Ahh, Zara. You know her, you love her…she’s the hub for all things fashion, from a semi-sheer tank blouse ($50) that screams Mermaidcore to a belted shirtdress ($70) you’ll want to wear all summer long. Zara’s even the reliable BFF you run to when you’re in need of a last-minute head-to-toe outfit, stat—just look at that Zara perfume collection, makeup section (yes, really) and accessories page. Looking for a specific color trend? It’s there. With such an overwhelming selection to sift through, we asked around the PureWow office to narrow down Zara’s 20 summer must-haves.
Stop What You’re Doing: You Need These 20 Zara Pieces for Summer in Your Life
La crème de la crème.
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.
Top Zara Pieces for Summer at a Glance
- Favorite Little Black Dress: Zara Rib Halter Dress ($28)
- Trendiest Sandal: Zara Flat Crossed Leather Sandals ($50)
- Favorite Cardigan: Zara Crop Knit Cardigan ($50)
- Sexiest Semi-Sheer Blouse: Zara Knit Skater Midi Dress ($50)
- Rarest Halter Pick: Zara Asymmetric Gabardine Top ($50)
- Cutest Beach-Inspired Earrings: Zara Star Earrings ($90)
- Boldest Pant: Zara Cotton Print Pants ($50)
- Sweetest Open-Back Dress: Zara Printed Beaded Dress ($90)
- Best Makeup Trio: Zara Manifesto Color Stick Set ($30)
- Chicest White Mini Dress: Zara Belted Mini Dress ($60)
- Most Flattering Denim: Zara High-Waisted ZW Sailor Straight Jeans ($50)
- Favorite Linen Dress: Zara Linen Blend Midi Dress ($70)
- Best Ruffled Blouse: Zara Semi-Sheer Tank Blouse ($50)
- Top Button-Up Shirt for the Capsule Closet: Zara Linen Shirt ($46)
- Standout Perfume: Zara Nude Bouquet 100 ML ($26)
- Trendiest Vest: Zara Tailored Short Waistcoat ($46)
- Favorite Quiet Luxury Dress: Zara Belted Shirtdress ($70)
- Sultriest Satin Blouse: Zara Open Back Satin Effect Top ($40)
- Cutest Beach Hat: Zara Openweave Hat ($40)
- Most Versatile Dress: Zara Printed Midi Dress ($90)
Why Is Zara So Popular?
Selection, selection, selection. Zara’s appeal lies in the brand’s wide variety of options, including styles that run the gamut from vintage to pop-punk. The brand always seems to have its finger on the fashion pulse, anticipating what’s trending, knowing customer tastes and providing staple basics that can last for years to come. The sizing can be hit or miss at times as fabrics, cuts and designs differ across the store, but Zara does note any variations in fit on their website underneath the descriptions.
First-time customer and TikToker Katerina realized the hype around Zara immediately after entering the store. “I walked in and was pleasantly surprised by all of these gorgeous pieces of clothing,” she says in a TikTok video. Overwhelmed by thousands of items, she tried on twenty pieces that were "relatively cheap” and happily walked away with white jeans and a pink tank she wore while filming. Seasoned buyers know Zara for their affordable designer lookalikes, like the viral crossbody initial bag that some users compared to Celine for its outstanding quality and the darling slingback pumps (which garnered over one million views on TikTok) that pay homage to Gucci.
Is Zara Expensive?
Well, pumps, jeans and jackets aren’t the only pieces luring buyers into shopping the Spanish retailer. Depending on what you’re searching for, Zara has reasonable price tags that range anywhere from $9 for a ribbed tank top to $380 for over-the-knee boots, though you can expect the average price to run around $50 for most items. They also offer returns and exchanges 30 days from the shipment date of your order or purchase date in store. Though you can visit the returns page for a detailed breakdown of the brand’s return and exchange policy, including postage fees and instructions.
How We Chose the Best Zara Pieces for Summer
As a fashion commerce editor, I’ve done my fair share of shopping, especially at Zara, where I’ve been a loyal customer since its first few and only storefronts in Spain (my mother would come home from her trips with Zara gifts for my sisters and me in tow). Even at the age of four, I had my very own Limited Too personal shopper (semi-joking, but the sales associate rolled out the red carpet anytime I walked in) and, since then, I’ve developed a knack for curating looks and sourcing the best picks that are trending, in excellent quality and use top-notch materials that’ll lasty you years to come.
To ensure a diverse assortment, I’ve also polled ten editors from across the country to get the scoop on the Zara pieces they’re eying for summer of 2023. In this list, we looked for options that are summer-friendly, like clothes made with 100 percent cotton or linen, flowy draping for ample airflow (especially for the polyester blends picks), comfortable silhouettes and items you’ll wear on repeat because they’re *that* cute.
Favorite Little Black Dress
- What We Like: breathable, figure-hugging, midi length
- What We Don't Like: runs small
- Size Range: XS to XL
“I bought this halter dress for a school auction,” says editor-in-chief, Jillian Quint. “I want to look sophisticated but be comfortable.” It has a midi length that falls right below the knee and can be worn perusing the city or—as Quint suggests—to your kid’s school function. The silhouette hugs your curves without feeling clingy, stuffy or stiff, thanks to the fabric that’s made up of 95 percent cotton. “Also, I bought a size too big and took in the parts that need it, so it fits perfectly and not like a sausage casing,” says Quint. Per the brand’s website, this item supposedly runs small, so Quint’s hot tip is the way to go if you’re looking to have extra wiggle room. It also comes in a vibrant orange and a charcoal grey that’s screams Carrie Bradshaw. At $28, we’ll simply take all three, thank you very much.
- What We Like: trendy, crisscross leather detailing
- What We Don't Like: no arch support
- Size Range: 5 to 11
Summer’s here, so you know what that means…new slides. We know that searching for that perfect sandal isn’t easy. They need to be on trend, reasonably priced and durable enough to last you all season long. Oh yes, and they must be cute…no exception. So, when we saw these metallic beauties, we didn’t hesitate on clicking add to cart. The pair is made with 100 percent goat leather that’s woven into intricate straps along the top of the foot, adding an elevated twist to your classic leather slides. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing cutoff shorts or a breezy maxi, we’re convinced these metallic sandals are the finishing touch your outfit needs.
- What We Like: lightweight knit, machine-washable
- What We Don't Like: no pockets
- Size Range: S to L
The weather may be warming, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a lightweight cardigan on hand for those cool summer nights. This indigo cardi will keep you cozy and warm during your evening strolls along the beach or when you’re sitting by the bonfire with vino in hand. Speaking of warmth, this sweater comes with long sleeves that can be left as-is or rolled up for a more lived-in look. Psst…there’s even a matching knit crop top and high-waist short to complete the ensemble. The cardigan is made up of a cotton blend that’ll feel soft to the touch and remain breathable, which is a must in our books. In fact, it’s at the top of senior editor Dana Dickey’s list. “I’m adding this to cart NOW because it’s so well priced and the cotton and acrylic lightweight knit [is one] I have been wanting [and] in the perfect French blue,” she says. Très chic, indeed.
Sexiest Semi-Sheer Blouse
- What We Like: ruffle detailing, adjustable front tie closure
- What We Don't Like: not bra-friendly, front tie closure may feel too revealing
- Size Range: XS to L
“When I think of a summer top, I think flowy, tasteful and slinky,” says associate fashion commerce editor Stephanie Meraz. “I want to feel sexy and romantic, without trying too hard. This semi-sheer top is just that. I absolutely live for a tie-front closure because I can tie it as tight or as loose as I want, depending upon my mood. Can we also talk about the ruffle detailing? So chic! And such a clever way to avert the focus of the eyes away from the sheerness and to details of the blouse. The playfulness of this top calls for fun styling. I can see myself throwing on my favorite blue jeans and kitten heels for a GNO, but I also adore the idea of contrasting this with cargo pants on the bottom, too. My only qualm is that I wish it came in more colors!”
Rarest Halter Pick
- What We Like: intricate, asymmetrical hemline, halter top adjustable ties
- What We Don't Like: can swallow the figure on short women
- Size Range: XS to XXL
“I can't stress enough how much I want this top,” spills wellness director Sarah Stiefvater. “The square neckline is so flattering, the halter back [straps] means it’s adjustable and the asymmetrical hem will look so chic with my favorite wide-leg silk pants (also from Zara, circa 2013).” Indeed, this white blouse will turn heads on your weekend getaway to the Hamptons. And if you look closely, you can see the delicate rouching that gathers along the bodice for the most flattering rippling effect. This modern take on a sweet summer top is a great example of a minimalistic blouse that looks far more elevated than your average tube top but can easily be dressed down with some casual blue jeans and slides (like the aforementioned metallic beauties). To note: Since this is made of a stiff trench coat cotton fabric, it supposedly runs small.
Cutest Beach-Inspired Earrings
- What We Like: butterfly closure, bold star shape
- What We Don't Like: zinc alloy can tarnish over time, metal might get heavy after long wear
It’s time to give our hoops a much-needed break and, most likely, deep cleaning. “I like to think of my style as very minimalistic,” says Meraz. “Think: gold hoops, basic plain white tank and blue jeans on repeat. But something about the summer months makes me want to branch out of my comfort zone. When I saw these gold star earrings, I immediately knew I had to have them. They’re playful, full of texture and surprisingly easy to style. For someone who doesn’t like over-the-top pieces, I can easily spice up my white tank and cutoffs or pair these big, bold oceanic earrings with a linen dress for the ultimate beach-goer vibe. I’d even wear them with a wedding guest dress (if you know me, this is prodigious). I’m calling it: Starfish earring are the new summer hoop.”
- What We Like: 100 percent cotton, bolt print
- What We Don't Like: print may be too loud for some wearers
- Size Range: XS to XXL
Ready to sip on an Aperol Spritz and eat all the pasta? Slip into these pants first. “The geo print of these pants is giving ‘summer in Italy,’” says senior editor Katherine Gillen. “Plus they’re 100 percent cotton and have an elastic waist,” that’s both figure-flattering and ultra-comfortable. These are made with Zara’s 100 percent OCS-certified organically grown cotton, so they’ll require a hand wash and hang-to-dry regimen to prolong their natural quality. With a wide leg and true mid-rise fit, they’ll lay just below the belly button and taper off the leg, creating the most effortless baggy look. The best part? Well, the pockets of course. As Gillen notes, “If you're wearing pants in the summer, these are essential qualities, no?”
Sweetest Open-Back Dress
- What We Like: open back, beaded detailing, summer print
- What We Don't Like: can be long on shorter gals
- Size Range: XS to XL
Commerce editor Olivia Dubyak can’t get enough of the beaded detailing on this open-back, printed halter number. “It’s sexy without showing too much skin, and the pattern isn’t overwhelming for my minimalist taste.” The beaded strip along the spine of the back alternates beautiful stones that are broken up with knots of fabric, tying together the soft blue, pale pink and mustard yellow incorporated throughout the dress. To add to its steamy allure, it has a tasteful V-neck that stops just below the bustline and is balanced out with wide straps that’ll hold in both smaller and bigger chests. This barely-there dress is a staple summer style that oozes effortless romance. Oh, and did we mention that there’s a tonal lining built in? (Aka, no see-through slip-ups!)
Best Makeup Trio
- What We Like: set of three, formulated with hyaluronic acid, multi-purpose application
- What We Don't Like: no option to choose shades
Your summer soiree look isn’t complete without a little bit of color on your face, whether that’s a nice flush from the sun or a few swipes of makeup. Zara’s Manifesto set includes three multi-functional color sticks in brown, light peach and rosy pink that can be used on the cheeks, lips, eyes or anywhere on the body. The creamy formula is made to glide onto the skin and blend easily with a brush or your fingers, so you’re left with a silky, hydrated finish that doesn’t look one bit oily. Speaking of hydration, these balmy pigments actually act as moisture bombs for your sun-kissed skin thanks to our beloved, restorative beauty bestie, hyaluronic acid.
Chicest White Mini Dress
- What We Like: button-up versatility, belted tie to enhance the waistline
- What We Don't Like: the polyester blend can get stuffy
- Size Range: XS to XXL
“This breezy little white mini dress screams ‘summer’ to me,” raves PureWow commerce director Nicole Briese. It’s mini, oyster white and has the sweetest touch of subtle bell sleeves that’ll sashay as you walk and provide you with ample room to air out your underarms on a hot day. (A major selling point to this writer that naturally runs hot.) Gold button closures run down the front of the dress, giving you ultimate versatility: Button it all the way up for a polished look or leave the top button undone for a deeper V-neck peekaboo that’ll show off your décolletage and new minimalist necklace. You may even get more bang for your buck with this style as “it runs large, which tells me it might double as a great little cover-up,” says Briese.
Most Flattering Denim
- What We Like: vintage-inspired look, makes the bum look peachy, fun option in place of blue jeans
- What We Don't Like: can potentially look comically short on taller women
- Size Range: 25 to 32
Director of affiliate strategy Pamela Masin was looking for a summer pant that weren’t basic blue jeans and discovered this pair that has a booty-hugging fit and flare vintage-inspired silhouette. “They are super flattering…ultra-high-waist,” she says. “They hit right at the ankle (I'm 5’2”) and are more neutral than you’d expect. If you're in-between sizes, I'd suggest sizing up.” Due to the slim fit up top, these pants will hug your bum without any of that thigh squeeze which often accompanies a peachy pair of pants. The patch pockets and unfished hems ooze causal and laid back, but don’t doubt the versatility of these beauties. Thanks to the flare finish, they can be worn with gladiator sandals during the day and a strappy heel at night for an al fresco dinner under the stars.
Favorite Linen Dress
- What We Like: lightweight linen blend, option to add a slit
- What We Don't Like: may require tailoring
- Size Range: XS to XL
“I’m typically not a fan of shirt dresses because I find the mass of material makes me look like a lump, but I love this one thanks to the V-neck and high—but not indecent—slit in the skirt, which helps break up the mass of fabric and make it stylish and flowy,” raves associate editor Marissa Wu. “Plus, [it’s] linen, which is my mantra this summer.” That’s right, linen blends are your bestie in warmer weather, and while we are sad to store our trench coats away for now, we’re totally on-board with Wu’s obsession with this lightweight, trench-like dress. From the lapel collar to the belted waist and oversize front pockets (yes, a dress with pockets!), this number is giving peak quiet luxury. And if a slit’s not your thing, fasten more of the buttons to create a sleek, tailored finish. To note: According to Zara, this dress runs large, so we suggest sizing down for your true fit.
Best Ruffled Blouse
- What We Like: ruffle details, asymmetrical hem
- What We Don't Like: semi-sheer fabric may make it difficult to style
- Size Range: XS to L
ICYMI: Mermaidcore is one of the hottest summer trends, no doubt thanks to the Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. To nail the Halle Bailey look, you’ll want to embrace shimmers, metallics, oceanic hues and fabrics that ebb and flow like the current. Enter: this dreamy, semi-sheer blouse in emerald that’s giving your usual camisole a run for its money. This tank has stunning ruffles throughout and an asymmetrical hem that drapes off the hips in an almost tendril-like way. Plus, it’s made with the most comfortable and breathable bamboo fiber that is known to be anti-bacterial, wrinkle-resistant and sustainable, too.
Top Button-Up Shirt for the Capsule Closet
14. Zara Linen Shirt
- What We Like: made from 100 percent linen, oversize fit, multiple color options
- What We Don't Like: fabric will wrinkle easily
- Size Range: XS to XL
Speaking of button-ups, your capsule wardrobe isn’t complete without a crisp, linen button-up shirt that you can throw on whenever and wherever—over a bathing suit, with cut-off shorts or tucked into a skirt (like the draped white mini pictured above). The blouse has a large front patch pocket on the breast and buttons at the wrists that can be undone and rolled up for a more casual look. It’s incredibly easy to wear and oh-so breezy thanks to that linen fabric, so this will be a smart option when those heat waves kick in. The best part? It comes in five colors, like a sky blue and a neutral beige, meaning you can sport a new hue almost every day of the week. For an oversize look, we recommend you stick to your usual size as this runs large, or size down for a more tailored look.
- What We Like: fresh scent, notes of cherry, peony and vanilla, affordable price
- What We Don't Like: may need to reapply after a couple hours of wear
New season, new scent. Nothing screams sunshine and happiness quite like a big bouquet of flowers, and what better way to enjoy a fresh arrangement than by wearing it? Zara’s Nude Bouquet eau de parfum includes alluring notes of cherry, peony and vanilla for an uplifting, effervescent scent that doesn’t feel overwhelming to the senses. You may need to freshen up midday with a quick spritz or two, as this blend doesn’t contain any intense base notes (these tend to outlast heart notes by five hours, according to the fragrance pyramid), making it the perfect option for get-togethers or everyday activities where you want to smell bright without causing anyone to crack a window.
- What We Like: tailored cut, sleeveless
- What We Don't Like: the acetate and polyester blend can get stuffy
- Size Range: XS to XL
Though they’re almost entirely devoted to thrift shopping, this trendy tailored waistcoat caught editorial assistant Delia Curtis’s fancy. “I’ve been loving the waistcoat and tailored vest look lately,” says Curtis. “And Zara’s got a bunch of them in a variety of colors. I love any excuse to wear suiting of any kind, especially dressing up and pulling from more masculine and androgynous silhouettes. The waistcoat on its own is such a chic vibe while also being summer weather appropriate. It gets hot in NYC, but I also want to look hot.” While the fabrication is made of acetate and polyester blend—both traditionally non-breathable—the vest is designed to hang off the body, supplying enough room to let that breeze circulate on in.
Favorite Quiet Luxury Dress
- What We Like: waist darts, bold belt, classic pinstripes
- What We Don't Like: polyester blend can get stuffy on hot days
- Size Range: XS to XXL
You know what they say, it’s not summer without a pinstripe pattern…or something like that. And this button-up dress screams Shiv Roy on a yacht in season three. This elegant poly-blend dress comes with a chestnut belt that features a bold, light tan buckle to cinch the waistline. But that’s not all, it even has a darts sewn in at the waist, creating the illusion of an hourglass shape. If you couldn’t already tell, no detail was spared in the making of this dreamy dress (just look at the relaxed button-tab sleeves!). To take this from Shiv to Sophia Richie, simply swap out your dressy ballet flats for your favorite Cariuma sneakers and voilà—you went from an alfresco summer dinner to a farmers market look in no time.
Sultriest Satin Blouse
- What We Like: reversible wear, adjustable tie
- What We Don't Like: material can show sweat stains
- Size Range: XS to XXL
Another winner high on Meraz’s wishlist? This satin effect top that can be worn two ways. “When I look for summer tops, I immediately gravitate towards anything that has an open back because I sweat…a lot. This one has a tie hem that can be worn as a pretty bow or tied in a knot for a dramatic drape. It’s also available in white and black, but there’s something beguiling about this champagne yellow—it’s both daytime and evening-friendly.” Plus, it’s reversible. For a spicier look that displays the décolletage and chest, wear the open back towards the front and wrap the ties a few times around the bodice, as this will provide more coverage for the boobs. (When in doubt, fashion tape is your friend.)
Cutest Beach Hat
- What We Like: 100 percent natural plant fiber, flexible structure, wider brim
- What We Don't Like: L and XL options are not available
- Size Range: S to M
Soon enough, UV exposure is going to be at an all-time high, so sun protection is a must. In addition to your SPF, you may think about tossing this opeanweave hat into your beach bag as it’ll help shade your face from harmful UVA and UVB rays. It comes in a neutral light beige that’ll go well with just about any swimsuit or outfit under the sun and it’s made with a natural fiber that’s incredibly flexible (psst…this will come in handy when packing).
Most Versatile Dress
- What We Like: 100 percent cotton, balloon sleeves, flounced hem
- What We Don't Like: May be maxi length on shorter women
- Size Range: XS to XXL
From perusing the streets of Florence to attending your sister-in-law’s baby shower, this printed midi dress will keep you looking chic wherever you are this summer. If you love a little drama, this dress for you—just look at the balloon sleeves and flounced hem. We love how the commotion of the fabric up top and at the bottom is delicately balanced out with a tapered waist and sweetheart neckline. It’s made from 100 percent cotton, so it’ll feel extremely breathable, comfortable and lightweight on your skin. Not to mention, the back is smocked and will give and stretch with your body throughout the day.
Want to know which buzzy products are *really* worth buying? Sign up for our shopping newsletter to uncover our favorite finds.
Why You Should Trust Us
Stephanie Meraz is PureWow’s Associate Fashion Commerce Editor. She graduated with a bachelor of arts at the University of San Diego, where she majored in English literature and creative writing, and completed Columbia University’s intensive publishing course. Stephanie is a natural savant when it comes to pushing the boundaries in fashion, beauty, and dating & relationships. She has over 22+ years of experience as an avid shopper, securing a Limited Too personal stylist at four years old. You can count on her to test out the latest hair trends, suggest shopping tips, and spill the tea on her juicy dating experiences. No topic is off limits—however personal or embarrassing.
PureWow is the best friend you never had when it comes to finding the best, most useful lifestyle products online. Founded in 2010, our company’s editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which ones are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series, which sees each and every item we test being ranked on a 100-point scale of awesomeness, to the painstakingly curated lists our fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family editors create as vertical experts, you can trust that our recommendations include some of the greatest items you’ll find on the internet. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.