas I haven’t seen any in stores yet.

  8. Susan Simmons
    March 1, 2018 / 6:21 am

    One word on the white shoes. Nope.

  9. Kathy
    March 1, 2018 / 6:24 am

    My white shoes are Birkenstock Arizonas. Patent leather. Here in Florida, that’s formal wear!

    • March 1, 2018 / 8:18 am

      Me too! My Arizonas are the only white “shoes” I’m likely to own. . . and even in those, the white took a bit of getting used to (have to say they don’t seem to scuff at all, though)

  10. Eileen
    March 1, 2018 / 6:39 am

    I bought white sandals last year to wear with long draped pantsuit, to elongate my leg line. I probably won’t do a cropped pant with a white shoe. I love nude colored shoes also.

  11. Joanna
    March 1, 2018 / 7:40 am

    Another no, here. I would pick a soft spring color, or nude. But, I truly believe we should all wear what we like.

  12. Mary A.
    March 1, 2018 / 7:47 am

    White, yes: Mules, no. I don’t like to cover up the best part of my feet (a pretty pedicure) and emphasize the dry, cracked heels. Plus they tend to make people walk funny (shuffling along to keep the shoe from falling off).

    • March 1, 2018 / 8:19 am

      I feel exactly the same way about mules. Not made for walking, and I really like to walk. . .

    • Tiffany Hutton
      March 1, 2018 / 3:23 pm

      Agree also – I don’t see the point of mules!

  13. Elizabeth
    March 1, 2018 / 7:48 am

    Love that bag! It’s so Mid-Century modern and has a distinctly architectural look to it. As for the white shoes, not for me, even with my smaller feet . It’s interesting how plaid jackets/suits seem to be all the rage. I donated all of my soft cashmere plaid suit jackets a year ago! Oh well!

  14. Lori
    March 1, 2018 / 8:52 am

    I just bought the Naturalizer ivory mules that you feature and they are super comfy and cute! I tried white shoes two years ago and felt like PeeWee Herman, but the ivory pointy toes peeking out from some wide legged ivory pants, yes!

  15. Garden Goddess
    March 1, 2018 / 9:35 am

    Living in Southern California, the white shoe trend is great–and I really love mules—so the combination will really work for me. The bonus about white is that they are really easy to recolor when the trend ends as they seem to do so quickly these days…

    I used to repaint my shoes all the time with shoe spray paint that used to be in the drug stores, but you will more likely find at your local shoe repair store these days. Clean and dry the shoes really well. Then stuff with newspaper and tape over anything you don’t want painted (including the soles and EDGES of the soles!). Take outside and place in the center of a big piece of newspaper, then spray back and forth in LIGHT layers of paint. Let the first coat dry and you can do it again to get a thicker coating. If you spray heavily, especially in one place, you will likely get runny drips that will need to be wiped immediately or will permanently ruin your shoes. To gain confidence, try it first on a pair that you are getting rid of. This has saved many of my light colored shoes from the doom of irremovable scuff marks. If you try it, I hope it works as well for you. OR, you could just have your shoe repair person do it… Best wishes!

  16. Marybeth
    March 1, 2018 / 9:51 am

    I’d like to try… I lived in San Francisco in the 70’s & had a pair of white leather boots that came to right below the knee… they were so fun & looked so adorbs with my mini skirts (in my 20’s)… ha!

  17. Ainsivalavie
    March 1, 2018 / 11:15 am

    White shoes and white purses are not for me. Living where we have snow until April and then mud white footwear is not practical. By the time it’s warmer I want sandals! I can see a neutral version of all these although perhaps the little mules with the cut outs could look ok with lighter summer clothing. I am not sure what’s up with many blogger’s recent obsession with mixing white with early spring clothing. I notice a few live in the south or in SoCal so many it makes sense I guess when your weather is currently what we see in May.. Yeah I have 9.5 feet and white shoes steal the whole look and as another comment pointed out I like to showcase my pedicure not the dry old heels:) but if you love ’em go for it!

  18. Kim
    March 1, 2018 / 1:49 pm

    I’m kind of surprised that so few like these… Although, I never wear true white, I’d do these in a soft off-white, I like the ones that resemble loafers. I first saw the trend a couple of months ago in a Nordstrom magazine. Since we’re on the verge of summer here (FL), I’ll probably wait till fall and see how these are trending.

  19. Darling Lily
    March 1, 2018 / 2:48 pm

    Don’t care for white shoes at all, from a practicality standpoint ( I do not want to be forever cleaning them) or a design standpoint ( I find most things in white to be very stark and cold-looking, even non-clothing items) and I cannot walk in mules, but those you are showing with the kitten heel are adorable! Alas, not for me, but I am sure many of you could wear them in great style.

  20. Tiffany Hutton
    March 1, 2018 / 3:24 pm

    I actually bought a pair of cream leather oxfords a couple of years ago and found them surprisingly versatile but when they inevitably got a couple of stains, I wasn’t really tempted to replace them. Which reminds me, must get them dyed black!

  21. Anonymous
    March 1, 2018 / 3:27 pm

    Since no one has mentioned golf shoes, I will mention the danger of white shoes looking like a gentleman golfer of a certain age, usually worn with stretch polyester pants in Easter egg hues, a short-sleeved shirt and a sweater vest.

    • Susan B
      March 1, 2018 / 3:28 pm

      Actually, I did mention golf shoes in the original post. 😉

      • Anonymous
        March 2, 2018 / 9:00 am

        Also remind me of my neighbor “footsie” who wore lawn bowling shoes. You could see the big white shoes from down the block. Eek.

  22. Susan
    March 1, 2018 / 4:01 pm

    Sorry, white shoes just have too many associations…nurse shoes, golf shoes, old folk shoes, 60’s trend…plus they make your feet look bigger. A beige, taupe or soft pink shoe anytime to optically lengthen your legs would be my preferred choice.

  23. Lisa B
    March 1, 2018 / 4:10 pm

    No. Not for me. I was an RN back in the day when nurses wore all white, shoes included. No sneakers, no clogs. White tie shoes and white support hose. I did like the Naturalizer shoe in the Peony though and Naturalizer is one of the few shoes I can wear without foot pain. I think they’d look great with some shredded hem ankle jeans, a navy tee and my navy Scapa jacket. Lately I’ve been loving that monochrome look. It works for those of us who are vertically challenged. it would be nice to break it up though with some colored light colored footwear. I think the Peony color is very springlike too.

    • Lisa B
      March 1, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      Darn! I need to proof read what I write!

  24. March 1, 2018 / 8:15 pm

    Strappy white sandals (yes to showing off a pretty nail polish) in the height of summer, but not boots or mules.

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