Monday, September 12, 2011

Sucked in. [Zara review]

     Anyone else who got sucked in to purchasing stuff at Zara when it went online, raise their hands! Yep. That's me.

     We've had this conversation not too long ago, but I have a love/hate relationship with Zara. I can stare at their clothes all day (and I've done this on their website many, MANY times), just don't let me come within six feet of it. If I see seams or buttons coming off, or feel polyester that seems like it will catch fire at even just the sight of a matchstick, I will put it down faster than Clark Kent can put on his blue and red spandex suit.

     However, one thing that can almost always suck me in to buying something is free shipping and free returns.  It's a brilliant idea and I wish more online stores would take the hint. I will buy twice as often if you just offer me free shipping and give me a way to return for free even if that requires that I go to the mall (BTW, Nordstrom does this now too, and as a result, I made a purchase a few hours within learning of this fact. LOL). Heck, if you don't offer me free shipping at all, there's a 98% chance I won't ever buy from you online. EVER. Zara, you so smaht (in my best Chinese fob accent).

    Do you know how badly I got sucked in to buying Zara online? I bought a coat. If there is one thing that I avoid buying at Zara, as much as I love the look of them, it's the coats. Generally, they are just made terribly with horrible material particularly the wool coats (or whatever they're made out of). And as much as they are visually appealing, it's not enough to justify the price tag. Oh, but did I take heed of my own knowledge when browsing through the website? Nope. I ended buying this trench coat:

     It's not wool, so it had a chance. I loved the subtle military-inspired look of it--the high collar/lapel and the narrowly placed buttons), the extra structure, and being able to buy risk-free, I couldn't resist. So for $129, this made it's way to my doorstep (or more specifically, my concierge). 

     One of the (many) things I was worried about on this jacket, was the length. Given how long this was on the model, no doubt this was going to be super-long on my 5'1-self. But hey, if I like the quality and look of it overall and it fit in the shoulders and waist, I may be willing to hem this to fit. I've been needing a lighter colored trench and Burberry is not within my budget.

     I ordered on the 7th and I received shipping confirmation on the 8th and the package arrived on the 10th. Not bad! 

   Here it is (Sorry, I made no attempt to hide the tags):

      The length hits me just above the bottom of my kneecap. With heels, it doesn't look too long, but with flats, it looks a bit overwhelming on my frame. To be properly proportioned, this would need to be taken up a few inches. The sleeves are also a little bit long. It was small across the chest and the shoulders, however, which is pretty typical of how Zara coats fit me. I wouldn't describe myself as particularly "broad" or "wide" on top, but my shoulders are more muscular (?) than a lot of smaller petites out there. I definitely have to go up a size in this jacket for comfort especially if I want to do some heavier layering underneath. I kind of laughed at these pictures when I first looked at them because my shoulders look so squished even with the top unbuttoned.

   And the quality? Well, actually for $129, it's not bad. The material feels a little rubbery (which in a way I suppose is good because it means it will be water resistent?). The outer is made out of 48% polyester, 44% cotton, and 8% nylon. The lining is 100% polyester. It's mid-weight, so this jacket can probably get me through November in D.C., and mid-November in Toronto with some thick sweaters underneath. There is quite a bit of padding in the shoulders, but that's to help give it a strong shape since it's military-inspired.

     I didn't notice any seams coming apart of buttons falling off. I do see a few threads sticking out of the seams, but nothing that made me extremely suspect of the overall workmanship. There were a few things that did bother me though. First, was the fact that there was no rear vent, which, practically, means nothing because in no way was my walking impeded by the lack of vent, it's just purely for aesthetic reasons; but more significantly what bothered me more was the flap pockets. When tucked in to try and get a welt pocket, the pocket didn't sit flat. Neither are huge issues, but sometimes it's those little details that can make or break the deal:

      I wish the coat was slightly darker, but it doesn't really bother me that much. Admittedly, it's probably one of the nicer looking trench coats I've come across in a while at this price point, so I may order this in a size S to see how that fits if I can get over the vent and pocket issues. But I fear that it will fit in the shoulders and across the chest, but be too large at the waist and I'm not sure if I'm willing to get this thing shortened.

   I also got these shoes for $99.90:

  They are total beauties...from far away. And they were much too small. I ordered them in a 6, which is my usual pump size, but they were still too small. Maybe a half to a full size. The suede was decent, but the black leather, which apparently is real leather, was just awful. I honestly thought it was plastic. My heel was also slipping out of them despite feeling tight in the front (my typical problem of most shoes) and that's not really something that could be fixed with a heel grip because the zipper is in the back. So back these go.

    Returns are pretty easy. You have to get Return Authorization online, which is super fast. Seal up the box and send it away Fedex by pick-up or drop-off. For me, that's easy because I actually have a Fedex office downstairs from my apartment.

   Anybody get some winners from Zara?

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Katherine said...

I love companies that do free shipping and returns as well! The trench looks nice and would be great with heels :) Those shoes are unique as well. Haven't seen any around here like that :)

Kileen said...

oh i'm so sorry to hear about your failed Zara purchase!  i haven't received mine yet but hopefully will soon. 

and as for the ankle booties, i think that style in general runs really small because of the way it angles your foot.  i have a similar pair of Aldo booties and they're super tight for the same reason (i stretched them using the freezing water trick...). 

but at least hooray for free shipping! 

cute & little
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Khatu said...

I was just thinking that today, about the free shipping and return thing! I didn't order anything from Zara, but that's because everything I wanted was no longer available in my size! I typically wear size 5 in shoes, but your review of those booties give me hope.

Really Petite said...

Bummer! I ordered the mustard coat like Sydney's but it'll be a return too :( Sleeves are too long and not in LOVE love...

rochgirl60 said...

have to warn you about the customer service. I LOVE Zara style and clothing. I ordered a shirt onljine (please note - not through the wonderful folks at the local store) which developed holes and frays at the seams on the very first use. I immediately contacted online customer service who had me send pictures of the problem, which I did, and then asked me to return the shirt itself to look at. I just heard that they are saying that the shirt is not defective. I am shocked because it frayed on the first use. So avoid "shirt with studded collar" at all costs and hope that you don't have an issue with a defect in the merchandise. So disappointing when I dealt with the company in good faith and otherwise love their styling.

Taylor said...

Love this post! I am thinking of purchasing some shoes so we will see how the goes! I've tried their coats on in store and the fit and quality is terrible. I get so sucked in when i visit online. Not so when I go in person. It's a visual mess in their stores.

Gal About Montreal said...

I know exactly what you are saying! I just wrote a blog post about a new "wool" coat they are selling this season :
Zara drives me crazy! The convenience of free shipping and endless quantities of trendy options does not excuse poor quality and craftsmanship. I've ordered two of the EXACT same shirts before, in the same size but different colours, and when they arrive they might as well be two completely different garments!

manzar said...

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Cg said...

I fell in love with a pair of zara shoes purchased for 70. I'm usually a 5.5-6 so I got the shoes since size 6 was the smallest but they were to big :(

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