Here at Who What Wear UK, we're all about delivering the latest and greatest shopping edits, as approved by our team. That's why we've created a new shopping column, The Joy of Shopping, which will see me, Joy Montgomery,heading to all your favourite stores to test out new-in pieces IRL. From summer dresses to the brands you might've forgotten about, prepare for changing room selfies aplenty. Is there something you'd like me to cover? Make sure to tweet or Instagram me your requests!
The last few months have been a bit of a high-street safari for me. I've traversed the minimalistic planes of COS, luxuriated in the home comforts of Marks & Spencer and roughed it in the metropolis that is John Lewis Oxford Circus. I have battled through rail upon rail of new-in jackets and staggered into changing rooms laden with over 15 hangers (much to the delight of the attendant) all to bring you intel on the best the high street has to offer. It's been quite a ride.
So with summer just around the corner, it only felt right to head to fashion's favourite summer watering hole: Zara. After all, who else can deliver an affordable, on-trend frock or translate an inaccessible Instagram trend quite like the Spanish-born brand? Unlike some high-street offerings, they're always consistent—you know what to expect from a Zara store. That's why every season, without fail, editors hungrily gather around its banks like it's some sort of fashion oasis (how long can I drag out this metaphor?).
Previously, I've been more of a winter-collection gal (chunky knits and tailored coats are my kryptonite), but this season, I've been blown away by Zara's summer offering, which, shock horror, extends beyond the usual realms of cheesecloth and linen. From whimsical organza halternecks and expensive-looking cargo trousers to statement tweed jackets and perfect floral frocks, I was seriously spoilt for choice in the Bond Street Store (it's better than the Oxford Street flagship, IMO).
Now, if you're looking to update your wardrobe for the season ahead, scroll down to shop the nine pieces I'm loving in Zara right now.
THE FLORAL MIDI
Style Notes: This dress shape is on its way to becoming the style of the season. With puffed sleeves, a button-up front and a nipped-in waist, it's sure to flatter a range of body shapes. This floral Zara number is perfect for balmy summer evenings—just add white strappy sandals and a denim jacket. The only thing to note is that the fabric is slightly see-through.
Style Notes: I'm channelling my inner Upper East Side matriarch with this tweed jacket. By itself, it looks a little prim, but by pairing with jeans and hiking sandals, it's kicked into fashion-editor territory. The fabric hangs really well thanks to its thickness, but I would size up if you want the full '80s look.
Style Notes: More than one Who What Wear editor currently has this statement-collar top at the top of their shopping wish list. It looks far more expensive than its £30 price tag, and I bet it will work just as well with jeans as it will under a shift dress or paired with a slip skirt (as seen above).
Style Notes: Previously, I believed cargo trousers should remain in the '90s, but I think this Zara pair might've just converted me. Coming in heavy-weight cotton, I love their gentle wide-leg fit and flattering cinched waist—they're the perfect middle-ground between jeans and tailored trousers. Oh, and I'm also so into this brown ribbed top, just wait till you see the back…
Style Notes: I haven't ventured near minis for a few years (aside from the odd shift dress for work), but this season has seen the '60s favourite make a comeback. The shirred detailing on this TRF mini caught my eye, as did the vibrant orange hue. This is just what I want to wear on summer hols with a raffia tote and sunnies. As with all TRF pieces, I would recommend trying one size up.
Style Notes: How do I love thee organza blouse? Let me count the ways. I've been eyeing Zara's green, long-sleeved blouse for a while, and when I saw this hot-pink iteration, I was instantly besotted. This is a serious statement piece that looks like it belongs on the runway. Wear with denim for the ultimate "nice top and jeans" pairing or with a slip skirt for a dressier occasion.
Style Notes: With its puffed sleeves and a button-up front, I feel like I've just stepped out of Game of Thrones with this milkmaid top. I've styled it with jeans here, but I think it would look even better with a high-waisted midi skirt for a slightly softer finish (the bare midriff is best left to teenagers, IMO).
Style Notes: Considering that roughly 50% of my wardrobe is made up of navy, black, white and grey, I've unexpectedly found myself loving the more exuberant colour trends of 2019 (think neons, greens and pinks). This boxy jacket is the ideal cover-up for cooler summer evenings, and it looks super chic when paired with Zara's monochromatic polka-dot slip dress.
Style Notes: Another '80s-inspired piece, but this time it's Pretty Woman–esque polka dots. The wide cinching belt is what makes this dress such a winner (and so flattering). The fabric feels light enough to wear in warmer climes, but thankfully, it doesn't suffer from the sheer syndrome that befalls most white dresses.