Best Bet: Backless Mule

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Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

The backless mule is a polarizing shoe, long associated with Madame de Pompadour and ladies of a certain age. This season, it has stepped back into fashion. The latest incarnations have higher heels and skew more elegant than their pink marabou counterparts: Chloé’s gilded cork wedge (pictured, top; $1,395 at Net-a-Porter) and Céline’s trapezoidal cutout heel (bottom; $2,190 at Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Ave., nr. 57th St.; 212-753-7500) are sculptural updates, while Gianvito Rossi for Altuzarra’s sleek version (middle; $750 at Bergdorf Goodman) is dressed up in black satin.