Thursday, August 21, 2014

What I Heart at Madewell

"Thanks!" to Catherine (in this post), who came up with a great post topic:
Hi Alexis, can you share some of your favorite styles? And do they run true to size? I am liking more and more their clothes, but have found in the past they run too small...
It's no secret, but I have been coming around on the Madewell bandwagon. When J.Crew first introduced their sister store, I thought, "that's nice". However, I never felt the clothes were really for me. I could always manage to find one or two items, but it was definitely not a go-to store. Well, things have changed. Lately, I have been turning to Madewell *instead* of J.Crew. I know, I know... scandalous! ;)

I thought I would pick a few items that represent the reason why I think Madewell is pretty awesome.


The first item is Madewell's Skinny Skinny Jeans in Nightfall (item A2279). I never thought Madewell's jeans were that great, especially since that was their "thing" from the very beginning. However, consider me a believer this year. They are blowing the competition out of the water with all their styles and fits. The Skinny Skinny Jeans in Nightfall are the *most* comfortable pair of jeans I ever owned. They also look great after multiple washes and don't sag out after long periods of wear. No joke, I bought a back up pair just in case. ;)


The next item is the Outbound Jacket (item 42249). This jacket is the kind of item that looks great on anyone and everyone! The cotton is both sturdy and soft (sounds weird, I know) that makes it feel like it is well-worn and will last forever (sounds weird again, I know!) The jacket looks so amazing thanks to its gorgeous collar (you just have to try it on to see how great it frames the face).


I should start off by saying that I own J.Crew's Downing Tote in English Saddle and I adore it! It's an absolutely gorgeous bag and I get compliments on it all the time. However, I really wanted a darker version too. I wasn't feeling the Downing Tote's Navy option so I turned to Madewell's the Transport Tote in Navy (item A8097) instead. The bag is a great size (just like the Downing Tote) that literally allows you to carry everything without feeling like you are carrying everything (the bag is so refreshingly light!) Plus, it has an attached zippered pocket that is actually roomy enough to carry keys or a phone (something the Downing Tote does not offer). I know it's a simple bag, but I really feel like it is one of those bags that will stand the test of fashion times.

As far as sizing goes... I think Madewell is all over the place. I am way more consistent in J.Crew's offerings than in Madewell. When it comes to Madewell, I am pretty much a size 2 or extra small in dresses, but I vary wildly in jeans (anywhere from 27 to my normal 29). I rely heavily on customers' online reviews to get a sense of what size I should get. Thank goodness those are there too!



UPDATE: Madewell is offering 20% off select styles using promo code HOTANDCOOL. This offer expires August 25, 2014.

What are a few things that you love from Madewell? Are you loving Madewell more lately? Please share! :)

48 comments:

  1. Alexis, will you be changing the name of the blog to Madewell Aficionada then? :D

    I have been a Madewell fan since I first walked into their store. I ordered the Silk Pencil Skirt in Irisvine (reviewed on my blog), as well as the Sightseer Braided Sandals (fitting room review). I love them both and received many compliments on the skirt already.

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    1. LOL! Right! I might just have to create a spin off... ;)

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  2. I love Madewell! I feel like I wear more Madewell now than J.Crew. I'm so bummed I missed out on the nightfall jeans; I ordered them when they were something crazy like $21 on promo but of course they were oversold. I just got the jacket and I cannot wait to wear it this fall! I actually found sizing to be pretty consistent for me--I'm an XS in pretty much every shirt/blouse/sweater and a 0/25 in skirts/jeans (though probably should have taken a 26 in the legging jeans). I'm finally getting a store near me next week and I'm so excited to have one!

    xo Kimi

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    1. twentysomethingsimple, I know about the nightfall jeans... they went on super sale and they are completely sold out now. Otherwise, I would get a third as a back up to the back up! ;)

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  3. Madewell dresses are more interesting and cut in a more flattering way than J Crew's. Those were the things I purchased from Madewell this past year. I'm waiting on that sahara short-sleeve jacket and a re-order of the piazza maxidress. I tried on the white, which I really liked but wasn't over the moon. My friend convinced me to get the red and I'm glad I did. I had to go down a size, hence the re-order.

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    1. Gigi, I agree that the regular line of dresses at Madewell have been catching my eye more than the regular (non-Collection) dresses at J.Crew. I love many of J.Crew's Collection dresses, but can't afford some of those prices!

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    2. Gigi I agree. I love the waist defined dresses. I have the Sun Isle dress, the Eyelet Lovesong Dress, Afternoon Dress in Saltwater Stripe. I also have a couple of dresses from earlier seasons. I hare always been able to get my size (size 8) on a sale price.

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  4. I've been loving their jewelry lately, while J. Crew has been in its extended statement necklace phase, but I have other favorites. I love the Rail Straight jeans, particularly the Oceanside wash. I recently bought the Outbound Jacket and I agree completely with your description of it. It isn't my only fatigue jacket, but it was special enough for me to buy it (and a great price at the time).

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    1. Cate, isn't the Outbound Jacket amazing!? I ended up getting the darker, all weather one too. There is something about the cut that is very flattering.

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    2. I'll take a look at that. I often need a heavier jacket.

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    3. Hi Alexis, I can't find the darker, all weather one... is it just sold out right now or does it have another name? Thanks!

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    4. Hi cate. The link for the all-weather outbound jacket is here, but it's been sold out for awhile now. My VPS ordered mine from one of the Madewell stores back in February of this year. I'm not sure if any of the stores still have them, but you may trying calling a couple to see.

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    5. Thank you! I'll keep an eye out for it, maybe it will pop back some day :)

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    6. Cate, it's a great jacket if you can get one. I think I got mine two/ three months ago on super sale. :)

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  5. unrelated, but jenna lyons was interviewed on into the gloss yesterday about the beauty products she uses, and about the two new j. crew fragrances, if anyone is interested in reading:

    http://intothegloss.com/2014/08/jenna-lyons-j-crew/

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  6. Thanks for sharing your picks, Alexis. I haven't bought a lot from Madewell, but look at their site often. I've been tempted by many of their items, especially their cute tops and sweaters.

    I do have several pairs of Sidewalk Skimmers and these are a favorite. I live in them all Summer. Mine are from several years ago, so I don't know how they compare to this year's version. I did find them to fit tts.

    I bought three Gamine sweaters last year. I absolutely loved the open (ballet?) neckline and the colors. These also fit tts, similar to the Tippi, but a thicker knit. I'd love to see something similar this year.

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    1. Maryeb, much like you, I am tempted by many of their tops and sweaters! :)

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  7. I love Madewell and have been buying from them more than JC lately b/c their clothes are much more casual and since I'm not working it fits my lifestyle better than JC. I haven't tried their new version of jeans but their old styles didn't fit me great. I recently bought the Folktale top (I think that's the name). I absolutely LOVE it and get compliments every time I wear it. I did pay FP, but it's sold out, and I was lucky enough to catch it on a popback. I think it was worth it. I wear it all the time.

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    1. God, I love that top. I wish I had never learned of it, because I am lusting after it and there's no possible way to have it. What a pretty and perfect top and well worth full price.

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    2. Hi! Are you talking about the linen folktale blouse, item A4699? I'm inventorying my summer purchases and putting items with the tags on them on eBay. I have a small in this shirt with the tags still on. I bought it for $83.30, and I would sell it for $85.00 shipped (that's what I'm going to put it on eBay buy it now for). If you're interested e-mail me at holldoll129@gmail.com, otherwise I'll eBay it next week:). Hopefully I can make someone happy!

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  8. When they first opened, I thought that they skewed a bit younger/hippie-ish (catering more to my 18 year old daughter than to my middle-aged self), but I've since become a fan. (Did they change? Am I getting younger?!) In fact, I'm wearing a Madewell blouse as I type this, and it's one of my favorites. My only question is - and perhaps I'm being a total dunce, but - why is there no Madewell credit card, or better yet, why can't I use my JCrew card at Madewell stores (like at Gap/BR/Old Navy)? Since I seem to split my purchases between the two, still remaining "brand loyal," it would be nice to accrue rewards points at both.

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    1. Totally agree with you about becoming more of a fan lately and, also, about being able to use our JC cards!! It might have pushed me towards a purchase or two in the past. I actually placed an order recently for the first time in a year or two. So far, very happy with everything. I got the hepcat sunglasses and LOVE them! Also received the Rowan gladiator sandals. They were a fantastic bargain, and I know I'll wear them a lot with jeans this fall before it gets too cold. Waiting for a blouse to arrive. Three items, three shipments? Yes. Not very cost effective for them, but I assume some are shipping directly from stores. It's all free to me, right? Anyway, keep the Madewell and the JC reviews coming everyone. I live far from these stores. Thanks!

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    2. Gina, I felt the same way: That Madewell skewed younger/ hipper than me. I love that line about "am I getting younger?!"- so true!!!

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  9. Speaking of Madewell and how much we love it, I just got an email saying they're offering 20% off certain transitional items right now. I'm off to check it out!

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    1. plus free shipping! I bought a few of the raw edge t-shirts. I really love their t-shirts and feel they're better quality than JC's.

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  10. I love the slub cotton v-neck tees, outbound jacket, skinny skinny jeans, understated jewelry, and scarves. I am debating on the raw edge tee that's included in the promo but I'm not sure if I'll bite yet. However, I think Madewell is more my style than JCrew, but that may also be because I'm 25. Or it may also include the fact that they always offer free shipping.


    It's hard to say but I love Madewell, I just wish I were close to one.

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    1. I know what you mean! I finally have a Madewell store that is close to me. Being able to shop in the store is partially responsible for fueling my love for them.

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  11. Echoing the love for this year's outbound jacket, last year's gamine sweater, and any year's linen tees. I've also amassed quiet a collection of Madewell scarves lately. I really like the fact that so many Madewell garments are 100% natural fibers and seem to be better/more consistent quality than JC (or many other retailers, for that matter).

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    1. I loved the Storyteller scarves. I wish Madewell would start offering these again.

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    2. Their scarves are really beautiful! I am also sad they haven't done StoryTeller scarves as of late, because those are the kind of items that are really special.

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  12. I love madewell for basics and travel-wear, although JC is more office appropriate. Madewell is also more into the neutrals. I tried colours and sparkles for a few years but am now back into the neutrals for good I think.

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    1. I think that is a good comparison of the two brands! :) Madewell definitely has a more casual vibe to them.

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  13. When I got 2 stores in my area, like many I strolled in and looked around and thought 'too young' for me. But I love their scarves, sidewalk skimmers and purchased two dresses that I adore from them on great discounted prices. I need to look more at their jeans but definately need a short length. My Madewell coveted item is The Textured Transport Tote in Rock, absolutely stunning in person.

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  14. I'm a big fan of Madewell. Love their jeans. (rail straight, high riser and cropped cargos) They fit me way better than J Crew's and don't stretch out as much. I agree with you Alexis on the Transport tote. I love the simplicity, shape and quality of the leather. Madewell has also made quite a few dresses this spring/summer that are long enough on me even though I normally need tall sizing like the Silk pleated maxi dress. I also purchased Madewell's leather moto jacket last winter and again, enjoy the quality and the minimal hardware and styling.
    I'm not a fan of Gayle's mannered styling over at J Crew and I find that Madewell's casual, cool, less embellished style suits my tastes more and more these days.

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  15. I heart Madewell! I've slowly transitioned to purchasing mostly Madewell and not so much with JCrew. Their designs are clean/simple/timeless yet unique (dare I say, classics with a twist? lol). Their silks are great (though the old Broadway and Broome label felt more substantial). Love their jeans and tees. Shoes, while I love Madewell's style, comfort-wise, I think JCrew wins. I also like Madewell sweaters but find that most have the dreaded "dry clean" care label. (And yes, I try hand-washing but they shrink substantially.) Some of my favorite pieces are the Charade blazer, silk skirts, and scarves.

    Stopped in the store today (25% off scarves) and picked up a new, thick wool scarf that is a cartoon map of NYC... very large and could maybe use as a small throw. They also had brass hair clips (barrette style with a swinging clasp) which felt pretty sturdy. I'm usually a sale or clearance shopper, but Madewell is one of few stores where I am comfortable paying full price for items that look/feel high quality, ex. stitchmosaic dress. Ok I'll stop gushing :)

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  16. Love Madewell leather goods as well as the dresses. I have the transport tote in white and archive boots in black pebbled leather. Worth the price!! They always come out with interesting silk tops every season.

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  17. Love, love, love Madewell! My personal favorite right now is the outbound jacket (pic on my Instagram), which I also have in the camo version (review on my blog), and the all-weather outbound jacket, too (pic on my instagram, as well). I also really like the understated and more dainty jewelry they offer, and own several of the rings and stacking rings. Their scarves are always nice, and I own a couple of them, as well as some tees and a sweater or two. I would say that I have definitely purchased as much or even more from Madewell over the past couple of years than I have from J.Crew. The merchandise and styling fits my lifestyle, and I have found the quality to be very good for the most part.

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    1. I've shared my thoughts and personal picks for the extra 20% off HOTANDCOOL promotion going on right now. You can check them out in this post. :)

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  18. OT: I made a return at a J.Crew store today and they are doing a jean promo:

    From 8/21 to 9/30, get $20 toward your next J.Crew denim purchase when you bring in an old pair of jeans. Our friends at Blue Jeans Go Green will recycle them into eco-friendly ultratouch denim insulation for communities in need. #JCREWDENIM

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    1. The Madewell stores are doing the same promo.

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  19. I have been purchasing more Madewell than J.Crew lately, too. Originally I thought Madewell was a little too hipster for my old self, but I have been gravitating toward their stuff more and more. Most recent buys are:

    skinny fatigue pants - they fit TTS and are amazing. Very skinny leg. Reminds me of the JC trouper pants, which I love

    oversize white button down (size down) - looks fantastic with skinny jeans

    merino rowhouse sweater - TTS or could go down a size, and looks way better than the JC merino swing sweater. They're on sale for this current promo. Totally recommend it.

    black midday skirt - TTS - great basic but not basic skirt. not clingy at all. looks better IRL than on than on the model.

    leopard morningside shift dress - very flattering and fun. It's sold out now, but if you can find it, I would totally recommend it.

    eyelet love songdress -TTS, but see-through even with the attached (cotton) slip

    deck shorts (TTS) - very flattering with the higher waist - bought all patterns and solid colors. I like them that much. Plus they were on super sale at the store over the summer.

    mira heels - love love love. TTS and actually comfortable for a 4" heel (these are the tallest heels in my closet)

    holepunch transport tote - Lightweight and fits everything. I get lots of compliments.

    sahara short sleeve jacket - size down as far as you can. This is a huge jacket.

    skinny skinny jeans - I have about 4 pair. Their jeans are very inconsistent in fit even in the same size. I usually try on 3 pairs of the same size and pick the best one. It's like Goldilocks and one finally fits just right.

    reade pants - my favorite pants ever. Bought a 2nd pair when they went on super sale. JC Minnies don't fit me right, but these are a great alternative. They're actually skinny legged like the Minnies. The model totally does not show the right fit of the pants.

    Sorry for the long post - hope this helps someone. As you can tell... huge fan.

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  20. Fabulous! Thanks for reviewing so many items, Zoelicious. I thought long and hard about that leopard morningside dress and let it slip through my fingers. Glad to hear it's just as great IRL as it looks on-line.

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  21. How about Lisa/Respect the Shoes in the Sahara jacket. Swoon.

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