Update on Zara haul and quality rant

Thanks everyone for your perceptive comments about the items I had ordered from Zara. I have almost decided to return everything except the little floral blazer. 

My reasoning: 

The high-low Japanese print top: I feel what Marley felt about it on herself -- the coral in the print feels wrong for my complexion and while I like the shape of the top, in theory, the fabric and perhaps print of this particular one makes it a bit too boxy, as several of you said.  

The cream lace top shell: too boho and too young. And too wrinkle-prone. 

The dark blue kimono: while i love it in theory, IRL it feels too bathrobe-like on the arms. (I think Nancylee is going to rock this one!) Also, I am not sure that I'd wear it often enough to justify the cost, especially since I already have the black kimono jacket in my closet and that one seemed to pair pretty well with quite a lot of my tops and bottoms and dresses. 

The light kimono: this is the one I am most torn about. I am ambivalent about the print (for me). And it's polyester. Yet I really love the cut, and no question, I can see myself wearing it. So I'm still slightly on the fence with this. Anyone want to persuade me in either direction? (Pics again below). 

Thing is, if this trend has any legs, I'll bet Zara will come out with another that I like even better quite soon, know what I mean?

The quality rant, surprisingly, does not have to do with Zara. It concerns my striped drapey tshirt from Loft. Worn today for the first time (barring try-ons) and it has a small hole in it already!! There is no way I caused that hole; it has not been washed, and I did nothing except drive in a car while I was wearing it. I'm not sure I have the receipt any more, either. I figured I was keeping it, so why bother keeping? Ugh. 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • missvee replied 8 years ago

    I'm chuckling here about your Zara haul - I returned the cream kimono today thinking much the same as you, that there's something better out there for me if this trend has legs. That's very annoying about your Loft tee. I had a similar experience with a RW top that I bought in the spring. One wash and I'd be lucky to fit it on a small Beagle. Phooey!

  • Thistle replied 8 years ago

    You are not in lve with the Kimono. My vote, return it and save the funds for something you love, something perfect.

    As for the hole in the ATL top, yeah, quality is just not a strong suit of so many retailers anymore. Very, very frustrating. Makes me realize why so many people are learning to sew.

    I am amazed at the new GAP tees I bought. So thin they are almost transparent. I atill have a top from them from the mid 90s. Wouldn't even recognize it as GAP as the quality is so much better. Seriously, it's at least 4 times thicker than the ones I got, with proper seaming at the hems.

  • Lyn D. replied 8 years ago

    Hi Suz, how annoying that there is a hole in the T! I would return- they should replace a faulty garment.
    The kimono I liked from the start- I can see it working with your lifestyle, and it would be a great item to pop on when you leave the house to amp-up the style quotient of a day to day outfit. You can send it to me if you like :)

  • Sveta replied 8 years ago

    I am really heart-broken about the silk blue kimono because I loved it on you so much...but if you don't feel it it is a wise thing to return.
    I am not sure about the white kimono: as you I don't care for print and poly content. I vote return - PPP all the way!
    I am happy you are keeping the blue jacket, it is lovely on you!
    Too bad about Loft quality - arghhh. It really maddens me when  this happen. BTW how about Zara quality? You have tried so much stuff lately you should definitely form an opinion by now (I am still holding that order...)

  • replied 8 years ago

    Thistle -- depends on which style of T you ordered. They have lots which are tissue weight now for layering. I find the Essential ones are fairly thick and more like an old school T.

    Suz -- how maddening! I do love the cream kimono on you, but if it doesn't sing to you, wait and see if something else comes along! (It really does look great on you).

  • Caro in Oz replied 8 years ago

    In my experience any doubts you have now will only grow, so wait - PPP :)

    Poor quality fabric & poor construction are the bane of my life at the moment.  I've seen it getting worse over the past couple of years but this winter it is very frustrating. I might have to start sewing again.

  • Peri replied 8 years ago

    I just returned four things today that I didn't feel good about. I feel like I am learning one thing (just one)...if I have to talk myself into it, don't!

    Caro is right. I didn't return one top I was on the fence about...wore it today instead...and I can already tell I will be over it really soon. I should have returned it. PPP is murder, but better than wasting money and then not having it when that one jewel comes along.

  • Transcona Shannon replied 8 years ago

    Don't keep what you don't love and want Suz - that's the bottom line.

  • Debora replied 8 years ago

    Suz, where is the hole in your new tee? Is it in the front at the waistline? I have been finding small holes in my tees in that spot and it is driving me crazy. I can't figure out if it is the button on my jeans or my seatbelt causing them. So frustrating!

  • Liz A. replied 8 years ago

    I get those holes as well, and I always assumed it was from my cats little claws.  However, I googled it, and it seems that many people get these, and there are different theories out there.  Some people think it's from leaning against a counter while cooking, which just can't be the case for me :)

  • Beth Ann replied 8 years ago

    What about the beautiful blue floral jacket?  Please tell me it's staying!

  • shevia replied 8 years ago

    Suz wonderful display of PPP. My many hats are off to you.

    I am extremely frustrated on your behalf about the Loft top. It would not hurt to speak to them about it. I get those holes too - almost exclusively from items from H&M. Other stuff from them holds up well, but I rarely buy new there except for kids stuff. For the higher price you paid, that shirt should be much higher quality. Grrr!

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Beth Ann - yes I am keeping the blue floral jacket. That's the one item I decided for sure to hang onto. I know it got mixed reviews, but I am with those who do not see it as an old fashioned, overly retro print. It is not cabbage roses, but chrysanthemums and peonies -- in other words, this is clearly Chinoiserie, not Laura Ashley redux. And I love the jacket's cut. 

    Re the holes on the Tee -- thanks for the sympathy! I have heard about those ones near the waist, but that's not where mine is; it is right up near the bust. As a matter of fact, I think it might be where their little size sticker was when I bought it. I did not pull that sticker off roughly but I am wondering if the glue did something to degrade the fabric. Anyway, I will try to return (without a lot of hope that they will take it.) 

    Peri, I hear you on this. I think there are two kinds of being on the fence, though. The: "Well, it's not perfect but it fills a hole and will do," kind of sitting on the fence, and the, "Well, I'm not 100% sure it's worth the price and there are a couple of things I'm not wild about, but I actually like it and see it working for me." In this case, I'm in the second category. And that is a tricky category because I might regret passing on it. (Of course, I can always re-buy it if it really bugs me not to have it, I guess!)

    Sveta, the Zara quality is mixed, with some things being surprisingly good value and some being pretty shoddy. And it is difficult to predict from the online photos which items will be good and which will not. But the items I've ordered lately have actually been pretty good for the price point. So...a step down from Club Monaco (esp. in fabrication), but a real step up from Le Chateau (for most items). As long as you recognize that you are paying something for the trend factor, and accept that these are not investment pieces, but seasonal refreshers to update your closet, I think on the whole they are pretty decent. 

  • bj1111 replied 8 years ago

    Glad you let the white kimono go even if you did like it. Much better use of resources...like nas!

  • Joy replied 8 years ago

    You are a wise woman. I hope you keep the blue jacket. It goes so well with your blue dress.

  • Deborah replied 8 years ago

    Well Suz, I have to say that I adore that Kimono on you BUT you need to adore it not me!  I do agree with you that if this trend continues, there will be lots of options at differing price points.    Sorry about your other top that is so disappointing.

  • Echo replied 8 years ago

    I am clearly outvoted here, but I really love the light kimono top on you. It looks fantastic, and I can see it working with a lot of outfits. Additionally, I am not sure how long the legs on the kimono trend will be, so I would enjoy it now lest your return it only to find that by the time your find the PERFECT one the trend is over and you actually don't really want one anymore. 

  • Angie replied 8 years ago

    Urgggh on the Loft tee :( :( :(. Sorry, Suz.

    The kimono jacket is not a trend that wafts in and out of style. It's an avant garde piece with staying power and longevity - which I mentioned in my post.

    I vote keep the white kimono jacket. It doesn't need to be a good quality piece. Buying it from Zara is perfect! And it's perfect on you, Suz. Wear it in the Summer and make hay while the sun shines.

    So glad you're keeping the blue floral blazer :)

  • rae replied 8 years ago

    I sort of feel the way Angie does, but if you don't love it then by all means return. but if you do love it and are just worried about it being from Zara, then keep keep keep!

  • krishnidoux replied 8 years ago

    So sorry about the hole! If you do find the receipt, I encourage you to return it.

    About Zara: I always take a ton of stuff in the changing rooms and seldom come out with one thing. You have to be careful about the fabric, make, cut etc. I think you did well here. As for the light kimono -  which actually is more like a yukata ("bath garment") if one wants to be very picky with words - I agree that the cut looks nice on you. It's a tough one. Worn with jeans, and with a white top, it's quite classy and unexpected. For this, I would keep. But really as a way to make casual wear more luxurious. I can see some nice jewellery accessorizing happening with this too. Such as a discreet pendant or bracelet. 

  • Agnes replied 8 years ago

    I have only bought one thing from Zara: a classic trench coat which I am using heaps and it seems fairly well made.  I have tried on loads of things and find all the jackets to small, like they are cut rather meanly in the arms. I have fairly skinny arms so I am not sure what that is about.
    I like the white Kimono on you Suz but I dont like polyester especially for summer.

  • sarah replied 8 years ago

    I love that kimono on you - it's so summery and fresh. But that's me, not you.

  • Tanya replied 8 years ago

    I also really like the white kimono on you, it suits you so well.  
    Sorry about the tee, that is a bummer.  It has happened to me many times, even with merino knitwear from decent brands like AT!

  • Marley replied 8 years ago

    I love both of the kimonos on you - and, full disclosure here - I have ordered both of them to see if one of them will work for me.  I need a casual throw-over-whatever-I-am-wearing type of everyday topper and I'm thinking that the lighter one will fill that hole.  The darker blue one - I'm not so sure that it will fit into my wardrobe - but, I wanted to see it IRL in order to assess that!
    Since you already have a dressy black kimono I can understand returning the blue one.
    I completely "get" what you are saying about the ivory sleeveless top - and come to think of it, I bet I would feel the same way in it.  That lacey panel thing definitely takes it into boho and/or little girl territory!
    I also "get" why you are returning the Japanese print pull-over - its that coral color!  - just doesn't work for us!
    I haven't had good luck with Loft quality - in fact, I haven't shopped there in quite a few years because of that problem.
    Zara quality is definitely hit and miss.  I think that their on-line website is horrible in describing their items - so that does not help if you have to always rely on on-line ordering in order to get their items! Also, the leather that they use in their shoes is pretty stiff - I have loved some of the shoes that they have come out with this year - but they all hurt my feet because of the leather.  I think that the quality of their handbags and belts are consistently good.
    Good job on the PPP Suz!

  • AJ replied 8 years ago

    I do think the lighter kimono is better in terms of proportions.  Does a fun piece need to be PPP?  Are you expecting this topper to last for years? 

  • CocoLion replied 8 years ago

    Did I miss your Zara haul?  I love the cream kimono jacket.  Please keep it.  If it is priced like the one I got, it is an affordable fun fashion splurge.

    I just ordered a bunch of things from Zara and returned all three pair of the pants and one top.  I did keep 4 of the cotton tops, they are basically tee shirts in one form or another and I will wear them.  So I guess I kept 50% of the stuff, which isn't too bad.

  • harmonica replied 8 years ago

    I like it on you, but you don't seem super happy about the poly and the print. I'd vote return. PPP ;-)

  • annaj replied 8 years ago

    My vote is to keep the kimono, but you really should buy it in a size 6, so that when you find a better one in a month or 2, you can on-sell it to me!! (I can't order from Zara online and my nearest Zara is in Melbourne or Sydney and I'm a few months away from visiting there, by which stage, they won't have that kimono anyway - if they get it at all!). So I love it, and think you need it, so that I can live vicariously!!

  • Jjsloane replied 8 years ago

    I love the light kimono and beg you to keep. I ordered the M (since they ran out of L while I was shopping) with little hope it will fit. The blue floral blazer was my next favorite on you. 
    I'm with Marley and have avoided Loft and would be rather surprised if they take it back after the draconian way AT treated me for a return. 

  • Mona replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I am thrilled that you are keeping the blue jacket. This was my favourite from your haul all along. Sorry to hear about Loft T. So annoying...

  • Joy replied 8 years ago

    You will find a kimono jacket that you like better. I was at an art show this weekend where an artist was selling beautiful hand painted hand washable silk kimono like jackets at a good price. Unfortunately she didn't have many XS left and none in colors I could use but you may find something similar.

  • ruthe replied 8 years ago

    I chuckled when I looked at the picture of you in the kimono. The little picture behind your right shoulder looks like a description of what you're wearing, lol, right down to the same design and colors. That's funny :) But, all aside, I like the kimono on you.

  • lucyt90 replied 8 years ago

    I love the Zara Kimono, I say, keep it!

  • Astrid replied 8 years ago

    I'm glad that you're keeping the jacket and I think your reasoning for returning the other pieces is sound. I think I would wait for a different kimono. Maybe have a look at art shows and similar events, like Joy suggested? Chances are that the fabric quality is way better there anyway and it would be unique.

  • Suz replied 8 years ago

    Thank you all again for your thoughts! I have until Friday to make my absolute decision, but now I'm leaning toward keeping the cream kimono after all, along with the blue floral jacket (which I am wearing right now!) It's not a big expense and will be a happy and useful summer item. Meanwhile, I will look for a real silk kimono for a dressier capsule that fits me better than the blue Zara.  

    Ruthe, I thought exactly the same thing about the colours and design of the print behind me! As a matter of fact, that print is not Japanese but comes from Israel! 

  • Gabrielle replied 8 years ago

    I too am disappointed in the quality of the items I am finding in stores.  I am not sure what to do about this because the quality seems iffy even in some of the better stores such as Nordstorms.  

  • Hil replied 8 years ago

    Suz, I just love that kimono on you! The way you have styled it - well It's the first in the kimono posts that I have seen that I really really love!

  • Glory replied 8 years ago

    Suz I hear what you are saying regarding the kimono. I too am on the fence - probably for the same reason. I do think it looks fab on you - and it is such an interesting and wearable item. Having searched around, I haven't seen anything that merges the modern and kimono as well as these ones from Zara. 

  • Mia replied 8 years ago

    I like the kimono on you very much.   Seems perfect for your skin tone.

    Also, so interested in the comment re the hole and some of the other comments re this pesky problem.  I have had this happen on many of my "vintage cotton" ones from J. Crew including my favourite.  It is very aggravating. 

  • Karie replied 8 years ago

    I would try to return the Loft tee - you'll be no worse off if they won't take it back, and better off if they will. 

    I'm glad you kept the blue floral jacket - it's so pretty. I don't know if you already answered this question, but are you wearing it to your gala?

    I vote keep the cream kimono - it'll be a nice summer addition to your wardrobe.

  • Mochi replied 8 years ago

    I have not read the other replies (including any you may have made, Suz), and am coming very late to the game, but if you're referring the the second pic as the one you need persuading on, I will be honest and say I am not a big fan of it. Just my own poison eye, probably, but to me that red vertical border makes it look bathrobe-y, and also there's something really weirdly ethnic about it, but not Japanese ethnic, so the aesthetic is just jarring to me. Anyway, it is not up to your meticulous standards. I realize cut is important and very elusive, but you can and will do better. 

  • nancylee replied 8 years ago

    Weighing in late, but I sure hope you decide to keep the cream kimono, Suz. It's so cute on you!  And it would be such a fun element to add to your wardrobe.  And I'm happy you're keeping the blue flowered jacket.

    Thanks for the confidence in my kimono rocking ability, btw!  Mine came this afternoon...planning to post photos tomorrow. 

  • Kristin L replied 8 years ago

    Which kind of AT Loft tee is it? I have one of their cotton tees and it's already piling on 1 hip, but on the other (odd?). I have 2 of their linen tops and just bought a third because they've worked well for me.

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