Friday, July 27, 2018

Madewell Reviews: Dresses, Mini Daisy, and Overalls

I was originally planning to publish this post next week, but a few of the items I reviewed below are now included in Madewell's weekend sale. From now through July 30, 2018, you can take an additional 40% off all sale items with SHORETHING. FYI Madewell just updated their website recently, so it's still a little glitchy at the moment. 
It's been forever since my last fitting room review! Part of the reason is that I mostly shop online these days, and partially it's because J.Crew's offerings have been pretty lackluster lately. Since I've been shopping less at J.Crew, I started eyeing other retailers to fill the void and naturally turned to Madewell, J.Crew's cooler younger sister. I'm a latecomer to that bandwagon, but I like their feminine tomboy style, which fits well with the direction that my personal style is evolving in. I stopped by their store recently and tried on some pieces I saw online.

For reference, I am 5' 4" and approximately 125 lbs. My measurements are 32C-26-34. I typically wear regular tops but petite bottoms. I have broader-than-average shoulders, and my inseam is 30" long. My usual J.Crew size is 00 and XXS, although lately I've gained a little weight and have been sizing up to 0 and XS. At Madewell, I seem to mostly wear 00 and XXS. 

So this dress doesn't look like much from my pictures, but I thought it looked pretty good in real life, and I could see myself wearing it all the time. The material is soft and light-to-medium weight, but because of the color, it isn't sheer in the least. It's hard to tell from the pictures, but the stripes are white, black, and terracotta. I love the scoop neck as well as the slight scoop back. It's on the longer end for a casual tank dress (just a little above my knee) and very comfortable with its shift-like silhouette. I tried on both my usual XXS as well as one size up in the XS. They fit similarly, but personally I would go with the XXS, because the underarms of the XS gaped a bit, and there was a little too much room overall. I could see wearing this dress with a denim jacket and cognac accessories. Anyway, this is a great example of one of those easy dresses that Madewell does so well.
Verdict: Like. True to size. Ordered.

District Dress in Stripe (Nightfall XXS)

I like this dress a lot and added it to my wishlist. The material is quite thick and thus completely opaque. Because of the swingy and very stretchy fit, it doesn't cling to your stomach or backside like many other casual dresses, so no need to worry about VPL! (You might be able to size down, but since XXS is already their smallest size, I couldn't confirm my suspicion). Normally I don't like ribbed material, because I think it looks too casual or sometimes even cheap, but it actually works on this dress. Also, I love the in-cut armholes (really flattering on my broad shoulders). However, it does mean you have to wear a strapless bra. Because of the fit and material, this dress could be either dressed up with sandals/heels or dressed down with sneakers. P.S. I love stripes!

Verdict: Love. Swingy fit. On my wishlist.

Ruffled Wrap Maxi Dress in Mini Daisy (Camille Brilliant Royal 00)

On a whim, I grabbed this maxi dress to try on, because I really like the mini daisy print. The dress isn't really my style, so imagine my surprise when I fell in love with it! It's so soft, pretty, and feminine. The material feels great too, kind of like a sueded silk even though it's apparently rayon/tencel. It's unlined but completely opaque. I found this dress true to size and the perfect length on my frame. I wonder if it might be slightly short on taller women though, since I'm only 5' 4". I think this would be the perfect dress to wear to a more casual wedding. The tassel wrap tie was easy to manage, and you can wrap it around your waist a couple times. The only odd thing about this dress is the side zipper, which doesn't completely unzip down the side, so you have to slip it on over your head. I kind of wish they had executed that part differently, but overall it's a beautiful dress!

Verdict: Surprise love. True to size.

Ruffle-Edge Skirt in Mini Daisy (Camille Brilliant Royal 00)

I love this print, so I tried on the skirt too. Unlike the dress, this skirt is lined. It fits true to size, and I like the mini length (not too short and not too long). I even like the ruffled edge, because it's fairly subtle when combined with the print. I'm just not sure how to style it, because the only thing I can think of to pair it with would be a plain white or striped tee. Not on my wishlist due to its lack of versatility.

Verdict: Like, but not on my wishlist. True to size.

Belle Tank Top in Mini Daisy (Camille Brilliant Royal 00)

I just really like the blue mini daisy print... The top is probably my least favorite out of the three pieces I tried on though. It just had too many design elements going on: the already busy print, the shoulder ties, the peplum, and the button-down front. I tried it on with both my own jeans and the matching skirt. The overall length seems a hair short. Also the v-neck is slightly too low, and the buttons actually gape a bit so it's a little risque. Similar to the dress, they added the same side zipper that doesn't zip all the way down, so you have to slip the top on over your head. Not a big fan overall of the top, but I still like the print and material.

Verdict: Meh. True to size.

Wrap-Front Romper in Mini Daisy (Retro Floral Cranberry 00)

I really wanted to like this romper, because I saw it online and thought it was really cute. However, in real life, it just didn't live up to its promise. The wrap front is too low and shows more cleavage than I am comfortable with. Also, the torso felt a little short, although admittedly I do have a longer torso. Plus the sleeves were too long in my opinion, which makes the whole ensemble look sort of matronly and dated. There is a back zipper which makes getting in and out of the romper alright, but the waist tie takes a lot of fiddling to get right. I also wish the floral pattern was red and white, instead of this faded tan color. Anyway, I think there's definitely a woman out there who can pull this off and make it look awesome, but that woman isn't me.

Verdict: Meh. True to size.

Are you surprised that I tried on shortalls? Me too. I haven't worn overalls since I was a kid, and in general they're not really my style. However, I recently saw them on a blogger and thought they looked really cute, so I wanted to give these a try. Surprisingly they looked better than I expected. Definitely a feminine tomboy style. This particular pair runs small, so I had to size up to an XS. I still found them a little tight in the thighs, so I'd even consider going up another size. The torso seemed a bit long, but you can always adjust the shoulder straps. I just didn't bother at the time, because it had already taken me so much effort to get into them. You have to button/unbutton at the hip to put them on and take them off, which would be a hassle every time you go to the bathroom. 

Verdict: Like, but not sure they're for me. Runs small.

I also tried on a handful of sale items but didn't have time to take pictures:
- I liked this floral silk dress, which ran true to size. I thought the bottom half was very pretty and the knee length was nice, but personally I just don't like flutter sleeves, and I wasn't sure about the color.
- I also tried on this tank dress, which was true to size and had moderately thick material. It was completely opaque. The v-neck was too low though, and I didn't like the chest pocket.
- This striped tee dress was huge, so go down at least a size, although maybe it'll shrink in the wash since it is 100% cotton. I really didn't like the color combo, which looked old and faded.
- This cropped jumpsuit actually looks really great once you get it on, but it was incredibly difficult to put on in my opinion. True to size and would work well on petite frames.

Other sale picks: button-front dress, stripe wrap skirt, block-heel sandals

Do you shop at Madewell? Which pieces did you like and dislike?

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