Zara is my guilty pleasure. As an avid fashionista on a budget, I just can’t resist popping into Zara for their latest stylish finds. But nothing sends a chill down my deal-hunting spine quite like the lurking fear that my fab new Zara skirt or top may not be all it seems.
Knockoffs and counterfeits have flooded the market, meaning savvy shoppers now have to stay on guard. Well, I’ve learned all the tips and tricks to separate authentic Zara gems from fakes, and I’m sharing them with you today!
Together, we’ll ensure your hard-earned cash only goes toward genuine Zara pieces that give you that runway-inspired style without bogus impersonators raining on your fashion parade. Sound good? Let’s get started!
Quick Comparison of Genuine and Fake Zara Clothes
Before diving into the details, here’s a handy overview of what to look out for when determining if your Zara item is legit:
|Real Zara Clothes||Fake Zara Clothes|
|High quality materials and construction||Cheap fabrics, uneven seams, loose threads|
|Zara logo neatly printed/embossed on label||Messy logo printing, hang tags missing|
|Correct fonts/formatting on tags and labels||Spelling errors, incorrect fonts on tags|
|Proper weight, drape and fit of garments||Ill-fitting, lighter or thinner material|
|Higher prices, sold only at Zara stores/site||Low prices, sold on sketchy sites|
|Scannable barcodes that link to Zara||Non-functional barcodes or missing codes|
|Items match Zara’s current collection||Styles are outdated or never sold by Zara|
This table should give you a good sense of what separates real Zara goods from counterfeits. Now let’s explore some specific methods for verifying authenticity.
7 Ways to Verify the Authenticity of Zara Clothing
When trying to confirm whether a Zara item is legit or counterfeit, there are a few key signs you can look for.
1. Examine the Materials and Construction
The first clue is in the physical quality of the item itself. Zara may be fast fashion, but it stands by its reputation for value and style. Genuine Zara clothes use fabrics and construction a cut above the cheap knockoffs trying to copy them.
When you first handle the item, trust your instincts. Does the material seem thin, rough or scratchy compared to what you’d expect? Are the seams and finishes sloppy or uneven? These are red flags for a fake. Authentic Zara clothes may not be the pinnacle of luxury, but the fabrics have a decent heft and drape, while the construction exhibits precision.
Pay special attention to details like buttons, zippers and embellishments. Zara uses metal hardware, sturdy stitching and secure fastenings. Fakes will instead have plastic buttons, loose threads and unstable closures prone to breaking. The little details give it away.
2. Verify Brand Tags and Labels
The next step is checking that all the Zara branding looks legit. authenticate the tags and labels inside the garment, including:
- Main Zara tag with sizing, material composition and product code
- Secondary tags like care instructions and country of origin
- Neck or side tags listing the Zara name and sometimes style name
- Hologram security tag (though often removed)
The fonts, colors and layouts should exactly match the current season’s tags or catalogue images. Look out for any printing errors, missing details or differences from the real thing. Fake Zara tags also tend to use cheaper, rougher fabrics and inferior stitching.
Sometimes you may spot a fake tag trying to imitate the Zara branding through blurry printing or a misaligned logo. And be wary if any mandatory details like material composition are missing from the main tag.
3. Verify the Barcodes Match the Item
Authentic Zara clothes have a set of barcodes matching the specific item, size and season. The main barcode is on the size tag, while a secondary sticker barcode may be found on the clothing care tag.
You can verify these barcodes a few ways:
- Search online databases – There are sites which catalog real Zara barcodes so you can cross-check yours against them.
- Use barcode apps – Several barcode scanning apps will retrieve details of the associated Zara product when scanned. Ensure they match your item.
- Compare same style in different sizes – Barcodes for one style in different sizes should follow an incremental sequence. Irregular or repeated codes indicate fakes.
- Scan in store – Take the item to a Zara store and ask to scan the barcodes. If they don’t register as Zara merchandise, it’s a fake.
The barcodes should link back specifically to the correct item name, season and size. If not, something fishy is going on.
4. Review Quality Control Markings
All real Zara clothes go through rigorous quality control before leaving the factory, as verified by the special stamps or tags applied. These include:
- Fabric swatches – Small fabric samples with an inspection stamp, often near the size tag.
- Thread ends – Colorful thread ends hanging from seams with a tiny QC tag attached.
- Wash tags – Tags noting pre-wash processes like stone-washing or bleaching.
- Inspection stamps – Imprints along the edge of a garment or sides of the tag confirming inspection.
Fakes usually lack all these markings entirely or have sloppy, inaccurate imitations. Properly annotated wash tags and fabric swatches are hard to duplicate.
Study online images so you know exactly what the Zara quality control markings should look like. Then check that your item has them in the right spots.
5. Try It On and Assess the Fit
Head to the changing room and put the garment on. You’ll quickly notice if anything seems off about the sizing and proportions.
Genuine Zara clothes should fit true to size based on the label, or follow the fit profile noted on their website. For example, Zara’s oversized and relaxed items will look boxier than their form-fitting styles.
Fakes typically fit awkwardly – too tight in some places and loose in others. This results from the counterfeiters not having Zara’s original patterns and measurements. If your normal Zara size feels oddly roomy or tight and misshapen, be suspicious.
6. Match Packaging to the Item
For online purchases, closely examine the packaging your Zara item arrives in. Authentic Zara clothes ship with branded packaging like:
- Signature black and white striped bags
- Black boxes with tissue paper for folded items
- Clear resealable bags for accessories and underwear
- Hangers with Zara molded into the plastic for delicate pieces
Also look for the hologram sticker sealing the box, and a returns paper with the Zara header.
Fakes usually arrive in plain plastic bags without any of the distinctive Zara packaging. However, some counterfeiters try to fake the bags and tissue paper too. Study images of real Zara packaging so you can catch inconsistencies.
7. Compare Details Against Online Listings
Finally, pull up the product page for your item on the official Zara website. Thoroughly check that every detail matches, including:
- Item name and style number
- Available colors and prints
- Size range
- Season identifier
- Product photos from every angle
Authentic items will align perfectly with the online listing. If any details are off, like different materials or measurements than described, it points to a fake.
Cross-checking against Zara’s own product listing gives you definitive confirmation. Some superb knockoffs come close to the real deal, so this side-by-side verification is essential.
Common Mistakes Shoppers Make When Buying Zara Clothes
Now that you know how to authenticate Zara items, here are some common mistakes to avoid when buying:
- Assuming sellers at reputable sites only offer authentic goods – Fakes make it onto major marketplaces too. Always verify yourself.
- Buying from Instagram sellers and social media ads – A prime source of counterfeits. Verify via other channels.
- Relying on low price as the only red flag – Fakes can be well-priced to seem authentic. Check other signs.
- Focusing on packaging over the product – Packaging is cheaper to mimic. Scrutinize the actual clothes.
- No examination before wearing – Don’t remove tags or wash before thoroughly inspecting.
- Assuming quality control stamps guarantee authenticity – Fakers replicate these too sometimes. Verify with other signs.
The only sure way to avoid fakes is learning the verification steps and consistently applying them to every Zara purchase. A few extra minutes of inspection saves you from the hassle of returning counterfeits down the road.
So there you have it – the top 7 tips and tricks to ensure your coveted Zara finds are the real deal. While it may seem daunting at first, with some practice, you’ll be able to spot fake Zara clothes at 50 paces.
No more buyer’s remorse or wasted money on shoddy knockoffs. You’ll gain the satisfaction of knowing exactly what you paid for when you proudly rock that Zara jacket or dress. And the confidence that comes from being an informed, savvy shopper is the best feeling of all.
The fast fashion streets are filled with fakes, but armed with this advice, you’ll stay steps ahead of scammers trying to dupe shoppers. Now enjoy the thrill of hunting down deals on authentic Zara styles and wear them with pride. You’ve got this!
Are fake Zara items illegal to buy or sell?
Yes, counterfeit goods violate trademark laws and can carry civil or criminal penalties.
Where are most fake Zara clothes made?
Counterfeits predominantly come from China, Pakistan, Malaysia and other Asian countries.
Can I return a fake Zara item if I didn’t know it was a knockoff?
If purchased from Zara or an authorized retailer, yes. For third-party sellers, check their policies.
Are there any tricks to finding authentic Zara items at thrift stores?
Scrutinize details and compare to online listings. Search for quality control stamps. Avoid too-good-to-be-true deals.
Should I avoid buying Zara goods on resale sites like eBay and Poshmark?
Not necessarily, just be vigilant in authenticating items yourself before purchasing.
How can I tell if a Zara website, social media page or email is official or fake?
Check that web addresses match the official zara.com and account handles have the blue verification.
Are some Zara styles more likely to be counterfeited than others?
Yes, very popular items like coats and dresses get knocked off most frequently.
Will Zara authenticate or appraise an item if I bring it to the store?
Unfortunately, Zara employees aren’t able to officially authenticate or value items. You’ll have to inspect it.
This detailed guide should equip you to keep it chic and authentic with your Zara buys. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions!