If I’m being honest, thinking ahead to fall/winter fashion has me less than thrilled.
I’m feeling very comfortable in my summer wardrobe, and I love this transition period between summer and fall when the mornings and nights are chilly, but the midday is still toasty warm (hellloooo layers).
But even so, I know the inevitable is coming. In order to lift my spirits and get excited for the seasons ahead, I turned to my faaavorite brand of all: Free People.
Fall Dresses, Jackets & Sweaters Galore: An Epic Free People Try-On
I specifically wanted to see the new Free People items that Nordstrom has currently in stock because Nordstrom always does a good job at curating quality, versatile pieces that feel like your favorite wardrobe basics — which can be hard to do with Free People’s anything-but-basic catalog.
The verdict? THERE IS A LOT OF GOOD STUFF, GUYS. I collected a handful of dresses, jackets, sweaters and more to take for a spin (supplementing with some of my own denim and shoes that are not necessarily Free People brand nor from Nordstrom).
Buckle up, because I think this try-on officially made me excited for fall.
Easy & Lightweight: Fall-Approved Dresses & A 2-Piece Set
Free People is known for its flowy, comfortable summer dresses, but don’t write off FP for more basic fall staples too. I found three dresses plus a two-piece sweater skirt set that would all be perfect for a crisp autumn day — and all stunning choices for your Thanksgiving dinner outfit.
The See It Through Floral Maxi Dress from Free People is my perfect kind of maxi dress. It’s flowy and lightweight in the body but has slimmer arms to offset all that fabric. There was enough room in the chest without it being too much, and it comes with a dark slip underneath for full coverage. My true size was perfect.
I love how romantic this dress feels. The Rows of Roses Long-Sleeve Maxi Dress is slightly oversized, in the best of ways (like only Free People can do). It has billowing arms that come down to fitted wrists, plus an asymmetrical bottom hem that adds the coolest dimension. This dress is also partially lined with a short slip underneath which I always appreciate in flowy dresses.
This 100% cotton dress is a pleasant surprise. It has a linen-like feel but is thicker and extremely well made. Even though this Smell The Roses Shirtdress is a mini length, the substantial fabric makes you feel well covered and with no worries of a wardrobe malfunction (I don’t even think the wind would lift the bottom up). The sleeves are extra-long, which, as someone who’s taller and lengthy, I SO appreciate.
I originally hesitated to add the Rosemary Sweater Set to my cart, especially since there had been no model images added when I first found it, but it turns out to be one of my favorites of the entire try-on. The set is incredibly soft and comfortable, and both the top and bottom fit just how I want (which can be hard since my top and my bottom are different sizes) — the stretchiness of the material helps.
This is exactly the type of thing I need living in a place that has warm fall weather — I can still feel cozy and get my sweater fix while having lots of room for breezy comfort. This might actually be what I wear for Thanksgiving!
This Fall’s Must-Haves: On-Trend Jackets & Coats
Jackets are my downfall. I would have closets upon closets of just jackets if I let go of all self-control, and Free People is probably the brand I own the most of.
I love the idea of a “car coat,” but I didn’t think I’d personally love the darker denim — it’s just not a color I naturally gravitate toward. However, Free People’s Denim Car Coat is 100% cotton and so bizarrely comfortable and soft, it was an instantaneous kind of love. The jacket is heavier than expected and almost plush feeling (if denim could be plush), with long arms, a double closure and great pocket space.
The jacket is oversized, just how I like it, but you could size down if wanting something more fitted.
I originally thought this was the same coat as the Denim Car Coat, and while there are some near duplicate features (the buttons and flap design on the back), the Solid Highlands Swing Coat is definitely different. This shape is wider, with more dramatic collars, with pockets that come to a slant. The wrist cuffs cinch up in a fabulous way, and the color had me feeling like some sort of English princess (there is a neutral option too).
Definitely oversized, but you could size down (but you know I love how dramatic and big this is).
I have always loved the idea of a green utility jacket for fall, but everything I’ve tried has been too fitted, rigid, and stuffy. THIS Madison City Twill Jacket is my perfect fall coat. It’s oversized and feels like it’s already lived in, as if you just pulled it from your grandpa’s or husband’s closet.
Overall it’s not heavy, but because it runs large it wraps around your body like a warm hug that will be just right as the temps dip. There are also cool little side slits at the waist, and the jacket falls a tiny bit longer in the back to make the whole thing feel totally unique.
I actually grabbed the Madison City Twill Jacket in two washes to try out: the green utility one from above and this blue denim. This blue wash is soft, like a lived-in shacket more so than a classic rigid denim jacket. I love the dark contrasting buttons, and you can see in this photo how that back hem falls just slightly lower in the coolest of ways.
This Wild Rose Faux-Leather Bomber Jacket reminded me of so many designer jackets I saw on this year’s fall fashion runways. The silhouettes of jackets overall keep trending toward oversized, and I love how this brown color gives it a touch of vintage feels. I sized up from my normal Free People size (medium) and grabbed a large to have it drape as if I stole it from the boys.
For Pumpkin Spice SZN: Cozy Sweaters & Tops
It’s not fall and winter without a few good cozy sweaters (or, hello, a warm flannel!)! I added this striped, cropped sweater to my cart the moment I saw it, but took a second look and found a handful of unique options that are all cozy-by-the-fireplace-worthy.
OK, friends, this Coraline Balloon-Sleeve Thermal is incredibly well made. The cuffs are sweatshirt-soft and hug your wrist in the coziest of ways (or more so, hugs your hands because the sleeves are the perfect amount of long without engulfing you). The waffle material is thicker and cozier than most, and the jagged edge hem makes this a notch above the rest when it comes to thermal tops!
I’m a sucker for a striped sweater, and this Easy Street Striped Crop Sweater is no exception (plus, it’s a better price point than most others I’ve found). The longer sleeves balance out the shorter length of the body in a really pleasing way, and the sweater is cozy while not suffocating. I’ve owned the regular Free People Easy Street Tunic (that’s not cropped) for years, and it washes + wears incredibly well.
This is also the Easy Street Crop Pullover as above but without the stripes if that’s not your thing. While these barrel jeans sit rather low on me (I have them hiked up as much as possible here), this sweater would be phenomenal with proper high-waisted jeans for fall and winter.
The sweater that’s as cozy as it is unique and stylish, the Orion A-Line Tunic Sweater is so good. The neckline is deep enough to wear slightly off the shoulders, but just as cute and comfortable worn up. The sweater is long enough to cover your bum in leggings, with a really cool asymmetrical slant that falls deeper in the back. But the contrasting rib fabric at the sleeves is probably my favorite part of all.
This sweater easily gets a 10/10 for looks, but I will warn you that the material on Free People’s Longline Cardigan isn’t the softest I’ve ever felt. My skin definitely didn’t mind it, especially with a shirt or layer underneath, but I could see sensitive skin types being turned off by the wool feel. Regardless, this sweater is stinkin’ cute. It has an inner and outer closure much like your favorite robe, with a long enough length to be worn with leggings, layered open over another top, or simply tied up as I have it here.
I eyed up this Izzy Buffalo Check Flannel shirt weeks ago when Free People highlighted it in its pre-fall collection, and I was so excited to see that Nordstrom picked up a few colors. It’s the perfect flannel for fall. It’s long enough to cover your booty, has extra-long sleeves, and the oversized pockets in the front make this flannel stand out from the rest (exactly what Free People is good at). It’s light and soft enough to be worn alone but great worn open as a light layer. Psst, it can even be easily tucked in for a more fitted, preppy look.
Bonus End-Of-Summer Faves: Adorable Denim Overalls & 2 Easy Tops
While the majority of the pieces I wanted to try on were very fall-esque, there were a few pieces I couldn’t help adding to my cart that felt very appropriate for now, at the end of summer (and yet could easily melt into the next season ahead).
A denim jumpsuit can be easily styled for any season, and Free People knows just how to make a unique, eye-catching one-piece. The long row of front buttons mixed with the back ties on the Fields of Flowers Wide-Leg Denim Overalls were enough to make me swoon, but the best part is that it actually fits so well.
Free People’s Ruffle Cotton Top is ultra-romantic and flirty. With the sheer fabric and the low dipping neckline, the breezy silhouette is balanced with more-fitted arms. I love all the lace, and while I just have a regular bra on here, I think this would be fantastic with a lace bralette peeking out around the low collar.
The sweetest, softest and well-made T-shirt to pair with bike shorts now and jeans later as the temps cool. I’m obsessed with the exaggerated sleeves, reaching down past my elbow, and the delicate ribbed hems. The You & Me Cotton Top is the perfect balance of being lightweight yet not too thin or sheer. It’s cozy and soft while not at all overheating. It is oversized, so you could easily size down.
What To Skip: These Wide-Leg Denim Pants (They Can’t All Be Winners)
I wanted to love these trousers so much but I was literally swimming in them.
I’m wearing a medium in the Cool Harbor Wide-Leg Denim pants and had to hold them up so they didn’t slide right off my body. And even if sizing down to a small or extra-small worked in the waist, I fear I would lose too much length. The idea of these pants is stellar, in my opinion. Perhaps if you had hips (I have zero) or are shorter than me, these would be a hit (but even still, SIZE DOWN).
Well, this was mighty successful. I’m ready to whip out my cider candles now.
Let’s be friends on Instagram! Sharing life from a California beach town, daily style & beauty faves, and never-ending Gilmore Girl binge-athons — all with a good dose of adorable toddler content too.