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I spent it all on clothes by the looks of things...

Alternatives to ‘That’ Zara Dress

Dresses, Dresses, Dresses, is that all you ever write about Hiscox? Well, no it isn’t, but I couldn’t help but do this one. Unless you’ve been living under a fashion rock for the past few months, you cannot fail to have seen ‘That Zara Dress’ on your travels. Chances are a large percentage of you also own it. I don’t blame you, it is a great dress. One that suits pretty much all shapes and sizes and one that is so ubiquitous it even has it’s own Instagram account with over 11K followers already. It’s very funny, you must check it out.

I can’t remember a time when one sole item has captured the ladies of this nations hearts like this one. I know we all wore the same Ra Ra Skirts and fingerless gloves back in the 80’s,  but that was when there was only about 3 shops on the high street. Clockhouse, Tammy Girl and Topshop were about the only options in the Suburbia I grew up in. Back then we only ever wore what we saw on the fashion pages of Blue Jeans or copied what Pepsi and Shirley wore on Top of The Pops.

These days when we have so much choice, we are almost blinded and confused by it all, is it testament to a good design and massive stock levels that ‘The Dress’ has become so popular? Or is there safety in numbers?  I’m often wary of buying in Zara for this reason. I don’t mind having the same clothes as other people, but not ALL the other people!

So, If you don’t want to risk bumping into someone wearing the same outfit as you at any given social occasion then may I suggest a few other spotty options. Similar in style, all with a timeless polka dot pattern, but just a little bit different.


This Topshop number is probably the closest in pattern to ‘The Dress’, but it’s got a slightly more flattering V neck for those with bigger boobs, plus short sleeves for less of a sweat in the summer. Pair spots with leopard print, as we all know leopard print is now a neutral, so can be worn with anything. I’m trying to do better with my print clashing. I find it hard to stay away from the matchy matchy, but I’m getting there. It feels quite liberating.

1. Top Shop Black and White Starlight Smock Dress 
2. Hill and Friends Small Leopard Tote Bag 
3. M&S Ponte Single Breasted Blazer 
4. Boden Renee Leopard Flats 
5. J Crew Penny Ankle Strap Sandals 


How about a nice button up polka dot dress? Here are two good ones at opposite ends of the price spectrum. This one from Kitri is £145 and this one from Next is £38. I love the red accents on the Kitri dress and the flattering nipped in waist could actually give me the figure that I lack. My waist is pretty much non-existent these days, so I either have to find things that are made to give me one like this, or go for something to hide it, basically my favourite, the classic buffet dress.

1. Kitri Lana Polka Dot Midi Dress 
2. Next Multi Spot Arm Tie Dress 
3. Vivienne Westwood Red Leather T Bar Shoes 
4. Adidas Pride Nizza Trainers


Talking of Buffet Dresses, this black spot one looks like it slips nicely into that category. I’d probably size up on this as Topshop always seems to come up small these days. it can be hard, but don’t get too hung up on sizing. Especially on the High Street. As a rule of thumb I size up at H&M, Zara, Topshop, New Look and & Other Stories. I often have to size down at M&S and Whistles, Arket and Cos tend to be more true to size. A few years ago I wrote a couple of posts as a little guide the high Street. Most that still stands, check it out here and here.

1. Top Shop Black Spot Print Dress 
2. Mango Organic Cotton Jacket 
3. Issy Miyake Bao Bao Red Vinyl Bag 
4. Converse All Star Hi Top Trainers 
5. Aldo Black Leather Sandals 


This one is probably my favourite of all of the Zara dress alternatives. It’s nice and loose, has flattering V and is button up. It would work now with sturdy sandals, denim jacket and a basket bag, but it would work equally well in the the winter with a black thermal roll neck and hiking boots. Is it wrong that I’m already looking forward to getting the hiking boots back out again? I’ve not even gone on holiday yet but I’m already thinking about next season styles. Autumn is my favourite fashion season.

1. Top Shop Spot Trim Smock Dress 
2. M&S Heart Shaped Sunglasses
3. J Crew Classic Denim Jacket 
4. Pull & Bear Coral Velcro Strap Sandals 
5. Muun Claudia Small Basket Bag 


Finally, two different spotty numbers. I LOVE this one from ME & EM. It’s super pricey but I think it would stand the test of time. Polka dots are unlikely to go out fashion at any time soon. They’ve been around forever. So, if you do own that Zara Dress you can be safe in the knowledge that you could put it away for 5 years and still be relevant. Also, if you put it away for 5 years, you might not see everyone else wearing it. Another bonus.

1. ME + EM Fly Polka Dot Fly Dress 
2. & Other Stories Puff Sleeve Slit Dress 
3. Cos Padded Leather Sandals 
4. New Look Black Spot Insole Heeled Sandals 

How do you feel about ‘The Dress’? Did you buy it? Would you still buy it?

K x

P.S. Reminder than I’m up for a Good Web Guide Award. If you’d like to cast a vote for me, you can do so here. 

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