Finding that something that's a little different

Dare I say it - a smidge boho?  Which, to be honest, isn't that off piste anymore.  Thanks to the likes of Isabel Marant, Zimmerman et al this is a much more mainstream look that is easy to embrace and mix in with a more corporate look.  There's no need to go head to toe in full on bohemian swag - a nod to the theme is more than adequate.  In fact, I would go so far as to say, there is some full on boho today but a lot is just what I'd call alternative. (I can hear the husband now.. "so basically you mean weird"...  errr NO.  Ok..ish.)

There's a website - a company I first came across in New York last year - that epitomise the boho and the alternative (ok, tad weird).  To be honest, I've no idea how long they've been around (clear lack of research here) but it was one of those typical things.  You've never heard of a company and suddenly they're everywhere.  They even stock them at Selfridges (again, this probably isn't news to anyone but it was to me.  Every now and again I do come out from under my home counties rock..) and at ASOS.  And someone the other day in the comments, mentioned them and that got me to perusing the website at great length (seriously - great great length.. warning, you can get lost in it for hours).

There's more than a hint of Anthropologie about them.  Something deliciously decadent and fresh.  I was going to say "free" but then duh - clearly that's the intention as the name is Free People.

Like Anthropologie, there is a vague cohesion in the entire collection but there really is something for everyone (yes you can prove me wrong on this).  "Different" is the name of the game.  

It's not even that it's all on trend.  It's just all unusual and you will either love some of it or hate some of it.  There are things on the site that are not for me at all but there is so so much that is like nothing you'll find elsewhere (except maybe Anthropologie) - those gems that are simply aesthetically pleasing.  They are the perfect pieces to add that individual personality to a more mainstream wardrobe.  

Maybe it's the Aquarian in me but I love wearing the odd thing that isn't necessarily the height of fashion and won't be universally popular but is just a quirk that pleases me every time I look at it. 

So I am taking full advantage of having a poorly 9yr old, an 11yr old who is insistent on finishing her homework this weekend so she hasn't any for the rest of the week (clearly not therefore related to Little Miss Procrastination moi) and a day of washing (yes, all the glamour) and having a lovely peruse of the Free People website and making up a wish list.

Two things I should warn you of.  Firstly, it's not cheap.  It's not expensive either - again, think Anthropologie price tags.  Plus some things are much more affordable than others - I would go so far as to say, there is something for almost every budget.  

And secondly, when looking at dresses, you may have to use your imagination as the models have (in my opinion) a hugely irritating habit of lifting up skirts in a coquettish (some might say.. personally I have another adjective for it..) fashion.  Which, as an old moaning bag, makes it really hard to see what the dress would look like on a mere mortal (aka "not a model" 43 yr old).  However if you scroll down to the bottom of each product page, there is a useful gallery of pics of normal people wearing the item.  What isn't so useful is that they too usually indulge in similar skirt swirling antics. 

But starting with shoes.  Oh hello deliciously unusual footwear.  There are some amazing and truly different shoes.  

Starting with these which I love.  They do remind me of a pair I have from Kurt Geiger that I bought about five years ago and I get them out every year and adore them. 

Jeffrey Campbell Minimal lace up heel £148



In the grey suede £148 - also available in blue, black, berry and lots of other shades.




However these just pip it for me - I have a blog up my sleeve with regards to peep toe boots (marmite I appreciate) but I love them and these are perfection.  High but not too high.  Great with trousers, jeans, dress, chinos - sublime.

Golden Road Heeled Boots £148




In the khaki (they do look grey to me... I think I might need my eyes tested as this is probably the fourth time recently I've thought a khaki looked like grey.... - these have more than a hint of All Saints to me. (but cheaper and not as vertiginous of heel)



And the natural 


And another version of a peep toe boot with the DayDream Heel Boot in washed grey £128. 



And the black 



Staying with a bit of a heel but moving into a more summery zone with a sandal wedge. 

Again, good old Jeffrey Campbell.  Serena Wedge £128



Flats now.

The Boulevard Block Flat by Jeffrey Campbell exclusively for Free People £148 in purple suede. 



And in the black suede 



Yet another exclusive collab between Jeffrey Campbell and Free People with the Desert Flat at £118.



But my two favourite favourite pairs.  It sounds bonkers but these look expensive.  Ok so they are pretty expensive but I think they look really expensive.

The Royal Flat I love.  Simple, elegant but just that little bit different. £168



And in the black.  These are the perfect flat for pared back chic whilst adding that bit of interest that is so hard these days to find on the high street.  Alas, it does come at a price, but the great thing about these sorts of shoes is that they're not "in fashion".  You will wear them for years and years - they transcend trend and are just a different take on a classic pump.  



And the sandal version which is called the Mont Blanc £148 in the natural



And the effortlessly elegant black. 



Or the super summery dove grey I think I have these trousers...



Moving onto dresses now.  You have to have a sober head when looking at these as there is more than a touch of the Helena Bonham Carters to some of them.  And a whiff of the Jordans to others.

But this, which comes in I think five different print versions.  Lots of great other styling ideas by normal people at the bottom of the product page.

First Kiss Dress £128



I mean - what is she doing here with her leg?  *rolls eyes and adjusts cardi over bosom*

First Kiss Dress in the Tangerine Dream £128




Much less hippy, in fact, this you could as easily wear for work as you could out for dinner in the evening. 

Free People Printed Melody Dress in navy floral £128






Modern Muse Tie Front Top £78 - again a great selection of colours, this is what they call deep navy (clearly that's their version of navy.. I'm going with cobalt blue)



This is what they call Petal.  The back detail is gorgeous as is the shape of the cuff.  Such an effortlessly chic top that would look amazing untucked over skinnies, perfect under dungarees and divine tucked into all sorts of high waisted trousers, be them peg leg, flares, cropped boot cut or whatever shape floats your boat.   I'm trying to ignore the belt which, I'm not going to lie, I think is hideous.  Dear Free People, Shakira's called, she wants her accessories back.

They do also have this in a black which is sublime and eminently useful. 



Now here's an idea... jegging flares.  Ok so that's not what they call them but in a nutshell, that's what they are.  These are genius.  Perfect for those loose tops, be them boho or a loose manly shirt.  And.. they do them in different leg lengths and the Long is properly long, Tall people - 37inches.  WHOOP.

FP Pull on Kick Flare jeans £68 In lots of different washes too.  No personally I wouldn't be tucking anything into these but being able to have a clean snug waistband is ideal for those tops that you want to either lie smoothly over or have looser.  How comfortable do these look?  And yes, how geriatric do I sound?



More trousers in one of my favourite, easily wearable shapes.  Loose.  And yes, how amazing are these shoes?

Dickies Wyatt Carpenter Pants £88 in moss



I have to say I also love these in the washed black - a great alternative to black denim jeans.



And I could go on and on and on as there are accessories, knitwear, coats, home items - seriously it's a complete treasure trove of gems.  Well, some gems.  Some things that you wouldn't touch with a barge pole but that's the nature of a site that offers such different and off piste items. 

I also have absolutely no idea about delivery either.  After my recent hideous experience of returns (and delivery which took TEN DAYS) from & Other Stories (and don't even start on the balls ache of the returns), I am slightly reticent about waxing lyrical with regards to postage from a US company being amazing.  On the other hand it may be great.  Now having said all of that, it does say that postage will be between five and eight days and is free over £75.  Alternatively you can use DHL which is apparently faster for £7... Doesn't sound too shabby to me to be fair. 

Returns...now it seems you can actually return to the UK and returns are free.  So that doesn't sound too arduous does it?  I'm sure I recall someone mentioning it being an absolute pain in the behind but maybe they've changed it. 

Do you have any experience of Free People?  Good or bad, give it to us.  I have absolutely no contact with them at all so can't answer any specific queries or complaints but am intrigued.  Usually am a fan of British companies but I think they're a great alternative to our more classic way of dressing. (and I need those Mont Blanc sandals..)

So I've had a lovely peruse and it inspired me to go off piste with a pair of ancient sneakers that I've had for about four years now.  I love them.  Elena Iachi at Russell & Bromley.  So so comfortable.  Perfect for hanging around at home (and a quick nip to the supermarket).

With my new (well it's last season actually but I snagged one a couple of weeks ago when they came back into stock) jumpsuit and (yes new season) biker jacket.  It arrived yesterday so had to give it a whirl to Waitrose.


Untitled


Black jumpsuit - hush
Black biker jacket - hush 
Black wedge sneakers - Elena Iachi at Russell & Bromley. 

So it's the start of the holidays and we're having our first ever takeaway as a family tonight.  I am far more excited about it than the children (when I was young, a takeaway was seriously the biggest treat ever) but blimey, they're blasé these days.  Ungrateful gits.  Well I'm determined to enjoy it.  I'd love Chinese but due to coeliac constraints we're going with Indian.  I can live with that.. The exercise regime starts tomorrow...

What also starts tomorrow is a couple of days of "disgraceful" elements we can add to our wardrobes.  Ok so one of them is only slightly "disgraceful" (and that's hardly going to make your eyes bleed), but the other was around last year and I think has become much more acceptable this year.  Any guesses....?

And do let me know if there are any goodies I didn't manage to spot at Free People.


Share this:

CONVERSATION

39 comentarios:

  1. Lots of Free People on ASOS UK if you can't risk the shipping!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Duh soz I see you mentioned that already! 'Scuse me!

      Delete
    2. AHA! Yes I did. Although it's one of those random things that does seem expensive on ASOS when most ASOS things are so reasonable. Yet when you look at a whole website, all of which is the same sort of price, suddenly it doesn't seem that expensive.. does that make sense?! It also looks super cheap in Selfridges when it's next to the Bella Freud!

      Delete
  2. Love your blog Kat. My sister is huge fan of Free people and raves about them. She has this mad style of homeless chic meets Boho babe!apparently great quality and shipping to Denmark apparently no issues :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh hell and if she's Danish I bet she can pull it off with absolute aplomb. Whereas I would run the risk of looking like I were on day release... The Scandis just have this innate sense of style .. I know my limits and what I can and can't get away with!

      That's great news about the shipping and yes what I've copped a feel of in Selfridges did seem great quality.

      Delete
  3. That shakira belt!!!! My eyes!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Free People is a recent love of mine but you have to dig a little, past the Coachella wannabe outfits and items meant for women half my age. But once you find a gem, it's so worth it. Over the last few months, I have acquired a lace-up (I've been obsessed with lace-ups lately) denim tunic, a knit turtleneck dress with a cool all over print, a wine colored bodycon sweater tunic (it's described as a minidress, but yeah, no) and a couple of their well-loved bralettes (lace racerbacks that you want a hint of lace peeking out).

    Ahh, Anthropologie. The land of twee. Just (half) kidding, again one has to dig around and unearth the gems. Their shoe selection has considerably improved, they once sold shoes that looked like mallard ducks. But their dresses are usually on point and they carry outside brands that I really love like Bailey 44. They haven't been on my radar in awhile, but I will check them out after reading your blog.

    I really like the Royal Flat and Mont Blanc shoes, very cool. Free People also has great block heel ankle boots although they may have been sold out by now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you definitely have to dig but the Aquarian in me has had a great couple of hours, mooching round the site. Anthro is definitely hit and miss as well.. Personally I'm a bigger fan of their homewares (I say that, I never ever buy anything but I LOVE going in and looking. My style is very monochrome and quite French/SCandi whereas theirs is much more boho - it's my other life that I'm shopping for (in my head that is..!) I did though get the most amazing shoes from there last year which I can't wait to wear again. Pointed flat ponyskin mules which were clearly a season ahead of their time. Not remotely on trend last year - painfully in fashion this Spring!

      Delete
  5. Love the shirt with the back detail. Off to London for 2 days with 2 boys and husband and have a small window of shopping! Whats do you recommend as a must visit? We are coming from Manchester so London only stores make most sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So if you're coming from Manchester, you'll already have Selfridges? RIght, well if I were coming to London (and not sure what stores you have...) my first port of calls would be Cos and & Other Stories (not sure if you have either of them?) Whereabouts are you going to be? And what sort of stores do you like? Ones that are that little bit different (although to be honest most of the brands are in our Selfridges but I don't know if the main store is bigger than Manchester?) are Fenwicks of Bond Street and Liberty's (both quite expensive). I also love Eileen Fisher (either Kings Road or Covent Garden) or Me+Em which is on Connaught Street about a 5/10 min walk from Selfridges/Marble Arch.

      Delete
    2. I'm in Manchester and we have a Cos in selfridges but only a small one. When I'm in London I head to & other stories first as most other stores are available. There are smaller stores like Penelope Chilvers which we don't have and then of course Topshop at Oxford Circus and Selfridges are a must! Selfridges in Manchester have stopped stocking Golden Goose!! Hoping they have the ones I want when I'm in the big smoke in a couple of weeks!

      Delete
    3. Sorry to intervene in your convo Jan/Kat! - I too am from Manchester area and I asked about the GG in Selfridges she said they didn't have them on display but that they still have some stock in the stock rooms and she would check what they had - I was in a rush so said I would call back. Not sure what or what sizes, but it may be worth an ask if you are in there?

      Delete
  6. Love the Royal Flats in tan - they may plug the gap I was looking to fill with tan chelsea boots. Found myself in Bluey today and tried on some tan chelsea boots with brogue detail in Clarks reduced to £40. Lovely, lovely on the foot but gaped like wells around my skinny little ankles, so the hunt continues - these may be a more-than suitable alternate.
    I've had one or two bits from Free People in the past and had no issues. Still have a battered pair of Jeffery Campbell orange suede driving shoes (bear with me - a lot like Tods) that I loved beyond measure and they served me well as I wore them into the ground over several summers. Sigh.....summer.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're amazing aren't they? But I might go straight for the Mont Blanc as I'm more in need of sandals and I think this bridge that gap perfectly. Ideal with jeans, trousers, dresses... classic yet cool. LOVE. I had a pair of Jeffrey Campbell fringed gladiator sandals 6yrs ago (I was so so ahead of my time!) that I wore so much for two years, they fell apart!

      I can't imagine it being warm again ever...

      Delete
  7. Anthropologie and Free People are both owned by the same parent company: Urban Outfitters.

    While I prefer FP to Anthro as the latter can be a bit dowdy at times, they have the same problem of having really inconsistent quality control. Too many products with poorly finished hems, loose beads etc. At that price they shouldn't be. Thankfully the reviews section and pictures from buyers helps a fair bit with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well now there you go!! You learn something new every day. Gosh I would never have said Anthro was dowdy - I would have said it's a very certain eclectic style but it never occurred to me it was dowdy..! I completely agree about quality control - I think part of the problem is they clearly use a lot of external brands which they either rebrand or have as an exclusive. Which makes consistency in quality more difficult to maintain. But I completely agree that the reviews online are excellent! And I love the pics too!

      Delete
    2. Hah maybe dowdy is a bit extreme. :)

      Delete
  8. On those Montblanc sandals are to die for, in both black and camel. Gorg gorg gorg. And they look super comfy too. I saw Free People in Selfridges and it looked too boho for me. I too always look at Anthro but never buy. I agree with someone who commented that the Anthro quality isn't always great for the price. Kat the Hush biker looks stunning on you!!! Birthday on Wed...hopes are high!!! Think I am going to treat myself to the short sleeve jumpsuit too - do you know if it's the same fabric and cut as the long sleeve one? My only gripe with the aubergine one I have - same as your black one - is the ironing....!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're amazing aren't they? My only concern is that my toes will be too long out of the front.. I do have toes like fingers.

      Right - fabric - hmm I can't recall. I *think* that the new ones are slightly silkier? But I would think it is the same fabric to be honest. When you say ironing.. do you mean after washing? I had it on all day yesterday and sat on the sofa for most of it or was in the car driving and it really didn't look that creased at all - I was concerned that it would be!

      Delete
  9. Love those lace up shoes. I ordered the Hush jumpsuit but returned it think I night be reordering it again as it looks great with the biker jacket (I have one from Mint Velvet 3 years old and worn to bits). We have a GF Chinese by us as a coeliac I actually squealed when I found it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG OMG OMG do you mind me asking where you live? The Indian went down like a fart in a lift. Only the 9yr old loved it which is ironic as he's the fussiest amongst all of them. Duh. He's asked if he can have the leftovers today!

      The jumpsuit is perfection with the jacket, isn't it?!

      Delete
    2. I live in Surrey. Yes love the jacket & jumpsuit

      Delete
  10. Aaaagh! The shoes only go up to a 41! ! Sitting here with money to spend on shoes I love. Always the same. Do they think women with 37 " legs only have size 41 feet ? Rant over

    ReplyDelete
  11. Been aware of Free People for awhile ( saw them mentioned in a magazine I think) but never looked as I thought the stuff was too boho for me. However I LOVE all the shoes .. Some good finds! Love the Hush jumpsuit on you, I'm going to return mine. I love the style but it's too big, I need a 10 and that's sold out! I took a punt and ordered a 12 but it's too too big on me and sadly not flattering.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do think they come up slightly large yes. Such a shame although there always is the Summer version....

      Delete
  12. Hi Kat, have bought quite a few items for my daughter from Free People. I personally think it is overpriced and only buy on sale and not fussed on quality of Jeffrey Campbell shoes. Some of the dresses are lovely - though never bought for myself as can never tell the length as model always lifts the skirt - glad someone else noticed this. ASOS has an OK selection but never the really nice dresses. I really like the orange dress and blue and yellow dress however pretty expensive for polyester especially with Australian summers. Delivery from US to Aus is fine but no free returns and too expensive to return so have to be pretty sure that you want the item. Y

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Polyester can be really expensive though. I have a dress that was originally £800 and hey ho, that's polyester! There is definitely poly and poly - it can be an amazing fabric if it's the right kind. Doesn't crease, hangs and washes like a dream. Most of Whistles dresses at £100+ are polyester. That's such a shame that they don't have a distribution centre in Aus as I would have said that the style generally is more suited to your market than ours!

      Delete
    2. Absolutely agree with you about polyester and variance in quality. (ie J.W. Anderson who I absolutely love.) I have a couple of Whistles dresses that are cocoon shape so great for summer heat, are beautiful quality so hang very well. Luckily ASOS does carry a very good range of Whistles and has free returns. Agree that Free People designs really suits Australian style.

      Delete
  13. Oh Kat, your outfit is perfection!! The Hush biker looks amazing on you - and how fab is it that you've paired it with the Hush jumpsuit too! Just out of curiosity, did you ever try on Hush's last year's version (biker with gold hardware)? Is it actually the same as this year's biker (but with silver hardware)??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - I love it. Would work with any jumpsuit or dress I reckon. Just sod's law it's gone completely freezing and I'm going to get the big jumpers out again. Doh. Now I didn't try it on but i do know that it is the same. xx

      Delete
  14. I've just bagged the Hush jumpsuit after lurking on the website for days in the hope there'd be some returns - so a result for me!! I ordered it in a 10 earlier in the season but returned it as the legs were too short for me, so hoping the 12 may be longer. What size are you wearing Kat? Length looks fine on you x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the 10 actually.. I tried it on at their popup shop and only tried the 10.. I was waiting for it to be reduced but it wasn't and then it sold out so as soon as it came back in, I nabbed a 10!

      Delete
  15. I haven't bought from Free People but I have admired from afar... the shoes! I am on there mailing list and they do seem to have good sales. I wouldn't have said Anthropologie were dowdy, but I suppose it depends on how you style their stuff.

    Love your hush biker. I have a similar one from Mint Velvet last year and I love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I shall be watching for their sales. And I guess Anthro being dowdy is completely subjective - maybe I'm more frumpy than I thought! Although to be honest, I don't buy much from their but only because I thought it was too eclectic as opposed to dowdy...!

      Delete
  16. their mailing list - autocorrect!

    ReplyDelete