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I got meself a parka. A staple must if you will. I went for pretty-grungy and festival-grungy. Even though I didn’t make it to a festival this year. The SHAME. Read the rest of this entry »

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Naomi probably says "I know"

I cannot handle compliments at all. They make me feel embarrassed and awkward. Not to mention under pressure to return one STAT!

I’m sure ye’re the same. I know I’ve heard the following exchange from perfect strangers on numerous occasions:

“LOVE that top, it’s gorgeous on you!”

“This? God no… twas only a fiver from Penneys anyway. *quick, pay her a compliment back* You’re top is fab though, I love it”

In the words of Chandler Bing, could it BE any more pathetic? I used to think it was an Irish phenomenon but I’ve definitely heard some of my English/Scottish buddies have the same reaction .

Read the rest of this entry »

Let me get one thing straight before I start my little rant on maxi dresses – I am average ish height, about 5’8 or so – by no means a giant, but going by the length of maxi dresses on the high street I am!! The single most difficult thing to find (for me) was a floor sweeping maxi dress, what is particularly frustrating about this is, that in my mind, no maxi dress looks right if it’s any shorter than floor length, it should skim the ground, the shoes (wedges, gladiators, flip flops, cons whatever tickles your fancy) should not be visible or at the most a flash of an embellished sandal is acceptable! Just a word of warning for all you who may be planning on purchasing! Read the rest of this entry »

once again i must apologise for my absence from whatwilliwear as i have recently been finishing up my leaving cert and thought i probably should dedicate some time to studying. so with the memory of exams quickly fading away and the lure of summer (and the rest of my life) awaiting me, i cannot but be excited at the prospect of throwing out my uniform in exchange for some fresh, fun, funky, fabulous outfits. holiday shopping always excites me even though i usually only end up with a few bikinis and t shirts which inevitably end up lost by the end of summer. Read the rest of this entry »

Forever21 coming to Jervis Centre…yee haw. The American emporium of discounted designer dregs is reaching the Irish populace, starting off in the Jervis Centre, but most likely spiraling to every random shopping metropolis on this isle. Not complaining though; many a quirky dress, flirty shirt and last-minute heat-deflecting item have been acquired in Century 21. Read the rest of this entry »

any more than our three weeks of sunshine and we might end up like these guys

a short angry note on penneys

it was suppose to be a simple affair, an in-out job, a smooth operation. i had a plan of execution in my head…pull into penneys on the way back from the bank, grab a few pairs of gladiators and some runners and swing by the summer dresses on the way to the check-out. less ‘shopping trip’, more ‘grabbing the messages’.

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Yesterday I was involved in a Herculean Fashion Battle. I was the Samson in Samson V Goliath, I was the Chelsea in the Chelsea V AC Milan, I was the Scratchy in Itchy V Scratchy. What was this unholy clash? It was Jennie V TK Max. Previously I have discussed the hair-raising, nail-biting, loveless, joyless, rollercoaster that is the Pennys Binge (or PB as I shall now refer to it). But nothing could have prepared me for the TK Max experience.

TK Max Death Ray

I was at the tail-end of a modest (almost polite) shopping trip with the Mother in Arklow’s Bridgewater Shopping Centre. It is widely acknowledged that Arklow is not the fashion capital of Ireland, never mind Wicklow, and it was only an ambling, sociable excursion with the prime goal being some eatin’ and some chattin’ on a homeward-bound detour.

That was until the luminous, vibrating TK Max sign bathed us in its holy, reddish glow. After a few conflicted seconds, physically weighing up the bloated shopping bags in our hands and the deflating cash balances in our minds, we greedily ‘nipped’ inside, like the guilty bingers that we were. And what befell our eyes? Nothing. If anyone has ever stepped inside a TK Max you will agree that it is a very anti-climactic moment. It is a gaping, white canyon with bare metal rails abandoned in disregard across the floor. A few half-hearted displays shout about ‘serious bargains’ or ‘xxx-treme discount’, but ultimately it’s like the ravaged skeletons of buildings you see in end-of-the-world films*.

Surprisingly, this is the exact ploy that hooks you. I was overwhelmed by the sheer apathy of the environment and I had made my mind up that I would not be a TK Max customer. I casually strolled up to the ‘Absolute Last Clearance Super Discount Below Cost Price’ rail and started flicking. And then I saw a top for €4. And then another one. And then a DKNY top for €7. And here was a Nike Sports Bra for €3 – and this was only the Casual Top rail. I suddenly spied the Evening Top rail, The Day Dress rail, the Evening Dress Rail, Casual Jackets, Activewear, Jeans, Trousers…it was endless. The system was all making sense – I felt like I had just discovered Pi on a broken abacus. So I grabbed a trolley (I was wondering why they had trollies in TK Max – I thought it was a little undignified…but the penny finally dropped) and started ripping things off hangers and dumping into the trolley. Ooh yes, I’ll have that cropped jacket please. Yes I already have a few cropped jackets, yes it’s white and sequinned, but it’s only €9. I could wear it with the black jumpsuit, with the pink bubble dress, I could wear it on the date on Friday, I could wear it for lunch with the girls tomorrow. And what about this dress? It’s actually hideous, but maybe hideous in a good way? In an ironic way? It is Calvin Klein after all and it’s only €15 and in fact, I could wear it with the cropped white sequinned jacket, so I should probably buy it, just in case I can’t find anything to wear with my white jacket. And a parka – I should probably get a parka. I don’t need one, I don’t particularly want one, but it’s only €40.

And on and on this vicious merry-go-round. Maybe I should get these tracksuit bottoms. I have loads, but you can never have enough right? And what about a cap? A Billabong cap? I don’t wear caps, but it could be good for jogging? And the beach? I mean Billabong is all about the beach and if they have a whole section devoted to caps, I should probably have one. And they have reduced yoga mats and skipping ropes. In fact, they have a whole discounted sports equipment section. I am training to be a personal trainer…maybe I should just buy an entire home-gym now? I mean, look at those savings. It’s almost irresponsible not to buy these resistance bands and ergonomic ladies dumbbells.

In a fit of panic, I start accessing this most incoherent shopping bounty in my trolley and realise that I cannot afford all this. So I try to locate my mother for some straight-talking. And then I spot her. She too, looked drugged, and was brandishing a clutch of skirts, bikinis, underwear and…resistance bands. A yelp doesn’t even begin to cover what came out of my mouth. So with unprecedented strength of mind, I abandoned the trolley and walked straight toward her. ‘ I need out’. I’d like to say she frogmarched me right outta there, but nope, I was left in charge of buying someone a present and told we’d be on our way ‘in a few minutes’. I thought if I had a specific goal it might lessen the evil TK Max grasp. That was not to be the case. This time I drifted back to my mother with an even more extensive array of tops and dresses, and because I had passed the previously unseen underwear section on the way, I was also laden down with an arsenal of briefs. Most entirely unsuitable, but in the spirit of massive discounts, all were considered fair game. Then we started to queue and I spotted the kitchen utensils.

Two hours later we departed TK Max. I had acquired a slightly-too-big sports top (only €4!), a(nother) lace top, a garlic crusher and a fairly innocuous bra. My mother had claimed resistance bands, a nautical dress for the youngest sister, a t-shirt, a bikini (that we debated for ages. Was it really worth €12? Would you buy it if it wasn’t discounted? Is the bikini even necessary? All futile questions. The decision was made once the massive red discount sticker was spotted) and some slightly suspect Tommy Hilfiger swimming shorts for my father. Slightly suspect in that they were a) probably too small, b) looked like boxers, c) were suspiciously similar to a pair my father already owns, and d) above the threshold of what we considered a discount.

This may seem like a harmless bounty, but I must stress that I am BROKE. We had already purchased a few things beforehand and our mission was simply to find food. Two hours later TK Max chewed us up and spat us out. And I had to exert more self control than I ever had in my life. I don’t need a second lace top, a bra, a sports top or a garlic crusher. It was just TK’s way of asserting his dominance in the Extraordinary League of Shopping.

* 28 Days Later comes to mind here. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if they used TK Max as one of their locations…

It  may seem a bit early to be discussing beachwear – even Heat magazine has yet to bring out the “How to lose half your body weight to be bikini perfect” special edition.  But fortunately enough, me and the family are going for a short break to Spain in a month (apparently it’s raining at the moment, but by god it better have stopped by the time I reach the sandy shores!) Of course last year’s swim-gear has been lost to the formidable black hole of terror that swallows all out-of-season clothing*, so I have to subject myself to finding a whole new beach wardrobe on a students budget…hark is that Primark calling me? Now I do realise it’s pertinent to steer clear of Primark when acquiring underwear (to avoid a punctured lung when the underwire eventually pops out), but after seeing these bikini’s on the Primark website, I just can’t resist. I’m making a beeline there as soon as I get some money together.

* the mc ginn hot press is a force to be reckoned with…


my personal favourite

40 squids in Topshop

40 squids from Lipsy

6 Great British Pounds from Camden Market

1 euro and 50 shillings from Pennys Couture

i already have a leather jacket. i only recently acquired a new pair of ankle boots (worn twice to date). i paid 2000e for laser eye surgery about 4 years ago to banish the heinous spectacles from my life and i think i own about 10 pairs of sunglasses. but i must i must i must.  some of the goods were bought at sale price like. that makes it ok right?

So there I was … totally minding my own business. Not hurting anyone, not getting in anyone’s face, just having a mosey through Dunnes. The way you do. Like when you go to get milk, you just can’t resist having a look around the rest of the place. Usually I stick to the Homewares section and mentally decorate the house I don’t have. And I had just recently recovered from a Penny’s binge which had left me fairly well sustained for the Christmas period, so I’d no business wandering around the clothes section. Jen wrote about her Penny’s binge not that long ago, and perhaps it was the reading of that post that was the catalyst for my Dunnes expedition. When I read her piece it took me right back to the feelings  I experienced during my Penny’s binge. The dizzying joy on finding an amazing piece (such as the jacket below, which I thought was very Sg. Peppers but everyone around me insists is Cheryl Cole, sigh); the gut-wrenching fear when you think of what your bank balance will look like, post binge; the moral arguments you have with yourself when you think about why the clothes are so cheap, and finally the justification you reach for buying a gold sequined skirt that you know you’ll only wear twice before it falls apart. In essence, you run the gamut of human emotion and it leaves you elated, shaky and infinitely poorer afterwards. Perhaps its interesting that we’re using the word ‘binge’ with all the negative connotations it conjurs up, as opposed to the infinitely more joyful word, ‘spree’.

Anyway, I am totally digressing here. The point is, I’d just had a binge. I was done for the year. My next binge wasn’t scheduled to take place until February 2010 and I was in town to buy Christmas presents for people I love and hold in good regard. But that was all shunted aside when I saw the purple high heels. And then the dress, which I will dub my Jackie-O dress from here on in. And then the stripey bolero, which I wasn’t sure if I loved or hated at first, but after I bought it, decided I had to love it. Ok, so I didn’t buy as much as I did during my Penny’s binge, but the feelings were all there. Because, when I analyse both binges I realise something – it wasn’t about the clothes. It wasn’t about the shoes. It was about the rush. The rush that comes from buying something that looks so amazing for so little. For example, my best purchase of the year might turn out to be the black silky romper suit was acquired during the Dunnes binge for …. wait for it … ONE EURO! I don’t even know if I’ll ever wear it (possibly because I know I’ll look totally ridiculous) but who the hell cares!! It only cost ONE EURO!!

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