In At Work, In my closet, Shopping, Style, Women

Style Shopper: Dressing Room Reviews of Zara Autumn/Winter 2015

WHAT “STYLE SHOPPER” IS…

I’ve started just taking Instagram shots of the items I order online, have shipped to me and then try on at home.

So I figured, why not share what I think about what I ordered, why and what it actually looks like in person, along with pros and cons?

I also (unless otherwise noted) have spent my OWN MONEY AND TIME doing this, it is UNSPONSORED and UNSOLICITED.

..hence why the reviews will be super honest.

WHY ONLY ON INSTAGRAM?

I will only do this via Instagram because it is just too much work to take pictures with a camera, upload them, crop them, etc.

I want this to be quick and painless for both you and me.

If you have any questions about any piece, just shoot me an email or get in touch with me in a billion of ways and I’ll elaborate.

WHY I SHOP ONLINE

I do this because I’m all too lazy, tired and pressed for time to go to the store but am intrigued by what I see online.

I so far will mostly be only reviewing from The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy or Zara for their easy and free shipping & super hassle-free (and free) returns.

On to the reviews!


AN IDEA OF MY SIZE & SHOPPING PERSONALITY

I’m an inverted triangle and normally wear an XS or 00 (smallest sizes in all mainstream brands except for designer brands where I usually take a US 4 or US 6).

I am super picky and hate itchy items, too-tight things and anything that doesn’t look or feel expensive and wonderful.

$9 is $90 is $900.

The price makes no difference to me as long as it feels expensive.

TED BAKER LORILI WRAP COAT IN DUSTY ROSE / GREY THEY LIKE TO CALL “TAUPE”

COST: $619

SCORE: 8/10

Size

The size is good in a 2 for me. The 1 would have fit PERFECTLY but it was a little tight for my inverted shoulders, so I would have needed the 2 to feel comfortable which is what I have on.

Colour

Taupe my #*@#$*. It is more of a dusty rose hint to the taupe. It is not a nice true camel or tan kind of taupe. Terrible shade.

Quality

Decent but not amazing for the price. 70% wool and 30% polyamide which makes it less itchy for a wool coat. I would have expected it to have been thicker and not as THIN as it was… but it was otherwise soft and luxurious feeling.

The hardware on the coats is also a nice thick, heavy gold which lent to the luxuriousness of the jacket.

For the $619, I would say no for how thin it is. It would not last in even 15C weather with a sweater underneath. You’d have to treat this like a sweater.

A $619 sweater.

Fit

Decent fit. You can see it looks great on me, flares out nicely and the lapels are not too big.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE TED BAKER LORILI COAT

ZARA MAXI FUR STOLE IN GREY

COST: $90

SCORE: 10/10

zara-maxi-fur-stole-grey-model

I have wanted a faux fur stole or a jacket with a faux fur front for a LONG TIME. (See blurb below about my fashion inspiration).

Size   One size fits all. It’s a little long but it has a slit on one side that you can pull the other side through to make it shorter.   It is actually a great size for me. Might be too long for petites though.  


Colour   As pictured. A nice light silvery grey with hints of brown. Really stunning.  

Quality   Super soft. Obviously the underlining is not silk or cotton or anything fancy (hello polyester) but the softness, and what (I think) really luxurious and rich feeling without having skinned any animals for beauty.   *cough*what!?*cough*   It is SUPER. SUPER warm. I mean I have it wrapped around my neck for pictures and I’m already heating up. This will be so warm and awesome over a jacket in place of a scarf or to stay warm with a furry “vest”-style of the stole.  

Fit   Excellent. I highly recommend this if you are trying to channel a 1920s Phryne Fisher or Amy Adams from American Hustle.   I plan on wearing it like a scarf over sweaters and then belting it, or over jackets to give it a faux fur collar look.   phryne-fisher-white-coat amy-adams-american-hustle-gorgeous-white-coat-fur phryne-fisher-white-coat-2  

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE MAXI FUR STOLE IN GREY

 

ZARA BLACK FAUX SUEDE OVERSHIRT

COST: $90

SCORE: 9/10

style-shopper-zara-faux-suede-black-overshirt-review-save-spend-splurge

I liked it so much in the brown (full review here)  but the black zipper threw me off, so I ordered it in black to see.. and I think this one is much nicer in terms of it looking better (the black zipper fits now), but the colour and feel of the faux suede is not quite as real feeling as the brown.

The brown one was super soft and wonderful, the black one (because of the dye) is a little stiffer and less real-feeling.

However that said, I like the kind of metallic silver sheen there is on the shirt, it has something kind of cool and awesome.. very rock and roll-ish.

It doesn’t look totally BLACK and matte, it has a nice shine to it.

Some studded jewellery, maybe worn under a black leather jacket and it would look phenomenal.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE BLACK SUEDE OVERSHIRT

ZARA FLOWING BLACK VELVET BLAZER 

COST: $159

SCORE: 1/10

style-shopper-zara-review-save-spend-splurge-flowing-black-velvet-blazer

Don’t ask me why but I feel like I need a velvet blazer in my wardrobe. Maybe I am watching or reading too many fashion-y things but a black velvet blazer sounds so luxurious… or creepy. Maybe a bit George Costanza from Seinfeld crept into my subconscious last night because I wanted to feel like I was luxuriating in it!

Size   Huge. I took the “S” because it normally would be the size to fit me, but it was oversized.   I would have needed the XS to see if it would fit better, but to be honest the quality was so low in this, I don’t want to bother. I don’t like the look.  

Colour   True to the photo it is a soft velvety black.  

Quality   Low. Thin, the pile is kind of thin and it feels flimsy and cheap for what I expect velvet to be.   The quality is pretty low.  

Fit   If you like a loose, boyish, shaggy boho kind of fit, this is it. It was HUGE on me in the Small, and I can see in the image above that seems to be the look of the blazer.   I don’t know. It isn’t my style. If you wanted a velvet blazer in a boy style, then this is it for the look but not necessarily for a thick, heavy, velvety-feel.  

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE BLACK VELVET BLAZER

 

ZARA HERRINGBONE BLAZER WITH ELBOW PATCHES

COST: $119

SCORE: 5/10

style-shopper-zara-review-save-spend-splurge-herringbone-blazer-with-elbow-patches

Herringbone blazer is on my list of things to buy. I tried this version out because although brown is very unflattering on my skintone, I wanted to know what the quality of their herringbone would be.

Size

It fit perfectly. Not a single problem in terms of fit, I took the S which is my normal size in structured, fitted blazers.

Colour

This is where it fell flat for me. It looks doesn’t look rich as a herringbone, kind of a dull, muted, muddy brown and while I didn’t hate it, it wasn’t prominent enough for me to be a quality herringbone fabric. It just looked.. blah.

Quality

Decent. Better than their other blazers like the grey one with elbow patches I reviewed here, because the fabric is better than the grey blazer and is a little stiffer and more structured.

But.. still not excellent. It’s not excellent wool or excellent fabric which is to be expected.

Fit

Decent fit. Fit me well, kind of seemed to not be great for women with chests (and I am NOT bust by any means), so I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE HERRINGBONE BLAZER

ZARA HERRINGBONE PRINT DRESS

 

COST: $70

 

SCORE: 8/10

style-shopper-zara-review-save-spend-splurge-herringbone-printed-flared-dress I am a SUCKER for herringbone prints. Anything herringbone, sign me up. I also thought the cut of the dress of the shoulders was interesting and it might downplay how large my shoulders are in contrast to the rest of my tinier bottom half.

Size   I took the XS because I am normally an XS in dresses as long as the shoulders don’t look tight or structured at the ends (I avoid cap sleeves).. but this dress DID NOT FIT.   I needed an S. I ordered it in an S so I’ll update this review once I get it because I am curious about the fit.   I could NOT ZIP UP THE BACK. I am usually a US0 in mainstream brands and a US4, so this was really surprising from Zara only because mainstream brands tend to run BIG on me not small…   Anyway, don’t care about the tag, just should let everyone know the waist and the back runs small so order one size up.  

Update: I ordered the S and was able to BARELY zip it up so I would actually need the MEDIUM because of how tiny and unforgiving the waist is!!! Size TWICE up from your current size.

Update 2: I now have the Medium and it fits better but the front and back gape a little as it is too big for me. I don’t even have a big bust and the S was too small. I would need to tailor it in by taking up the hem a few inches (the midi length is too long and dowdy on me) and the front would need some tighter princess seaming.

Have to sit on this.  I may keep it and tailor it in.

The Instagram shot below is the size Medium and the front is a little baggy but the waist is fine and the armholes are a LITTLE low but not too low.

Colour   Great colour, it’s herringbone… PRINT. I didn’t catch that in the description but it clearly says: HERRINGBONE PRINT.   So when I got it, I was expecting a textured herringbone fabric and I got this flat feeling thing that had a rather interesting look to it because it was a herringbone print and it looks almost black and white & graphic rather than “herringbone”.  

Quality   Seems good. Can’t get it to zip up in the back to really check but the quality is not bad for the price and that it’s flared. I would say $70 is a little high, more of a $50 dress but it isn’t unreasonable.  

Fit   As I said, the XS couldn’t even zip up. The shots I have are of the zipper as high up as it would go (like just past my natural waist), and then it just.. STOPPED.   Still, I wonder if it makes my shoulders look bigger or smaller with the straight cut down the front that doesn’t flare out as a fit.   I think the flared skirt is cute, and it’s a bit midi-style because it is just a little below the knees.   The flared skirt helps balance out the look of the dress because it looks better on my inverted triangle shape to balance out the bottom.  

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE HERRINGBONE PRINT DRESS

 

ZARA WOOL BLAZER IN OLVE GREEN CHECK

COST: $119

SCORE: 5/10

style-shopper-zara-review-save-spend-splurge-wool-blazer-olive-plaid-check


It kind of reminded me of the J. Crew Robert Noble blazers in the kind of crest looking thing on the inside lapel and the whole look of it.

I knew I’d hate the colour right because it is olive green and it looks terrible on me.

Size

The S fit perfectly as usual. Structured shoulders, slightly padded.

Colour

Hate the olive green as I knew I would. I was just trying it on because it’s 100% wool and I wanted to see what the fit would be.

Quality

Decent. I mean 100% wool, it is on the thin side and if you were the colouring of that model above, this jacket would look great on you. On my olive skin? No way.

I think the quality is nice for the price point.

Fit

It failed for me here and most blazers do.. I hate not being able to lift up my arms or move comfortably when it is buttoned and this seemed to be a little tight across the front or just not cut correctly with the panels in the front.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE WOOL BLAZER IN OLIVE GREEN CHECK


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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2 Comments

  1. I
    Irene

    I love love love the herringbone dress on you. The cut is perfect – the slight flare in the skirt balances your shoulders and the length is very ladylike on you. It would look great with a white blouse/shirt underneath too.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I almost kept it but the quality was too low for the price point $60.. if it went on sale, why not? I’ll buy the medium again. 🙂

      Reply

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