Comfy, ethical fall style with Free Label
This fall, I wanted to solve for a problem I too often have when it comes to the cooler seasons: I have beautiful tanks and tees, but very few quality long-sleeved tops that are comfy and breathable. I’ll go a half a day in a long-sleeved shirt and then feels like it’s strangling my arms or that I’m too hot! So I made up my mind to find a top that would be like wearing the comfiest pyjamas to work—and like a little ray of brightness and joy when the days get shorter and duller.
Free Label’s new collection answered all of that! The founder, Jess, has chosen super warm and rich colours that remind me of the 1970s and 1990s all at once, which is exactly where the fashion world is right now—and good thing, because it mixes so well with vintage items!!
My goal is always to find pieces that mix well with my vintage or secondhand garments.
I first heard of the local Canadian brand Free Label through Instagram – and I immediately started following along and waiting patiently for the day when I would make my first purchase.
About a year later, Jess (the founder of Free Label) and I began working together! I bought a pair of her Tencel Reese Wrap Pants, and tested out some of her athletic/yoga wear (check out that blog post here, with a Q&A on the brand)!
For early fall, I’m styling her Duggan Long-Sleeve and Reese Wrap Pants (hemmed by me for a cropped fit!) – and showing you how these two pieces can take you through the pumpkin patch, a weekend at the coffee shop, camping, or the city.
(P.S. keep scrolling to the end for a Q&A behind the scenes on what goes into producing this shirt!)
The two pieces
Reese Wrap Pant, Black Tencel
These pants are made from a gorgeous midweight Tencel that’s OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified. It’s flowy but substantial enough for cooler months, great for if you want something natural and comfy without the kind of wrinkling you get with linen! My pants hit right to my ankle (I’m 5’5”), which was okay but I felt they’d be more flattering at a cropped hem for my build, so I cut off a couple inches and love the easy drape of them now! See below for the before & after.
Duggan Long Sleeve, Golden
I was so excited to see this golden gem in Jess’s new collection. Its curved, longer hem is beautiful for wearing casually with leggings or knotting with high-waisted jeans. I’m not going to spoil too much here, so scroll down to the end to read about the Duggan in Jess’s own words!
Look 1 // Activewear
Look 2 // Effortlessly put-together
Who says you need to follow any sort of fashion rules? I’ve French tucked this shirttail hem and left the back loose, giving a casual, carefree look that looks polished by adding a pair of nude heels.
Paired with //
- Vintage Levi’s jacket
- Levi’s 501 jeans
- Old heels
Look 3 // At the pumpkin patch
Look 4 & 5 // Work-Week wear
By happy accident, I discovered that if you grab both the front and the back long hem of this top, you can tie them together at the side of your hip and it looks so cute! Makes it easy to wear with high-waisted pants without fussing about tucking a long hem in.
Paired with //
What fun this one is! The Duggan is easy to tuck into a skirt, and it pairs so well with navy blue. This office-ready look is probably my favourite of all of them!
Paired with //
- Vintage navy blazer
- Meemoza skirt
- Vintage woven block heels
Look 6 // Simple & classic
Look 7 // Road Trip Vibes
Look 8 // At-home casual
Not a high-waisted pants person? This’ll be more your vibe. Untucked with wide leg pants, the Duggan transforms into something completely different. Here, it makes me feel like an artist by the coast with a garden full of wildflowers. Yes, please.
Paired with //
- Vintage wide leg jeans
- The Lei slides
(and read on for my Q&A with Jess!)
Behind Free Label’s Duggan Long Sleeve
A Q&A with founder, Jess Sternberg
Q // When did you first launch the Duggan Long sleeve, and do you see it as a core piece for Free Label?
A // I first launched the Duggan for Fall 2017 – it’s really stood the test of time! I would say it’s a core piece for Free Label, but I’m always open to revamping fits and fabrics based on customer feedback. I can’t say it will be around forever – or even next season – but it’s certainly a staple in my closet and I hope to keep making it as long as others love it too.
Q // It has a really distinctive hemline. Talk to me about the design process in perfecting that.
A // I love the hem of our Jaimee Tee and wanted something equally interesting and flattering – but a little easier to wear with a multitude of pants. We took the Jaimee hem, softened it, and adapted it to a boxier, flowier silhouette.
Q // Tell me a little bit about the fabric choice and where it’s sourced from.
A // We use Supima Cotton in all of our tops right now. I used to use a blend of bamboo and organic cotton, but after lots of testing and a really great pitch from my Toronto fabric mill, we landed on Supima Cotton. It’s grown in the USA, which means we can trace our product back to the raw materials. And Supima Cotton is incredibly durable as its an extra long staple fiber. It lasts for a long time and gets softer with every wash – once you go Supima you can’t go back!
Q // What’s your favourite way to style the Duggan?
A // I’m most often caught rocking the Duggan over leggings and under cardigans during the colder months. But I also love to knot the front, pull the neckline over the shoulder, and pair with high rise denim and sandals for Spring and Fall. It really is the piece I grab for an extra layer throughout the year.
This post has been sponsored by Free Label. All opinions are my own!