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.
Update & Spoiler alert: Madewell and I are getting back together!! At least when it comes to jeans…check out my new favorite, most-flattering pair in this new post for Fall 2020!
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.
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.
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.
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.
perfect vintage jeans (27) / tee (s)
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
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.
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.
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?
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…)
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…
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!