Most people will have their trade mark brands and go-to stores. Mine, invariably, was always Zara for fast fashion and easy shift dresses and blazers. Now, I’ve been introduced to Zara’s big sister: Uterqüe (pronounced “ooh-ter-qweeee), and for once I have been tempted astray.
Inditex, the Spanish owner of Zara introduced Uterqüe a few of years ago on the sly, as a higher-end brand with quality fabrics and cuts. The focus is on classic style and capsule ranges. It’s not trend-led, so it abandons the objective of shoppers replacing pieces year but instead fits neatly into the category of more affordable investment pieces that are designed to last a few seasons. The prices are higher, sure, but so is the quality. You will see far more “100% cotton / silk / leather” rather than polyester or viscose mixes.
Tacit approval comes from Queen Letizia of Spain herself who has recently been seen in a range of Uterqüe pieces and which are always elegant and classic. It doesn’t take long to scan the store (or the app: see below) as the covetable range is not vast but with each piece being carefully selected to compliment the rest of the range.
Like all the Zara family brands, they have very use-friendly (read: dangerously accessible) apps that encourage swiping items into your basket and helpfully adding one-click check outs. I’ve personally always preferred online buying, more for the comfort of knowing that what arrives is brand new, rather than peering with dismay at the last make-up stained top left in your size on the hanger in the stores. Plus the returns process is hassle-free: you tick a box, leave the items in the box they came in and arrange a convenient time for it to be picked up again.
I discovered them recently in my perpetual pursuit for the perfect leather trousers, which always ends in a miserable concession that I will never justify the £695 for the Joseph pair, which have held that crown for years. Uterqüe’s leather leggings , by comparison, are hardly pain-free at £285 but for the quality and cut they are good value for calf leather. And they fit with just that desired amount of creasing – I practiced with lunges around their store in Mallorca!
On the subject of stores, there currently are none in the UK, so we are still bound by online-only app-purchasing (ok for most things, not ideal for the leather leggings). The lack of the try-on facility is not worth putting you off – the clothes, shoes and accessories are all worth the risk.
Other wish list finds include this bag with the bamboo handle, these gorgeous versatile heels and this beautifully cut universally classic white shirt:
Some more here (it’s a long wish list):
2. Cape Coat
4. High Heel Clogs (now on sale!)
Download the app here. Happy shopping!