Zara is having their big post-holiday sale. Now I know that for many of us of a certain age the idea of picking up sale items on Zara or any other uber-trendy sites is hard to envision. The information on each item is sketchy – I don’t know what size to wear – this stuff is simply too avant garde and young for me.
My advice is don’t pass these sales by! A sale allows you to try different sizes and determine what really does fit. It takes some trial and error but it’s worth it in the long run. I like to use sales to take a chance on a shape I would never try otherwise (I’ll show you a few in just a minute.) For me, perusing the sales at Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom is pretty boring. The prices are good, yes, but all that’s left are pretty traditional garb in black and beige.
Let me show some examples and give you ideas for shopping Zara (and, by extension, other similar sites.
Experiment with the unconventional – These jumpsuits are perfect examples of that. I’m down with the checked one. I know it would require some kind of belting and probably a top underneath, but if I don’t try this now, when will I try it? The other jumpsuit is very pretty – possibly perfect for spring and it appears to have a forgiving shape.
Fresh, new tops are always good – and often more forgiving in size and shape. I’ve picked a few kinds of tops here – a little lace top in a blindingly wonderful yellow and two long shirts that could be VERY versatile. Think of the latter under a long cardigan sweater or with breezy wide-legged pants in spring/fall.
Pick up generation-defying accessories – OK, so I might want to try a little knit hat with ears! But in general Zara and other sites have a great selection of accessories (so many blanket scarves). I’ve just picked a few that I like. You should take a look!
And below are a few others I could envision women of a certain age trying out. Step out of your comfort zone and give one a try!
The funny thing about Northern California weather is that we freeze all summer and then it gets hot in September and October. So while everyone else is admiring fall clothes, we have left behind even cotton jackets until Thanksgiving.
This blue and white striped dress is almost too warm right now, but it is a perfect transitional dress. And it could even go all winter with a chic sweater coat or a jacket. It checks all my boxes – long enough (check), covers my upper arms (check),has a forgiving pattern (check), AND it is a little sassy (check). Don’t forget Zara when you’re looking for wearable, multi-seasonal dresses!
I am a walking Zara Sale ad today! These culottes were SO cheap – why didn’t anyone want them? Same for the belt. I KNEW Zara would bring out a frayed denim shirt if I were just patient – and here it is!
I am a real culottes fan, even in the years when they weren’t in style. What’s the difference between a culotte and wide leg cropped pants, I ask you?
Back to Zara – you may think Zara is too hip/young/whatever for you. I say check them out. It’s a great spot for buying into a trend without a huge investment.
Jeanne says: So much bright blue, orange and pink! I love the bright colors of summer (although I wear brights all year round). This little top from Zara was so cheap that I couldn’t pass it up — I even offered to buy one for Kate, but she declined. The lesson in this outfit is that one can wear any combination of colors if the look is grounded in a neutral — like my black pencil skirt.
Kate’s outfit is grounded in her taupe dress which allows her to combine other bright colors together — in this case, pink and bright blue. This little taupe dress has been a “workhorse” for her and it is easy to see why. Of course, if I owned that dress, it would be covered with little marks and stains after a few wearings and I’d have to throw it out!
Kate says: When I first got this taupe dress, I had no idea what to wear with it — it’s such a funny grayish-brownish color. But I slowly realized that this type of dress can serve as the backdrop for all kinds of bright colors. I think I’ve worn it with every color in my closet! And blue and pink are a great summery color combination — we even see it showing up in Mom’s cute peplum.
Mom’s top is very “her” (even though she wanted to buy me one!). The graphic floral print, bright colors and scuba material (her fav) make it a perfect piece for her. I like how she balanced out the strong pattern with a black skirt and solid cardigan — but I can also see her pairing it with bright pants or another pattern! Mom makes a good point about bright colors — they are a natural for summer, but also a great choice for winter, when they can bring some cheer to a dreary day and brighten up dull winter skin.
It’s always handy to be able to easily transition from workwear to a great going-out outfit. But it can be challenging to figure out how to make that happen! The key is having a “star” of your outfit that can easily be transitioned with the aid of accessories and color.
Today we each take a different tactic — versatile dress vs. layered tops — and show how we would make the transition. We also learned that each of us has different interpretations of “going out” outfits!
Jeanne says: If I am going from work to an evening out, I’ll start with a simple dress, black tights and black suede shoes. I can pair this with a sweater, dramatic belt and bright jewelry for day and then switch out only the sweater, necklace and belt for evening. Add an evening clutch and I am very dressed up for the evening. Kate’s switch-out to jeans is probably much more typical of day to evening ensembles in today’s world. I guess I’ll just imagine I’m going to the opera!
Kate says: It is interesting how my work outfit is much dressier than my evening outfit! I wore this outfit to work on a day when I was going to a concert the same evening. This lace top layered over a thin turtleneck very easily made the transition from work to evening.
Trading out my skirt and tights for skinny jeans and booties made my outfit totally concert-appropriate, and also warm enough for walking and bussing in this snowy weather! I’ll admit that my work outfit would be perfect for a different evening activity, like happy hour with the girls.
Yuck, what a gross time of year — snow, cold, fog and we still have February to look forward to. What else can we fashionistas do except snuggle up inside, open our laptops and order fun (on sale!) clothes to take the edge off the rest of this dark time of year?
Jeanne says: This is a great time of the year to pick up items I’ve been watching for months and/or fanciful items that can carry me into spring. Here are some things I’ve already ordered or I am eyeing for future purchase.
We are all about dressing up without spending a lot of money. So we thought we’d show you two outfits we plan to put together for holiday parties this year.
Jeanne says: I am tired of shine and sequins and glitter. This year, I am all about sleek and cheap dressing. So I’ve chosen a sleek, sexy and cheap on sale dress and shoes from Zara which I’m putting together with an unusual pendant. This is a very new look for me: a different kind of statement necklace (wouldn’t you agree?) and a very simple dress with a daring back. I LOVE it. I’ll pair this with my leopard print envelope clutch and small gold studs in my ears. Maybe I’ll wear short white gloves so I look like Audrey Hepburn’s chic older sister. Yeah…
Kate says: I, on the other hand, am NOT tired of shine and sequins and glitter. This year, I’m feeling a sleek little mini skirt paired with a black blousy silk top — lots of leg, but covered up on top. I love this geometric gold sequin skirt from Asos, plus some strappy nude heels and blingy earrings. I love the simplicity of this outfit!
Together again on the streets of the Nation’s Capital. Jeanne flew into DC to visit Kate a few weeks ago – this time to celebrate Kate’s birthday. We won’t be talking about how old Kate is because that in turn would require us all to reflect on Jeanne’s age.
Jeanne once again packed a carefully curated bag – put together specifically for the projected DC weather. Then – big surprise – the forecast changed and Jeanne was wearing her very cute black eyelet trench coat in 30-40 degree weather!
In any case, it was a weekend-long celebration and we ate out for almost every meal!
We had a long lunch out, then wandered around Arlington doing some shopping at LOFT, Ann Taylor, South Moon Under, and Free People. We grabbed a drink and an appetizer before Eric met us for dinner at The Green Pig Bistro. Jeanne proved her mettle as a mother-in-law by sharing “the pork shank, belly, andouille, grits, greens (for 2)” with Eric.
Saturday we wrestled up more cute outfits and raced into the city with Kate’s friend Megan for shopping AND a special event.
We made some birthday purchases (for both Jeanne and Kate – who says mothers can’t get gifts on their kid’s birthday?) at H&M and Zara before lining up for the Gilt City Warehouse Sale that afternoon.
Jeanne found a few deals; we slugged down some coconut water latte drinks and headed home to dress for dinner at Cava Mezze.
Jeanne says: Love, love, love Kate’s outfit, especially knowing how little she paid for the jeans. She kept the rest of the outfit simple which lets the jeans really pop. Looks great with those darling Tom’s shoes. I would never buy polka dot denim – it trends too young for me.
Yes, I know. “I don’t want to trend young”… but I buy and wear camo jeans. I can’t tell you why these appealed to me. I wanted the Zara version (which are now available on eBay), but settled for UO. I feel comfortable in them when all my other outfit items are toned down which is why I’ve stuck to all brown here. And may I say I’ve gotten lots of compliments on these jeans (and not from hunters)!
Kate says: Buying these jeans was a total surprise for me. I’ve tried on the Old Navy Rockstar jeans many times and have been extremely traumatized by the irregular sizing and suction-like fit. But I guess I like to torture myself, because I walked in and decided to try again! These jeans instantly caught my eye by combining two jean trends I am loving: red and polka dots. This, of course, runs the risk of TMTAO, but I agree with Mom – as long as you keep it toned down and let an item like this take center stage, it can work! Now that I’ve worn them a few times, I feel more confident in them and might try some more interesting combinations.
When Mom told me she wanted a pair of camo jeans, I was reeeeally skeptical. I’d seen them look cute on a few people, and generally like the idea of a skinny cargo pant, but I thought they’d be totally over the top. But she shows that, with neutral top and boots, the camo can look really classy. Of course, she’d never wear these to dress up, but they make a really cute, trendy casual outfit for her.