What Our French Fashion Friends Do and Don't Shop for at Zara

How to shop Zara like French women is something we ask more often than you might imagine. Why? Well, the French are notoriously a little bit more discerning when it comes to the high street, but, of the chic Parisian women we know, they are all still partial to un petit peu of Zara. Ergo, if they deem it of a quality good enough for their concise capsule wardrobes, then there must be a very French way to sift the wheat from chaff and zone in on the most sophisticated things our favourite shop has to over—without getting distracted by impulsive buy-buy-buy urges on the way. 

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(Image credit: Aria Di Bari)

Parisian women always look for items with longevity and seek out classics, so we grilled our favourite French blogger, Aria Di Bari, because she not only specialises in uncovering the most deluxe pieces on the high street, but she's a Zara advocate on her site—often cherry-picking the must-haves before they've become so. 

Read on to get her top tips for how to shop at Zara like a French girl, and you can pick up a few of our key buys, too.

1. Always Trust The Shoes

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(Image credit: @ariadibari)

"The one thing I always buy from Zara is shoes. Zara shoes are always the prettiest! I mostly buy leather boots and heels, and sometimes I borrow sandals from my mum."

Our top Zara pick:

2. Wear In Your Shoes At Home

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(Image credit: @ariadibari)

"The only thing I don't like about their shoes is that they can be really uncomfortable when they are brand-new. The leather is usually quite stiff despite the good quality of it, so I usually break in the shoes at home before I wear them outside."

Our top Zara pick:

3. Be open to eye-catching styles

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(Image credit: @ariadibari)

"There are things I wouldn't order online and would rather try on in-store. But when I go to my local Zara, I'm there to buy anything that really catches my eye."

Our top Zara pick:

4. Blazers Are Always a Safe Bet

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(Image credit: @ariadibari)

"As well as shoes, I would always buy the blazers as they are very well tailored."

Our top Zara pick:

5. Choose Zara Woman, Not TRF

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(Image credit: @ariadibari)

"I would recommend to buy at Zara Woman and not Trafaluc. It's a little bit more expensive, but the fabric is usually nicer and the clothes are well-fitted and last longer in my opinion."

Our top Zara pick:

6. Shop Online For Specific Pieces

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(Image credit: @ariadibari)

"When I shop online, I usually want to buy a very specific piece. It's usually one of these on-trend items that would fit my style or a basic I don't have yet (like blazer or a pair of tailored trousers, for example). Sometimes, it's just a piece I saw a friend or another blogger wearing that I would want to try myself!"

Our top Zara pick:

7. Focus On In-Store Mannequins

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(Image credit: @ariadibari)

"When I shop, I'm usually very picky about the fabric first, but I studied fashion so it's easier for me to spot clothes made of quality material. I also look at the mannequins, as Zara usually puts all of its nicest clothes on them."

Our top Zara pick:

8. Get To Know The Sizing

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(Image credit: @ariadibari)

"I've never sent anything I bought online back; I know how the sizing works at Zara and I've never had bad surprises so far—so keep trying items on to work it out if you haven't already."

Our top Zara pick:

9. Look Out For Intricate Fabric Detailing

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(Image credit: @ariadibari)

"I do own one piece from Zara from a long time ago that I just can't get rid of: a beautiful black waistcoat with silver embroidery and beads that I bought at least eight years ago. At the moment, they have some great embroidered and printed pieces."

Our top Zara pick:

10. Use Belts When Styling

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(Image credit: @ariadibari)

"Sometimes I will belt a dress or a long blazer to mark my waist, but this just depends on my mood or the design itself."

Our top Zara pick:

11. Opt For Trousers Over Jeans

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(Image credit: @ariadibari)

"I think the jeans don't fit very well and the denim gets really lose after a few hours of wearing them—but the trousers are usually well fitted. Also, I won't buy their linen T-shirts anymore [because] they don't last very long."

Our top Zara pick:

12. Choose Pieces That Fit Well And Make You Feel Good

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(Image credit: @ariadibari)

"I usually don't tailor anything I buy from Zara. If I have to tailor anything, it usually means that it doesn't fit to my body shape and so I don't buy it."

Our top Zara pick:

Up next, I Lived in Paris For Years—This Is the Dress French Women Always Wear

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the editor in chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was hired to launch a UK sister site and social channels, localise content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 15 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times and MatchesFashion.com, among many others.

Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy toddler and highly Instagrammable cat.