Our We Try Before You Buyseries aims to take the stress out of shopping and eliminate the number of post office visits you make each month to return failed online orders. We test new-season buys and styling ideas so you don't have to. Here, we're letting you know what is actually worth investing in.
For the latest installment, I headed to Westfield Stratford for a fashionable Supermarket Sweep at Zara, where I tried on as many new autumn pieces as possible without being late for work. And I wasn't disappointed, as there are so many new season trends on the rails already.
As soon as I walked in, I saw spots everywhere: polka-dot slip dresses, bold two-pieces and the most amazing dotty ankle-tie heels you can imagine. As I walked around the store, it was clear that Zara got the Valentino pink memo—it's all about colour-block pieces including luxe suits, dresses and a pop of colour in the form of shoes.
As with any of these editor-tested shopping stories, this mission landed me straight at the tills. Honestly, this franchise really should be renamed "We Try Before We Buy." Keep scrolling to see and shop the six autumn trends I tried on in-store that you can shop online already. Note: Apologies to your credit card in advance.
I'm not usually that into pink, but this year, I've been well and truly swayed. The Valentino A/W 22 show won me over, and I'm ready to embrace the punchy shade in all its glory. This satin suit feels so premium with its covered buttons and sleek tie detail. I would wear it on a night out with a beaded bag and strappy, matchy-matchy heeled sandals.
Zara is reminding us all that sequins aren't just reserved for party season. The new limited-edition drop has so many gorgeous sequin-adorned pieces—like this dress, for example. The floaty sleeves with split cuffs make it feel so expensive, and I love how the tie-front makes it feel a bit '70s-inspired.
I could have done a whole try-it-on session with Zara's spotty offerings. I'm a big fan of the bandeau right now, so this structured iteration with loose-fit jeans felt like a nice high-low look. These dot-to-dot courts with ankle-tie and flower details are just so dreamy. You could even tie them over the jeans, too.
A midi dress will never let you down no matter the season. This puff-sleeved, tiered style is backless, so it's 360-degree perfection. For summer, I would wear it with chunky sandals. For autumn, this dress would look so gorgeous with a pair of glossy knee-high boots and an oversized wool blazer.
If in doubt, stick to black. I'm all for relying on an LBD or MBD (that's midi black dress), for most occasions. This slinky slip dress could also be styled as a skirt during the day simply by adding a chunky knit over the top. And don't get me started on these feathery shoes. How amazing are they?! Of course, these are cab-only shoes to keep the feathers in tact with the unpredictable British weather.
Striped jumpers were a thing last year, and this year, stripes are taking over in all forms. A knit dress, top or sweater is an easy way to tick off the trend. I would wear this knit dress with a shirt over the top and trainers or ankle boots.