Welcome to Episode 2 of “Maddie and Beth Try On Clothes.” If you missed Episode 1, here’s a quick debrief:
We’re coworkers (and good friends!) who love fashion but are two different sizes. We talk about fashion with each other day in and day out, so we thought we would venture to Nike to try out their new activewear line for plus-size women. Long story short, it didn’t go as planned.
We continued our try-on excursion but wanted to move on from activewear to regular clothes. We decided to head to Madewell since they have such a large selection of jeans, tops, and dresses — many of which we could wear to the office or in our daily lives. We knew that with our different body types, it would be a wild ride to try on and develop opinions on Madewell’s clothes — let’s be honest, jean shopping is the worst.
Beth: HEY Y’ALL. It’s ya girls, back again. Happy to see you’ve joined us again 🙂 I’ve loved Madewell ever since they extended their size range. It’s amazing to see a big company like that make strides in creating clothes for all body types, and I love that it’s an extended range rather than a new plus-size line altogether. This meant Maddie and I were able to try on the same things! YAY!
Maddie: This was my first time ever putting Madewell jeans on my body, so I was really excited. Our Editorial Director, Allyson, has a pair that I’ve been admiring for months, and I couldn’t wait to give them a try. I also see a lot of their clothes online through work, and I was excited to see them all in person and see if I loved them as much actually on my body as I do online.
In Madewell’s sizes, I wore a small in all shirts and dresses (I’m 5’5″, for reference), and a 27 in all jeans.
Beth: Now, here’s where it gets a lil tricky. Typically, I’m an XXL in Madewell and wear a 34 in their skinny jeans. However, shopping in a Madewell store isn’t necessarily the experience I was expecting. While they carry items in an XXL and their size chart goes up to a 37, they don’t carry all of that in store. I didn’t see a single XXL in the store or any of their plus-size tops or dresses. They have “samples” of the jeans to try on, but I would have had to purchase everything online.
THIS IS FRUSTRATING!! What if I found THE JEAN to end all other jeans for me, and I had to wait five to seven business days to show them off to my coworkers? It’s not the worst thing in the world (lol @ Nike), but it’s another way companies show that their plus-size customers aren’t as important as their straight-size ones. (*drop the mic*)
Anyhow, let’s get to the clothes (which I should admit I liked very much).
Maddie: These were the jeans that Allyson wears that I’ve been swooning over, so naturally they were the first thing I grabbed when I walked into the store.
I absolutely love a straight-leg jean — at this point I’ve basically nixed all my skinny jeans for the ‘90s-esque style — but the perfect fit is hard for me to find. My thighs are big and muscular and have always caused some chaos for me — they’re proportionally bigger than my waist and hips (thanks, mom!), so a lot of straight-leg jeans end up being way too big on my waist, but pull at my thighs.
The first thing you notice about these is that there is absolutely no stretch — none. I sized up to account for my proportions (size 28), and the second I put them on I literally felt claustrophobic. I wanted to get them off of my body as quickly as possible and to never be seen in them again. They didn’t look horrible but definitely weren’t super flattering on my body.
This shirt, on the other hand, was absolutely amazing. I’d wear this with anything from a denim skirt to boyfriend jeans. It’s casual enough to wear on a lazy Saturday but is definitely work appropriate as well. It was an A+ for me. I actually got online when I got home from work on this day and ordered it!
Beth: I was smitten the day Allyson came into the office in these jeans and have been dying to try them on! My trusty pair of favorite Levi’s ripped on me recently (rip — ha, get it), so I’m in desperate need of a new pair of light-wash straight jeans. I wear them with literally everything — white blouse for work, a bodysuit for night, old college T-shirt for the weekend, the list goes on.
I sized up in these as well, and I LOVED the fit. They fit like a boyfriend jean on me — tight in the butt but loose in the thighs. I have my eyes on these to replace my favorite jeans!
As for the top, I LOVED the fit. Since they didn’t have XXL in store, I tried to see how an XL would fit me. This top is quite oversized, so I was able to get away with it. I would love to see how the XXL would fit too! I could see myself wearing this all summer by itself and under a cardigan through the fall.
Maddie: These skinny jeans were some of the most comfortable I’ve ever put on. I’m a sucker for a raw hem, and these were the perfect high rise without being too high. They were so flattering, comfortable, and were the perfect amount of stretch without needing to fear they’d be baggy by the end of the day.
This tank was super fun, but the length was a bit too long on me so I didn’t feel like it was super flattering. It was a bit too thick to be able to tuck — so I think it could look great on people with a longer torso, but was a pass for me (but it’s adorable in principle).
Beth: Ever since I did a try-on (quite similar to this — for fear of being too self-absorbed, I roped Maddie into doing them with me hehe) of Good American, I’m not impressed by any other skinny jeans. Those are the ultimate jeans for me. They are stretchy enough that I could honestly probably work out in them but they never get baggy, and the best part is that the denim material is thick and durable. Anyone with thighs that rub together knows the cycle of buying jeans and them ripping in the inner thigh after only a few months. Thick thighs, thin patience, am I right ladies? 😉
Madewell and GA are at a similar price point, so I never felt the need to try the Madewell ones. However, I was quickly converted. These are some of the best-fitting skinny jeans I’ve ever tried on. (I wish I was kidding because I really wanted to be ~not like other girls~.) I would need to get them hemmed because they were a tad long on me, but otherwise, they fit like a glove. I’ve heard my coworkers discuss the Madewell jeans many times before, and they love the 9” high-rise. I tried out the 10”, and it was *chef’s kiss* on my long torso. I put these on my fall wishlist!
As for the tank, it was OK. Maddie and I spotted it and thought it would be a cute tank to transition to fall (AKA when you want to curl up with a PSL and a murder mystery on a nice fall day, but it’s September and still 85 degrees out!). I grabbed this in an XL, and I think if it had been an XXL, I would have loved it a lot more. It fit, but I’d want it to be a little more oversized for jeans.
jeans / top
Maddie: These jeans were the opposite of my experience with the “perfect vintage” fit — they were still a straight-leg fit, but had some stretch through the leg, so they felt MUCH better. The distressed wash and high waist made them feel extra cool-girl, and they were a great alternative to the perfect vintage fit for me.
This shirt was another win in my book — the polka dots are super subtle, and I love how feminine the silhouette is. I’ve been gravitating toward ultra-feminine white tops this summer, and this checked all of my boxes. (It also had a button-up top to make sure I wasn’t going to have any nudity incidents.)
Beth: Upon first walking into the store, I asked the associate if they had extended sizes in store. I think she recognized the disappointment on my face when they explained the whole scenario I discussed above, so she pulled a couple extra pairs of jeans for me that were on sale (lol, I’ll take it). These were cute but were a little long on me. I didn’t totally hate it though actually, as they give off that “Rachel Green circa season one of Friends, long, baggy jeans” vibe. (Maddie, did I just sound like a real Friends fan? Have I made it? Are we really friends now?) I liked them, but they weren’t my favorite!
I already have this white t-shirt in an XXL, so this is it in an XL (which was all they had). This had more of a cropped, shrunken fit, but I prefer the slightly oversized look of my XXL one at home. That said, if you’re looking for a loose, comfy, lightweight white t-shirt that is actually pretty budget-friendly, I’d totally recommend this one! It’s been a staple in my closet since I purchased it a few months ago.
Rompers + Dresses
Maddie: This romper was on the mannequin in the window, so I knew I wanted to try it on before I even got through the threshold of the store — so you can imagine how disappointed I was when I could not figure out how to wear it without my left boob completely falling out of it. It took me about five minutes to get on, and I re-tied it about a dozen times in an attempt to figure out how it was physically possible to wear without freeing the nipple — all to no avail. I’m not sure who this was made for, but if you somehow have proportions where there’s no indecent exposure happening, you would probably love this.
Maddie: I have the shirt version of this dress and I wear it to death, and the dress was no disappointment. I love the burnt orange color to be able to wear to work with my leather and suede jackets in the fall, and it is a simple, versatile piece that I know I would wear all the time. It was also the perfect length — not too long, not too short.
Beth: Another classic case of “I grabbed this in an XL and it was OK, but the XXL would be perfect.” The color of this dress is amazing for fall — pop on a pair of ankle booties and some tights, and this is totally cold-weather appropriate for work or going out with the ‘girls! (And by “‘girls”, you know I mean Everygirls!) I hopped online after the trip and realized this was on sale, so I bought it for our career conference in Atlanta!
Shorts + Skirts
overalls / top
Maddie: I’ve been wanting to get on the overall shorts bandwagon for a while, and these absolutely sold me. All I could fantasize about was waltzing around a farmer’s market on a Saturday morning with an iced latte picking up some fresh flowers (something that will never happen — but if it did, it would be in these overalls). I love how summery the white wash was, and the contrast with the black tee made this look something that could be a weekend go-to for me.
I am absolutely obsessed with this tee — besides it being a bit see-through, it was so flattering and was the perfect twist on a plain tee with the ruffled sleeves. I paired it both with white overall shorts and a denim skirt, and it looked great with both. The material was also super lightweight, so it would be great for summer and the 95 degree days we’ve been getting here in Chicago. I would get this in every color.
Beth: I’ve been on the hunt for a work-appropriate denim skirt for a long time. I try them on everywhere I go, but they’re ALWAYS (emphasis) tight and short, making them perfect for a night on the town but absolutely not for coming into the office (or honestly anywhere that isn’t a dark room where everyone is under the influence of vodka cran). They only had a few sizes in this, so I tried on a 36. It was definitely a size or two too big, but I loved the length! Keeping my eyes on this baby!
Maddie: I second everything Beth said — this jean skirt fit well in a way that was unlike the one I wore in sixth grade from Abercrombie Kids. It was just tight enough, the perfect length, and was super flattering. Could it be the perfect denim skirt?
Maddie: Overall, this was a MUCH different experience than our previous excursion. Beth and I could actually try on a lot of the same clothes, which was our plan all along. However, it was absolutely crazy that Madewell only stocks samples of plus-size items and that you have to get them shipped to you. I shop in-store for the instant gratification — I would have been super disappointed if I couldn’t take the items I loved home with me.
In terms of my items, I loved almost every single thing I put on, which is a never-event for me. All of their sizing is pretty standard, and Madewell hits the nail on the head with pieces I could see myself wearing everywhere from the office to a night out — they’re versatile, flattering, and unique. I loved pairing their staples with their trendier items, and feel that they emulate an attainable, classic-but-cool style. So often, items look great online, but in person are absolutely atrocious. It was wonderful knowing that this isn’t the case for Madewell but disappointing to know how many more items I have on my fall wardrobe wish list since our trip there.
Beth: It’s really unfortunate that they don’t have their extended sizes in-store to purchase, because everything fit me pretty well — and I could see it working on so many different body types. If I didn’t love it on me, I could see it looking great on someone else. I love shopping online as much as the next gal, but I also get a certain ~je ne sais quoi~ from getting everything bagged up and bringing it home to pretend-film my Instagram Story haul with my thousands of fans (If only!). (Yes, I did just link my Instagram — maybe one day I will do a haul, and everyone making fun of me rn will miss out. For good measure, here’s Maddie‘s too.)
In closing, I would definitely recommend Madewell for basics and fall transition items. Their current selection is great, and they ALWAYS have sales, so watch out! Also, Madewell, just bring your extended sizes in stores. They’re sold in Nordstrom, so I don’t understand why we can’t pick them up at your store! Please!? I know I’m not the only one who would shop ’til she drops.