Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Free Yourself With Summer Pullovers

Moonlight Breeze TunicIf you're looking to get an edge on summer even with cooler spring mornings and evenings, it's easy enough to do with any number of pullovers. But don't think of them as bulky, shapeless styles that sometimes characterize pullovers in the fall.

Spring represents a free and fresher look, with styles you can wear well into the summer — even if it's simply to give your skin a break from the sun for a few hours. Or, if you prefer, throw them over anything to completely change the look.

Free People rekindles the appeal of a fashionable pullover.

One of the designs recently arriving from Free People features a sheer mesh tunic with crochet-pattern stripes, creating a lace-like look. In addition to short slips on the bottom side, the pattern breaks to create a more contemporary and sensual appeal.

The Moonlight Breeze tunic (above) is a specialized complex blend, 60 percent cotton, 35 nylon, and 5 percent Spandex. The ivory white makes it perfect for beachwear, but black completely changes the look for a deeper more urban style. The same happens with two other colors. Deep plumb creates a folksy look; taupe make everything look more prep.

Two more styles that will turn a few heads anywhere.

Embroidered Flora PulloverThe tunic isn't the the sole worthwhile design. The Embroidered Flora pullover with its long bell sleeves and v-neck cut can be worn without anything underneath. It comes with a hood, but consider that added feature form over function. It works when it's down; not so much when it's up.

The Embroidered Flora pullover is 100 percent cotton. The embroidered design carries over to the back, helping to break the recent surge of "half panel" designs flooding the T markets. (Full pattern fronts that break at the seam, well, they suck.) The pullover comes in two colors — dramatic red and a more conservative white.

ona Pointelle PonchoWhile not as sophisticated as the tunic or as earthy as the pullover, Free People also included a feminine poncho in the mix. What makes the Kona Pointelle poncho work is the pointelle insert. The knit pattern breaks heavily on the shoulders and then around the outside edge.

The blend is 57 percent cotton, 32 percent silk, and 11 percent rayon, making it much softer than how you might imagine a poncho would feel. Take care, however. Unlike the other two pullovers from Free People, the apparel is dry clean only. And from a design standpoint, while comfortable, there's a little less attraction appeal compared to the other two.

A unique connection to some other great design boutiques.

Free PeopleSome people know the story of a young man named Dick Hayne who planted a seed in West Philadelphia. He opened a store called Free People, which focused exclusively on younger people who wanted more freedom in their clothes. You know the store today as Urban Outfitters.

Obviously, that is only part of the story. Hayne and his wife, Meg, went on to open stores like Bulldog, Ecote, Cooperative, and Anthropologie. Then in 1984, the couple decided to breathe new life into the name that started it all, creating designs for department stores and specialty stores until Free People came full circle and opened its first boutique almost ten years ago.

The Summer Pullovers By Free People Cover A 6.7 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

Since Free People first opened an online storefront in 2004, it has made considerable improvements to the presentation. Not only does the store feel right for the look, but the boutique sometimes includes short-clip videos of on-location fashion shoots, which gives you a better sense of the clothes.

Free People has about 45 new designs for the spring-to-summer break, including accessories and handbags. For the newest Free People collection, visit Bloomingdales. Free People also recently added its first line of swimwear.
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