I'm in My 30s, and This Is How I Shop at Zara

I'll admit that there was a period in my 20s when a good 75% of my clothing purchases were from Zara. Not that it was a problem since Zara is filled with gems, as you know. But I have sought out more wardrobe diversity in my 30s, and my Zara shopping habits have changed as a result. In my 20s, I threw caution to the wind when it came to Zara. I saw something cute and bought it (and oftentimes later returned it when I'd realized I already owned something identical). My approach to shopping the mega fast-fashion retailer is significantly more thoughtful now. So much so that I've developed a few hard-and-fast strategies for how to shop at Zara—all of which seem to be working well for me and my wardrobe thus far.

With that, keep reading to find out what my shopping approach at Zara is post–age 30 and shop my current picks.

Spend More

Seeking out more expensive pieces isn't a philosophy I live by, per se. But when it comes to Zara, where everything is fairly low in price (relatively speaking), I've had much better luck with pieces that are at the higher end of the price tag spectrum, as they're also higher in quality.

Stick to Genuine Leather 

When shopping for bags and shoes at Zara, I've found that the most expensive-looking ones are those made of genuine leather. Oftentimes, it doesn't add that much to the cost, which is a major plus.

Size Up

I find Zara sizing to be a bit inconsistent, so when in doubt, I opt for one size larger. Even if something ends up being a bit big, I'd prefer it over something being tight and unflattering.

Trend Pieces > Basics

I'm sure that some Zara shoppers would disagree with me on this front, but I prefer to invest in higher-quality basics and stick to Zara for more trend-driven pieces. This way, I can save my clothing budget for things that I'll wear for seasons to come.

Bypass the "all over Instagram" items

It can be tempting to buy what everyone else wants, but I prefer to dig for the Zara pieces that don't cause people to immediately guess they're from Zara.

Practice Restraint

Buying less Zara is undoubtedly one of the biggest Zara shopping shifts I've made in my 30s. I'm much more selective now, as I only opt for pieces that will actually improve my wardrobe.

Only Buy Items I'll Wear More Than Once

I can't tell you how many fast-fashion pieces that I've bought in the past ended up getting donated after one wear. As a result, my new mantra is "versatile trend pieces only," and there are plenty of them in stock at any given time.

Mix It With Other Brands

Rarely do I wear an all-Zara look anymore (not that there's anything wrong with that!). Instead, I pair it with denim, pretty dresses, basics—you name it. It's all about the balance.