“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” said Bo Derek.  What a flippant remark but oh so true!  There’s something about a good buy that unleashes an endorphin rush  in a shopaholic like me.  And because I’m all for spreading happiness, I will point you to the direction of one of my favorite stores – ZARA.
ZARA is a Spanish brand started by Amancio Ortega Gaona, a famous designer and  entrepreneur.  His vision was  to produce high end quality products at affordable prices.  True enough, the brand is very stylish and exudes confidence and maturity.  The products are very well-made and worth its value.
I have been a fan since long before.  When I wrote about Kate Spade bags, one reader asked me if there’s another brand I can recommend that is equally fashionable but costs less.  This is it.  I have three bags in my closet that were purchased from Zara.

Tan Oversized leather tote –  I once met a good friend whom I haven’t seen in months.  As she approached to give me a kiss , her eye immediately zoomed in on my arm candy and she gushed  “How nice  naman your bag!”  I just had a good laugh because she noticed my bag first  even before she greeted me. 🙂

I tied a scarf  (with black and gold print) on the handle for that added drama.

Quad faux leather bag  –  This number looks like it belongs in a Ralph Lauren boutique. I used this as my travel bag and got a lot of compliments– even from the salespeople at the luxury stores!

I carried this bag everywhere. This time I used a Burberry scarf to enhance the look. Photo on the right shows my Tita D and I at the Camarillo stores in California.

Blue daffel bag –  This is a mid-range priced Givenchy Lucrezia doppleganger.  The Givenchy bag on the upper right will set you back over a USD1000 . My ZARA blue bag on the lower right is priced below USD 100 (PHP 4400).

High end luxury look at a price you can afford –WHAT A STEAL!

I also like  Zara’s  accessories and women’s line because they are very modern but understated.

A red ZARA V-neck polo was my choice for a concert date with my son.
My statement necklaces (on the boards) and other neck pieces from ZARA. I like simple shapes.
My daughter R and I wore identical ZARA faux fur vests last Christmas. Yes, I also bought mine from the kids’s section!. She also wore ZARA boots to complete her holiday look. Photo taken at the lobby of SOFITEL Hotel in Beverly Hills.


There’s something dainty about this black crochet dress.


This poplin dress with cut-out details is a perfect pick for summer.


Casual chic belted dress


Very Tilda Swinton!


Love this casual denim dress!

 A little caveat though—Although we can blame our neurotransmitters-gone-haywire for our inexplicable urge to shop, we have to take responsibility for our bills. NEVER buy anything you can’t afford.  I personally carry cash or if I have to charge , I make it a practice to pay IN FULL when the bank statement comes.  Make your happiness in a paper bag last.  A practical and smart shopaholic –- traits of a true ROYAL .  Now carry on ladies and experience the ZARA  factor. 🙂


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  1. Great ideas Paulyne! I will definitely find time for these tips! Go girl more tips coming please!!!!!

  2. Don’t you know that I was cursed to buy a designer bag in Aussie bec of the color??? Should have read this post before I left so I won’t have this guilt feeling with my recent purchase. Thanks for the tips!! Will definitely share this to my friends!!!

    1. We all desire designer bags. 🙂 This is just an alternative in case you want to purchase a fashion forward bag without spending a whole lot of money. Just enjoy your buy and check out this store for other arm candies . Thanks for the comment MABEL! 🙂

  3. “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” said Bo Derek. What a flippant remark but oh so true! — I think I read this somewhere online. 🙂 I super agree! 🙂 I’m sure you will love it in Madrid. The prices of Zara and Mango there are half the price or less compared to prices in Manila.

    1. It was Bo Derek, the 70’s bombshell, who said the first line. I wrote the second 🙂 Thanks Ms Achuchu for this comment. Madrid will definitely be in our places- to-visit when the kids are a little bit grown. 🙂

  4. Gosh well written!!!! Awesome write up! And yes royalty = responsibility …. even in bills

  5. I miss bags like those! I bring a Nike back pack or a trolley bag to school 🙁 Otherwise my back will break from carrying all my stuff to school. Or a fashion bag will break because of all my stuff!

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