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Zara

Too much ultra-feminine product and summery pieces skew the winter season.

Product 7

Zara’s sophisticated mix of girlishness and tailored smart is a little too feminine. Pin-tucked sheer blouses don’t quite feel right for autumn and suggest a bit more editing is needed in the Spanish-designed collection. However, there are just about enough key autumn 09 references in here, particularly from the younger TFL range, including a smattering of sequins, houndstooth dresses, Fair Isle knitwear and interesting outerwear, including alpaca/mohair mix coats.

Experience 6½

The Women, Basic and Collection tags never seem to wholly make sense, but fortunately for customers, as the product is laid out in trend areas they don’t detract from the customer experience. The upstairs floor is signposted as ‘Ladies casual’ but this is where the more trend-directed TFL collection sits, so the signage is a little misleading. Here customers can find Henley striped blazers, quilted wet-look jackets and Disney T-shirts.

Value 8

Prices are pretty much spot on at Zara this season, with a cotton/elastane mix dress for £50, a puppytooth shift for £36 and a Fair Isle-knit jumper dress at £30 all offering good value. A sequin-dotted dove grey roll-neck cardigan is great for £30, while a similar price buys a long-sleeved biscuit-coloured cotton top with lace shoulders. Leather jackets for £180 measure up well on price in the contemporary sector. Organic cotton long-sleeved T-shirts are just £10.

score 21½

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