my zara obsession

If I could shop at one outfitter for the rest of my life, it would be Zara. No questions asked. My obsession with Zara began on a school trip to Spain (where Zara was founded and currently headquartered) my junior year of high school. Coming of age during the early to mid-2000s had its up and downs. One of the downs was definitely fashion. Like many millennials -- especially those of us growing up away from the coasts -- I succumbed to some really horrible trends in high school (I'm too embarrassed to list them here, but hop over to Buzzfeed for a sampling).

So my point being, I was a freshly turned 16-year-old when I first traveled to Europe and it was an absolute revelation. Going to Spain, in particular, opened up my eyes to all sorts of styles that were light-years away from making it to the states. Take, for example, the now-ubiquitous skinny jean. Back in 2006, flared jeans were all the rage in middle America. During my trip, I bought (and still proudly own) my first pair of skinny jeans at Zara. When I came back to the halls of my high school, I distinctly recall one of my peers asking, "Why are those jeans so...tight? Like they fit your body so closely." She didn't get it. But I did. I knew better. Spain, Europe, and Zara had shown me better. And sure enough, within a year, skinny jeans had crossed the Atlantic and the rest is history (don't lie -- you like yourself a good pair of skinny jeans).

When I returned to Spain in 2008, my Zara obsession was solidified. It would become an affair for the ages. There are about 50 Zara stores stateside (not nearly enough, if you ask me), with the closest one to Nebraska in Chicago. As such, most of my travels include a mandated Zara visit. In May, I stopped by the newly opened location at Scottsdale Fashion Square in Arizona, where I scooped up this top and skirt. I love the romantic floral pattern paired with the structure of the cream-colored crop top.

When Zara expanded its e-commerce presence to the U.S. in 2011, my life was forever changed. Earlier this year, I bought these burgundy heels online (a steal at $15.99!). They perfectly complement the hints of burgundy throughout this ensemble, don't ya think? Now with the click of a button, I can shop Zara's meticulously curated and styled collections that I first saw on Spanish storefronts all those years ago.

Here's to you, Zara, my one true fashion love.

Top, skirt, shoes: Zara

Watch: Komono