If you're looking for an outfit on a budget, Penneys is the place to go - that's no secret.
While picking a up bargain buy in Penneys is no mean feat, the difficulty is sticking to your budget and leaving the store with exactly what you were looking for… and nothing else.
It takes Olympic-level strength to leave the low-cost haven with only the purchases you intended to buy, and not a new duvet set, three pairs of pyjamas and a bright yellow rain coat that you couldn’t resist but know you’ll never wear.
So I headed into Penneys to pick up three outfits for each day of Longitude festival in Marlay Park and set myself a budget of €30 per outfit. Sounds easy, right?
Here’s how I got on:
Longitude is a non-camping festival, so I didn’t have to worry too much about practicality for my outfits. However, comfort and style go hand in hand for me so I kept this in mind while choosing what to wear.
For the first day I chose a black and white jersey dress that’s very Cher Holowitz à la Clueless. The dress and the top came part in parcel for a very affordable €14, which was well under budget. The top comes apart from the dress to make it into separates, so there are plenty of different ways to wear the pieces together or on their own. The material is quite strong and heavy, despite the low price tag.
I opted for a black leather backpack (€12) for two of the three days, which held everything I needed perfectly. It had a tie fastening and a magnetic button to prevent prying hands.
I took a nod towards the sports-luxe trend and chose 90’s-style velcro runners (€13) for the weekend. They have gold metallic detailing at the back which added a bit of glam, while their bright white colour went with every outfit. They were really comfortable to wear and didn’t cause any blisters, and were ideal for roaming around Marlay Park in the sun without getting my toes trodden on. I’d recommend trying a size down if you’re buying them as I did find the sizes quite generous.
Outfit number two was the most expensive as it consisted of three different separates. I chose a black denim skirt (€12) which had a good bit of stretch in it, making it ideal for sitting comfortably on the grass. I paired it with a plain black vest top (€5) and a statement jacket, the pièce de résistance.
The jacket was €21, which threw the budget for this outfit over the top, but I thought it was totally worth it. The burgundy, white and purple pattern was really eye-catching, while the white fringing added nice detail. The boho vibe of the jacket was perfect for the festival, and wasn’t too heavy to wear despite the scorching skies.
I made up for going over the top on Saturday with my purse-friendly outfit on Sunday. I spotted this khaki green number at the door and threw it straight into my basket. The high neck, perfect fit and faux suede finish of this dress makes it look way more expensive than €14. Again, it was really comfortable and easy to wear for a day in the sun. To make it more festival worthy, I added a feather detailed statement necklace (€10).
I chose a smaller bag for day three, which holds a striking resemblance to a piece by high-end designer Chloe. The tan and gold bag cost €10 and fit everything that I needed, leaving no doubt that it will be a piece I'll use all summer long.
On average, including accessories, bags and the runners, each outfit worked out at €37. Considering I wore the runners each day, as well as the backpack twice, I think it’s safe to say that I made the most out of the €30 budget. If I hadn’t chosen the pattern jacket for day two I definitely would have been well under budget, but I think it was worth the “splurge”.
Unsurprisingly, the quality of the clothes from Penneys outdid their budget-friendly price tag. In fact, I think each outfit looked like it was worth a lot more. Each piece is very versatile, with plenty of different ways to wear them through the seasons and even to work.
I spotted several other potential outfits while doing a sweep of Penneys on Henry Street, and will definitely be popping in again to pick them up (and a new duvet set too).