Q: What Do I Wear With Mules?

For our latest "Ask a Fashionista" column, we answer the not-quite-age-old question of what to wear with mules.
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Dhani Mau
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For our latest "Ask a Fashionista" column, we answer the not-quite-age-old question of what to wear with mules.
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In our latest column, "Ask a Fashionista," you can solicit our strongly held opinions on everything from how to wear a midi skirt without looking like a tree stump to whether a certain retail CEO should go ahead and resign already.

Q: I am planning on fully embracing the mule trend this spring, but it just occurred to me that I have no idea what to wear them with. Help? -- Jill, New York

A: Indeed, the mule's lack of a back may make them seem freeing and easy to wear, but mules can't be worn with just anything (See: this Nicole Richie outfit for a bad example).

The mule's best (and safest) companion is a cropped trouser. As Nina wisely pointed out in her latest editor's pick, a cropped black trouser is a perfect accompaniment to just about any type of mule. The street style stars seem to agree. Cropped pants offer just the right amount of ankle visibility to really highlight the shoe. A similar -- and currently very cool -- option is a stiff, ankle-length jean with a frayed hem.

If you're interested in going into riskier territory, mules can work with a skirt or a dress. I'm most fond of how they look with something midi-length or longer. If you you want to go shorter, there are a couple of ways to go about it: One is pairing a school girl-y skirt with a heavier, tough mule a la Kenzo, something with a substantial heel rather than a tall, pointy one. The other is pairing a dainty, feminine frock with a lower, daintier mule a la Elle Fanning. If you look at the back of your legs and it just seems like there is too much skin happening, then you should probably change.

And if you're nuts, you could pair them with some white socks like this lady, but if this is your first experience with mules I do not recommend it.

Click through for some good examples on how to wear mules, followed by some of our current favorites you can shop now (via the links below).

Seen above: Jeffrey Campbell, $155, available at Nasty Gal; Chloé, $595, available at Shoescribe; Jeffrey Campbell, $154.95, available at Nordstrom; Manolo Blahnik, $695, available at Saks Fifth Avenue; Altuzarra, $750, available at Saks Fifth Avenue; Tibi, $375, available at Tibi; Zara, $99.90, available at Zara; Zara, $99.90, available at Zara; Stella McCartney, $850, available at Barneys; Gianvito Rossi, $685, available at Net-a-Porter.