>> Everyone always told me that when in Spain, one shops at Mango and Zara. I think it's kinda like when in England, you shop at H&M and TopShop. In other words, none of these stores are the best you can find out there, but they're still something to check out, if only to know what everyone else is talking about.
Of course both Mango and Zara have stores outside of Spain (Zara even has one in Houston), but I thought I would check both out in their fatherland (maybe they would be more special that way?). So, I give you my impressions:
Honestly, I didn't stay in the store very long at all. I am what you might call a "super power shopper" -- I go into store, glance around at stuff, and can tell pretty quickly after that if I want to look any further at their clothes. I'm not one of those people that has to touch every single item in the store for 30 seconds apiece. And seeing how I didn't stay in Mango for very long, you have probably guessed that I wasn't very impressed. The clothes seemed just very basic, and while everyone needs some basics, it would have been nice to see a little personality as well. It's a store that is totally forgettable, and so are the clothes. If you wanted me to find an American equivalent, it would probably be an Abercrombie without so many jeans for sale, because the prices weren't super-cheap, and there was that general aura of blandness. I think the Spaniards felt pretty much the same, because there wasn't exactly enough people in the store to call it "busy."
Zara, on the other hand, was absolutely crawling with people. In fact, for the day and a half I was in San Sebastian, I must have seen at least 50 different people (all locals) running around with Zara shopping bags. And the bag carriers spanned all ages, from 10-year-old to grandma. When I went inside, it was pretty difficult to navigate because of the sheer amount of people packed into the tiny little trendy-store aisles. I have to say, the clothes are better that Mango's -- there are more prints and little details to make the clothing more personalized. The prices were about the same as Mango's, if not a slight bit more expensive. It really reminded me of an Express, the same kind of trendy prints on fabric of so-so quality that they can sell off for more than they really should charge -- you know what I mean.
I am glad that I went, however, because I found a girl in a great outfit to paparazzi-stalk. I'm not even joking, I saw her in Zara and was like, wow, what a great outfit, so I sat across the street from the Zara entrance and waited for her to exit. I felt so weird, and definitely got some weird looks, but hopefully I could just pass it off as being a brainless American tourist. I even sent my boyfriend on reconnaissance missions back into the store to see where this girl was and when she was nearing the entrance. I'm really glad she was with a friend, so she didn't notice that she was being stalked by American tourists (we really are ridiculous, I know). In any case, I just loved the graphic print (surprise), the dropped-waist, and the little shrunken cardi that she wore over the dress. And a great color combination, to boot. Not much else to say about it, but you can look and see for yourself. It's a very Spanish outfit, typical of what I saw over there, I think because of the sporty element she added to it with the slides and the backpack. So there you have it, some genuine Spanish streetstyle.