Finding great denim is like finding gold. We gravitate toward denim when we want to be “comfortable,” but for me really great denim is when comfort is effortlessly weaved with an incredible fit and fashionable all at the same time. May I introduce…Madewell. Some words Madewell uses to describe their style on its website are EFFORTLESS, SEXY, COOL, TOMBOY, ARTFUL, AND UNEXPECTED, and I couldn’t agree more. But first, let’s go back to the beginning with my first experience at Madewell.
I stumbled upon Madewell about a year ago when I found out that it’s owned by J. Crew, another favorite store of mine. I usually can’t afford the steep prices at J. Crew unless I comb through the sale rack, but I had heard the price point at Madewell was a little better so I decided to give it a try. I went online to scope out the clothes beforehand and noticed from the website that denim is definitely the focal point of the store. The site claims to “really know denim” so I figured it would be best to start there. My first time inside an actual Madewell store I didn’t much like the jeans, although I also didn’t actually try them on either. I picked up a few pairs, noticed that they were high-rise and for some reason decided they weren’t for me. They don’t “really know denim” I remember saying to myself.
A few months later I spotted a woman about my age wearing the most amazingly fitting jeans and I couldn’t stop looking at her outfit. When I really like what someone is wearing I have no problem stalking her to find out where she got whatever is catching my eye. I approached the nice woman and said, “I just love your jeans…where did you get them?” She beamed back at me and replied, “Madewell! I just looooove them…they’re so comfortable and I love that I never have to pull them up. They stay put.” Ok, so clearly I had to give Madewell another chance. And, I needed to actually try the jeans on this time.
Next visit to Madewell was total jackpot. I tried on almost all the different styles and cuts and loved literally every single pair. Then I was stuck having to make a decision on which pair I was going to buy. The price point for Madewell jeans range from $75 to approximately $135 so I only wanted to get one pair. I narrowed it down to three of my favorite styles – number one was the skinny fit, 10 inch rise, medium colored denim; number two was a light wash, 11 inch rise distressed boyfriend fit, and number three was a 10 inch rise skinny, perfect shade of almost faded (but not totally faded) black ankle jean…quite honestly the most perfect shade of black. They were all such different styles and fits I really struggled on choosing my favorite, but the stylist who helped me was awesome. She talked me into the black pair of jeans giving the argument that the shade of black was really unique and that I probably didn’t have anything like that in my wardrobe. She also told me the ankle fit was amazing with booties and it was bootie season; she said that your booties really shine with an ankle fit jean, and they’re great too for sandals, flip flops, and knee high boots too (as they don’t bunch at the ankle). Say no more, as you know from a previous post booties are kind of my thing so I was sold!
Curvy High-Rise Jean
I walked out with my very first pair of Madewell jeans, and I still wear this pair of denim constantly and every time I do, I get compliments. My 14 year old daughter also likes to wear this pair of jeans of mine and I’m always telling her to be careful when she borrows them. They have become a staple my wardrobe. Since that first pair of jeans, I have eventually bought other pairs, and fortunately my family and friends have caught on to my love of Madewell and I typically receive gift cards to the store on holidays. I now have a distressed boyfriend jean, which I wore on repeat all summer long, and a dark wash skinny fit that literally fits like a glove. It’s their best selling jean and for good reason. I have pretty much tossed out all my old jeans…I just don’t wear them anymore. They’re not as flattering or comfortable as my Madewell denim.
So, now onto what makes Madewell jeans so…made well. I know because after loving this store for a couple years now I actually have asked the stylists in store. What is it about these jeans that makes the fit so incredible!?! It’s the pockets, people. Of course the denim is high quality, has just the right amount of stretch, and three different rise options (all extremely flattering), but really the detail that takes their denim to the next level is the placement and size of the back pockets. And, what’s even more incredible is that their denim looks good on all different shapes and sizes…and their website proves it by showcasing each pair of jeans on three very different body types (tall and slim, average height and curvy, and plus size). Madewell was on the first retailers to truly honor the beauty in all shapes and sizes, and they do it so…well! I have a lot of respect for the company just for this alone. Very few women are 5’11’’ and 120 pounds so constantly seeing the clothes we want to buy one models this size is very frustrating and discouraging. Another way they tailor to all women is by offering three different lengths – petite, regular, and tall. Essentially, no matter how short or tall you are, or how thin or curvy you are, you will find denim that will be insanely comfortable and insanely flattering at Madewell.
I have successfully converted most of my friends. After trying on a few pairs, they all purchased and sent me follow up text messages raving about how they can’t believe how much they love these jeans. Aside from denim, they also have great tops and tees, sweaters and shoes. A cult favorite is the Harper mule, which sold out company wide and at other retailers that see Madewell (like Nordstrom) as well. This year I was sure to buy the mules the first time Madewell had store-wide discount of 30% off. Madewell also carries adorable, artsy jewelry that is very reasonably priced and of nice quality.
Another Madewell perk…if you’re a college student or a teacher/counselor/administrator, you get 15% each time you shop at Madewell. This ends up being a pretty nice discount in the end and it’s definitely nice to take advantage of if you’re a student or in the teaching profession.
I hope this was a strong persuasive argument to lure you into a Madewell store very soon…you definitely won’t regret it. And, I love to hear about your experience and which jeans you love. I always like to share my great fashion finds because I know how wonderful I feel when I look good in what I’m wearing and feel stylish and comfortable without being in a pair of sweatpants or leggings. Madewell really captures that sweet spot. Happy shopping folks. Hope it goes…well.