March 15, 2013
As you’re probably well aware, we here at Madewell know a thing or two about denim—after all, the brand has been carefully making it since 1937. And because our heritage is such an important part of who we are, we have an in-house capsule collection called Rivet & Thread devoted to keeping it alive. We asked our resident denim designer (and all-around jeans guru) Tonya to give us a quick primer on Rivet & Thread so, you know, we can finish crafting our seasonal denim wish list (believe us, it’s already crazy long).
So what exactly is Rivet & Thread?
Rivet & Thread is our premium line inspired by heritage Madewell. The line uses selvedge Japanese denim exclusively, with special vintage-inspired washes that give the denim a uniquely cool worn-in feel.
Where does inspiration for the pieces come from?
We pull details, washes and fits from our archive of vintage Madewell denim as well as pieces from numerous old vintage workwear companies that sadly aren’t around anymore.
What are some of the standout R&T items to look for this season?
We are really excited about our new premium cropped jeans coming out in the spring. The fit came from a vintage pant that we unearthed at the Rose Bowl Flea Market in LA. It comes with a shorter inseam and slouches like a classic men’s jean and we are offering it in two amazing vintage washes. We also brought back our Worker Jeans that sit slouchy on the waist but slightly lower than the cropped jeans, and have a slightly tapered leg.
March 13, 2013
Welcome to our very first installment of denim school, wherein we offer a lesson in all things denim-related and pick the blue jean–filled brains of some of our resident experts for answers to all your pressing denim questions. So, without further ado, denim school is officially in session.
Lesson 1: How to wash your blues so they don’t lose their blue.
According to Madewell denim designer Tonya Wilson, the solution lies in your pantry. Her detergent of choice? Vinegar. Yup, that’s right. “Wash your jeans with roughly a cup of household white vinegar instead of regular detergent to really help prevent color loss,” she says. So we already know the question on your mind: Will your jeans smell, er, salady? Nope, not at all. According to Wilson, there will be no errant vinegar smell left behind. Phew.
February 20, 2013
Everyone has wardrobe investments. You know, those pieces that despite their slightly higher price tag we deem worth it because of their impeccable construction and timeless appeal. Since our heritage is rooted in denim, we consider great jeans entirely splurge-worthy. And the amazing pairs crafted by NYC-based denim brand Chimala® definitely qualify. We went behind the seams with Noriko Machada, Chimala’s head designer.
What makes Chimala denim different from other brands?
I closely follow vintage designs, styles and details and use only authentic selvedge denim, which is rare I think, especially for a women’s brand.
What makes some denim pieces more expensive than others?
The denim used in my jeans is selvedge denim that is woven on pre-war vintage shuttle looms in a traditional way. Plus, there are a lot of processes our highly skilled artisans do by hand when washing and distressing.
Do you have any tips for how to keep jeans from fading and/or stretching out?
The best thing is not to wash them! But since you need to wash your denim sometimes to get rid of sweat and dust or dirt, you should always turn your jeans inside out, wash in cold water and use only a small amount of detergent if needed to prevent damaging the material. Hang dry in the shade; never tumble dry or dry clean. If the denim is not too dirty or if you want to bring the shape back from stretching, you can just give it a quick rinse and hang dry.
How do you like to wear denim?
I love denim on denim and mixing beat-up jeans with something more luxurious or feminine.
Do you have a favorite place to shop?
Definitely the Brooklyn Flea.
When you’re not wearing denim, you’re in…
Chinos, men’s trousers or military pants.
A Chimala look we love. Shop it here.
What Chimala pieces are you most excited about this season?
Chino shorts, denim shorts, our Camo Jacket and our Denim Ankle Pants.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
From actual vintage pieces or photo books of vintage clothes.
February 10, 2013
To say we love denim would be kind of an understatement. Truth is, we’re obsessed. And we like to think we are aware of all things in the denim culture-sphere, from timeless denim icons like ’70s-era Cher or ’50s-era Marilyn, to jeans-related songs (ahem, “Blue Jean” by David Bowie), to, yes, even red carpet appearances (the so-bad-it’s-good Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake matching, head-to-toe denim at the 2001 American Music Awards). So it should come as no surprise that we spend a fair amount of time hitting up our own Denim Bar—with its myriad styles and washes, it’s basically a jean lover’s fantasy destination.
January 4, 2013
Shh…a jean secret our denim team swears by:
Though it may sound strange, we say don’t wash your jeans. What to do instead? Pack them in a plastic bag and freeze them for a day or two. All unsavory elements will disappear—and your beloved blues won’t have faded or shrunk in the process (like they would in the wash!).
November 6, 2012
As you probably already know, we’re serious denim lovers. From rich washes and colors to small-batch collections, we’ve got it all. But that doesn’t mean we stop searching high and low for exciting inspiration. And on that note, we thought we’d let you in on our secret little list of the denim blogs we love:
October 26, 2012
Are you Annie Hall incarnate or more of a Holly Golightly type? Does your favorite Youtube video involve zany animals or awkward TV clips from the ’80s? Take our Denim Quiz here to find out what your answers mean about the perfect Madewell jeans for you.
October 4, 2012
It’s back! Our limited-edition heritage denim collection, Rivet & Thread, returns for fall—this time inspired by these supercool things you see above. Specifically, vintage Madewell pieces from our own archive (that dates back to 1937), a waxed heavy-canvas water bag we picked up in Wyoming and a hand-sewn patchwork blanket made from indigo fabric scraps, to name a few.
Get to know our premium small-batch denim here.
July 20, 2012
From jeans to chambray shirts, we can’t get enough of all things blue. Here, a few ways to wear our favorites.
CHAMBRAY SONGBIRD DRESS
Wheelspoke Pendant Necklace
The Chronicle Bag
The Barnwood Boot
SILK WAVEFORM CAMI DRESS
Long-Sleeve Indigo Ink Tee
Han Kjobenhavn™ Timeless Eyeglasses
Happy Socks® x Madewell Trouser Socks
PERFECT CHAMBRAY SHIRT
[BlankNYC] Printed Denim Jeans
Trinket Weave Chain
For even more looks we love, pop over to madewell.com.
July 6, 2012
by Kendall Meade (Madewell)
Great minds think alike: Here’s Joyce, Lizza, Gigi, Ellie, Heather and Lauren—all rocking some form of a jean jacket.
Here at Madewell HQ, wearing jeans to work isn’t just a Friday thing. In fact, it’s so ubiquitous, you’re pretty much considered a trailblazer if you don’t wear jeans constantly. Lately, though, it’s hard to ignore that our denim obsession has officially headed up top—in the form of the always-cool denim jacket (like our Goldrush Jean Jacket). Sure, it might have something to do with the air conditioning that’s blasting in the office all day (hey, can someone turn it down a notch?), but, as you can see from the photo above, I don’t see anyone reaching for their usual cardigan.