Posts Tagged ‘mules


6 Days in Clarks’ Soul of Africa

Clarks' Soul of Africa Mules Warming Up in Somerville

Yikes! Once I freed these mules from their box, they got quite a workout.  For a few decadent minutes, I warmed them on the marble slab above our heater. Barely an hour later, they zipped through the x-ray machine at Logan and headed for Amsterdam.

Less than 24 hours later with water stains waiting for the train in Amsterdam

My socks slid against the slick leather insoles and the tips of my toes got a bit soggy as we  slogged through the snowy streets in Holland. If I had realized that Europe would be seized by such uncommon storms, I might have packed something more sensible for our brief layover. Thankfully, we did not get stranded there.

In Casablanca, we joined up with the rest of  the Somerville-Tiznit Sister Cities delegation and hopped on a plane to Agadir. After a sumptuous feast by the ocean, we boarded a bus bound for Tiznit. At around 2AM, after over 26 hours of traveling, we checked in to the Hotel Idou Tiznit where we stole a few hours of sleep before we launched into a four day marathon of magnificent activities. Our group meandered through an ancient medina, viewed artists’ studios, bounced to irresistible Berber beats, toured schools, explored cultural centers, and attended lavish meals with local dignitaries. Believe me, my jet lagged tootsies were tremendously grateful for the supple cushions in the soles of these mules.

Lounging in an artist's studio in Tiznit

Returning home to the throes of winter, my hand-stitched Soul of Africa slippers were replaced by my Sorel boots. Frankly though, I think they are praying for Punxsutawney Phil to spot his shadow on Tuesday so they can enjoy the quiet sanctuary of the shelf as long as possible.

To comply with recent legislation regarding blogging, you should know that my trip was sponsored by University of the Middle East Project, The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in concert with Sister Cities International, the City of Somerville, the City of Tiznit and the Moroccan American Cultural Center. Please realize that most of my experiences would not be typical for anyone else.


A Mule by Any Other Name

There’s something to be said for not committing. Especially when it’s above 80 degrees in New York and still April. For me, keeping a handle on weather reality means abstaining from sandals just a little longer. It’s too soon to tease myself with a premature open-toe outing. Of course April or not, it is warm.
The solution appeared on the feet of a very stylish, tall stranger I spotted strolling in Brooklyn. She was sporting a thin pullover with slim, cutoff black jean shorts and sleek, black mules.
Mules, or clogs?
you might be wondering. My research tells me that mules usually have a pointed toe and no back, while clogs get a chunky toe and can be open-backed or have a low back. Either way, not a sandal, but still less shoe than a sneaker or pump. Best of all, they’re easily slipped off in the grass. Since it’s already late in the season, eBay is calling my name with quite a few discount options.
The Cole Haan Kenna from ShoeMetro has a wooden heel, hot studs and a nude tan upper that will make any shorts-clad legs look sky-high.cole060508_120434main

Vintage Bastad clogs will never go out of style, especially with weaved leather uppers to keep you cool.a19e_1

Antique brass hardware gives these new Charles David clogs from FashionAveMart a distinctly vintage feel.214773225_tp

Or for an easy eBay buy, head to the boutique Grapevinehill and check out the huge selection of luscious mules handcrafted by legendary Lucchese Boot Co. Here are a few of my faves (click a photo to link to an auction).




Lounging Like Marilyn

Sometimes a girl needs to feel sexy even if she is just lounging around the house.

About two years ago, I was in such a phase when it dawned on me that, although I considered myself to be quite the bombshell in my relationship, I had a disturbing lack of Marabou in my closet. What is a pin-up girl without her Marabou Mules?

It would be like Bettie Page without her bangs. Or Jayne Mansfield without her sweater. Or even Marilyn Monroe without a red velvet background. It simply would not do.

But where is a self-respecting New Englander to find a pair of marabou mules that would satisfy her inner bombshell but also be practical with her wardrobe, considering the fact that her most risqué sleepwear is made of flannel?

I threw caution—and fashion rules–to the wind. Who is to say I cannot wear a pair of kitten-laden flannel pajamas with pink satin marabou mules? These were not shoes for public consumption anyway. These shoes are meant for the boudoir and so I went online and ordered myself a pair.

They arrived two weeks later and I anxiously tore them open, putting them over my running socks.

No longer was I 2008 Sasha Brown-Worsham, writer, wife, and mom.

Instead, I was Sasha (no last name, of course), a 1950’s bombshell, fixing a martini and waiting for Frank Sinatra to show.

When my husband walked through the door, he was digging the persona, too. For a second, he considered donning a fedora and going all Rat Pack on me.

But that would have taken too much time. Instead, he just fondled the shoes–and me, of course.

Unfortunately, the problems started soon after. They were three inches tall, decidedly less comfortable than my terry cloth house shoes that matched my kitten pajamas and they were also very (very!) loud.

At the top of a stairway in Beverly Hills with a long flowing chiffon nightgown, these shoes may have worked, but in a second floor apartment in Somerville, Massachusetts with angry graduate students living below, the sound of clicking high heels is not a welcome one.

They are not the everyday shoes I hoped they might be. But I will never toss them.

Every few months, they come out of hiding, from the depths of my closet. Their appearances are usually brief, but very important.

When I need to conjure my inner bombshell from beneath the layers of mom and wife and writer, I slip these shoes on my feet, put on my wedding nightgown, spray on some Chanel and pretend that I am lounging like Marilyn.*

*(ed’s note: right now, you can get your MM on for only $18.95. check the link.)


Many Shoes, One Sole for Quick Change Travel

Punctuality isn’t one of my virtues. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that on our return layover through Atlanta on December 26th, my husband and I started our Christmas cards. We reduced ourselves to a puddle of giggles by scribbling nonsense on the backs of our bizarre photo greetings and sticking Star Wars stamps on the envelopes. Then, I meandered down the mismatched marble walkway of terminal D to find a Post Office drop box.

In my absentmindedness, I almost missed Friedman’s shoes. Though I knew our plane was about to begin boarding, a voice in my head begged, “Just see what they are hawking to harried holiday travelers.”

I wandered to the wall of mostly non-descript wedges, sighed and turned to…


What were those? There. Over on the counter in the center. Were those snaps on the side?

Upon closer inspection, I determined that they were indeed industrial strength snaps similar to the ones on the Jon Wye belt that I just bought Jason for Christmas. How odd! How ingenious! They allowed a gal to switch the tops off so she could flip her flops to fit any occasion.

Whoa, packing plenty of footwear to match multiple ensembles could be a cinch now.

Onesoles by Quick Change Artist offered an array of eleven different sole styles ranging from flats to 3-inch heels that can be interchanged with any of the flexible uppers. Each set of soles comes with a choice of three optional snap-on mates.

But guessing that I didn’t have time to try anything on, I wrote down the website, and headed back to gate D36.

Somewhere around gate D30, I heard Jason shout my name. Like a poodle on painkillers, I slowly surveyed my surroundings.
“Karen,” Jason pleaded. “Run.”

As I started sprinting, random strangers began cheering, “ Go Karen,” in between bursts of laughter. My embarrassment only increased as I reached the gate and realized that I had no idea where I had stuck my boarding pass.

“Just get on the plane,” our unamused airline attendant ordered. “I’ve paged you several times so I know that you are booked on this flight,” she explained.

I guess it is a good thing that I didn’t try to get photos of the crocs with the Mickey Mouse shaped holes for you.

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April 2020