Did you know that Zara has a grown-up sister shop, Uterqüe? I didn't, until I saw them mentioned in Time Out this week. It's a secret the rest of the world has kept from the UK: there's branches all over the globe, but not yet one in the UK. However, their website is all set up for Brit shoppers, with a standard delivery of £3.95. Uterqüe specialises in sophisticated Spanish style without the endless shifting that shopping at Zara requires. If that's not enough of a selling point, it's an even better time to check it out at the moment, as there's a generous sale on.
Uterqüe is full of classy basics that are probably your answer to summertime office dressing dilemmas. There's an occasional quirky print worth making a speedy beeline for, or - in the case of this snail blouse, £49 - a more leisurely crawl.
There are plenty of pieces to help you try and pull off some European laid-back cool, such as this boyfriend blazer, £69.90. (You know, that kind of laid-back cool that's virtually impossible to pull off when you're stuck in the queue for the Zara changing room.)
The collection isn't anywhere near as big as Zara's, so it's really easy to browse and see if anything catches your eye. My eye caught on this easy, breezy looking leaf print dress, currently reduced to £54.90.
Uterqüe does some killer LBDs too - I love the vintage detailing on this embroidered silk dress.
But, although Uterqüe's clothes are undeniably nice, I think it's the accessories where they really excel. I'm a particular fan of their luxurious looking bag range: luxury without a too-ridiculous price tag. This suede city clutch, for example, is £69.90.
While this ball clutch bag ticks the glamorous accessory box brilliantly for £54.90.
The shoes are sexy: far sexier than the things I ever put on my feet. These mid-heel court shoes are as about as restrained as they come and are £54.90.
An unexpected bonus is their fabulous selection of patterned scarves, currently all priced around £30 to £40. Yes, I would like a toucan around my neck please.
I certainly didn't expect to find a bonkers collection of hats on a scarf design here. Needless to say, I love it.
While this triangular scarf oozes vintage chic.
Add some easy-to-wear glam with this octagonal resin bracelet, £19.90.
And top off the look with one of their selection of sunglasses worthy of film starlets. I plan on spending the summer behind these Carey maxi sunglasses, pretending that I actually am in Spain.