Budget Clothing Pieces You’ll Love Wearing

Whilst many of us were still wearing joggers with a top every day. In the launch release, Walmart SVP Denise Incandela described Free Assembly as, “a modern fashion brand that offers elevated style essentials at an incredible value.”

As much as I’d like to say, “we’ve heard that one before,” I have to admit that Free Assembly is rising to the challenge — even now in 2022, two years after the launch. Here’s what I like about this Walmart fashion brand in a nutshell: The styles are classic with a hint of trendy, the price points are low, and most of the reviews are very positive.

The reviews overall indicate that only a proportionally small number of garments missed the mark with shoppers. Poor fit was the most common complaint I came across, and that’s not terribly surprising. Budget brands often have trouble producing pieces that consistently fit well.

What does surprise me is how many Free Assembly pieces I want to buy. Nine of my favorites from the fall 2022 collection are below, along with tips on how I’d wear them.

1. Barn jacket

For $37, this pretty patterned denim jacket is a refreshing change of pace from the usual darker fall tones. It also fits right in with the oversized shirt trend that’s hanging around this season. You can layer Free Assembly’s medium-weight denim jacket over any casual-to-mid-range outfit for instant style.

Shoppers love this piece, rating it 4.4 out of 5 stars.

2. Belted cardigan

Here’s how you breathe new life into a wardrobe staple like the cardigan. Block out some colors and add a belt and collar. Now your cardigan is a sexy warm-weather piece that wears well over skinny pants and pencil skirts.

The sizes on the Free Assembly belted cardigan in this color palette are selling quick, so you’ll have to act fast. Alternatively, you can grab the same style in red. Both are priced at $26.

3. Utility dress

The fatigue jacket has quietly become a fall fashion staple over the last several years. Free Assembly takes the trend to the next level by turning it into a dress.

Wear this utility dress by itself in fall’s early days. As the weather turns colder, feel free to transition the dress into outerwear. Use it as a light jacket over any casual outfit if you are dating, with the belt or without. You cannot beat that versatility for the friendly price tag of $36.

4. Midi sweater dress

Fall is the season to wear sweater dresses. And Free Assembly’s midi sweater dress is a standout choice. The fit-and-flare shape is so flattering and the red pops beautifully against the white pattern.

Add a blazer and kitten heels to make this a work dress. Or reach for heeled sandals and put your hair up for date night.

5. Puffer jacket

A machine-washable puffer jacket made of recycled material in a rich navy hue for $50? Yes! I’m amazed I don’t see more women wearing the Free Assembly puffer around town. Maybe as the weather cools, this cost-efficient coat will start popping up everywhere.

If you don’t like navy, this style is also available in black, red, green, camel, and off-white.

6.  Blouson top

I’m always on the lookout for cute tops that don’t require much effort. Free Assembly’s blouson top in optic white fits right into that category, thanks to the pleats at the neck and the pretty eyelets on the sleeves. The top contrasts beautifully with denim, but will also wear nicely over gray or green crop pants (or skirts) for work.

The blouson top is on sale for $11 right now, but sizes are selling fast.

7. Crew neck top

This pink crew neck with pleated sleeves is more upscale than a t-shirt, but just as easy. Slip it on over jeans for a polished casual-day outfit. Sneakers will do if you’re running errands. Or, reach for your best ankle boots to dress things up.

The puffy sleeves on this top don’t work well with outer layers — but you could wear a fitted long-sleeved top underneath for extra warmth.

8. Cargo pants

Tired of jeans? An olive green cargo pant is just as versatile. Put Free Assembly cargo pants on with any top you usually team with jeans and it’s sure to be a hit. Boots and heels look divine with this pant style, but you could also don flats or sneakers. Add a pretty bracelet for softness if the pants feel too “military.”

9. Cropped jeans

Add some flair to your denim look with Free Assembly’s high-rise, relaxed fit jeans. They blend comfort and style beautifully.

When building these jeans into an outfit, plan on balancing out the wider leg with a fitted top. You might also add a contrasting belt to define your waist.

How to try Free Assembly fashion

Walmart may not be your top pick for fashion retailers, but the Free Assembly line up holds its own. (Walmart’s Eloquii Elements plus-size line and Scoop are also worth checking out.) To try out Free Assembly, lean into the pieces that have ratings of 4 stars or higher. And avoid final clearance and nonreturnable items — at least until you have a sense of how the Free Assembly sizes fit you.

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Freddie Scott
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