Unlike some high-street stores, I’d say that Zara is one that has real mass appeal when it comes to age. Both my mum (who’s 63) and my cousin (who’s 21) shop there. There are timeless pieces as well as brilliant trend-led items that are often a step ahead of the high-street competition. Celebrities are not immune to its draw, either. Olivia Palermo and Tan France love it, and the Duchess of Cambridge is also a fan. After shopping there for more than 15 years, I’d consider myself a Zara-buying expert, and at the age of 34, I’m more than aware of the sections to miss and the sections worth buying from.
Me, pictured wearing a Zara blazer and jeans.
Before I get to that, there’s some advice worth sharing when it comes to Zara. My preferred method of shopping is online, as I don't have a lot of time, and it’s the easiest way to find what I’m looking for (not to mention it’s quicker to locate my size, plus I don’t miss out on pieces that are likely to sell out immediately). As for what I buy, there are only four areas I shop in: I used to go for T-shirts, blouses and knitwear, but over the years, I realised there are other items that are better, in terms of trend and durability. Now, the main sections I shop from are blazers, jeans, dresses and shoes. Keep scrolling for why I think these are the best to buy from and my edit of the chicest pieces shop.
It’s pretty easy to see why Zara’s blazers are worth investing in. Sure, there are the standout “fashion” jackets that are more statement-making, but I’m not referring to those. Every season, I find that there’s always a checked jacket or two that you’ll buy and then wear every season. I’ve got a checked grey jacket I bought a few seasons ago and wear all the time (see above).
If checks aren’t your thing, there are the tweed Chanel-inspired blazers Zara brings around every new collection too. These come in so many different colours that you’d be hard-pressed to not find one that works with your wardrobe. My final bit of advice for this section? The fit on the arms can tend to be on the slimmer slide, so you might need to size up.
Zara is my go-to for an affordable knockout party or wedding guest dress. Yes, you may end up wearing the same thing as someone else, but the stock is so quickly turned around that chances are you won’t. And if you’re really bothered, if you’ve already seen a few people wearing it on Instagram, you know which piece to avoid. A word of advice: If you see something you really love, buy it then and there, because it’s likely to sell out quick.
It used to be a bit of a running joke that Zara jeans were far too long for people and that even tall women needed to get their jeans tailored. But as someone who’s just under 5’3’’, I can tell you that Zara's jeans are some of the best I’ve ever found on the high street. The brand stocks the latest denim trends but also keeps popular ones around, including mom, skinny and cropped styles. Zara also ticks all the other boxes on my jeans list: The washes are just right, they look sturdy but actually have a bit of stretch (making them more comfortable), and they don’t wear out even after a million washes.
I used to love wearing high heels to work every day, but due to fashion (and my feet) falling out of love with them, I’ve happily jumped on the “ugly” sandal trend. This isn’t a passing phase: My love affair with comfortable footwear has been going on for at least four years, and I don’t see it stopping any time soon. Thankfully, plenty of Zara’s styles cater to this. From buckled sandals (I have these, which I wear and get compliments on constantly) to its take on Tevas, the selection is plentiful. But if heels are still what you’re after, Zara’s low-heeled mules and slingbacks are super chic.