Sunday, 8 May 2011

Does it fit, sir?

I made a rare visit into town yesterday to meet a friend visiting from Canberra. I decided to arrive early, very early, to do some shopping I would otherwise normally do in the suburbs. Passing through Pitt Street Mall I reached the Zara store which seems to attract so much publicity and interest.

I had never heard of the brand until the hubbub about the opening of the Sydney store and only this week Ja was telling me how you have to queue to enter the store. She is waiting for the queues to abate before paying her visit.

I had not intended to to go to Zara, in fact I hadn't given the store a moment's thought but it was early on Saturday morning as I passed by and there was no queue in place yet so I thought, 'why not take a peek'? Inside all was controlled, artful chaos. Plenty of customers, or maybe they were gazers like myself, were rifling their way through some very fashionable looking and extremely colourful items whilst important looking young staff collected and folded clothing in a vain attempt to maintain order.

I must admit I was impressed with some of the men's clothing and idly wondered whether some trousers I had taken a fancy to would suit my less than fashionable figure and not make me look like mutton dressed as lamb. But what was the right size for me? The labelling was a mystery. The trousers were labelled with a series of sizes. One size for Australia and then the size in the UK, USA, Mexico, Italy and I think somewhere else. Given that the numbers were different for various countries the sizes shown couldn't be measurements, could they? So how to work out what number on the label was my size?

I approached two young attendants dressed totally in black both completely engrossed in chatter in overseas accented English as they folded and refolded clothing. 'What do these numbers on the labels mean', I asked. 'They are the sizes' one snarled at me as though I was a recalcitrant pupil. 'Yes, I assumed that', I replied 'but what do those sizes represent in inches or centimetres?' 'They are the sizes in Australia and in Italy', she persisted as I tried rephrasing my question another three times.

Just as I thought this store is not for me after all I noticed another young attendant exuding a calm confidence. I approached her with my question. 'What size trouser do you usually wear' she asked and then she consulted a small conversion card from which she efficiently deduced my Zara size in Australia.

I didn't try anything on yesterday preferring to save that treat for another, less hectic time. Two hours later I passed the store again on my way to my lunch meeting. The queue was well established by then with small groups being admitted by nightclub style guards every few minutes. Oh, how people suffer for their fashion.

Queueing at Zara's Sydney store yesterday


  1. I assume Zara is something Melbourne has to look forward to.

  2. Yes Andrew, the Spanish behemoth is coming your way.