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.

So far, I have ordered from Banana Republic, Mango and Zara because I am located in Canada, I hate paying for shipping and they are the only stores that offer free shipping & returns, like my lucky American readers.

Note:


I will never order from Mango again because their returns policy is such a hassle; you have to print all these forms, call DHL and have them come and pick up the package between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a weekday (!!) to get it shipped back.

WTF?

Banana Republic and Zara (my new fave) just give you a prepaid return label you can drop off at Canada Post.

Way easier.

On to the reviews!

AN IDEA OF MY SIZE & SHOPPING PERSONALITY

I’m an inverted triangle and normally wear an XS or 0 (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.

ZARA SUEDE OVERSHIRT

COST: $90 CAD

SCORE: 9/10

style-shopper-review-zara-suede-overshirt-camel

I thought it looked like a nice camel / tan kind of topper that I could wear over tops without it being too heavy like a jacket or fussy like a blazer that is structured.

It also comes in black but I didn’t need another black topper so…

Size

I am a size XS and while that fit me PERFECTLY, I always size up so that it looks looser, less contrived and better fitted.

I’m an inverted triangle with bigger shoulders so I always need a size larger for my shoulders (then I tailor it in).

So, the S fits much better for me only because of my shoulders but take your true size.

Colour

It’s true to colour as the online picture depicts. It is also NOT COLOUR FAST … so wearing it with a white top as shown below?

No bueno.

I am not sure if it is a keeper for anyone because of that. This topper would look GREAT against a crisp white shirt but not if it is going to leave ugly brown stains and marks all over the place.

I suppose you can wash it and make it colourfast but…. something to keep in mind.

Quality

Surprisingly high for Zara & the fact that it is faux suede. Feels as soft as real suede with no animals dying for it.

The softness of the faux suede feels like SUPER soft real suede (the real deal) that would cost in the thousands, so I was pleasantly surprised.

Fit

The curved stitching, the way they did the panels, are all genius. It hugs your body, compliments your curves, looks and feels great and drapes superbly.

But..?

Hate the black zipper.

I think it is terrible and sticks out like a sore thumb against the camel topper when it is open.

That for me is why it is only a 9/10. I’d recommend it though if the black zipper doesn’t throw you off.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE SUEDE OVERSHIRT

ZARA BLAZER WITH LAPEL AND BUCKLED SIDES

COST: $90 CAD

SCORE: 3/10

style-shopper-review-zara-blazer-with-lapel-tan-buckled-sides

I had such high hopes for this blazer which I knew should have been too good to be true.

I mean just look at it. It is collarless, great colour, looks like it drapes well in the photos and has these COOL buckled belt thingy things at the sides.

…then I got it. *cue sad face*

Size

The S fits perfectly as do all the blazers from any mainstream brand, since I always take one size up for all jackets and blazers because of my shoulders.
Colour


GORGEOUS. SO SAD RIGHT NOW.

The colour is gorgeous, tan, light, and so seriously perfect if only the…

Quality

…quality didn’t suck.

It was all bobbly as a material. Too thin as a fabric, doesn’t drape well, the buckles are cute but the whole weight of the jacket drapes flimsily.

It would have been great as a shirt maybe, but not as a blazer the way they sold it on the site.

Fit

The fit itself is awkward.

I mean the shoulders felt too padded (even for my inverted triangle shoulders) and it then had no real weight or drape, so it felt too loose in the back while being awkwardly slim when I moved my arms.

The sleeves are also TOO LONG. I think it is a function of it being a size S, but they are much longer and looser than I expected, even for an S (which I have tried on in other blazers from Zara).

It looks really awkward.

All that taken into consideration it is a 3/10.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF THE BLAZER

ZARA MIDI SKIRT WITH SLIT IN NAVY BLUE

 

COST: $46 CAD

 

SCORE: 4/10

style-shopper-review-zara-skirt-with-slit-navy-blue-midi I was drawn to this skirt because I’m a sucker for paperbag waist style midi skirts with POCKETS (!!!) It looked great online although I can see the flaws of the sizing and structure of it now that I examine the photo… Size They only had the S left so I took that, but I clearly needed the XS. The S was swimming on my waist, looked too long and didn’t fit well at all. Colour It’s a deep navy blue. It’s a sharp contrast to the Simons skirt I bought a while back because the colour of the Simons one is a brighter navy blue which is what I prefer, shown below in my Instagram: Quality It felt decently heavy, with a good weight. I also love how deep the pockets are and while I like how structured it is, I also didn’t like it for that very reason because the fit was totally off as a result. Fit The fabric is so structured that it doesn’t drape well. It feels awkward, too long, and for it to be so structured as a skirt, it has to fit IMPECCABLY and it unfortunately does not. I would need more hips and to be 5″ taller for this to look cute on me. That’s why it got a 3/10 for me. Unfortunately I couldn’t try on the XS (my true size) to tell you how it looks, but it did not work on my boyish figure.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF NAVY BLUE SLIT SKIRT

 

This is the Maison Simons version I own which I prefer to the Zara one:

Here are the two of them side by side:

You can see the colour and length difference. The material is also drapey and silkier in the Simons version with a cuter paperbag waist.

This is also how I’ve worn the Maison Simons version:

ZARA GREY BLAZER WITH NAVY ELBOW PATCHES 

COST: $90 CAD

SCORE: 6/10

style-shopper-review-zara-grey-blazer-navy-blue-elbow-patches

It looks incredible in the shots. Especially paired with that gorgeous black lace top underneath that I cannot now find.. and some leather leggings?

Too much!! I DIE.

That lace blouse is here by the way and I am eying it. Or maybe it’s this one… either way, it is an open lace blouse that looks killer.

Size

The S fit perfectly. Not an issue here at all, it fit my shoulders but was a bit baggy in the torso area which I have come to expect.

Colour

Gorgeous pearl grey, exactly as pictured. I even kind of like the navy blue elbow patches that look kind of strange at first but now I am used to.. and kind of like as a detail.

Professor patches!

Quality

This is where it fails for me. The material was too thin, flimsy and I can just FEEL the material is going to pill & bobble after a wash or two, or just from wearing it.

WOMP WOMP.

It was not a good blazer. If it was three times the thickness, I’d be all over this to keep it.

Fit

It’s a bit loose in the torso area because it’s an S and I’m an XS but the buttoning fits better across my torso in the S only because of my shoulders and the fact that I hate blazers that are too tight.

I only wish the fabric was thicker and more structured. It really is soft, comfortable and the ideal grey blazer.

So. … only a 6/10 I’m afraid.

INSTAGRAM SHOTS OF GREY BLAZER

That does it for my first Shopping Review. How did I do?

Like these? Hate them? Yawn?

Share Tweet Pin It +1

Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

You may also like

Style Details I love in clothing

Posted on August 26, 2018

I’m a minimalist…. right?

Posted on November 13, 2018

Previous PostOctober 2015 Budget Roundup = $514,827.39 or an increase of +$33,213.18 or +6.9%
Next Post6 Favourite Makeup Products

16 Comments

  1. Julie

    what are your consignment stores in Toronto? I’d love to check them out, thanks:)

    Reply
  2. TL

    I also purchased the suede overshirt from Zara (but in black) and I love it! I had the same issue with the dye bleeding. Do you have any suggestions on turning it colourfast? I typically wash my dark jeans with some vinegar, but not sure this could work with suede.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      This is fake suede so it will work. I dumped half a cup of salt and soaked it in the washer for 2 hours and in cold water. It seemed to set the dye.

      Reply
      1. KT

        I loove this jacket as well but since i bought them, it has been sitting in my closet since. So glad i found this site and thanks alot for sharing your experience!!!
        Before soaking it in salt, I want to make sure if doing this will stiffen the fabric? Can you wear it over white shirt after the process? Thanks again!

        Reply
        1. sherry@savespendsplurge.com

          the won’t stiffen at all! I have then taken the jacket, wet it again, and rubbed it a little on a piece of white cloth to see if it transferred and thus far, nothing.

          Reply
  3. Jane

    Im glad I’ve found your blog and I love these instagram shopping reviews! Thumbs up! Kinda reminds me of “Expectations vs Reality”.
    PS. What do you think of shopping at Asos? Everyone is going crazy by this site and I’m just curios – is it worth? Ok they have free return after 20 or 25€ in Europe, dunno if in Canada as well.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      YAY! 🙂 I’m glad you like them.

      As for ASOS I hear good things about them but it is on par with Zara or Mango so I’d say only if you have free returns, go for it. For me, I won’t shop there, they don’t ship or return for free to Canada.

      Reply
  4. Suzi

    I like the post! Looking forward to more like this!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I have another one coming up!

      Reply
  5. SP

    Love it, except it makes me want to go shopping!!!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Sorry 🙁 🙂

      Reply
  6. Ksenija

    Although I admit I like fashion posts, I thought you chose long time ago not to shop at Zara. Am I mistaken? It’s actually one of your older posts that inspired me to stop shopping fast-fashion brands.

    Reply
  7. SarahN

    The camel’s under layer peaking out would get me. The blush is too light a tone. But the grey one – surprised you didn’t love that really, looks great to me in all the photos.

    The blue skirt – something I wouldn’t even look at. It’s just not a flattering cut imo. But given you’ve already got one you like, send this one back!

    Reply
  8. Christina

    First of all, BRAVO! Great post, I love the reality of it. Here’s the deal with ZARA, you get what you pay for.

    In my opinion and experience, I get on their site, fall in love with so many things as their styles and their marketing is brilliant, order or go in-store and make a purchase hoping it can live up to what I imagine but then within a month reality hits. For different reasons, it washes horribly even when following directions, it starts to lay or fall weird, sweaters pill etc. Very hit and miss.

    Good investment dressing is always the best bet and with ZARA you’re definitely not investment dressing.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Agreed. Zara is not the best place for things that you want to last a long time but I’ve been pleasantly surprised in the past which is why I went back. That said, I doubt I will buy from them again. Consignment shopping seems to be my thing.

      Reply

Leave a Reply