Posts Tagged ‘Zara’
Late last month, I annoyed quite a number of you by showing a selection of spring dresses with dignified hemlines that skewed more expensive than usual. Typically, I feature items in a variety of prices, from cheap to moderate to splurgy, but this time I started at splurge and built from there, and you all had a right to be irked. So I promised a make-up post, and here it is: none of these dresses are over $200, starting with this super-elegant, totally unexpected white floral number.
This reminds me of the type of nouvelle ethnic dress you’d see from Vanessa Bruno or Isabel Marant or some other French designer of their ilk: a good print—but not too much print—on a pared-down peasant-y shape. And the neckline couldn’t be more flattering: dramatic and yet not the least bit revealing.
An strong print, certainly, but a sophisticated one too, and the black is a minor enough player that things don’t come off too Halloween-y. In addition to which: such a forgiving a lady with hips.
I might prefer this purple dress without the black panels, because then absolutely nothing would get in the way of me and that fantastic print. But I am probably completely alone in this, as the world seems to be in love with a slenderizing black panel.
The retail universe is crawling with jersey dresses made of soft, t-shirty material, but the vast majority are too flimsy to be acceptable for anything other than coffee runs and dog walks. Here’s why this is an exception: you can wear a bra with it, which is almost uniformly never the case with in the category; it’s hip-slung and slouchy and doesn’t require a belt; and it’s got an asymmetrical hem, which makes for such a lovely flow.
Loose and slouchy is always superior to tight and slinky when it comes to animal prints, and brown and cream is my favorite zebra print color combo, so basically, this dress is aces in my book.
Did you ever have your heart broken by a man who went on to date somebody new almost immediately? Causing you to spiral into endless, obsessive speculation on how beautiful, sexy and probably just all around superior to you she must be? And then maybe one night you ran into them together at a party, and she was pretty but no knockout, and you definitely had nicer legs—and suddenly you were cured? That’s not entirely unlike* how I felt upon visiting the new Iro store the other day.
I’ve probably coveted more Iro jackets than any other brand’s over the last year or so. They come in perfect dress-me-up, dress-me-down silhouettes—from close-cropped to slouchy, but elegant no matter what the shape. And their prints manage to fuse ethnic with something decidedly more grown-up and Chanel-informed. I think it’s safe to say that many of you know my taste well enough by now to recognize how up my alley this is.
This nubby moto-inspired number would go straight into serious rotation in my wardrobe as well. But unfortunately, everything Iro costs more than it should, thanks in large part to the fact that Iro is French and the exchange rate is crap. I was pretty sure a visit to their new boutique wouldn’t offer up much more than a nice generous helping of frustration. And so it did, but for another reason entirely. The store, in a move that seems increasingly common and that I am not at all down with, displayed on its racks precisely one of each item they carried—fine if you’re a jewelry or shoe store, but somewhat off-putting if what you’re pushing is apparel. Worse—and as if to scream I defy you to shop here—almost everything on those racks was a size 0 (their equivalent of a 2) with a few size 1 pieces (an Iro 4) thrown in for good measure. Apparently Iro plans to extend their US presence in short order to 20 US stores. New Yorkers may put up with that brand of snotty, but I can’t see the rest of the country doing it.
I could have asked for a few things in my size, but I resented having to. So I did the only thing that felt right—walked to Zara. Where I found this lightweight moto jacket that rang in at a mere $99 and is very Frenchy/ethnic, and so comfortable you could positively nap in it.
*This analogy seems increasingly imperfect the longer I consider it. But I’ve also grown fond of it, so it stays.
Zara really knows how throw together a solid ethnic bag: all three of these are structured, so as not to come off too hippie girl, and have super-graphic prints, which always feel more grown up. Aside from being a perfect lazy girl’s styling tool, this clutch feels like it might improve your mood just by carrying it.
Half French girl, half Mexican Riviera, total perfection.
Beading can be so damn tricky, but it’s so clever how they kept it all near the bottom here, nice and neat.
Embroidered bombers—so peacock-ishly, aggressively retro—are among the pieces I most closely associate with late 1970s vintage style. And since that was pretty much the exact moment in time when I became aware vintage style was a thing, they made a big impression. The marriage between East and West is a big part of the appeal: they were originally made by members of occupying forces as mementos of their time in Asia, and the American-style bomber shape with the traditional Asian stitching is just so unexpected and cool.
I could never pull one off—I’d feel too much in costume somehow—but that’s totally a personal thing. I once spied Mary-Kate Olsen looking like a million bucks as she slouched about the Citarella cheese section in one, and have seen others make them happen similarly fabulously as well. This remarkable specimen is from Ruby Lane, and is so Velvety Winter Goddess.
So annoying! This Zara jacket appears to be at least temporarily sold out online, and—I am reliably informed—in short, short supply in stores here in New York. Zara’s pretty good about reissuing popular styles—that’s their whole thing—so if you’re interested at all it’s probably just a question of holding tight.
I’m not a big fan of the turtleneck: when they’re too form-fitting, they don’t look all that cool, and the roomier ones can veer so shlumpy. I’ve also got a whole thing about needing all my tops and sweaters to show at least a little bit of collarbone: it’s such a universally flattering—and depending on what you’re wearing, sexy—part of the body. Like the modest girl’s cleavage. But I enjoy a challenge as much as the next girl. And so when my always stylish cousin Suzanne requested a post on them I went with it. This one from J. Crew is about as classic as they come, and the excellent blue would look so good with skinny black pants.
(Can I also just say that although I used to seriously loathe cable necks and view them as the lowest of low on the totem of preppy style, I am now finding them quite cute? This one from Zara is so fun with the contrasting knit on the sleeves.)
This is pretty much the ideal big, huggy weekend weekend sweater.
I like how slouchy this one is, but not at the expense of figure-flattery.
And I surprise myself by liking this one, but there’s something rather psychedelic apres ski about it that both amuses and delights.
A few days ago, I had a lunch date in the Flatiron District—which left me with no choice but to stroll the neighborhood shops on my way home. For you guys, of course! My first stop was the Flatiron building’s Origins store, to stock up the only lipstick I want to wear anymore, Sherry Baby, because I swear, it makes me look more awake. (Regular readers may recall that I previously extolled its virtues here.)
Then it was down to Ann Taylor, because their stuff just looks more and more on point all the time, and because you can’t beat the price. In addition to which, they offer a wide range of sizes and I’m trying to serve you guys better in that regard. And here’s one more thing I like about Ann Taylor: They do not shy away from a bold print, which is such a nice quality for a mass-market retailer with a focus of work attire to have. The one on this particular leopard print skirt is great—every bit as nice as the very similar one on this way, way pricier Christopher Kane dress.
Dots can—and often do—go horribly, desperately wrong. But when it all works, there’s nothing cuter. And this one, with its slouchy-clavicle-baring neckline, actually comes off kind of sexy, and how often do dots do that?
I’m always in favor of a streamlined peasant top look, because they’re a such nice, feminine—but still plenty take-me-seriously—option for the office. And this one has that whole color-of-the-season thing going for it too.
Zara is a zoo no matter when you go, isn’t it? You can wander in at close to 3pm on a weekday afternoon and confront mobs nearly as excitable as the ones you might witness on a Saturday. It overwhelms me a bit, and is definitely what’s kept me from journeying to visit the new Mega-Zara uptown. Which is a drag, because I’m such a fan of how edgily—for such a very, very mass chain— they interpret the runway. This boucle coat with leather trim is just so damned French fashion editor that even though I’m aware I’ve referred to French fashion editors at least once already this week, I find myself with no choice but to do it again.
And speaking of Frenchy style: this one certainly has a whole lot of Coco going on for $99, don’t you think?
I’m pretty much a slut for a leather sleeve.
This coat is very rock star girlfriend, circa 1972. You can do the whole soft/hard thing by pairing it with a filmy, flowery dress, or get all echt-Jil Sander in trousers and a turtleneck.
As a kid, I never loved school the way some kids do. And even in high school, when I finally caught on to the fact that both knowledge and the exchange of ideas were well worth cultivating, there was always some place I’d rather be. College I loved entirely, but I can not lie: after graduation, I was thrilled by the notion that I’d never have to enter a classroom again. And yet—and I’m sure this will shock exactly none of you—I couldn’t have gotten more squarely behind the notion of back-to-school shopping. And there I remain, well into adulthood.
My key purchase for years now has been a cute little jacket, the kind you can throw on over a tank as soon as the faintest chill hits the air, then layer later. And pretty much every one I’m currently loving is some variation on the motorcycle jacket, only very streamlined and with minimal hardware. This one, by Zara, has a whole lot going for it: an excellent slouchiness, that scrunched leather thing going on that usually costs a fortune but here is relatively within reach, and ever-so-subtly quilted sleeves.
Iro is one of my new favorite lines, and they make some of the best grown-up-enough-for-work-but-cool-enough-for-fun jackets I’ve seen anywhere lately. How impossibly clean and elegant is this?
Colored leather is tricky, tricky. But somehow, that clever Yigal Azourel has created one in a hue so subdued it almost comes off as a neutral.
A motorcycle-style jacket made of fleece could really go either way, but the notion of one light enough to wear under a heavier jacket in the winter appeals deeply.
Not quite sure how they managed to pull off a look so simultaneously preppy and moto here, but probably the Barbour-style waxed cotton has something to do with it.
One option for those looking to not spend a fortune—because this is a pricey category—is to go vegan. So many synthetics feel all stiff and wrong, but this one looks like it actually moves.
Boucle and moto are two great looks that shouldn’t look great together, but somehow, they totally do. And you can’t beat the price here.
…and I know you will, but I’ve been feeling camo for a while now, and am way into these zipper trousers from Zara. And even though I think there’s about a zero per cent chance I could pull them off, there is still some tiny little part of me that wants to give it a try. What thinks?