This Free People Set Is My Go-To Summer Vacation Outfit

Free People Donnie Short Set
POPSUGAR Photography | Alida Araica
POPSUGAR Photography | Alida Araica
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One of my favorite things about going on vacation is planning my outfits (and yes, I do search for city-specific outfit inspiration on Pinterest). What I don't love is then having to cut down my clothing options so they fit in a single carry-on bag. When you have limited space in your suitcase, there's no room to bring pieces you aren't sure about. Every 'fit has to work — and that's when a matching set can come in handy. Co-ords automatically look good together, and can help take the stress out of packing by guaranteeing there's no space wasted on clothing items you're uncertain about.

So when I was packing for an upcoming trip, I wanted to reach for the sets I already had in my closet. But most of the ones I owned were on the casual side — which is why Free People's Donnie Short Set ($78) caught my eye when I was browsing the brand's site. The two pieces — a flowy baby doll top with puff sleeves and matching bottoms — were stylish and on-trend, but also looked like something I could easily dress up or down depending on the occasion.

Having worn the set a few times before my trip, I'm sharing my honest thoughts on Free People's Donnie Short Set — and why it may be worth adding to your summer outfit lineup, too.

What I Like About the Free People Donnie Short Set

When it comes to summer and travel-friendly clothes, I always look for cotton or linen fabrics that'll keep me cool on hot days — and the Donnie Short Set immediately got some points when I saw it was made of cotton. It feels lightweight and breezy on, but isn't thin or see-through like other cotton sets I've tried before. The two pieces also have some stretch in the bust and waistband of the shorts that make them comfortable for all-day wear, which is important if you're doing a lot of walking, sitting, or indulging (I'd planned on doing all three).

Another thing I like about this Free People set is how effortlessly chic it is. The baby doll top's almost empire waistline, puff sleeves, and bow-tie back instantly make me feel like I'm in my regencycore era, à la "Bridgerton" — but the matching shorts bring the look back to the 21st century.

Finally, for my trip, I loved how easy it was to dress the cotton set up or down. I could easily style it with a pair of wedges and a statement bag or dress it down with a pair of sneakers. Another plus was that each item made for a great basic on its own. I could get away with wearing the summer whites together or separately with other pieces in my closet. The versatility of this set is ultimately what really won me over — and for that reason, I have no doubt that I'll be wearing this on repeat both at home and on vacation.

Free People Donnie Short Set Tie Back
POPSUGAR Photography | Alida Araica

What to Know Before Buying the Free People Donnie Short Set

I like how both pieces fit, but did decide to size down in this set because it's flowy and has a good amount of stretch. I'm between sizes — medium and large — and found the top and bottom to be pretty roomy even after I went down to a medium. I will also note that it's tricky to wear a bra with this shirt if you don't want it to show through the cutout. I got around this with a sticky bra, but it's something to keep in mind if you're thinking of buying the set.

Who the Free People Donnie Short Set Is Best For

This matching set is best for anyone who is looking for a comfortable and stylish outfit for summer. The two pieces are very easy to mix and match with other basics — so they'd also work great for anyone looking to expand their summer wardrobe.

Additional Details About the Free People Donnie Short Set

  • The Donnie Short Set is made of 100 percent cotton.
  • The set comes in 3 colors — Barbados Cherry, Optic White, and Brownie.
  • It is available in sizes XS-XL.

Where Is the Donnie Short Set Available to Shop?

The Donnie Short Set is available to shop exclusively at Free People.



Alida Araica is a newsletter manager at POPSUGAR, where she oversees and executes editorial and client email strategy and production. Occasionally, she lends her expertise to writing product reviews. Alida has over five years of marketing experience in digital media.