Madewell Jeans Review

Let’s talk denim. Aside from leggings, it’s the only thing I wear. I feel the most like myself in a great pair of jeans, especially paired with a pretty cami and chunky knit cardigan. Finding your denim brand is a lot like finding your soulmate, or at the very least, your very good friend. It takes some work – you have to try a few brands, give them a fair shot, realize they aren’t right, move on to the next, etc. It’s like speed dating, except it can take years to find that one brand that fits you perfectly nearly every single time. For me, that’s Madewell. I’ve been a long-time Madewell denim wearer, but within the last year or so, we went exclusive (save for 2 pair of AG jeans in my closet). So, let’s talk about my favorite styles!

There are three reasons that I love these jeans. First, the fit is unmatched in many other brands that I’ve tried for my body. Obviously, fit is subjective, so they may not work for every body and every fit preference. However, in my experience, these jeans fit snug in all the right places and provide a little room in the rest. They’re comfortable, mostly due to the fiber content (hello, 1% spandex), which is the only kind of denim I will wear. However, even with this added stretch in many of the styles, they don’t get baggy by the end of the day. I will wear my jeans several, and I mean several, times before washing them. If you find the right size for you, you won’t have that problem of feeling like you need to wash them just so that they’ll fit you right again! The second reason I love them is the quality. They last for years, don’t fade in color, and hold up really well with lots of washing. I have a couple pairs that are 4+ years old and still in great condition, and that’s with regular washing (on cold and hanging to dry). Finally, the value. Every style I have sits at less than $150. Knowing that they will last for years and I will wear them multiple times a week, it’s a no-brainer for me.

Let’s get into the styles I have and wear on regular rotation:

If there’s one style that I would tell every single denim-loving woman to try, it’s the Roadtripper. They’re insanely comfortable, have just the right rise so that you’re not yanking your jeans up before bending over or sitting, and can be dressed up or down.

Roadtripper Sizing Recommendation: Size down at least one size. I size down two sizes because I like them to fit a bit more snug around the knee and through the waist.

The next style, which I have in 2 washes, is the 9″ High-Rise Skinny. The 9″ inseam seems to be the sweet spot for me – it comes to just under my belly button, so it’s high enough to feel secure but not so high that I can’t front-tuck my top. I have them in a classic blue jean wash and in the near-black wash seen below.

9″ High Rise Sizing Recommendation: I go true to size for this style.

The newest style to my collection is the 10″ High-Rise Skinny. I picked these because I really liked the wash (it’s got a grey undertone to it) and the step hem. The 10″ is great if you’ve got a little extra softness around your waist or if you want the security of never having to pull your jeans up, like ever.

10″ High-Rise Sizing Recommendation: I went true to size for these.

The last style that I have is the 9″ High-Rise Skinny with the Button-Through (aka buttons instead of a zipper). I loved the detail of the buttons, especially since I front-tuck so many of my tops. I also liked the raw hem on these and that there aren’t any holes in the knees.

9″ High-Rise with Button-Through Sizing Recommendation: I sized down one size for these. The fit is more like the Roadtripper, so there’s a lot of stretch to them.

Madewell does a denim recycling program, which is so great! You can bring in any pre-loved pair of jeans (from any brand) and receive $20 off a new pair. And you get to help out a great cause while you’re at it! When I do my regular “closet clean-out” and find denim that I want to get rid of, I’ll usually keep a pair or two on hand to recycle with them.

Hi there!

Lauren Bown Lifestyle Blog is an online destination where I share my personal style, beauty finds, and bits of life in hopes to inspire other women to feel good in their skin and find the beauty in the ordinary.

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  1. 1.18.19
    Megan said:

    I finally purchased a pair of the Roadtripper jeans this past fall after hearing you and Kate rave about them for YEARS and I have to say, I LOVE them and so wish I had bought them sooner! Thanks for the recommendation. They’re by far my favorite pair of jeans. I’ve since ordered two more pairs of jeans!

    • 1.18.19
      Lauren said:

      Yes! So glad you love them – they’re so good!

  2. 1.18.19
    Tess said:

    Love Madewell jeans! And through the 21st they are giving $30 off a new pair of jeans through their denim recycling program (at least that is what a email I got this morning said!) Thanks Lauren!

    • 1.18.19
      Lauren said:

      Amazing!! Thanks for sharing!

  3. 1.18.19
    Jenny said:

    I just bought the Roadtrippers as well per you and Kate’s love for them. I read the reviews and they state to size down, so I bought two pairs, to give them a try. I think the size down is correct, however, my waist must be a little smaller than I thought that they do creep down a little at the crotch; enough that as the day goes, I have to pull them up. Have you heard this happening? I feel I should size one more down, but then I don’t want it so tight that it’s uncomfortable when I sit, etc., since the pair I’m trying is already snug in general. But I do agree, they feel great overall. May just make it work because of the great reviews. Plus I did get a great deal!

    • 1.18.19
      Lauren said:

      I sized down two sizes and am glad that I did because I had the same thing happening that you’re talking about just one size down. They’re a touch more snug in the waist than my other jeans, but after about a half day of wearing, they stretch enough in the waist to be perfectly comfortable!

  4. 1.18.19
    Lynn said:

    I tried Madewell and was disappointed! A few other bloggers recommended American Eagle, which has an amazingly large size/fit/style stock..I was BLOWN AWAY by their jeans! I’m 5’2, and their jeans fit amazingly well, no stretching out, and at a quarter of the price of Madewell, were a no brainer!

    • 1.18.19
      Lauren said:

      Nice! I’ve tried AE jeans and just don’t like the fit on me, but glad you were able to find something that works for you! Like I said in the post, once you find that right brand, go with it!

  5. 1.18.19
    Stephanie said:

    Thanks for doing this review, I’ve been wanting to try this brand and this helps a lot!

  6. 1.18.19
    Martha said:

    I finally bit the bullet and got some Madewell jeans too after reading so many great reviews from you and Kate. Started with the 9″ rise with the raw hem, which I love, but am OBSESSED with the Roadtripper. Bought it in the Jansen wash to start with and immediately asked for the black for Christmas.

    I do have one question though….the raw hem ones are a little too long for me without cuffing. Do you have any experience with cutting them off to the correct length? I’m thinking they would be fine, but would hate to ruin a good pair of jeans. Thanks!!

    • 1.18.19
      Lauren said:

      The Roadtrippers are SO good! I don’t have any issues with the length on any of the styles that I own. Have you considered the “short” version? They offer short, regular and tall (and maybe even one more length option), so may be worth trying!

  7. 1.18.19
    Amanda said:

    Thank you for this post, I love Madewell jeans too! For reference, how tall are you? I’m almost 5’5 and could probably do the short or regular length but wondering how they run. I just discovered your blog through your sister, love it 🙂

  8. 1.19.19
    Christie said:

    I am obsessed with Madewell jeans. I started with the Roadtripper and fell in LOVE. Now, I have a total of 14 pairs including 2 pairs of overalls. THAT’S how much I love them. (Wow, now that I say that out loud – that’s crazy!) I think they’re totally worth the money and they do have sales. In fact, most of the pairs I have, I got pretty good deals on. Even the pairs I paid full-price on, I don’t regret. I will say that I didn’t size down on any of them. I agree the roadtripper has a lot of stretch but I’m curvy/athletic built and think sizing down would’ve been too tight in some areas, so I don’t mind the little extra room. Great article and LOVE the website! Thanks!

    • 1.19.19
      Lauren said:

      Thank you! Love that there are fellow Madewell jeans hoarders like me 😉

  9. 1.19.19
    Stephanie said:

    Madwell jeans are LIFE! I agree their fit is amazing and they are so comfortable, I could wear them daily and be happy.

  10. 1.19.19
    Amanda said:

    The Frankie Wash is sold out. Sad day! Do you know if this is a style they keep stocked?

    • 1.20.19
      Lauren said:

      I’m not sure – they’ve been available for a good bit of time, so maybe? You could certainly call or do their online chat to ask!

  11. 2.11.19
    Nicole said:

    Do you dry your jeans or hang to dry?

  12. 2.18.20
    Sheila said:

    Does Madewell take returns? I live in the states. Are there any brick and mortar stores that carry their jeans?
    Thank you

    P.S. I’m 64 and would love love to find jeans that got well and flatter my body.

  13. 12.14.20
    CC said:

    Thanks so much for your post! You look gorgeous in all the jeans! I recently bought the 9” high rise skinny in Black Sea and thought the size was a bit tight around the waist but when I brought it into the store to size up, the sales associate told me to size down from what I bought. I was shocked! I know they have some stretch but was wondering if they really do stretch over time cuz I really want it to fit comfortably without the minor muffin top issue and slightly tighter fit.