No, I’m not talking about the fruit, but rather the Spanish women’s clothing retailer. One recently opened near me, and having heard the name bandided about on the internet among other fashion blogs, I was a bit curious as I’ve heard to compared to both H&M and the British Topshop. I was delighted to find that one was within easy driving distance and went there this afternoon to investigate. I was expecting another miraculous store full of reasonably priced offerings of fabulous, trendy clothes.

My initial walk through the store was promising; the layout and decor is very modern; more of an organized boutique feel than many other similarly priced retailers. On the wall there were big, flat screen televisions with a looping fashion show. The clothes hung low along the walls and some were folded (neatly) on tables around the store. The selection seemed edited and focused very well on the DC market (lots of black and a nice mix of both office appropriate and party wear). What really caught my eye were all the candy-hued sweaters scattered throughout the store; deep apple greens to bright reds. Yum. But when I reached out and felt the material of a dress, I was very dissapointed.

Why? Because the $75 knit wrap dress felt like the same quality material of a dress that I paid 1/3 that price for during the summer. Examining other garments revealed even bigger and more serious flaws. One dress even had it’s excess serger threads hanging out of the armsyce seam!! Frankly, this is not something I would be shocked over if the clothes were at say, Target, and I was paying Target prices. But really, on clothes that were largely $75 and up, I expect a little better quality control!!

And then there was the dismal fit issue. Like the jeans that hugged my butt like a second skin but bagged horribly in the hips. Or the strapless dress that I put on and wondered how in the heck it was supposed to stay up: it was cut straight through the waist and hips and had very minimal boning (and was a woven fabric).

So sadly, what I had hoped would be a new addition to my arsenal of “high street” stores (like H&M) ended up being extremely dissapointing. I think I’ll stick to H&M. Not only is it slightly cheaper, but I do find that the incidence of poorly made clothes popping up is less frequent. Gosh–I have sweaters I bought there last winter that I’m still wearing because they held up so well!

The being said, they did have some cute and trendy accessories that caught my eye. I’m much less picky about my handbags and jewelry (I’m a repeat offender of buying loads of jewelry at Claire’s). I tend to wear these items so hard it doesn’t make sense to invest in, for instance, a Coach handbag (though when I was working I did consider it…). But again, I felt that the prices did not match up to the quality for me. I’m just hoping that when the winter clothing goes on clearance, I’ll be able to snag a few cute bags or necklaces.

My day was further made annoying by the fact that I saw so many fashionably dressed people today, and I totally forgot to bring my camera. Mreh.

image from the website

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