Meet Lauren, Who What Wear's fashion editor and co-founder of The Devils Wear Zara. Lauren is so obsessed with Zara that we started calling her The Zara Scout. Now she's turning the nickname into a franchise so she can regularly share her insider knowledge of the brand, including all her hacks, secrets, and must-haves with you.
Writing about my Zara addiction? Piece of cake. I’ve never heard of an easier or more appealing task before in my life. This story is going to be a walk in the sartorial park. I have so much to say that the words are bound to effortlessly flow out of my little head, I thought to myself as I set out to write this story.
Let me tell you—I was so, so wrong. Obviously I was aware of my Zara addiction, but it wasn’t until I sat down to process all the ins and outs of this “unhealthy” relationship with the retailer that I realized just how warped my mind was, and I weirdly wasn’t mad about it.
Everyone needs to know what they are missing if they don’t shop at this fast-fashion destination, I thought to myself. I need to educate them on the emotional experience that happens when the item you’re waitlisted for finally becomes available, and what about all the secret tricks I have learned over the years? The people need to know! The level of passion I felt while trying to organize all of my Zara-driven thoughts was honestly concerning. Am I insane? Do I need help? Let me know. Actually, don’t.
I figured the best way to walk you through the true life of someone suffering from the obsessive Zara disorder (OZD, as I like to call it) was to start from the very beginning and work our way to the present. Spoiler alert: Yes, I am still addicted to Zara, and no, you are not about to read the success story of a woman who overcame her life struggle.
This is mainly because I am not ashamed that I shop at Zara at all. In fact, I have learned to fully embrace this quirky addiction of mine despite the conflicting opinions that often float around the fashion community. And let me tell you, as a 24-year-old fashion editor, I’ve heard all the arguments for and against supporting the store, and I have felt insecure about not just shopping there because it made sense financially, but because I loved the product, and have now formulated my own opinions despite all of the hullabaloos. Are you ready to hear my spiel?
Go on to read the breakdown of my abnormal love for the fast-fashion brand, Zara, as well as my insider tips for scoring the best items.
BACK TO THE BEGINNING
I first realized just how great Zara was once I entered college, solely because I needed professional clothing for interviews. (I went to a beach school where flip-flops were all the rage—not that I participated in that shoe trend, but you get the point.) Not only would I find office-appropriate items that didn’t make me look like I was trying too hard, but I would also come across all the trends I had been reading about in magazines and online. Back then, Zara was more than just an affordable place to buy clothing. To me, it was the aesthetic I had hoped to obtain once I entered adulthood—chic, elevated, and modern. After getting my first job in the fashion industry, the Zara gates finally opened to my new lifestyle, and frankly, they haven’t closed since.
My admiration for Zara quickly shifted to concerning signs of more than just your average fondness for a store. This included frequently checking the site for new products, downloading the Zara app, and making more than a few impromptu purchases (thanks to the convenience of the app). At this point, people started to notice that this was officially one of my favorite shopping destinations, and there was no changing that. Little did I know, I was turning my attraction to the store into a lifestyle.
THE EYE OF THE STORM
A storm was brewing, and I could feel it. The addiction was now all around me tempting me from every angle, and it was up to me whether or not I wanted to give in. At this stage, I still had a certain level of control—I had my wits about me. Yes, I would get mocked by family and friends for my unhealthy amount of love for this retailer, but the comments were for the most part in jest… at least I think they were. Just because I could spot a Zara item from a mile away and knew every new product on the site at any given time didn’t mean I had a problem. (Spoken like a true addict.) I was still able to resist the urge to fall head over heels in love with Zara, so what do you think I did?
I did the opposite, of course. I love being self-destructive. I recognized my problem and embraced it with the warmest welcome. It was honestly like greeting an old lover who I had been struggling through a long-distance relationship with. We were finally together, and it felt so right, but also kind of overwhelming.
Like any dysfunctional relationship (like you’ve never been in one), I grew completely dependent on the other person. In this case, the other person is Zara, and yes I’m a nutcase. I am now competitive and greedy and completely nonsensical when it comes to my purchases. Yes, I probably spend too much money there, but the fact of the matter is, I am still not at the stage of my life where I can justify spending $900 on a pair of shoes when paying rent is still the saddest day of the month, hands down. But a $50 pair? I’ll take three.
Since I am constantly searching for, reporting on, and wanting to participate in new trends, whether it be the satin shoe trend we saw all over the F/W 17 runways or a collection in full support of the ballerina aesthetic, I know Zara will accommodate me. They call it fast fashion for a reason.
If fashion’s elite can wear Zara, then I should feel no shame wearing the brand myself.
Zara provides me with the trends I want at the prices I need, and hey, if fashion’s elite can wear Zara, then I should feel no shame wearing the brand myself. As I mentioned before, I am not naïve to the fact that some people in the fashion industry don’t like or appreciate this fast-fashion retailer (or fast fashion in general), and that’s okay.
However, as a 24-year-old fashion editor, I am not ashamed in the slightest to say that some of my favorite new items are from Zara. In fact, I find a certain amount of pride and joy in sharing with my co-workers and friends that the item they just complimented cost me less than $100. Call me frugal; just don’t look at my current Zara shopping cart.
In case you weren’t already convinced of how much I really love Zara, my co-worker/BFF (she’s an enabler) and I created an Instagram dedicated solely to our addiction. It’s called The Devils Wear Zara. So there’s that.
To make myself feel better about the weird amount of time I spend perusing the site, visiting stores, and updating my ongoing shopping cart like my life depends on it, I am going to pass my wisdom on to those of you who don’t suffer from OZD, but who are only reading this in hopes of learning some insider information about Zara. Congratulations, you have come to the right place. Ahead, I reveal the things no one tells you about being addicted to Zara, moreover, the secrets Zara addicts don’t necessarily always want to reveal. But I like you guys, so I’ll gladly give you the 411.
Go on to read the Zara tips I use to score the best products online.
This is a fashion-girl Zara favorite at the moment.
The sleeves of this shirt are just different enough to make it interesting.
These look better in person—trust me.
Basket bags are having a moment right now.
Okay, so my co-worker actually owns this, but I steal it.