Since Zara came so highly recommended by our BBC Style Maven, I couldn’t wait to see inside a Zara store myself.  My first visit there did not disappoint.  While its retail décor and business model are often compared to its competitor, fast fashion giant, H&M, its style aesthetic couldn’t be more different.

Zara’s European flair sets it apart, with its boys line more fashion risk taking than most brands, yet in a fun, accessible way.  Candy hues punctuated the Summer pieces, anchored by mostly neutral bottoms.  Brights like peacock teal and deep purple make an appearance, and even a neon yellow alongside this season’s of the moment color, cerulean blue.  Displays change as new merchandise arrives, which is often, and most featured lightweight scarves knotted, draped and tied, topped by military green caps or straw fedoras.

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 And was it my imagination, or were the boys mannequins and displays given more  square footage and attention to detail?? Girls are definitely not favored at this place.  Price points were wallet friendly, ranging from $10- $40 for regularly priced items.  I was told that heavier coats would be available in late Summer, at slightly higher prices, but with a faux leather jacket promised, you can be sure I will be checking back!

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Polos and featherweight summer sweaters were folded and arranged in a colorful rainbow, with one bright pink tipped collar polo featured in a display outfit.  Summer bottoms like shorts in grey plaid and knit neutral shorts with a functional drawstrings were plentiful, but the standout pant was a too cool tapered leg jean in a vintage wash with tangerine turn cuffs!  The perfect thing to rock the no socks look with his new summer shoes.  Speaking of shoes, there were several styles , the most versatile of which was a black basket weave sneaker that looked like a cross between Natives and Converse.  The accessory rack featured socks, fragrance, on-trend perforated belts and multicolored belts with an ‘80s feel, not to mention lots of choices in scarves.

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 There were lots of affordable classics, too.  Most of the button-down shirts were traditionally styled colors and collars but with a couple of white tunic styles, too.  A section of nautical inspired beckoned, with striped tops and top-sider type shoes.  The baby boy section had some Spring dressy clothes left.  Khaki and pale grey was set off by adorable sorbet and lilac gingham button downs.  A khaki trench with crisp lines and sharp details was a standout.

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Swimsuits were printed board short style, shown with beach and surf themed graphic tees and muscle tanks.  Music themed graphic tees had punk, irreverent edge for older boys, with slogans about garage bands, volume knob graphics, or headphones.  A couple of tees were even in our favorite bright pink- just begging to be worn with some skinnies and checkerboard Vans.

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All in all, I can easily second the notion that Zara is a must-see brand that is easy on the eyes and the wallet, the antidote for shopping boredom and just what the BBC Tribe doctor ordered!

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