30 Items From Zara, & Other Stories and COS That Could Pass For Designer


(Image credit: @daniellejinadu)

Danielle carrying the COS bag.

I'm a very fussy high-street shopper. As someone who has seen trends and It pieces come and go more times than I've had hot dinners over the past 15 years I've worked in fashion, I don't like to buy on a whim anymore. The sad, unworn pieces of my past missteps haven't been in vain, as I'm now a lot more strict with what makes it into my basket. In fact, I'd say the entirety of the Who What Wear UK team are about as picky as can be. We love to shop (and live for it!), but we're happiest when we've invested in something that will see us through the long haul—high street or designer, indie or mass-produced. 

So when it comes to perusing affordable stores, I try to keep the 30-wears principle in mind. Is this something I could envisage wearing over 30 times? Is it not too transient a trend or completely out of my personal-style wheelhouse to look good in my wardrobe for many years to come? The items that I gravitate towards aren't necessarily the right ones for everybody who will read this story, but by putting them through this rigorous testing filter as well as a full shakedown on fit and feel once they're in my hands, I'd hope that it helps sift out some of the cheap scraps that are unfortunately all too present when lower price points are involved. 

Right now, I have a passion for & Other Stories, COS and Zara. All look wildly different from each other, but each are delivering interesting pieces that have longevity in mind. COS is the ultimate minimalism Mecca, Stories has that sassy French-girl vibe all wrapped up, and Zara cannot be beaten for summer heroes. Keep scrolling to see the items from Zara, COS and & Other Stories that stopped me in my scrolling tracks…

The Best New-In Pieces From COS:

The Best New-In Pieces From Zara:

This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated. 

Next Up: The 9 Most Expensive-Looking Pieces on the High Street This Week

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 headhunted to launch the UK sister site and social channels, implement a localised 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 16 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, The Telegraph and MatchesFashion.com, among many others. Hannah is often called upon for her take on trends, becoming known as a person with their finger of the pulse of what’s happening in the fashion space for stylish Brits.

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