Putting the “Free” in Free People

Continuing with URBN Unwrung, we’re moving on from the luxe looks of Anthropologie to a brand a little bit more boho: Free People. To me, Free People has always been the little sister of Anthropologie, aspiring to wear the chic looks of her older sister but still wanting to add her own touch.

Free People was originally developed in the 1970s by Dick Hayne, who was marketing towards young people of West Philadelphia who were looking for freedom in the clothing that they wore.

The stores became so wildly popular that Hayne and his wife, who were in charge of Urban’s private label division, decided that to keep up with the demand of the consumers, they needed to create a wholesale line. 

In 2001, desiring to return to their roots of femininity, courage, and spirit, Free People abandoned their junior image, targeting a more mature and contemporary brand. Now, the company’s customers are in their twenties (26 to be exact) and fit for someone who wants their clothes to communicate their intelligence, creativity, and individuality.

Nowadays, the brand aspires to reach those girls who are “smart, creative, confident, and comfortable in all aspects of her being free and adventurous, sweet to tough to tomboy to romantic.”

However, while the brand does say they try to marry “great quality” with “affordability,” I still can’t spend more than $50.00 on a sweater.

This is where I come in. While spending my supposed-to-be-studying time looking through the Free People site, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts, I have taken their outfits and recreated them with clothes I already have in my DORM ROOM CLOSET. However, this means that my options were even more limited than my Anthropologie article.


  • None of these clothes actually come from Free People.
  • I didn’t buy anything new for this project.

Keeping in mind the company’s ideal Free People girl, this is what I came up with:

1. The Black Blouse and Blue Jean Skirt

This outfit is really trendy right now, especially with the jean skirt. As the weather gets a little colder, I would also pair some tights with this look, either a solid black pair or a lacy pair depending on the top. But again, I’m working out of a limited closet and don’t have all my tights with me at the moment.

Blouse: J.C.Penney

Skirt: H&M (on sale for $15.00!!!)

Shoes: Aldo

Socks: H&M

2. A Classic Inspiration

This a very easy look. I dressed it up with some gold jewelry, a brown leather belt, and a pair of brown boots.

Shirt: Clad&Cloth

Skirt: H&M

Belt: American Eagle Outfitters

Shoes: Frye

Necklace: H&M

3.  The Olive-Green Sweater and Black Jeans

I also easily found this outfit in my dorm closet. And again, I have something in it from H&M. Basically what I’m learning while I’m doing this is that H&M is incredibly in line with the style of Free People and that I should go there first, before I break the bank on Free People.

Sweater: H&M

Black Jeans: Ann Taylor Loft

Shoes: Aldo

Earrings: Gold hoops I stole from my mother (again)


Originally, I was worried about how I was going to recreate the Free People look without using any of their pieces or without access to my whole closet, but it turned out to be way easier than I expected. It is easy to get caught up in name brands as if a tag determines how trendy or cool your outfit is. In reality, where you got a shirt or sweater doesn’t matter at all, it’s how you pair the piece with what else you have in your closet.

More importantly, it all matters how confident you are in what you are wearing. If you’re confident and happy, that will show through in whatever you wear.


Want to keep up with HCBU? Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, check out our Pinterest board, and read our latest Tweets!