There’s one thing that most Spanish clothing stores have in common, and that is— relatively—low prices and good quality. I had no problem finding cheap deals when I was living in Spain. Certainly, the best time to shop is during Rebajas (Sales). Let me tell you a little bit about the rebajas.
It is one of the most anticipated shopping seasons (if we can call it that) by shopaholics—and I imagine retail stores look forward to the sales they generate, as well. Legally Rebajas are supposed to run twice a year: winter and summer. Some rebajas start early, around January, while others start around February. I think it depends on the region, city and store.
During rebajas, you can save up to 70% on brand new items. I literally got a new wardrobe just from the rebajas. Everything is so unbelievably cheap. I felt like I would be sinning if I didn’t buy something. And then something turned into some things…and more things. (Yeah, I paid the consequences later.) In other words, rebajas are like “black Friday” in the US—with the exception that they run for months. It is a great opportunity to save big bucks, especially when you’re living or traveling abroad on a budget.
Now that you’ve learned about rebajas, let me tell you what stores are awesome for shopping inexpensively in Spain.
Sfera: this is definitely a gem. Sfera sells fashion for women, children, and men. I’m not familiar with what goes on in the children’s department, but the women’s and men’s departments are very fashionable. Like most mainstream shops, they change their collection every season, so you’ll be looking at the “latest trends” every time.
Sfera is already VERY affordable, so in times of rebajas they might as well give out free stuff. I went to Sfera in Madrid for a last time before returning home. I was looking for just a pair of stylish earrings. By the time I was “done” shopping, I was holding a small bag with about six of them. They had incredible deals for amazing quality. Only in Spain…I miss it so much!
To find the nearest Sfera within your zone, you don’t even have to Google it; just go to the town’s plaza mayor or a major center of attraction and it’ll probably be right there. 🙂
H&M: Fashion clothing for women, men and children. Not a lot of people like or can find what they’re looking for at H&M, especially men because their sizes can be a little tricky. But, for me…I love me some h&m. My liking for it goes way back when I stumbled upon one huge H&M in New York City. It was love at first sight. I wish I could tell you that I actually do my usual shopping at Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, etc. But, come on, who would I be fooling here? Ha ha! No.
I’ve liked H&M since day one because of their quality, price and style. My clothes that I have bought there have never ripped apart in the washer, unlike some clothes from higher-end brands. Their shoes aren’t the greatest looking shoes, but even they can last longer than overpriced designer shoes I’ve gotten somewhere else before.
I visited several H&M’s in Spain, as well as one in Switzerland. The prices, for the most part, are the same everywhere (although they seem to be hiking every year).
In Switzerland, things were a little overpriced. But then again, everything is overpriced in Switzerland.
They have an H&M almost everywhere in Spain—even in the tiny city of Ciudad Real, Castilla La-Mancha, where I once lived.
Zara: This store needs no introduction. But just in case, it is a fashion clothing and accessories store for women, men and children. Apparently, it is part of the same fashion group that runs Massimo Dutti (a really good store, actually, which is not on my Weekly List today only because they almost never had fashionable clothing for younger women, and I’m still holding a grudge over that).
I like Zara’s style, it’s very chic. I was just a little disappointed with their prices. The first time I lived in Spain, Zara fell under the same category as Sfera is now in terms of low prices. Now, not so much. But compared to most US retailers of the same caliber, it still has really good prices.
A Zara store can also be found all throughout Spain, there might be several retailers within a major city.
Shana: Shana is a simple clean and cute low-priced trendy clothing store and accessories. I’d probably compare it to the US chain store Charlotte Russe, with the exception that Shana’s quality is better. It is very, very, very low-price.
The first time, I ran across one of their stores by mistake. Then, I fell in love with their cute paper bags (and their prices!) and I just kept coming back to Shana. I guess I like the ease. There’s not an extreme selection to choose from—they sort of carry the same simple basic, but trendy, stuff—and their stores are not too big. So when you want something quick, Shana is there. It was what I call a “back-up” store. I loved it.
Stradivarius: I used to call this store the “Music Note Store” because I never remembered its name! Ha ha. I just knew their logo looked like a music note—which I later learned was actually a violin. Ironically, it was the reason I didn’t check it out sooner; I thought it was a music store.
Stradivarius is a women’s fashion and accessories store based in Spain. It has expanded over the years and now has several stores across Europe. The style and feel of Stradivarius is almost the same as Zara’s, but with a younger look. They have really good-quality clothing, shoes and accessories for competitive prices.
There’s a Stradivarius store almost anywhere there’s a shopping center in Spain.
Let the shopping begin!