One Woman’s Funny Zara Party Trick

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.
Zara's summer edit, aptly named "Blooming," is filled with lots and lots of flowers. But, what exactly makes a Zara floral different from any other? Allow us to explain.
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.