The back cover of the March Free People catalog featured The Ugliest Shoes Ever Conceived. Viewing those shoes was such a traumatizing experience, we delayed actually looking inside the pages, should worse monstrosities lurk there. Guess what? They do!
The $168 "Bright Side" dress tries to trick you into thinking it is springy and yellow, when what it really is is short, chartreuse and partly sheer. A frightening combination.
Almost every skirt or dress in this catalog is crotch-grazingly short. This "Ruffled Layers" skirt is obviously no exception. The good news is, it has a name that makes sense, unlike the "My Fair Lady" jacket ($138), which Audrey Hepburn would never ever wear.
Oh, look: The "Floral Slouch Clog," aka The Ugliest Shoe Ever Conceived™ in its natural habitat! Actually, the design seems clear to me now, and it's perfect for pseudo-hippies: The boot goes up high to protect crunchy young ladies from briars and poison ivy as they trudge through the brush to Woodstock-esque outdoor concerts; the toes are open to show off a pedicure. She may be a Deadhead, but she loves her Essie polish! Other theory: The height of the boot means less leg-shaving.
One thing Free People excels at is creating Garments That Must Be Worn With Another Similar Garment (GTMBWWASG). I'm not talking about pants that must be worn with a shirt. I mean pants that need pants under them, or shirts that need shirts under them. For instance: You can't just wear this $88 "Merrie Gossamer Slip." You need the right kind of bra/camisole, as this model demonstrates. It is so sheer! The $68 "Trojan Horse Belt" is optional, but if you want to look like a faery who travels by Pegasus, you should probably get it.
This is a classic case of GTMBWWASG. The "Kaleidoscope Tunic" opens to the waist and covers one-eighth of the thigh. You can't just grab it and run out of the house, you need an additional layer. Pretty colors, though.
I'm not going to go on a rant about the infantilization of women but come on. This is a $108 romper with a flounced hem. In other words: Baby clothes. Also: GTMBWWASG! The top, anyway.
She's a model, so her legs are long, but the question must be asked: How is this navy item categorized as a "dress"? I've seen mini-dresses. I know mini-dresses. This is a shirt. Also: GTMBWWASG. And hideous, hideous shoes.
"Hey, so, um, I know it looks like we've got no money, but my jeans were $128; her tunic is $98; these shoes are $98 and her shoes are $288. The point is, we have money. Just not enough for the bus. Got a quarter?"
These people are obviously dressed for a very special occasion. But which?
1. Hair party in Central Park
2. Stevie Nicks night at the karaoke bar
3. Duh, they are the bride and bride in a same-sex wedding!
Romper: $98. Fishnet bandeau underneath: $20. Hat: $288. Necklace: $98. Cuff: $24. Boots: $358.
An $886 outfit that looks like crap? Priceless!
Free People [Official Site]
March Madness At J. Peterman: Choose Your Own (Artsy) Adventure
March Anthropologie: A Lush, Tropical Dream With Nightmarish Shoes
February At Free People: Faux Flower Child Fashion Costs A Pretty Penny
J. Crew: Socks & Sensibilities
Barbie Collector: Dolls No Girl Should Ever Play With
Love Don't Cost A Thing: Valentine's Day At Dean & Deluca
Anthropologie: When You Long To Be A French Gamine
January At J. Crew: Sequin Shorts, Shitty Shoes & Other Insanities