One of my favorite reasons to travel internationally is the opportunity to find cute, unique or amazing new additions to my clothing collection.
The same dress as shown in the photo above is still available on Zappo’s online store (that’s where I purchased mine)…but only in off-white and only in size xs (which is the size I got.)
Research Shopping Opportunities Before Leaving for an International Locale
If you do a little bit of research before you go and then take a little extra time once you’ve arrived, you can find some treasures that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. But there’s one factor that’s thrown me a bit in the past, and that I haven’t prepared well for. Which is understanding the international sizing for the locations we’ll be traveling to. Even when I did research this aspect previously, it was a cumbersome task and the results were less than stellar.
But today, I happened upon a great solution. One of my favorite clothing company resources is Free People. I’d always planned to write a post about the Free People label, but when I’ve tried in the past, I’ve always gotten overwhelmed with how much I have to say, how many styling ideas I wanted to share…and I never quite finished the posts.
So first I’ll give you a quick overview about Free People, the brand. Then I’ll write a bit about some general strategies for successfully styling and shopping the brand. Overtime, I’ll probably add to this, as I keep thinking of new ideas I’d wanted to mention.
Free People’s Target Market
Free People, I think, intends to serve the teenage and young adult market. This is probably the main reason that most of my friends have never heard of them, or wouldn’t consider them as one of their ‘go to’ resources for clothing. But as naturally happens with most assumptions, that’s a bad thing to assume. It’s also one that has served me well up to now. Because the styles and sizes that fit well and look good on younger women, aren’t necessarily the same as ones that work well for older females. So they tend to be the ones that are over looked by their target market…thus I can usually find things I love at greatly reduced prices.
Laying is Key
Free People’s whole style was built upon the concept of layering. It’s a brilliant marketing strategy, because it results in greater sales. Even younger women wouldn’t necessarily buy and wear see through or backless tops or dresses. But they would if they happened to find the perfect slip or cami to pair it with!
Even better would be to find both the perfect ‘underneath’ layer, along with the perfect top or ‘over’ layer. Something like a sweater, or a filmy second top or a dress, to wear over the first. This is exactly how the brand was conceived, and the pieces in each category are made to function in exactly that way.
Intimates Aren’t Your Typical Intimates
Intimates in the Free People brand aren’t really what you’d typically think of…
They aren’t generally made for the privacy of your own home like say, the Victoria’s Secret brands’ are. Rather FP’s intimates are a key category for finding those important layering pieces. Oftentimes they are designed specifically to ‘fill in’ the gaps or open areas in other FP’s designs. Below I put together one example of what I mean.
The slip that appears in the middle photo is a favorite of mine too
It can be paired with so many different things and comes in a large assortment of colors. In the photos on the left and right I’ve added screenshots from FP’s current online season and some customer pics showing how they styled it too. These styles are current as of October 2016 which I’m only telling you because I’ll add links below to some of them…but if the links don’t work that’s because the style is no longer available.
She Swings Slip in White $88 full price
Grey silver mini dress
Long Sleeve black top
White silver slip top
All the pieces shown center around this slip:
She Swings Slip in White $88 full price
Aqua long sleeve mini dress
Red long sleeve mini dress
Like Most Younger Women’s Styles Today, Free People’s Bottoms Tend to Be Much Longer Than What Most Average Sized or Even Tall Women Need
By, unlike most younger styles today, Free People offers several remedies for this dilemma.
- First, they have a thriving and dedicated customer base who write a lot of really helpful reviews. In fact, the review format itself tends to emphasize sharing this kind of information.
- Second, many of their jeans and even other types of bottoms are unfinished, making it a simple matter to just chop off the amount you need to to make the style look good on you.
- Free People also produces most of their designs in a few different size categories. In addition to Regular sizes they also offer Petites. Most jeans are available in Tall, Regular and Short lengths.
Free People Sale Merchandise is Always The Best Way To Go
I regularly peruse the beautiful catalogs Free People sends me, and if there’s something that I absolutely can’t live without, I sometimes pay full price. But almost all of my orders are for Sale items. They keep an extensive inventory of Sale items so usually I can find exactly what I need in my size. Here’s a link to the main Sale webpage, from which you can search in the sub categories for virtually anything you may desire!
I also shop for Free People sale merchandise at Nordstrom’s Rack, Zappos and E Street Denim, which is a retail store in Mequon, Wisconsin (in the Pavilion shopping mall.) They have another location in Chicago too…these are the only Free People outlets in the USA.
Links to Free People’s International Sizing Charts
Free People also provides sizing charts for Swimwear and Shoes, which I’m not including links to, since they are easily found through the links above.
So, next time you’re planning on traveling internationally any time soon, make sure you bring your smartphone with these bookmarked to save you time. Or if, like me, you don’t always get a data plan for your cell phone when you travel out of the country…just copy and paste these charts into your favorite note taking app. If you don’t currently use a note taking app, take a look at Evernote. It’s is a free app used by millions of people around the world who, like me, need to keep track of lots of little bits of information.
If you’re like me, you’ll find Evernote’s so indispensable that you’ll soon want to upgrade to one of their paid subscriptions. I use the premium version, which offers a lot of added features that I can’t live without! So, if you want to use my referral link, you can get a month of Evernote Premium for free, and I get 5 or 10 points…it’s confusing which.
Photos of A Few of My Favorites & Things I Ordered While Writing This Article
These dresses are on sale and I ordered (or put in my shopping cart) the top one. These pics made me remember that I forgot to mention Free People dresses are oftentimes tops for me!
I love Free People sandals and found the pairs below while writing this article. These are also in my shopping cart!
I also was thinking about ordering the outfit below…unfortunately it was in my cart, but now has been sold out! if I really wanted it, I could ask to be notified when it comes back into stock…but I was on the fence, so don’t think I’ll do that.
This is one dress I got last year that I often wear as a top.
I love Free People’s jeans and got these at the beginning of summer.
I really really love most of Free People’s boots!
Happy Travels & Happy Shopping!!!