Summer has officially commenced. The fashion set is jetting off to new destinations both near and far, and you can bet that they're packing a stylish wardrobe. Paying for the actual "travel" part of a vacation is expensive enough, so it makes sense that many fashion people are turning to more affordable retailers for on-trend looks during their trips. What's one spot that's been bubbling up in all of my conversations? Free Assembly. The brand boasts mega-cute pieces without the cringe-worthy price tag. Fashion editor Judith Jones and content creator Ellen Kim ran me through the pieces they're loving from the latest summer collection (including a $26 crochet polo that both of them are raving about), and I'm all in. Keep scrolling to shop six looks that you'll be folding into your suitcase in no time.
"I'm a big fan of a polo silhouette. It inherently adds a preppy polish to any look. This one in a cool crochet fabric is perfect for summer and will undoubtedly keep me cool in the sweltering heat. I've styled it with ivory denim shorts, a black belt, and cushy flatforms for a casual-chic look I could wear literally anywhere on vacation—ideal for a day of exploring or chilling al fresco at a restaurant. I love how comfortable and breathable the crochet polo is. It's a chic option to wear with denim shorts instead of reaching for a basic tee."
"It's not summer without a little white dress, and this pretty smocked one is the perfect midi silhouette that can be easily dressed up or down. I styled mine with neutral kitten-heel mules and a basket bag—an ideal look for an aperitif on a coastal getaway. I'd easily wear this for a day of exploring, too. I'd just swap out the heels for flat sandals. I love the charming details of this dress: the subtle ruched straps and delicate bow. And I always appreciate a dress with pockets that add a casual-cool vibe. I'm really impressed with the quality of the crisp, white cotton fabric. It's not at all see-through and has a really nice shape."
"When you don't have time to think about your outfit, a jumpsuit is always a winner. I love the cute bow detail of this lightweight striped jumpsuit. It's easy to wear with heels, sandals, and sneakers. The addition of a crisp white blazer adds a polished touch and will take this piece into the evening with ease."
"This flowy, easy dress is great for any occasion from beach adventures to a day of shopping with my family. The best part? It's lightweight and so easy to pack for traveling. I styled it with easy heels and a straw bag that feels super summery. You can even throw on a blazer for a cool date-night look."
"I've always been a neutral person, but right now, I'm actually reaching for brighter colors and fun prints. I'm surprising myself, but I love it! When styling this look, I wanted to keep it simple with neutral heels and a tan bag to really let the fun stripes of the dress pop. The belt adds an extra element that makes it feel even more unique. I'll definitely be throwing this on for brunches on vacation (and in my own city)."
"I love styling darker shorts with lighter pieces like this white polo top for a cool contrast moment. I'd wear this look to hang out with friends, catch a baseball game, or tour a new city! It's really easy to wear. The crochet fabric of the shirt feels so on-trend for the summer, making the outfit look super elevated (and way more expensive than it actually is)."