I’ve been a longtime fan of Madewell jeans. They’ve carried me strongly through my 4-year career here at The Mom Edit and rarely let me down. But, for as many times as I’ve gone in the store and found jeans I loved, I never leave feeling like any of the other clothes are flattering on me.

Realization: I love the vibe of Madewell, but not the actual pieces. Doh.

Madewell — Is It You, Me Or The Clothes?

The styling, the website, the merchandising, the colors, the vibe are good. But I think the clothes are made for people with either longer torsos or longer legs — or maybe they don’t have enough black in the store? I DON’T KNOW, but I’m coming to terms with this and the fact that most of their clothes make me feel awful. Is it just me?

I think it’s confusing because I do love their jeans so much… or I have in the past. I wore their amazing, faded black high-rise skinny jeans for years and never wavered. Even with all the other jeans I tried on, those would be the pair I reached for daily. But now, those linger in the bottom of my stack of black jeans. A love affair lost. The end of an era!

I ventured back into my previously-beloved store after some time away to try again. To see if I was wrong. To see if the fire could be rekindled. Well, #spoileralert — it wasn’t. There were only a couple of gems, and the rest felt frumpy and wrong. But let’s take a look anyway, because that’s what we do here.

Pretty Midi Skirt & Cute Tee = 2 Items Worth Staying For

This was the find of the trip. If I didn’t have a similar skirt already at home, this would be mine! So cute, flattering, versatile and lovely. It’s pull-on and comfy, and though not a huge skirt person, I love it. TTS and a really solid choice. This tee is lightweight and amazing, too, and I’m quite picky about t-shirts.

Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?
Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?

skirt (4) / tee (s) / sneakers (same brand & on sale!)

A Cute Blouse, But Tight Sleeves. Meh.

This blouse is adorable. It’s silk and has just the right amount of femininity. But. While the rest of the top fits well, the sleeves are too tight. It’s a problem I’ve had before. I imagine sizing up might help, but I didn’t get the chance to this day in-store. There is a matching skirt, but it’s too ruffly for me. The jeans below are just…fine.

Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?

blouse (xs) / jeans (26)

Classic Madewell Tops & The Popular Roadtripper Jeans

I’ve been wanting to try the roadtripper jeans on again for a while. They only had the black in stock in store and I have to say, if you’re still needing a pair of black skinny jeans these are SO comfy. But I don’t love the solid black wash. I know Cam loves her roadtripper jeans and I can see why. So soft and stretchy and a solid choice. This top is cute, but they haven’t changed this style in many years, and it’s tough to tuck. But still, this outfit is one of the more ‘me’ combos. The v-neck tee below is a nice soft one and I like it just fine, but the sleeves are a little too long on me. See how the sleeves hit in the first white tee above? That’s what I prefer. It doesn’t squish my biceps. Maybe I have short shoulders? I’m just now realizing this is a thing, and I don’t know what to think about that. Haha.

Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?
Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?
Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?

Blouse (s) / tee (xs) / roadtripper jeans (26) / mules (similar)

The “Perfect Vintage Jeans” That Are Far From It

These were just fine. I’ve since tried these in white and like them better, but the wash on these and the frayed hem were just OK to me. They are comfy for sure and have that good fit that Madewell does well on their stretch jeans. But I can’t recommend them because the wash is meh. Again, the lovely shades and softness of this tee are great, but the sleeves — not so much, since now I know there are better out there, like the white at the top and my beloved James Perse tees.

Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?
Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?

perfect vintage jeans (27) / tee (s)

Garment-Dyed Jumpsuit

I loved this, but they only had an XS in store, and it was definitely a little small on me. The fabric on this is soft and has just enough stretch. In the right size this jumpsuit would be cute, but maybe risky in this color. I love the blue that it comes in, but that wasn’t in stock in many sizes in store. I mean. Am I putting these on the internet right now? #facepalm

Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?
Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?

jumpsuit (xs) / sneakers (same brand & on sale!)

The VOTE Tee I Wanted To Love

The design on this is so adorable! The fit, not so much. I like the shorter sleeves of the first white tee much better on me, as I’ve stated. Their v-neck tees run a little large, but I’d say this tee runs a bit small.

Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?

vote tee (xs) / perfect vintage jeans (27)

More Clothes That Were ‘Just OK’

These pieces were again ‘just fine,’ but not exciting in the way they fit. The sweatshirt is a lovely rust color, but just not quite the right fit on me. It’s a heavier weight like rugby shirts are made of and does come in ivory with black stripes, too. The shorts fit ok, but I like shorts a bit wider in the thigh to make them more comfortable to walk in. These have great stretch and I do like the wash, but still just eh…no. I think I would have liked to have tried these relaxed fit instead.

Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?

sweatshirt (s) / shorts (27)

Oy, These Pleated Pants

Haha. Ok. I loved the color and the idea of these pants…and then I tried them on, and well — welcome to the world of being short I guess? What the heck. No. Maybe this is just the nature of the pleated pant and I’ve forgotten that from the ’80s? Not for me. Who would want to highlight that area when walking?

Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?
Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?

tee (xs) / pants (27)

In Conclusion…

I honestly didn’t know I really had #RBF in me at all until Shana was dying laughing during the meeting about the photos from this visit. I’m a pretty smiley person. Not this day. Not after I moved on from the first outfit apparently. Does anyone else have this problem with Madewell?

We were talking about it during our team meeting and Shana realized she feels the same. I know lots of people love Madewell stuff and I thought I was one of you, but I’m not. It’s taken me a while to come to terms with this, but here we are.

For reference, here IS a jumpsuit I love from last year. It’s Madewell and it’s awesome. So maybe there’s hope for the future of Madewell and me, but time will tell. (It’s similar to this one that only has a few sizes left, oooh or this denim one is SO cute…)

Is it Madewell style we love or the actual clothes? We try on perfect vintage & roadtripper jeans + tops, skirts & spring outfits. Are we breaking up?

Shop These Madewell Clothes & Others That Look Cute Online…

I hope there are those of you out there who still adore this brand and that the outfits work for you. I really do! I think so much of what they offer is spot-on in style. I still haven’t pinpointed exactly what it is that doesn’t work for me, but it’s definitely there. I wanted to continue my love letter, but we’re definitely on a break, Madewell. Maybe we can pick up the pieces of our relationship next fall…

xo,

L

Hey, friends. Hop on over to follow me on Instagram @laurajansenstyle to see more of what I’m up to in Portland, Oregon. If you want to shop my current pieces I’m loving and wearing, head over to My Closet!

74 COMMENTS

  1. This article made me LOL. 1. Because I thought bloggers were forbidden from criticizing a brand. 2. Because you are so right. I call Madewell clothes 90% right. Unfortunately, the 10% often ruins the whole look. It is often the color. Why do they choose some of their colors? Often it is the fabric. Listen up Madewell texture often means itchy. But most often it is one little detail like an odd cut or added ruffle in an odd location. And rarely the sky will part and light will shine down on a perfect item at Madewell. I consider it Madewell miracle.

    • Haha well, leave it to me. And it’s weird because I’ve honestly been a big fan of Madewell for a long time, but I’m not sure who they’re designing for or maybe my store is picked over for sizes? But I think some cuts and fits are just a bit off. “Madewell miracle” is killing me and I’m so borrowing that haha.

  2. What’s wrong with the wash on the vintage jeans? I thought they looked amazing on you. I agree with you in general; jeans are good but otherwise the tops are often too short or sleeves too tight or something

    • I think you’re right they look ok here, but up close they look like a forced vintage wash and speckledy and odd :/ And yeah seems like fits are just off aren’t they?

  3. I thought I was the only one!!!! Madewell has just always been kind of MEH for me ( and I’m tall and fairly thin). Over the last year, I’ve come to realize that for me personally, I feel much more like ME when I’ve incorporated at least one actual vintage item into my daily look. I love my $30 vintage men’s Wranglers ( which BTW I get constant compliments from 20-somethings so that must be a good sign, right?) and $20 paint spattered military jacket. Short story- I’ve given Madewell the boot and replaced with Etsy and local thrifting. Maybe give that a try.

    • YES! My vintage wrangler and 501 jeans are my FAVS right now and they add a great bit of character to outfits, like you said. Thank you! Thanks so much for commenting!

    • Well, that’s the thing isn’t it, too? I believe some of the sizing is inconsistent, but also they didn’t have some items in the right sizes in store. Definitely could have on the jumpsuit and the blouse like I mentioned above. They keep it confusing haha.

  4. OMG this is why I LOVE you guys!!! You are not afraid to call a brand out when it falls short. These days fashion bloggers rave about every (sponsored) thing they can, so it’s impossible to tell if they even like what they’re wearing. And Laura it’s NOT you, it’s Madewell. I’m tall and nearly everything they sell seems “off” to me in some way, plus the color palate is always so blah. Move on–you’re better than Madewell. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. I’m both a huge fan of your style and madewell, but I haven’t liked much from the winter or spring season. It’s not just you.

  6. Haha your face in the bottom left picture — “I’m so over this shopping excursion, lol” honestly you always look great but in your Mexico pictures too you look super thin of late so if the clothes don’t fit you, think about 99% of Americans!? I do think that Madewell and J Crew constantly seems about cost cutting (isn’t J Crew always teetering on the edge of bankruptcy?) and lately it seems like they will use the crappiest rayon or synthetics that look like will pill in about 20 seconds. My other issue is that everything is so weirdly cropped of late too.

  7. PREACH! I often walk into the store with high hopes and leave feeling disappointed. Thanks for your honesty and humor. You are adorable, love your style!

  8. Yes! There was a time that I loved so much of what they offered but I’m just not into it anymore. It used to feel a lot more sophisticated and a little edgy… it’s really blah these days. Color, cut, and fabric choices all questionable. I do think the vintage straight jeans in petite are pretty great, but I wear my everlane jeans the most. Are we just moving away from big chain product? I don’t know.

  9. Girl, same! Love the jeans (and this one utility jacket I got several years ago) but the rest? Meh. The cuts are too short and body for me on most of the tops and I just don’t really like most of the other stuff. The I see Linz with her cute try on sessions and I’m all…maybe? But then I get there and it’s still nah. So for jeans- I’m still going to hit them up. Then I’m heading somewhere else.

  10. I also struggle with madewell. I waaant to love their jeans but get so frustrated with the sizing and the fairly consistent need to size down 2 sizes ?. Can’t jeans just be purchased in the size you are???. Even when I size down they seem to stretch out in an unflattering way.

    I agree with the james perse tee… hard to beat!

  11. I feel the same! I am also short. I love the jeans- but wish I had discovered Madewell a couple years ago when the jeans (per my understanding) were even better. The shirts all fit me weird. I hate drop shoulder anything because I have wide shoulders so the sweaters don’t look good on me. It all makes me very sad. Also, they don’t have enough black. I do love their aesthetic for sure but jeans and shorts may be all I can get from this much beloved store. And I’m glad you said it first.

  12. Yes to all of the above. I’d love to see a post on basic tees and tanks for summer. I see Madewell tanks and tees promoted by so many bloggers, but in my experience, they get holes easily and seem to lose their shape in the summer heat. Aside from the pricey James Perse tee, what are the affordable, quality basic tees on the market these days? Thanks for what you do.

  13. YES!!! Even those V-neck T’s that everyone seems to love hit too long on my shoulder…or something (but now that you’ve actually stated that, I think that’s what it is!). My biggest issue with Madewell are the colors – I look terrible in rust/gold/blush. I try, try, try every season, but all I end up liking are the jeans and a random pair of shoes. The website makes it look amazing and everyone I see on IG looks amazing…I just look I haven’t mastered colors or fit.

  14. I agree. I feel like I have too long of a torso for most of their tops. I love the style of clothes from madewell but the shirts I own from there make me feel blah most of the time. I also spent $100 on a dress for family photos and it gets wrinkled so easily.

  15. I totally agree with you about the vibe, the styling, the look of the stores, etc. It’s like I want to like Madewell, but I don’t. I’m tall and the clothes are not made for tall people. Maybe they’re made for medium people. The shirts are always too cropped on me – and I don’t mean the cute cropped look but actually showing belly. And someone mentioned scratchy – yes, so many fabrics there are scratchy!!

  16. Yes, I agree they are a mess with sizing. I own larges and smalls from them but more often things don’t work at all. They are impossible to purchase anything online for this very reason. And you must try everything on if you do go into the store.
    I always have felt they have really great style but put in no effort in terms of cut and consistency. Which is a bummer and makes shopping there a chore with not a ton of rewards.

  17. Agree. My 13 y/o daughter was actually the one to clue me in it telling me about Madewell “you like the style of clothes when you see them but not when you try them on- it’s not really your style- get over it”. Gotta appreciate the honesty. I feel like maybe he cuts are not good for my short torso?

  18. Yes!! Thank you! I thought it was just me. I haven’t tried in years and will likely never try again, but for years I’d think, oh that looks cool/cute only to try their stuff on and absolutely hate how it fit and looked! I actually always left the store irritated which is not an experience I’ve ever had elsewhere. I’m 6′ and slim for context.

  19. Thank you for sharing your honest opinion- and I completely agree. There is something just ill-fitting, boxy-ish, and off about the FIT of the clothing line. And, not entirely certain the quality-for-the-price is there (I would also echo that sentiment for JCrew which I also no longer purchase). Many items look very cute on the hanger but after several disappointments I completely avoid. Don’t have time for it. Bought two sweaters last year (same one- different colors) and followed wash directions precisely and they completely stretched out (the small became a medium to large overnight). Only items I have are the black roadtripper jeans (nice) and a handful of the tees. You stated it well- the vibe is good but the reality is not-so-much. Thank you for validating what I have come to experience over the past year!

  20. It’s definitely NOT you.  For the longest time I so wanted to love their clothes but every time I would try the latest line I always walked out empty handed  Or I would buy something that would eventually find its way to the bottom of the drawer and by year end was on it’s way to the Salvation Army.  I finally came to the conclusion, as much as it disappointed me, that Madewell is just not for me.  Just like you, I can’t really figure out why.  I’m 5’3″; 115 lb; 32A and everything always looks frumpy and blah…no wow factor.  Thank you for this article…it’s nice to know its just not me.

  21. Yes, yes, yes! You put into words what I’ve been feeling about Madewell for years but couldn’t quite put into words. My conclusion has been that my body type was not tall and straight enough. Thanks for making me feel less alone.

  22. I would describe Madewell more as hit or miss. The misses can be very bad. But I love their Emmett wide crops, and I have a hippy figure and am petite. They also sometimes have fantastic striped tees. I still have some from a few years ago that are my summer go-tos. I totally second, though, the refreshingness of seeing a post of this kind!

    • Agreed! The Emmett wide crops are so great! But very hit or miss for sure. I do agree too that things from a few years ago seem to be much higher quality than current stuff for sure.

  23. Madewell (along with it’s sister brand J. Crew) has been on a decline the past few years…quality and styles/selection just isn’t what it used to be. I remember first ordering from Madewell back in 2012 when it was online only and being so impressed by the quality.

  24. I blamed my post-baby body and sleep deprived lack of creative flair for my sudden halt in Madewell purchases. I too have noticed my once popular denim picks are now at the bottom of the closet jeans pile and the shirts are looking frumpy and lackluster. My store seems to suffer from a lack of stock and options. I’m wondering if they are gravitating to online sales because so much of what they showcase (and are known for) no longer rests on the racks of brick and mortal sales floor. The jewelry is still great though… The earrings (in my experience) don’t tarnish.

    • Yes! I do love their jewelry for sure. Some of my favorite pieces are Madewell, but such a bummer about the fit of their current items 🙁

  25. Haha I remember going into their one NYC store in like 2004, I didn’t realize they were online only as recently as 2012! They used to be my favorite jeans but maybe it was in the 2012-2015 timeframe. I feel so old lol.

  26. Madewell was killing it a few years ago…to the point my icon status of shopping too much was very easy to maintain. Lately tho they’ve lost some of the things that made them cool and unique. Also…online options that do look great are never in the store. I will say tho I just bought their perfect vintage jeans in the comfort stretch and oh my. Amazing. And I own about 10 pairs of their different styles. Great Levi’s look, perfect rinse and I can still breathe.

  27. Also feel this exact same way about Loft and J.Crew… unfortunately even the dressing room selfies from these stores don’t entice me! Great to see a review like this.

  28. Couldn’t agree more! My whole closet used to be madewell but over the last few years I’ve been super disappointed. The overall style makes me look very frumpy. In addition I’ve also found the quality to be much worse. The original 3 pairs of jeans I bought from Madewell are in perfect shape and are still my go-to jeans but all the newer pairs I bought from them got embarrassing holes within a few months. Thanks for the honest review!

  29. They look like they are trying too hard to look like they are not trying too hard…and it comes out boring. Too pricey for “meh” ….if you aren’t opposed to Target, Universal Threads is good, but it can be boring as well. And sometimes the styling is too Little House on the Prairie… Too homespun looking, no spunk.

  30. I appreciated this post as well. Granted I’ve never been a Madewell fan (though I have a couple pairs of Flea Market flares from 2016?), I liked your take on why you DIDN’T like something. That’s far more interesting to me.

    As far as basic TShirts, the GAP never fails. I get 3-4 classic fit crew necks each in black, white and grey each year. They’re always on sale too. You can always get a larger size in the boys section too if you like a boxier fit.

  31. I second the too-cropped look! And the rises on the jeans…pretty soon we’ll have to be buying jeans in bra sizes. Anyone remember the Alley Straight Jean? Straight leg, 9-9.5” rise? R.I.P.

  32. Totally agree — and I’m not a 100 percent on board with the jeans either. Have two pair — one in what was supposed to be a “washed” black but is really GRAY…and one in true black…and honestly, I don’t reach for either, even on a semi-regular basis. And don’t get me started on Madewell’s washed leather jacket — can’t tell you how many bloggers raved about it, but I found it to be rather shapeless and not flattering at all. Not to mention that it cost at least 100 BUCKS more than the amazing All Saints moto that I eventually wound up getting. Why on earth would you get Madewell when you could be wearing an All Saints? Anyway, I love the idea of Madewell — the style is right up my alley. But for me, it’s just an idea — not a reality. Thanks for being honest, Laura — always love your posts!

  33. I still love Madewell’s jeans — mine are all from the last 2 years and they’re always at the top of my dresser drawer in constant rotation, especially the Demi-Boot style. They have so many different fits and styles that I can usually find something that works for my body type, though I agree that right now their faded/vintage washes are boring.

    However, I’ve never had any luck with the rest of Madewell’s clothes, to the point where I don’t bother shopping them any more. Their tops and sweaters in particular seem to be designed for people who like wearing super oversized and/or cropped pieces.

  34. It’s not you. Madewell has only 1 body type in mind IMO – and it def isn’t mine. Tops too short waisted, pants too narrow in the hips, etc. Only the jeans work. It works for my 23 year old daughter – so thinking it’s time to move my body to Athleta and J. Jill. Still love Gap tho!

  35. For the longest time Madewell was my go to. The Cal Demi jeans were amazing and I have 5 or 6 pairs in different washes. But the Cal Demis of the past are NOT the Cal Demis of today. They have changed the rise and I hate it. I’m over the “mom jean” style too. They make even the thinnest woman look heavy. Madewell now seems to be targeting an androgynous look. Boxy, kind of masculine. Very hipster. I want them to go back to just being casual and cool and even feminine. I will say though that their shoes are amazing. And very comfortable.

  36. I ? agree! I bought a ton of stuff last year that I either kept half heartedly (and barely wore) or returned. My bff is tall with a small chest and dark hair and she looks way better in their stuff. I’m built more like you. I basically shop there now for jeans, the short sleeve button down top that is so great, some t shirts, sneakers, bags and some dangly earrings. Btw I just bought the button up perfect vintage and I’m hoping it works for me but I did think they looked good on you!

  37. I enter feeling giddy and leave feeling sad. I want so much to love my old friend Madewell but sadly my love affair is over too. Nothing actually fits me in this store- sleeves are too tight, length of tops too short, over sized beyond recognition. Ughhh. Onto discovering my new go to!

  38. I’m happy you called them out. I’m 5’9”, slim, and their tops don’t work for me either. I like their jeans because I at least know I have options in long inseams which are hard to find.
    You need more Zara in your life! I think that fits your style much more! Thank you.

  39. Too funny, this is the most commented post I think I’ve ever seen. Like others, I agree that I still love their jeans (although mine are a couple of years old, so maybe that’s changed). But I also rarely buy anything else there. For me personally, I like to at least try to buy sweaters etc that can do double duty for work and weekend days, and there is just something about Madewell’s fabric and/or colors that make most things there feel not quite polished enough for work (for example, even if it’s black it’s a super washed black). Yet the tops also don’t often feel quite special enough for a fun night out. And my budget only has so much room for tops I can really only wear 2 afternoons a week at best.

  40. I 100% agree and it also breaks my heart. I have loved Madewell a long time but their fit and quality isn’t the same and definitely not worth paying so much for! I hope they fix both issues! I know the Universal Thread line at Target is majorly Madewell-inspired/copied, but honestly their quality is better!! & the UT v-neck tee is under $10, washes really great, doesn’t bag out and doesn’t get tiny mystery holes after 1 wear like my old fav Madewell ones.

  41. Love this article! I always feel like I need to like Madewell because a lot of bloggers show cute things from them and every time I walk in the store I leave feeling very frustrated and like nothing looks good on me. I love your honesty and I’m glad it’s not just me! Maybe it’s too young for me as I’m in my early 50s I haven’t figured it out but it’s not quite right. Great article!

  42. Finally someone said it. Thank you for a refreshing article that isn’t fawning over a brand or recommending things you haven’t actually tried on. And THANK YOU for the squished butt pic – welcome to my life, LOL. I want to love Madewell so much. But I am so pissed off with the sizing! I probably lusted after the black Madewell skinny overalls for like a year, finally took the plunge and ordered them in both fabrics, both in a size M. Holy mother. One I could barely breathe in and the other I would have had to switch for a small. WTF. Currently grieving those overalls.

  43. I had read about Madewell and liked their look for years before they finally arrived in Canada (in a Nordstrom store). And let’s just say that my experience echoes everyone else here. I tried on sweaters (frumpy) and their v-neck t-shirt. The t-shirts were okay but the little pocket over my substantial bust was aggravating. I don’t need to draw attention to that area. Why do they do this? Their crew necks have no pockets but crew necks aren’t friends to busty women.

  44. The Universal Threads line has become my go-to for t-shirts. Far better quality than madewell for a fraction of the price. I got a pair of really cool denim shorts that I love for $18! I’m glad I didn’t spend $70+ on other pairs I was looking at.

  45. I’ve been really trying to love the jeans I’ve ordered from them recently and just don’t. I got in two pairs of their perfect vintage and they just aren’t doing it for me. But I really don’t want to spend $200 for a pair from a higher end brands either. Their jeans used to feel more special to me but now they are just meh.

  46. Gosh. This made me feel validated! I’ve loved Madewell jeans for a long time, but this past year, I’m reeeeeeallly struggling to make any of them work, and anything MW work! Thought it was just me! Something has changed. And they need to add an inch or two to their t-shirts. They’re always an awkward length for me, and I’m pretty average??

  47. Wow, so many comments. You really hit a nerve Laura! There is a Madewell just steps away from my office, so I do go in there to browse quite a bit. I had the same experience with the “Vote” tee. I saw it on the mannequin and went in specifically to try it on. But it’s a bad fit and bad fabric.
    A few weeks ago on the Everything is Fine podcast, Andrea Linett said that she does not like Madewell jeans anymore which I thought was interesting.

  48. I actually think none of the outfits look bad but maybe because we get “pickier” of what we want to add to our closets, either because we have so much already (super guilty!) or just being a smarter shopper, we become a bit more critical of what is worth our hard earned money (which is not bad thing at all!). That being said, I definitely think MW’s strong points are their basic/classic pieces.

    I do love your transparency Laura. One of my pet peeves is bloggers raving about something and a month later you see them selling that same item on a used clothing outlet. Ugh

  49. Yeah! I agree! I have a pair of road trippers for when I have to wear skinnies, but their clothes look much cuter on my 14yo daughter and I’m okay with that. I do love the leather black ankle booties I got from there last year. I forgot about those. But overall Madewell is underwhelming for me too, in spite of doing my best to like it. Truly, I think the crux of the matter is that it’s not my personal style.

  50. Great post! I’m a loyal Madewell fan. But I have been striking out on the fit lately. The tops are not working at all — very boxy fit and too many crazy sleeves. Also sweater quality has gone way down while the price has gone way up. Still love the Roadtripper jeans (though this year’s is higher rise and stiffer than previous versions). I think a big problem with the jeans now is that they are just too high rise and baggy and really only work for tall women, as you mentioned.

  51. Never been a fan of the Madewell brand. But speaking of brands that have gone downhill, has anyone been disappointed in Good American Jean’s lately? I used to love them but I bought four pairs recently and am having to return two of them for weird issues. One has a weird chemical smell that won’t go away and on the other pair the zipper cover has completely shifted and no longer covers the zipper. Luckily I bought them from Nordstrom so I know I can return them, but still, it’s really disappointing. Is it just me? Tell me this is just a fluke.

  52. I love this comment thread. Spill tea, and the people speak OUT! I laughed out loud at “pretty soon we’ll have to start buying jeans in bra sizes,” Kim–this is my feeling at Madewell every time I try something. People with short waists exist, man! 11-inch rises are no bueno for many of us.

    I also bought the adorable (looking) cashmere sweatshirt when it went on sale in my usual size…it just doesn’t SIT right. If I went smaller, it might drape better, but it would be so short. If I went bigger, it would be even more of a tent. Just let me love you, Madewell! We used to be such good pals.

  53. I vowed to stay away. I get sucked into the vibe but every time I buy something from Madewell I’m sick of it in two wears. I also think the brewery blocks location is really bare.

  54. I totally agree with your article. Madewell doesn’t make clothes that look flattering on my 5’4” athletic frame. They are cute and I want to love them but never leave the store with anything except cute jewelry. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who feels this way.

  55. So many like minded comments! I agree too. I used to love the Madewell vibe but have been disappointed the last couple of years. The quality isn’t there in the fabrics anymore and it seems the style is more suited to a tall, slim frame. I have a long torso so the cropped tops don’t work for me. I used to buy a lot online but have given up as I live in New Zealand and was spending a fortune on returns!

    • No worries. It’s ‘resting b*tch face’ and Shana was laughing bc I had it for like the first time ever here. Hahaha.

    • Haha – “resting b*tch face” – like when your face naturally falls into an unfriendly yet badass expression. Laura’s almost never does…which is why I found these photos so hysterical.

  56. I totally agree with your comments. I am 5’3 and cane to the realization that I need to only buy petite size clothing. It makes such a difference. I was tired of paying for alterations but petite sizing just fits better for short waisted, short arm, short leg people… especially jeans where the rise effects the pocket placement so much!

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