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For years, the Madewell has been my go-to place for closet staples and trendy items that will last me for years to come without breaking the bank. Reliable and timeless is the name of the game here and I find myself scouring through every single sale (which happens quite frequently). Seriously, I treat myself to a mega-sweater haul at Madewell every Black Friday. More on that later.
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Like most clothing stores, Madewell cycles through styles each season, but there are certain tried and true items that are iconic to the Madewell brand (I’m looking at you Transport Tote). Below are the 15 best things you’ll find at Madewell, based on reviews, ratings, and the things our editors own and love. These are the must-have items to check out if you’ve never shopped the brand before, including the brand’s ever-popular jeans, jewelry, and booties.
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1. Whisper Cotton V-Neck Pocket Tee
This basic v-neck tee is $20, but truth be told, I only buy them on sale—which is why I have this top in 10 different colors (our Shopping Director, Sam, does too!). The good news is that Madewell often has sitewide sales so you can usually score these shirts at a decent discount. Though the Whisper V-Neck Pocket Tee is on the thinner side, it’s super soft, stylish and easy to wear. We’re not alone in our obsession with the shirt at Reviewed, either. It has more than 1,000 rave reviews with shoppers saying they keep ordering it over and over again (just like me!).
Slipping into a pair of Madewell jeans will change your life. Don’t believe me? Well, these jeans are so comfortable that they convinced our Shopping Director, Sam, to actually wear pants again. While they aren’t as soft as some pricer designer jeans, they hold up to the wear and tear of daily life and have stuck around in Sam’s closet much longer than AG or Citizens jeans ever did. Plus, when you do wear them out, you can always donate them as part of Madewell’s denim recycling program for a discount on your next pair of jeans.
While Madewell offers a ton of different styles for jeans (along with petite and tall sizes for most options), we specifically recommend a few. My personal favorites are the mid-rise 9-inch skinny jeans, while Sam prefers the 10-inch and 11-inch styles. We both also love the perfect vintage jeans. They’re super stylish and both look and feel like you’ve had them forever. Seriously, once you buy Madewell jeans, you’ll never go back.
3. Curvy Jeans
One of the best things about Madewell, according to Sam, is that they offer a line of curvy jeans. Sam only buys curvy (and petite!) sized jeans from Madewell now. She says, “if you’re curvy and have never found jeans that fit 100% right, these are absolute game-changers.” Available in the popular high-rise skinny and perfect vintage styles (a.k.a my favorite jeans), the curvy jeans offer a little more wiggle room around the waist. They’re ideal for those of us with thick thighs or have a pear-shaped figure.
4. The Transport Tote
The Transport Tote is Madewell’s most popular bag. While the regular-sized version of the tote is loved by Reviewed staff and readers, the medium version of the bag is great, too. I have the Medium Transport Tote in two different colors and am absolutely obsessed with it. It’s the perfect size for work if you’re not carrying a laptop and for running errands. It has a small interior and exterior pocket for a little extra storage, too. I’m able to fit and carry my wallet, water bottle, travel mug, lunch, and Kindle in the bag without putting strain on my shoulder. I also love that it’s not too large. When I used to commute into the office, I never felt too smushed on a crowded train back. One of my coworkers even managed to pack everything she needed for an overnight trip to New York City in this bag, making it just as versatile as you need it to be.
As for the OG zip-top version, not only has it maintained a 4.5-star rating from 1,000 Madewell shoppers over the years, but this is Sam’s favorite bag. Before the pandemic, she brought it to work every day, making it easy to carry her laptop, chargers, and million other random things from the office to home. She also traveled with it, using it as a carry-on for flights and a weekend trip savior (this is why the zip-top version is great!). Sam has owned it in the English Saddle color for almost three years and says it gets better with age. According to our own history, these bags will truly hold up for years and go with pretty much whatever you’re wearing. You won’t regret buying this tote in either size.
5. Veja Sneakers
After being spotted on Megan Markle, Veja sneakers have unofficially become the “cool girl” sneakers of this new decade. Made of sustainable leather with a sleek logo donning these white kicks, our Style Editor, Amanda, had to try them for herself. Spoiler alert: she loved them! Madewell sells select trendy colors of the best-selling Esplar sneakers and the V-10s, and we couldn’t recommend them more.
6. Chunky Medium Hoop Earrings
Sometimes the simplest jewelry makes the biggest statement. That’s why people love these Chunky Medium Hoop Earrings from Madewell. Available in gold and silver, these hoops are the perfect size and go with pretty much every look. I own them and wear them pretty much daily. They’ve never irritated my ears and I love that they’re less pricey than compared to high-end jewelry, yet are still good quality. In fact, all of Madewell’s jewelry is reasonably priced and good quality, and I own several studs and dangly earrings, as well.
Approximately 80% of my sweater collection comes from Madewell. The brand never fails to make reliable, cozy sweaters that I continue to wear year after year—even when the store stops selling them. While the styles may change, I find that Madewell sweaters are never itchy, and I always get tons of compliments when I wear them. Each year I devote a mini Black Friday haul specifically to Madewell sweaters so I can get the trendiest cardigans and sweaters for the best price, as the retailer tends to have sitewide discounts on everything for the holiday. Below are some of the most popular sweaters that Madewell is selling right now.
8. The Jean Jacket
Since Madewell makes incredible jeans, it’s no surprise that brand makes a fabulous jean jacket as well. Madewell’s “The Jean Jacket” proves that theory right with its 4.6-star rating from nearly 300 reviewers. I own this jacket (so does Sam!) and love how comfortable and fitted it is without feeling too constricting. I’ve also been slowly adorning it with various pins to make it truly my own. Plus, jean jackets are a layering essential during the spring and the fall and easily can dress up a plain t-shirt or dress down a flowy dress. It’s absolutely essential in my book.
Though the styles sightly change from season to season, Madewell’s boots are always worth checking out. Made of rich leather, Madewell boots hold up for years, are surprisingly comfortable after they break in and are stylish enough to go with pretty much every look. Some of the most popular boots are the Regan, the Carina, and the Patti. Sam owns and loves the Regan boot in English Saddle. She claims, “after years of owning faux leather boots due to the lower price point, I now understand why it’s better to invest in a higher-quality leather boot: they last!” As someone on the taller side (Sam is 5’2″), I love the Carina Boot because it has a lower heel that provides plenty of support and doesn’t dig into my ankle.
10. Ex-Boyfriend Shirt
There’s only one thing ex-boyfriends are good for—and it’s their oversized flannel shirts. But thankfully you don’t need to date any scummy man to get the same clothing with Madewell’s Ex-Boyfriend Shirt. This oversized flannel is a staple on the site because it’s super cozy and easy to wear. Sam has owned a few over the years and loves them.
11. Frances Loafer Mule
To wear a loafer or to wear a mule? Well, now you don’t have to choose. The Frances Loafer Mule offers the professional look of a loafer and the open-back style of a mule. It’s like a mullet for your feet—but it’s actually stylish. They’ve earned a 4.3-star rating from more than 100 Madewell shoppers, with reviewers raving that they’re as comfortable as a slipper and they get tons of compliments on them.
12. Walton Shirt-Jacket
Between Taylor Swift’s “Evermore” album and the general cottage-core vibe, plaid coats have been super popular this season. The Walton Shirt-Jacket from Madewell is a great option for those looking to recreate T-Swift’s album cover IRL. While reviewers initially stuck their nose up at the price tag, almost all say it’s very on-trend and is perfect for days when it’s chilly but not freezing out. Plus, the navy and white color will look great for seasons to come.
13. Washed Leather Motorcycle Jacket
Something worth treating yourself with is a genuine leather jacket that will last you for years, and this one from Madewell is a fan favorite. Is it pricey? Yes. But is it worth it? According to 300 reviewers, it is. Reviewers claim that, though it may be the most expensive thing they own, it really is the perfect moto jacket and is a forever piece. It maintains a balance of sexiness with practicality and isn’t too heavy that it will weigh you down during a night out. At this price, it will become your go-to jacket.
14. MWL Superbrushed Easygoing Sweat Set
Loungewear is the new work from home attire, and when Madewell released its MWL (a.k.a. make weekends longer) Superbrushed Easygoing Sweat Set in fall of 2020 it became a hit with shoppers. Available in several color hues, reviewers love how soft and cozy this loungewear set is, but they do advise to size down in the bottoms as they run a bit large. Plus, if you order the full set, you’ll always get 20% off—which is more than reason to get both.
15. Bathing Suits
I like to think bathing suits are a hidden gem at Madewell. I’m absolutely obsessed with the vintage-inspired offerings that feature retro patterns and plenty of high-waisted suits. Last summer, I finally ordered a bikini set for myself and was impressed by how well it held up during long days at the beach. I was also pleased to find the bottoms provided full coverage (I hate it when my butt hangs out!). For some fun, semi modest swimwear, I highly recommend checking out Madewell’s offerings.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.