I wrote a piece about Zara about a month or so ago. I focused in on their Studio collection for men and the great coats they had for Fall 2016. Like so much in fashion, it’s often hard to get a real feel for clothes from a picture and with all the styling that goes into those images it’s often impossible to get an honest feel for what it is, how it fits and how it feels. Let’s not forget the other crucial question: how is it made and in what fabric.
Though there are a number of Zara stores nearby in NYC, I rarely go into them. I’m a snob, I admit it, but not for the obvious reasons. Having spent 30 years in the high end of the fashion business I’m very sensitive to the way things are made. I’m old school in that department and judge clothing with the eye of a designer/manufacturer. So walking up to the Zara store in Palm De Mallorca I was thrown by how grand and beautiful the store appeared. Once inside I was instantly seduced. Upstairs in the men’s department this cavernous space had everything beautifully arranged with hundreds of styles on offer.
My mission was to find the coats I’d singled out in my earlier story. On the way to finding them I stumbled onto some great items I didn’t think I needed. There were 100% cotton sweaters, as light as a medium weight tee shirt in about 5 colors and only $25.00 each. The styling was super minimal with just a rolled neckline and rolled hem and sleeve ends. No fuss, just great style and colors that were muted and mottled. I got 4 of them.
Next to them were tee shirts made the same way. Light weight 100% cotton with crew and rounded V-necks and slightly longer to hang lower than the sweater when combined. At $10. apiece I got another 4 pair to coordinate with the sweaters or to wear alone. The sweaters are perfect on their own as well. Especially, if you find yourself in Florida or the islands in the next few months. So for $140 I got 8 great items. (I’ve worn them all countless times since getting back!)
But it was a coat I was after and my mission was not yet complete. Specifically, I was after a very minimal tobacco single breasted number and another style that appeared to be double-face wool. The tobacco coat was there but when I touched it I felt the wool and acrylic mix was a bit on the rough scratchy side. I itch to no end with most wool fabrics. It also had a few details I was not so crazy for; weird darts and sleeves that felt too narrow. It was the double-face coat that rocked my world. In grey, black, navy and camel, this coat was beautifully made and the fit, a medium, was just roomy enough to be oversized. The look was fantastic, as good as in the picture. The fabric was also a mix of 53%wool and 45% poly but if I didn’t say you’d swear it was cashmere. Most double-face cashmere coats start at about $1200.00 yet this baby was a cool $189. The challenge was which color to choose. Black was obvious but the navy and grey were speaking to me. After several tries I settled on the grey.
My snobbery towards Zara was greatly reduced after that trip. There was much there to consider and so much that can beef up a wardrobe without breaking the bank. I highly recommend a visit there. Look on line first to see how things look on the body then make a mental note, find the item and try it on. You’ll probably be as surprised as I!