Married with Children’s high heel mules

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While we love shoe stores, there are a few very good reasons for not wanting to spend a night in one. Top of the list would have to be if you were accompanied by Al Bundy, from TV’s Married with Children fame.

Today is the 23rd anniversary of the Married with Children episode “The Great Escape” in which the Bundys are forced by termites to overnight in the shoe store at which Al works. In the episode (first broadcast 21 February 1988) the family settle in at the store for the night, while their grounded daughter Kelly plots to escape and go to a rock concert.

We won’t tell you what happens (you can view the entire episode at the links below) but we can hint that you’ll see some glimpses of the best and worst of 80s high heel fashion. Actually, perhaps only the worst.

A serial offender throughout the show’s 11 season run was the character of Al Bundy’s wife, Peggy Bundy (played by Katey Sagal, above at bottom right). Peggy’s fashion consisted mainly of tight capri-length leggings with a large belt, often accompanied by an off-the-shoulder top. High heeled mules – slip-on, backless heels – were a mandatory accessory.

Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with those things (for example Pedro Garcia’s Marilyn satin mules above show that the style can be naughty and nice all at the same time). However Peggy’s outfits were designed to look as cheap and tacky as possible at all times and usually succeeded.

IMDb attributes the Peggy Bundy look to having been conceived by Sagal herself:

Katey Sagal came up with the idea for her character Peggy Bundy to dress in 1960s-inspired clothing. Sagal’s reason for the look was because she wanted to parody the 1960s housewife. For her audition, Sagal had brought her own red bouffant wig, and when she won the role, producers approved the image into the show.

And in an interview for Loaded (Magazine) Sagal referred to the importance of the high heel mules to help her get in character:

It doesn’t come together until I get dressed. The wig… and the shoes, the shoes are really important.

Peggy’s humorously tight clothing and high stiletto mules gave her a unique, small stepping walk, which Sagal also attributed to the shoes:

when we went to wardrobe, about how we wanted them look – them all to look, and I thought that she should wear shoes like that… anyone who wears ‘those kind of shoes’ will walk that way.

So, what would Peg Bundy wear if overnighting at the shoe store? Well, she wore Marabou mules of course! Here’s a picture of some classic 4 inch Marabou mules, courtesy of Ellie Shoes:

Peggy wore white.

You can view the entire Married with Children episode “The Great Escape” here:

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