High Fashion Tempts Me Again With Ugly/Fabulous Quilt-Inspired Item

posted in: Confessions, Fashion 37
AGGGH! Emilio Pucci patchwork mules. Image: The Outnet.



Remember this coat that I coveted MOST DEARLY? Well, high fashion is back with a slightly-ugly-but-also-totally-amazing PATCHWORK SHOE. People, it’s Pucci. Pucci! Not Gucci: Pucci. The famed 70s designer who made the flamboyant, wacky, swirly-print scarves and the disco pantsuits? That’s Pucci. Gucci is like, ladies who lunch in the Gold Coast and have three cell phones for reasons no one should probably ask about.

These shoes. I mean, it’s really hard on me, seeing these shoes. Let’s examine pros and cons. Cons first, in hopes I will convince myself not to buy them immediately.


  1. Just … no. The term jolie-laide comes to mind. Jolie-laide is a French term which literally translates to “beautiful-ugly.” These shoes are beautiful-ugly, straight-up.
  2. Even with a 30-percent off code — given to me because I haven’t shopped at the site lately because I am seriously not in a position to shop right now — they are going to cost a cool $240. Which isn’t as much as the velvet Log Cabin coat (on which I realize I need to do a final update.) But still. That’s some bread and even though I have a new job, it’s still part-time. Technically.**
  3. I actually loathe the mule as a shoe style. In fact, I have an unofficial No-Mule Rule. My general position on “high” heels, which I wear almost exclusively, is that as long as the toe isn’t too narrow and the pitch isn’t too dramatic — by “the pitch,” I mean the slope of the shoe’s sole from heel to toe — heels aren’t uncomfortable. I’m not wearing stilettos; I’m wearing pumps, mostly. And these shoes make me feel good, as I mentioned yesterday. But the mule … Yuck. The mule’s pitch is usually very severe and what’s more, the heel is chunky by design. I have narrow ankles but wide, strong, Norwegian milkmaid calves, so a block heel is pretty bad for my stems, you dig? That these shoes are mules is a big con, here.
  4. And there are bows! No! Why the bows?? I don’t do bows!


  1. Oh, good God! There are quilt blocks on these shoes!
  2. Pucci!
  3. I just bought them. I JUST BOUGHT THEM!!! AAAGHHHH! MY ORDER NUMBER IS 2203ZO26F1801H!!!!

I am laughing and laughing right now … Oh, you guys. I clicked on the shoes again so I could describe them for you and meditate on the dumb things and what did it say? What did the little red dot say? “Just 1 Left!” Fie! Fie, you foul demons of online retail! Wretched algorithmic spawns of Satan! I wrend my garments! I wrend my high-fashion garments and I throw my stupid mule shoe at your screen! YOU GOT ME. YOU GOT ME AND MY CREDIT CARD YOU FIENDISH FASHION SUCCUBI! (Succubi? Hm. Spell-check didn’t flag it.)

These shoes are awful. And they’re so great. And there’s free shipping.

And free returns.

I’ll let you know.

Have a great day,


37 Responses

  1. Jo Chalk
    | Reply

    “Life is short, buy the shoes!”

    • Mary Dusenberry
      | Reply

      I absolutely agree!

  2. Cathy
    | Reply

    We are such kindred spirits

  3. Heather
    | Reply

    I am SO glad that I’m not the only person who goes through this when they make an unadvisable purchase on the interwebbies. That said, consider compromising with something quilt-inspired that’s cheaper! 😉 I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my patchwork scarf from GAP and considering splurging on the patchwork kimono…

    Hope you’re feeling better, Miss Mary!

  4. Betsy
    | Reply

    Not to be an enabler or anything..

    But I think you could totally count this as a business expense and deduct it from your taxes…

  5. Becca G
    | Reply

    O no you didn’t!
    Before you send them back you HAVE to post a picture of you wearing them.
    As for the log cabin coat, (swoon worthy) I would have saved up my pennies for that instead.

  6. Char
    | Reply

    Temps vs tempts. Works either way. Those are a must-have.

  7. Deb
    | Reply

    I’m a shoe freak and these are too cute but I’m couldn’t walk in them but I did just buy a cute pair of flats that have quilting stuff all over them. Think Toms or Skecher Bobs style. I can’t wait to get them. Enjoy yours!

  8. Mary Ann
    | Reply

    You always make me laugh Mary…well except when you make me cry!

  9. Marie-Claude Lajoie
    | Reply

    Fabulous shoes! So ugly they are beautiful. It was meant to be!

  10. Karen Johnson
    | Reply

    Hey Mar,
    I fully expect to see them in all their glory at Portland QM in May!!! Can’t wait!

  11. jen
    | Reply

    Two wrongs don’t make a right but three wrongs do! 🙂

  12. Jan C.
    | Reply

    Nope! Don’t do it. Ugly is ugly.
    I think you can take shoes that you LOVE to a cobbler, with quilted fabric that you LOVE, have it put on the shoes, and not be stuck with an ugly style, ugly price, and uncomfortable shoe.

  13. Nadine Donovan
    | Reply

    Ha! Good for you! Wear them loud and proud!!

  14. Ann Kelly
    | Reply

    Sometimes your blog sends me down a rabbit hole! Today, that rabbit hole was a website selling vintage Pucci clothing. WOW!! Such beautiful designs!! Enjoy your new shoes. When I was just out of college and didn’t have two nickles to rub together, some friends and I had a little chant: “New shoes, new shoes, with a high and a heel and a kick!”

  15. Christina
    | Reply

    You are right: these are beautiful ugly. I totally see why they were hard to resist. My suggestion is to not wear them but to display them as an art object. They’d look great on a shelf or in a display case. They would be hard to see on your feet.

  16. Chris Chambers
    | Reply

    $240–seriously? Buy some cheap-o mules and some stickers at the office supply store. $200 saved….Now put that mouse in the drawer and walk away !!

  17. HelenMarie Marshall
    | Reply

    Oh nooooooooo

  18. Paula
    | Reply

    You can’t pass it up! It’s quilt blocks on shoes! YAY!!!

  19. Cara
    | Reply

    No… Oh, Mary, no. When and with what could you possibly wear those? And, if you do keep them and style an outfit with them, I so need to see pictures. My admittedly unfashionable self can not see it.

  20. Ann
    | Reply

    Life’s too short not to buy the shoes. You can always send them back. And I loved the comment about using them as decor, seriously! What fun on a shelf! There is going to be a day when you regret ALL the high heels, but I won’t bother you with that now. That’s later. This is now.

  21. J Michael Voiles
    | Reply

    Thank god there is a free return policy! Enough said

  22. Nan Wilson
    | Reply

    Laughing outloud funny. You MUST publish a pic of you modeling the shoes!

  23. Marcia
    | Reply

    I was thinking “paper weights”?

  24. Pamela Keown
    | Reply

    Good thing about free returns.

  25. Brenda King
    | Reply

    Mary- Life must be so different in Chicago vs. here in Oregon. Old age must be pointedly different between your youth, and my old age. My thoughts lean toward comfort, quality, cost, and need for new shoes. I simply could not be tempted by a pair of shoes which were sorta cute/ugly, and $240! I could have four or six pairs of good shoes for that! I guess you have to sow your oats, and live it up when younger, but just think of how many hours of your life you will have to spend working, to purchase the shoes. Is it really worth it to you??? Since you have already ordered the shoes, please enjoy them to the fullest! : ) Brenda King, Bend, Oregon

  26. Lynn
    | Reply

    Shoes? Heck, I’d have bought the coat and feasted on ramen for the next two years!

  27. Michele Leonard
    | Reply

    Way back in the ’70’/ I was shopping and saw a pair of brightly colored Mondrian print shoes! Black heels , with a red patch, an even brighter Yellow patch, Royal Blue, etc. you get my drift right? Couldn’t walk past them, AND they fit me ! Yikes!! I bought them ! Yep right then and there , no hemming and hawing ! walked right up and proudly bought them ! Some people said WOW! those are some shoes, others understood completely. You know I wore them with Lots of plain outfits, best with slaxs and with a bright jacket or scarf. LOVED THEM !!!! Try them out “MIkey’ may like them ! You are a design person, WORK Them shoes ! Make sure you take an attractive foot picture that you can hang proudly !

  28. Karen Hanson
    | Reply

    I think buy them and only wear them when you are lecturing and then they could be a business expense!

  29. Juanita Pierce
    | Reply

    I’m glad you bought the shoes. Personally, I think the coat is ugly. Leave that thing at the store. I would be embarrassed to wear it. That’s just my humble opinion. You, of course, are free to do as you please with your own money. I do love your style of writing though. Always a joy to read your blog.

  30. […] … that these shoes are going to arrive at my building tomorrow and I think … I think I’m the only one on […]

  31. wynn Graham
    | Reply

    Could they also be bookends?

  32. Kim Landry
    | Reply

    Oh my Goud! There are no cons good enough to block the perfection of this purchase for you. Don’t you think the promise of YOU may have been whispered in the ear of the designer? Yea, me too! Also, i think they are a very work spacific purchase and therefore a write off. They give you credability. Q When you strut to center stage and sit on a stool and cross your legs in just that way and smile broadly at your audience…BAM! I will believe anything you tell about quilting, your shoes have PUCCI QUILT BLOCKS on them! Go girl!

  33. Barbara
    | Reply

    I press that order button sometimes so quickly when I’m ordering fabric. Then, whoa, I did it again. But I’m always happy with it.
    Not too sure about those shoes though, sorry.

  34. Karen Likens
    | Reply

    Have you see this site? She has some fun quilted wearables. http://www.carleen.us/all

  35. […] the patchwork coat? That was in November. Remember the patchwork Pucci shoes just the other […]

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