I’m In A Jeans Rut…Maybe Madewell Can Help


OK. So, I have some thoughts on jeans.

Usually, I have opinions on jeans but right now…I just have…thoughts. And my main thought is: I hate jeans right now. There, I said it. I am one of the Jeans Girls here at TME and have been for years. I’ve covered a ton of jeans in try-ons. Historically, jeans are my jam.

But right now, I loathe them.

My Thoughts On Jeans In General Right Now

Here are my current issues with my jeans…

  • I only have one pair of jeans I want to wear regularly right now — my Levi’s 501’s. And I don’t even really want to wear them. The pair I have (that fits) is cropped. I’m not sure if I’m loving cropped anymore…? But since they’re broken in and fit me best plus they’re not too high-waisted, I’m wearing ’em. My Moussy Jeans are an exception but they are still a leetle tight in some spots and not an all-day jean. (Plus, I’d like to be able to share some more mid-priced options with y’all.)
  • All of my soft/comfy/stretchy pairs of jeans…only OK. They fit fine at the waist for sitting and working, but they slide down when I’m walking and living my life and therefore are annoying.
  • High-waisted jeans are killing my actual waist. I’m fairly straight through the middle and have a shorter torso. AND am 44. And it’s 2022. All these things are making me hate waist bands that dig-in. I have plenty of standing-up-only jeans. I do not need more.
  • Low-rise jeans? I’m never going back to low-rise jeans. Nope. Not happening.

Can Madewell Denim Save Me? I Don’t Know…But I Tried 5 Pairs Of Jeans

Madewell jeans and I have a long-standing on-again/off-again relationship. But when it comes to jeans, if I’m stuck in a rut or just need a comfy new pair, Madewell is like an old friend I can call up and they usually come through. So I had to ask, does Madewell have some new magical, modern (yet comfy) jeans for me right now?

The answer is…I don’t know. Haha.

Of the pairs I tried, the Midrise Perfect Vintage Straight Jeans + the Perfect Vintage Wide Leg Jeans (#4 and #5 below) are quite soft for only having 1% spandex. I’m liking the feel of Madewell’s Heritage Stretch Denim a lot. The other three pairs I tried on are non-stretch but not nearly as rigid as denim I’ve worn from other brands.

Madewell is always going to offer a variety of rises and cuts and the price (most pairs are $128) is doable if I wanna try out a new style or fit. But it’s still always a crapshoot honestly. So here we gooooo. Come along for the ride.

1. Madewell Slouchy Boyjean in Glennbay Wash

Madewell’s Slim Boyjean has been one of my favorite jeans for years. I have three pairs of the same wash (after buying one pair, wearing the heck out of it and then scouring Poshmark for more when my size changed.) Since I love the Slim Boyjean, I thought: why not try this slouchy version, eh?

The trouble with how to style boyfriend jeans is what shoes to wear. Boots are my move.

Sweater (xs) | Tee | Jeans (29) | Boots

For reference, I am a 27-28-29 because who the heck knows these days? The sizing was a little off in these Boyjeans and they don’t have stretch in them, so I ended up with a 29. Well, the 29s are large… I want to try the 28s…But I kinda adore these oversized 29s? This slouchy style is something new and different for me and guess what? NOT high-waisted (but not super low-rise either). This pair has a 10.25″ rise which has always been a sweet spot for me. Yay! And I LOVE the wash.

Side notethis Loretto Mockneck Pullover sweater is super-cute. I adore the shape and I sized down so it wouldn’t be too overwhelming. It is very warm. The sleeves are a little short/tight in this XS so I would say stick with your regular size, but it’s a lovely piece if you need a warm warm sweater! It’s soft enough to me, but I know some of y’all are picky so I’d give it a 5 out of 10 on the itchiness scale.

These slouchy boyfriend jeans won me over.

I’ll report back once I size down, but I have a feeling these in a 28 are going to be great.

Tee (m) | Jeans (29) | White Boots

2. Madewell Dadjean in Randall Wash 

OK, these dad jeans are a little more reasonably sized but with a similar feel to the slouchy boyfriend jeans above. I worry these are TOO tapered though. But add up the wash, the fit, and the fact that they feel different, and I’m a fan. I feel like maybe dad jeans are phasing out but I’m digging this vibe.

Lately, I feel like I hate high waisted jeans. Mid rise Madewell denim to the rescue.

Tee (m) | Boots | Jeans (29) | Sneakers

I have trouble with the puddling of wider-leg styles coming back right now. I think it’s because of my shorter height + short torso + square/rectangle frame. I’m better off sticking with a high-rise in the longer, wider jeans and I just haven’t found the comfort factor in that kind of fit these days. Give me mid-rise again!

I’m digging these jeans with sneakers, too, as I look at these pics. I like that Madewell’s denim options definitely do not give me Flat Butt Issues. Thanks, Madewell! That seems like an intentional update to make them work for our bodies.


Tee (m) | Jeans (29) | Sneakers

3. Madewell Perfect Vintage Wide Leg in Belmere Wash

If you want comfy, great-fitting, not-too-wide-leg jeans in classic black, these Perfect Vintage Wide Leg in Belmere are for you. These have some stretch, unlike the two pairs above, and are true-to-size. Also at Nordstrom

These black Madewell wide leg jeans are a cute winter business casual look.

Tee (m) | Jeans (28) | Boots

I’m usually more into washed black jeans than true black jeans, but this true black color can dress up easily for a casual office outfit. The only problem with these black Madewell jeans is that I don’t like them with my sneakers. I think that is probably due to the wash more than the fit though — and we all know the Adidas probably would have worked!

The rise on these is our typical higher-rise, coming in at 11.25″. They are still comfy though for a high-rise jean! I was impressed.

Tee (m) | Jeans (28) | Sneakers

4. Madewell Mid-Rise Perfect Vintage Straight in Rosella Wash

I have and love some Madewell Perfect Vintage jeans. While these straight-leg jeans are great, they don’t feel as unique or fresh as I was hoping for this try-on. I totally blanked on getting a back shot of these too! Doh. But they are similar to the above pair and great on the booty!

These lovelies have a 9.5″ rise and you can see below how that is a comfy fit for me. I prefer the slight distressing and the washed black color of this mid-rise Perfect Vintage to the regular Perfect Vintage pair above. If you are looking for their classic Perfect Vintage, Nordstrom has a non-distressed black pair (currently on sale!)

I prefer the washed black color of this mid-rise Perfect Vintage.

Striped Sweater (m) | Jeans (28) | Boots

OK, and definitely take a peek at both of these amazing cashmere sweaters. They aren’t Madewell but came in the same day. I love them both! The polo sweater vest on the left is from Reformation (saw it on my fave baker @bromabakery). It’s made of 90% recycled cashmere (we love Reformation for their amazing sustainable efforts.) Wearing a M here– it’s so cute but I think I’ll be comfier in a L if it has a tiny bit more length to it.

The striped sweater on the right is 100% Mongolian cashmere from NADAAM (one of our favorite retailers for super-soft cashmere at a variety of price points.) I would totally be living in this cashmere sweater if it weren’t too long for me. However, it IS soft enough to tuck in so maybe I’ll try that first! Love the pretty neutrals. It’s a very wearable sweater.

Polo Sweater (m) | Striped Sweater (m) | Jeans (28) | Boots

5. Madewell Dadjean in Amaron Wash

Haha fail. That’s OK though because this pair of jeans is on final sale now anyway. They looked so interesting online hence making it into my cart as the only blue-washed pair I tried. But alas…no.

I don’t know how these dad jeans worked for other people. They’re not too bad with the heeled boots. But again, the 29 was too big.

These Madewell dad jeans were not for me.

Tee (m) | Jeans (29) | Boots

Can I give a shoutout to this Softfade Lakeshore Crop tee? The length is perfect — it hits my torso just where I want it to– it even works with midrise jeans. It’ll be great under sweaters when I inevitably get too hot this winter with heaters blasting. Wearing a M.

Tee (m) | Jeans (29) | Sneakers | Boots

Madewell Jeans Review: Final Thoughts

  • There is currently no One Jean To Rule Them All like my black Madewell skinny jeans used to be. The shoe and jean combo struggle is still a thing, especially with modern slouchy cuts.
  • Well, folx, I’ll settle for being glad I have job security because, Lordy, there’s still lots of work to do, haha. I’ll have more jean try-ons — hopefully more definitively successful ones — to share with y’all in the future.

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Give me your current favorite interesting jean finds if you have a shorter frame and torso like me. I believe in us and the power of the community to solve this thing. Haha until next time!



Want to keep up with everything else I’m into? Pop over to my Instagram @laurajansenstyle where I love talking about food, sharing OOTDs, posting travel pics and chatting everyday mom-life stuff from Portland, Oregon. Oh, and lots of funny memes and pet videos because what is social media without plenty of those? xoxo

This one is for you, Pinners!

I'm like Goldilocks lost in a denim-trends forest. High-rise isn't comfy anymore. Low-rise? No, thanks. Madewell: show me your best straight-leg jeans.