Mega fashion giant Zara is now online in Australia. Here is what I thought and (of course) what I ordered.
Mid-March, Australia finally had it’s first chance to shop the retail mega-giant, Zara, online. Launching the Australian online store with the #dearAustralia campaign, it created a lot of buzz. Though there are Zara stores now dotted around Australia in its major cities (I recently discovered Perth has two!), until now, anyone who couldn’t get to a store didn’t have the convenience of online shopping.
MY THOUGHTS ON ZARA
Personally, I am not a big Zara fan. Though I have shopped from them in the past, I seldom go into the stores and don’t tend to find anything if I do. This is possibly because I’ve found that both the Perth and Adelaide stores carried a lot of stock that I’d term a bit basic. Rather than the cooler styles leading the Zara ad campaigns, which I’d see in the European stores, a lot of the stock here was safe and not all that exciting. Plus the prices are a lot higher thanks to the higher costs for rent and wages in Australia. Not much they can do about that!
Back in 2010, I landed in Prague to find my suitcase was delayed by a few days. I’d turned to Zara to get a few items to wear to carry me through until it arrived. Not long after I returned home, the Adelaide Zara store opened, where I saw a few of the pieces I’d picked up in Prague for three times the price. From here, not being all that happy with how the pieces I’d picked up on my trip had lasted after a few months of wear, I stopped visiting.
ENTER ZARA ONLINE
Last month, I was very kindly sent a voucher and invitation to shop the Australian store the night before it officially opened. My first impressions were that the site was very cool, the products were styled and photographed in fun ways that instantly made me open up a bunch of windows with items on the short list. Since I have had some concerns with the quality of Zara items, (you guys have guessed by now that I am more about quality than quantity, longevity than fast fashion), I eliminated items that were made of synthetic fabrics. This cut out a lot but not all of the cool pieces I had shortlisted. In the end, I ordered a pair of wide-leg cropped red jeans and the cotton top I am wearing here.
HOW I FOUND THE SIZING AND POSTAGE
Though the website kept telling me that it would be able to deliver to my address in Perth by the next day, I wasn’t going to hold my breath. I certainly saw plenty of posts on social media of people in Sydney and Melbourne receiving orders the next day. My package came three days after I’d ordered. To give a perspective, I live ten minutes drive north of the Perth CBD (and the closest Zara store). This is still MUCH faster than most deliveries I receive. Australia Post’s Express Post takes a minimum of three days to arrive from Sydney or Melbourne to me. Sometimes it is quicker for me to drive the three minutes to the local Australia Post Business Hub and pick up a package myself than wait for it.
The second thing I found was that the Zara sizing is a lot more generous than the measurements let on. I ordered according to my measurements against each item. The top, in the smallest size, XS and the jeans in a size 8. Both are oversized on me and I could have comfortably gone down a size. The packaging didn’t come with any information regarding returns and it didn’t have a copy of the receipt. I read online that I was able to exchange my size as long as the store had it and I could show the receipt. To be honest this wasn’t something I had time for so I kept them anyway.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
I was happily impressed with the quality of both pieces. Though the top, I thought, better be good quality for $100 AUD given it didn’t have a designer name. I’d say that the sizing runs large and to either go one size down or try on in store. Postage is quick but it’s unrealistic to expect it to be in Perth the next day. The range online was much more impressive than I’d found in stores. While I am still not likely to go into Zara, I would be more likely to look online to see what is new. New stock is added each week and line up with the European releases a lot closer.
Though I know this review sounds critical of me, I was actually more impressed with Zara online than I’d expected to be. If you are a Zara fan, you will not be disappointed.