My wife, Kristin has essentially lived in Madewell jeans for the past decade. Be they black, dark wash blue, pale high-waisted, wide-legged, on it goes. She wore Madewell maternity jeans when pregnant with both of our kids. When we lived in California, Madewell jeans, sandals, and a T-shirt was her go-to outfit. Now here living just outside NYC, it’s Madewell jeans, boots, and a sweater.
When I asked her why she likes the jeans so much, she said: “It’s their fit, the way they feel, and it’s the consistency. A small is (actually) a small in every style, and even when they add new cuts and new styles, I know how they’re going to fit me. Also, it’s the brand’s sustainability.”
Indeed, Madewell is committed to sustainability—they will even buy used jeans back from you to recycle them. Plus, they also offer the Madewell Forever side brand that sells “pre-loved” clothing (used, but in good second-hand condition), and they’re on track to source 90 percent of their denim from certified Fair Trade sources within the next three years.
All of that’s great, but up until a year or so back, none of it really impacted me directly, save for the brand making it easier for me to do holiday or birthday shopping. Then, about a year ago, I learned that Madewell also offered men’s clothing—including jeans. In fact, I was two years late to the game, truth be told, as Madewell’s first men’s line had launched in late 2018. But, hey, better a bit late than never.
In fact, much better, because just as my wife had known for years, I have come to find that the fit, feel, look, and simply the quality of Madewell’s men’s jeans is so reliable across styles that the brand has become my number one go-to for jeans. And as I wear jeans six out of seven days a week on average, so that’s saying a lot.
At present, I own four pairs of Madewell jeans, two pairs in the Relaxed Taper style—which, in the company’s words means they are: “Easy through the hip and thigh with a tapered leg that hits at the ankle”— and two in the Slim category—that’s: “Fitted through the hip and thigh with a streamlined leg. Our update to a classic.”
In the fall and winter, the taper jeans are great with boots. In summer, they’re great with sandals. As for the slim style, I can wear them in any season with almost any footwear and they look just right. When it comes to the rest of my ensemble, that’s dictated by the wash. See, I have each style of jeans in both a darker, dressier wash and in a much casual, paler blue wash. My darker Madewells can be worn with a button-down, a sweater, even a casual blazer while the lighter wash jeans work with a Henley, a tee, a hoodie.
Both styles fit my hips and legs well and hold their shape throughout the day yet don’t limit range of motion. So far, even with months of heavy wear, all of my Madewell jeans remain in great shape. This is why they remain the anchor of my sartorial process day in, day out.
One may not usually start the assembly of their outfit with their pants, but when one has pants they pretty much live in, the pants lead the way. In this case, for the record, I’m the one, and the pants are my Madewell jeans. For a casual day at home or out and about but nowhere special, it’s pretty much always one or the other paler wash pants; for the elevated anything not quite requiring truly dressing up, it’s the darker wash pants. From there, I can worry about everything else I’ll be wearing.
Shop Madewell Men's Jeans Collection
Whether you're looking for relaxed vintage-style denim or tapered jeans that go with anything, Madewell's jeans collection's got you covered.
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