Sunday, November 17, 2013

Finding Love in Dallas. Love Being Spelled Z-A-R-A.

After staying put since my June trip to Toronto, this autumn has turned into a travel fest of sorts.  Within six weeks, I'll have flown in and out of MSP airport a frantic four times.  Just one of the destinations was work-related.  And it was kind of a doozy.  I quickly became acquainted with the "night shift," as my job duties included working from 9PM to 4AM and time sort of got all mixed up.  Breakfast became lunch, lunch was more like dinner, and dinner...  a diet of Coke, potato chips, and whatever else was left in the vending machine around 1AM.  And no happy hours.  Sad panda.

However, one bright spot in keeping raccoon hours was getting to shop while everyone else was on the clock.  And it didn't hurt that our hotel was right next to the Dallas Galleria.  Now, I have some fond memories of that big ol' mall.  When I moved to Texas ten-plus years ago, I drove to my new home.  Starting in Chicago and ending in Austin, I made one stop in Missouri and the other at, yup, the Galleria (OK, the hotel attached to the place).  So returning to its lofty halls gave me the warm fuzzies - partly because of the nostalgia for the Lone Star State and partly because I found out it had a Zara!  I honestly didn't figure I'd do much shopping, since most of the stores are chains that I can find back in the North Star State.  But - we don't have a Zara (hey, Mall of Insanity, please fill up that black hole left by Bloomingdale's and take a hint).

My last trip to this Spanish-based retailer was in NYC over a year ago.  The store felt somewhat claustrophobic, with dark d├ęcor, lots of shoppers, and a narrow space crammed with stock.  The Dallas post was a far more enjoyable experience, and I'm sure being there at an odd time helped.  But it also felt more spacious with a brighter design and seemingly more edited displays.  I spent nearly two hours poring over everything and finally dragging a ton of merch into the dressing room.  Because, like the other budget-friendly, fast-fashion champ H&M, there is no consistency in fit with these kinds of stores.  Seriously.  I was a Small, Medium, and Large here. 

I did find a few great things, though.  Here's some shots of the carnage:

 Some of the initial contenders.

 Cute top with a faux-leather collar.

 I liked this Chanel-esque jacket.

Punk panda makes me a happy panda.

 I really wanted to like this dress, but its neoprene fabric just
made my shoulders look ginormous.

 These shoes these shoes these shoes.

 I hardly had time to check out the dudes' stuff, but this display caught
my eye.  Love the jacket.

 Of course I got the heels!  And a sweet tote to boot.

 Another shot.

 And here's the jacket and heels.  Gone are the construction
site-friendly jeans.  Replaced by a J. Crew skirt.

Love Zara?  I do.  While I hope we eventually get one here in MN, I know they're online as well.  But...  after the complete randomness of fit, I'm wary of e-biting.  I know, I know - I'm the queen of returns, according to more than a few people.  But, for some reason, I'm not ready to deal with that from Zara just yet.
What are your thoughts on this matter?  Have you bought from them online?  I'd be curious to hear what others have to say!  Do share.  In the meantime, I'm just back from a vacation to Naples, Florida, where shopping was one of the priorities...  coming soon!

Images:  my own