Except for the busiest of days, a visit to Zara is a relaxing--and usually fruitful--experience. The stores are roomy, clothes and accessories are spaced out pleasantly, and the price is right for some serious shopping. Unlike the goods in most fashion chains, each item here deserves calm consideration. Could be a winner!
Like its European brethren H&M, Zara makes affordable basics with a twist, like a wider neckline or a lower-slung belt. But this is no average chain: Zara designs, makes and sells all of its own wares, giving it the ability to react quickly to trends. If a tunic-cut blazer sells out the week it hits the floor, Zara's manufacturers will help them restock in weeks rather than months.