I Just Tried On Zara's Newest Dresses, Jeans and Blazers—Here's What Stood Out

There are a few shops on the high street that have always been my go-tos for certain things. If I want premium basics, I head to Marks and Spencer. Should I need outfit-elevating separates, it is always COS. But if I'm looking for a fashion-forward piece that's guaranteed to stop people in the street to ask where I found it, it has to be Zara. For a lot of us Zara has always been our default, the easiest place to grab dresses, jeans, and knits on our lunch-hour, knowing that whatever we find won't break the bank, but in recent times the sheer amount of new-in pieces has become so overwhelming that it's difficult to know where to start. 

Given my determination to shop smarter in 2023 (that is, less frequently, and investing in pieces that I know I'll wear for years), I decided to head to the bricks-and-mortar high-street over my usual online scrolling session to get to get the most out of trying on the very best that the new season has to offer, and where better to start than Zara? 


(Image credit: WHO WHAT WEAR )

My first impressions heading into the store were just how sleek the new season looks. Sure, there are plenty of the pops of colour and prints that we expect for spring, but there is also a healthy offering of tailoring, luxe neutrals, and runway inspired eveningwear that got me immediately excited. And, good news for lovers of red–both bold red and maroon are key colours this season, paired with expensive looking creams, browns, and black towards the front of the store. And at the back you'll find plenty of spring greens including everything from khaki bombers to sage green dresses (with moments of apple green brights in between), making Zara's new-in section a spring trend treasure trove. 

Prepared to jump in and start outfit building, I tried on just about everything that the King's Road store had to offer, and pulled out 14 standout pieces that I think you're going to want to see. So, having done the deep digging so you don't have to, keep scrolling to see my favourite Zara spring pieces for 2023. There really is something for everyone. 



(Image credit: @remyfarrell)

Style Notes: I'm going to start with what is undoubtedly my favourite piece in the whole store–this full-skirted skater dress. Everything about the colour and construction of this feels designer (and far better quality than you might expect for £60), but the highlight is the silhouette that reminds me of a stiff-skirted Prada or Emilia Wickstead vibe, which is not something you expect to come across on a Wednesday lunchtime. There weren't any pointy black court shoes or Mary Janes in store to try on with this, but something tells me I need to go back in and buy this now before it sells out (or at least in the blush pink colourway).




(Image credit: @remyfarrell)

Style Notes: Next up is a camisole slip dress that I was immediately attracted to because of the colour. This soft, almost pastel sage would be perfect for anything from date-night to wedding guest dressing (but warning, you may need to adjust the straps). I sized up as shapes like this tend to cling to my hips, but that meant that the bigger bust sat pretty low and I needed to pull the front up significantly to accomodate, but it was very sensible of Zara to think ahead and gave us straps that can be adjusted. 

With the brilliant 2x2 outfit formula in mind, I decided to add a casual element to the outfit and picked up one of their bestselling bomber jackets to layer up a look in different shades of green. It is almost sold out online though, so in store might be your best bet to snag this, but believe me, it is well worth it. Comfy, cosy, casual-cool that I'd wear with everything from a white tee and jeans to maxi dresses. 




(Image credit: @remyfarrell)

Style Notes: If there's a new double breasted suit on the high-street, you can bet I'm going to find it, and this one is a real gem. Although the trousers are listed as a "straight-leg", I'm inclined to say that they fit more like a wide. There's no zip, just a stretch waistband (so you might want to have this tailored for the right fit), but this ultimately gives the trousers a much slouchier, relaxed wear than I expected from tailoring. I sized up on these to make sure the fit was really loose (yes–even though Zara's trousers are notoriously long), but kept the jacket true to size. It's got a slightly oversized finish that still gives it masculine edge and makes it feel so much cooler than a fitted blazer. 




(Image credit: @remyfarrell)

Style Notes: Something about this outfit feels like spring: maybe it's the linen shirt, maybe the cargo skirt, but this feels like a look I want to wear with sandals and sunnies. The shirt is definitely a sensible staple to invest in as it's thicker than cotton and comes in 5 different colours you can mix and match with the separates you already own, but I love it with this Jacquemus-esque midi that I was desperate to try from the moment I saw it. Just imagine how good it would look with a tank top, t-shirt, white shirt, bandeau, turtleneck... the possibilites are endless. 




(Image credit: @remyfarrell)

Style Notes: Although it was noticeably absent from the major S/S '23 runways, the high-street has bought into utility jackets in a big way, and I for one am more than happy to support it. If your first thoughts when you hear "utility" are oversized cargo jackets, boiler suits, and 100 pocket trousers, allow me to reassure you that this time around, the look is a little more grown up. Take this blazer for example. The belted waist is going to flatter just about every body, and although it feels office appropriate, it would go just as well with jeans as it would with a mini skirt. Who wouldn't love that kind of versatility? 




(Image credit: @remyfarrell)

Style Notes: Onto something entirely less suitable for work, but still optimistically hopeful for sunny weather–a crochet crop top. Those three words together would be enough to put me off even trying something like this, but seeing it on the hanger piques my interest enough to at least see what it looks like on, and I think the success of this all comes down to styling. We know that last year's sheer trend is continuing into 2023, and wearing a top like this under a jacket or blazer might be the easiest way to introduce baring a little more skin into your everyday look. It's not going to be for everyone, but I've got to give Zara props for trying something different; but one thing that undeniably works about this outfit is the skirt. Having tried it on with the blazer, the crop top, and a t-shirt in between, I confirm that it makes every outfit look more "put together", but it's one of those pieces you could easily miss on the hanger as it looks so simple. 




(Image credit: @remyfarrell)

Style Notes: This blazer is part of the "limited" collection (hence the higher price point), and although it feels the same as any other Zara blazer, it buttons across the chest similarly to a double-breasted blazer, and the small design details like this are what makes the limited collection look so well-considered. The beaded dress underneath really comes into its own under spotlights were the intricacy is revealed, but the best part about it is the lining. Most sheer dresses come with an ill-fitting, hastily assembled slip attached underneath, and the whole outfit depends on this sitting correctly. With this dress however, the layer underneath is a stretchy, comfortable fine knit dress that ensures that this dress adjusts to fit you properly, rather than the other way around. Finally, some well thought-out attention to detail on the high-street. 


Up Next: I Just Tried 2023's Biggest Denim Trends—These Are the Only Ones That Matter

Remy Farrell
Fashion Editor

Remy Farrell is a London-based shopping editor with nearly 10 years of editorial experience covering fashion, beauty and lifestyle. After graduating with a journalism degree and working on the editorial and fashion teams for titles such as Grazia, Elle, Cosmopolitan and British Vogue, she moved into the luxury e-commerce sector, working as fashion assistant at TheOutnet.com styling for the social media channels and helping to develop the collections for the in-house brand Iris & Ink. After expanding an assisting and styling portfolio that includes shooting talent such as Gigi Hadid, Victoria Beckham and Miquita Oliver, she also branched out into beauty, creating tried-and-tested reviews and diverse beauty content.In her role as shopping editor at Who What Wear, Remy is interested in discovering new and exciting brands to share with the Who What Wear readership and particularly loves uncovering hidden gems at affordable prices to make shopping accessible to everyone.Born and raised in Sheffield, Yorkshire, Remy moved to London in 2014 and lives in the Docklands with her partner and pug Billie.