My mom is one stylish woman — she reads Refinery29, shops at Everlane and AYR, and her leather moto jacket is her go-to. She also has a knack for spotting a Zara floral from a mile away, which is something I (and everyone else who is kind of obsessed with Zara) was dying to learn more about.
1. The Solid-Coloured Background: Most of Zara's floral patterns rest on a solid background that's typically white, ivory, navy blue, terra-cotta red, black, or peachy pink.
2. The Scale: These florals aren't tiny, à la Cabbage Patch Kids. Instead, they're a bit zoomed-in and slightly oversized, with each flower typically at least one to two inches, creating an allover pattern that's pretty in-your-face (which explains why you can see them from a mile away).
3. The Actual Flowers: Zara has expensive taste in the flowers it uses in its prints, meaning you'll likely never see a floral at the retailer that looks like this or this. Instead, it uses elegant peonies, irises, palm leaves, orchids, and other flowers you or I probably don't know the names of — including those that were likely invented and created by a computer. They're typically luxe-looking, detailed, and multidimensional. And they do a pretty good job of avoiding looking, well, cheap.
4. The Colour Palette: These florals may be Victorian in aesthetic, but they always come in a modern colour palette, with an element of contrast. There's no faded, aged-looking yellows, browns, or run-of-the-mill primary colours; it's all vibrant, Pantone-approved hues like chartreuse, burgundy, periwinkle, poppy red, and so on. Plus, since so much of Zara's merchandise is typically based off high-end runway collections, the retailer has no excuse to not be on-trend with this season's most popular shades.
Whether or not this cohesiveness is intentional, it seems like a killer undercover branding move, no? So, next time you're in New York City (or any other place where Zara wearers are prevalent), we challenge you to a little game of spot-the-florals. And to jump on the bandwagon yourself, click on for a visual (and shoppable) selection of the pieces that have us rethinking florals this season.