In the era of Postmates and Amazon Prime, getting yourself to a store to actually try things on can feel daunting. If you hate dealing with online returns as much as I do, going off of how an item looks on a model can be a gamble. But what if you had a clothing concierge to vet items IRL that you could then shop from the comfort of your couch? That’s where I come in, sweet shopping-obsessed reader. And for reference, I am practically 5’4’’ and usually wear a size 2 to 4 or small.
To start, I’ve narrowed in on two things I know you love immensely, Zara and skinny jeans. I went to my local store and narrowed it down to the best three pairs, and then styled them with additional merch to help paint the full picture. I left my favorite outfit for last, which surprisingly happened to be the simplest of the bunch. Go ahead and check them out, and send me a DM on my Instagram @katcollings to tell me what I should try next.
Outfit 1: Layered Look
If you love classic skinny jeans, this pair is for you. It features distressing throughout that's subtle enough to avoid any early-00s whisker wash comparisons. When I turned around to take a picture of the rear view, I was reminded why skinny jeans are beloved and that yes, indeed, I do have a tush. I've been hiding my bum with weird mom jeans, but this pair made me nod in approval. Is it weird I included butt snaps throughout? I figured it's essential info for buying jeans, but let me know. I also found the inseam on all the Zara jeans I tried perfect for my 5'4'' frame, meaning I can escape the mental math of adding tailoring costs to the price when deciding whether to purchase.
As for the pieces I styled with this look, I give them all a solid green light. The turtleneck is probably the best bet (though not available online in the cream). The jacket was cute and boxy but definitely needs to be styled with high-waisted bottoms. The rise on these jeans wasn't quite right with it. The printed button-down is more tunic-like in person (I did a lot of tucking to get it into those skinny jeans), and I'll note that it does not look like that on the likely towering model.
Outfit 2: Dress Over Pants
I loathe buying a truly simple basic. There always has to be at least one special detail that sets it apart from the pack, such as how the white turtleneck above has subtle ribbing. This pair of ZW premium skinny jeans fits the bill perfectly. Yes, they are a classic black slenderizing skinny jean, but then are majorly upgraded with a visible button fly—chic! It makes the outfit feel more balanced so the snazzy printed dress isn't doing all the heavy lifting.
Speaking of that dress, if you want an eye-catching number it's a genius choice. The tie at the waist allows for a custom fit, and now you know you can double your wear by styling it over pants as well.
Outfit 3: Textures & Prints
Ah, my favorite outfit of the bunch. Styling and layering techniques step aside, sometimes simpler is better. I like how the gray skinny jeans feel a bit more unexpected than black here. I'll also note that the rips that you can very clearly see on the model are not as obtrusive IRL. The side stripe is similarly fairly subtle.
As for the rest of the outfit, I cannot endorse this tiger top enough. It's $20 and was hands-down my favorite pick from everything I brought in the dressing room. It's super soft and has a nice faded look to it, you know, in case you don't want to seem like jumped on the animal-print train just now. The teddy jacket is also a nice buy, but there are a ton of those on the market right now, including one that's $20 less from Who What Wear Collection.
Bonus Round: A Non-Skinny Jean
As I mentioned above, I'm not a diehard skinny jeans girl, so of course I had to try out one of Zara's "vintage jeans" inspired styles. In person, they were a bit more meh than on the model. I'll stick to my vintage Levi's for now. That snakeskin blazer on the other hand…
Shop More of My Favorite Zara Pieces