It’s a sweltering, hot summer day, and I’m longing for a cool getaway. Swollen feet pound the burnt pavement, searching for relief. Suddenly I am intrigued by a store window. Earthy tones tingle my senses, and bohemian floral patterns whisk me away. I am hooked. I must enter, and when I do I am relieved to find a world of pure natural essence, and hippie loving haute couture. I’ve just entered Free People at The Americana in Glendale, California.
The store front windows are clean and chic, and a few mannequins grace the entrance urging you to step foot into the store. That is one of the things I admire most about Free People; the store doesn’t yell at you to come in through gaudy displays, it cordially invites you to step in. I should tell you upfront that the Free People I visited today is currently under a makeover, and so the store seemed a bit haphazard. However, even though the dressing rooms are pop-up dividers with colorful patterned tapestries, the store still retains its bohemian chic essence. Since the store is under construction, it is a bit tight, using industrial lamps to light the store. The floors have a rustic look to them with long gray planks of wood lining the sales floor.
There were 2 sales associates working when I arrived, and both seemed preoccupied with maintaining the store, rather than the customers. I perused the store with ease, and was able to soak in all the summer colors and lacy fabrics. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Free People, its style lends itself to a young, free loving woman. In fact, if you go to the Free People website, they tell you that their audience is a “26-year-old girl, smart, creative, confident and comfortable in all aspects of her being, free and adventurous, sweet to tough to tomboy to romantic. A girl who likes to keep busy and push life to its limits, with traveling and hanging out and everything in between.” To this I add, that the brand is not simply clothes on your back, it is a lifestyle. Free People allows you to model your clothes through your free loving spirit. Spirit and love seem to be oozing from every article of clothing/jewelry in the store. It appears in the floral, or crochet patterns on the maxi dresses, or in the frayed edges of lightweight summer tees. It would seem that the clothes in the store exist for one purpose: to fill your life with ease. All of the fabrics are soft to the touch, and each tiny detail, from bead to buckle, has a purpose.
One of the more unique, and collage friendly, attributes that Free People provides is a (free) magazine, filled with all the breezy summer looks you have dreamt about. I admire all of the outfits that grace the covers of Free People’s seasonal magazine; however some garments are geared for certain body types which may not suit everyone. Some of the clothes are not meant for the lovely women with curves, which is unfortunate. I believe that this is something that maybe Free People could change in the future; opening up their store to a wider range of women. Because let’s face it, we can’t all be thin with a cute bubble butt and surf toned legs.
I was surprised to find that Free People had such a large and extremely cute collection of underwear. I am a woman who appreciates fine undergarments, and I have to say that some of Free People’s definitely caught my eye with lacey designs and interesting bra features (like crisscross racer backs, and unlined lace bras). Overall, there were some really unique and gorgeous designs. I also enjoy their jewelry, which contains an ethereal essence with earth tones and gems. The jewelry can be combined with almost anything, whether complimenting your work or beach outfit there’s something for you.
Overall, I think Free People is a fantastic store. Some of the items are overpriced, or a bit out of my reach, but if you’re like me (and you like a good deal) there is always something for you. A lot of their clothing could be called statement pieces, in which you save up a bit in order to get that fabulous dress, or that complementing shirt.
As for my final review, I would give my experience a 7 out of 10, only taking away points for customer service. I wish the customer service had been more attentive, but since the store was undergoing remodeling, I’m sure they are preoccupied with keeping their disheveled store as tidy as possible in its current condition. The store still has an excellent collection and knows how to present its products to attract the rabid bohemian lover.
Written by: Kailyn Wolf