Are Madewell jeans really worth it? I couldn’t understand the hype, so I decided to try them for myself. Today, I’m sharing my honest review on Madewell’s Perfect Vintage style jeans.
I have heard for years that Madewell jeans are the end-all-be-all of denim. That said, I’m the kind of gal who requires trying things on and since I didn’t have access to a Madewell store, I just sort of let it go and wore my Levi 721s into the ground.
In early 2020, my local mall got a Madewell store and since it was February, life still looked normal and you could go try things on. I took this as my golden opportunity to finally try Madewell jeans!
Since I’ve now had a good year’s worth of use, I decided to share all of my thoughts on the jeans that have a cult-like following on the internet. Truly….are they worth the hype?
Are Madewell Jeans Really Worth It? An Honest Review
First of all, it’s worth noting that the Madewell staff gets extremely excited about denim, so when I went in and said I wanted to try on some jeans, they immediately directed me to an endless table of styles and started asking questions.
Whew – there are a lot of styles to choose from, but I did have a few qualifications:
1. I didn’t want jeans with stretch.
2. I wanted the denim to be destroyed a little bit.
3. I preferred high rise.
The sales associate immediately directed me to the Perfect Vintage style of jeans and I headed back to the dressing room. It is still exceptionally weird for me to see pre-pandemic photos where I am in public with no mask, but I digress…
I am wearing the Women’s Perfect Vintage in Rosabelle Wash above.
I was shocked that the 28s I thought FOR SURE would be tight were loose, so I slipped into the 27s. It’s safe to say it was love at first sight, because I snapped this photo and texted it to my mom saying “I think I found the Holy Grail of jeans…”
The immediate pros were that the jeans felt like high quality material with little to no stretch (they felt like true denim), the high rise falls right at or slightly above my belly button, and that I could sit down in the dressing room chair without the high rise cutting into my stomach.
Almost immediately after purchasing these “unicorn jeans” as I dubbed them in one of my very first posts about them, the world shut down and I was relegated to wearing my newfound jeans in my house. Now I know what you’re thinking…jeans at home? Believe me, I feel the same way. But there were times in those early days where I needed to put on clothes to have some semblance of normalcy when it felt like the rest of my life was spiraling.
As time spent indoors dragged on, I found myself reaching for the Madewell jeans I had purchased more and more, which surprised me. They definitely get more comfortable as time goes on!
I will admit, I was really nervous to wash them for the first time. Will they stand up to my washing machine and still fit like they did at the store? The answer is YES! I washed according to the tag and hung them to dry, making sure to shake them out a bit to release the wrinkles.
Madewell Perfect Vintage Jeans
I have washed them at least 30 times at this point and they look and feel just as good as the day I bought them. The ripped up look is one I like and gravitate toward for everyday wear, but I wanted to see what their cleaner-cut styles were like, so halfway through 2020, I decided it was time to splurge on another pair – the top rated Stovepipe jeans.
Since our malls and stores were closed at the time, I ordered my same size as I had gotten in the Perfect Vintage and ordered online. It worked great!
I had my eye on this particular style for two reasons – high rise with a bit of stretch and cropped – and I also loved the straight fit, which is still fitted through the hips and thighs. I have muscular legs, so it’s important to me that things aren’t too tight, but these are mega flattering.
Not only can this particular style be dressed up or down, they are pretty universally flattering. Everyone’s body type is different, but if there was ever a true-to-life “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, it would be Madewell’s Stovepipe jeans.
Right before Christmas, Madewell did a big sale and I picked up my third pair of jeans. Because I truly love the Perfect Vintage style best, I purchased the Raw Hem Enmore style and I know I will get plenty of wear out of them. In just two months, I have already worn them a handful of times.
Do Madewell Jeans Stretch Out?
I normally wear Madewell’s Perfect Vintage style jeans and to date, neither of the two pairs I own have stretched out. It’s important to note that this particular style does not have stretch in them (one of the big reasons I love the style!).
The Stovepipe jeans I have are made to stretch (sort of like my beloved Levi’s) and do stretch out with wear, but they pop right back to their normal shape/size with a wash!
Do Madewell Jeans Run Small?
I have actually found the opposite to be true for Madewell! I am a size 27 in Madewell’s jeans (both in Perfect Vintage style and Stovepipe style) and they fit perfectly. A 27 is usually a size 4, and I would normally somewhere between a 4-6. Let’s just say if I have the option, I try the 6 first, not the 4 😉
Are Madewell Jeans Worth It?
If you haven’t gathered by now, I’m a little bit obsessed and fully convinced of the hype. I don’t hop on a lot of trends without diving in myself and I can honestly tell you that these jeans are worth the excitement.
Since I became a fan, I’ve also converted my mom, who doesn’t have a Madewell store near her and used their size charts and helpful online concierge to guide her in sizing, which worked great!
I will be honest and say that the price deterred me for awhile. They come with a hefty price tag, but I’m okay with paying a little extra for quality knowing it will last longer. I know I shared this before, but the sales girl who checked me out at the mall when I bought my first pair told me most of the jeans she has from Madewell have been in her closet for more than ten years!
So, if you have been on the fence about trying the jeans that every person raves about, it’s worth a shot!
All photos in this post taken by the lovely and talented Maxine of Max Snaps Photography