these days i do a bulk of my shopping online. since i’ve come to learn what sizes i am in my favorite brands, it takes a lot of the necessity of going into the store out of the equation. plus it’s just so darn convenient.
with that said, i’m still human and i’d be lying if i said i’d ever turn down an opportunity to gallivant around one of our open-air malls. so with a few miscellaneous wedding-related errands to run this weekend, i took the opportunity to pop into one of my favorite stores to try on pieces from their latest (and gorgeous) spring collection.
welcome to the first installment of “fitting room fables,” a series i’d love to keep up as time permits. today’s FRF comes from my brand crush forever, madewell. for the past four years, my wardrobe has slowly morphed into a madewell showroom and let’s be real, i couldn’t be happier about it. with spring showing up in faint glimpses lately and with daylight saving time now just two weeks away (hooray!), i’m so ready to embrace exposed shoulders and muted color palettes with open arms.
though ultimately i left the store empty-handed (which hardly ever happens!), i did have a blast partaking in a mini fashion show for my husband (and a few madewell employees). here are the items i tried on and my honest opinions about their style and fit.
before we start, i’ll say that at madewell, i waiver between an xs/s in tops and a 0/2 in skirts/dresses. also, i’m a hair under 5′ 7″.
clean off-the-shoulder top in stripe (small) || i tend to shy away from the off-the-shoulder trend since it can’t be remixed into my work wardrobe but i did love the sky blue-colored stripe on this one. i was swimming in the small, so i would definitely size down to an x-small. the elastic helped the top to sit comfortably on across my chest and cotton fabric would be perfect for staying cool as the temperatures start to heat up. i’d pair this blouse with some white skinny jeans, some lace-up sandals, and a big straw hat.
size verdict: size down.
striped bell-sleeve top (small) || you can’t tell from the photo but this blouse boasts a dreamy peach-colored stripe. unfortunately pastels don’t flatter my skin tone, so i opted out of making this piece mine. however, i LOVED the bell-sleeve detail and how, unlike the off-the-shoulder blouse, this shirt fit a bit more close to the body. if it had come in grey or black, i would have definitely added it to my collection. perhaps the silhouette will come back again next season. i love how well peach and grey mix together, so i’d probably pair this top with my favorite skinnies in the dusty wash and a pair of white sneakers for a laid-back weekend look.
size verdict: true to size.
chambray tie-back top(small) || given my love for bows, it should come as no surprise that this was the piece i was most excited to try on from madewell’s spring collection. but to be completely honest, its charm didn’t translate as well into real life as it did when i initially spotted it online (the bows look more like knots if anything). nevertheless, it’s the perfect mid-wash chambray hue and the subtle bell-sleeves add that extra element of femininity that i love. once i tried on the x-small (which fit a lot better, especially around waist), i started to appreciate it more, but at almost $70, i couldn’t justify pulling the trigger. if it goes on sale, i might just make it mine. it would be perfect with my vintage ecru cropped jeans and a pair of natalie borton’s new tassel earrings.
skylark cold-shoulder top (small) || i LOVE this top. it’s slightly cropped but it paired perfectly with these high-waisted wide-leg jeans. in addition to black, it also comes in a peachy color and an ivory shade. the fabric is light-weight, with almost a waffle-type vibe. for someone who hang-dries all of her clothes, it’s the type of top that would dry almost instantly out of the washer (which would make it great for traveling!). i loved the tie-detail on the sleeves and the fact that it’s under $50. the only downside is that the style isn’t one that’s office-friendly. i ultimately used that excuse as the reason not to purchase it, but in seeing it again here, i’m definitely regretting that decision. don’t be surprised if this eventually makes it way into my closet. i still have a honeymoon wardrobe to consider ;). i’d probably do an all-black look by pairing it with my high-waisted black jeans and lace-up espadrilles.
size verdict: true to size.
central shirt in pure white (x-small) & scallop hem pull-on shorts(small) || i have tried on a version of this shirt at least a handful of times -all to no avail, but after seeing this article last week, i decided to tempt fate yet again. y’all, i just don’t look good in these kind of button-down tops. they’re always too tight in the arms yet huge pretty much everywhere else. i so admire people who can pull this style off, i’m just not one of them. these shorts on the other hand are a DREAM. i mean, let’s talk about those scallops, right?! such a sweet detail on an otherwise simple garment. while i love an elastic waistband, this one was troublesome to me. i could already feel it twisting around beneath the seams and knew it would only worsen as time went on. maybe i’m overly cautious about these things, but fit details such as an ill-fitting waistband stand out to me. since i wear the heck out of my clothes, i need them to stand the test of time. to be completely honest, i was super bummed about these shorts. i would have bought them in a heartbeat if they had been better crafted.
size verdict: size down in the shirt, shorts are true to size.
knit wide-leg overalls(x-small) || i half tried these on as a joke and that’s kind of what they turned out to be. try as i might, i can’t seem to make overalls happen on me. i’m just too long-waisted. the texture makes them feel a tad bit on the juvenile side, but i could see the allure of lounging around in them with a soft cotton tee on a lazy sunday afternoon.
size verdict: pretty true to size. maybe size up if you want a baggier fit.
size verdict: true to size, it’s meant to fit a bit billowy.
valley sweater-dress(small) || okay so i never thought a sweater dress could make me feel “sexy” but this one was kind of va va va voom. it caught me by surprise as i’m not usually comfortable seeing myself this way, but i loved how the cut of the dress showcased my shape without being too clingy. i only wish i had somewhere to wear this baby to otherwise i wouldn’t have passed it up. if anything, trying it on proved to me that i should look for shapes that fall closer to the body than those resembling paper sacks (see above). make it wedding season ready with these ankle strap sandals in this season’s hottest hue (blush) and a cozy pastel wrap or cater it for a casual weekend brunch with a denim jacket and western-style suede booties.
size verdict: true to size.
chambray cold shoulder dress (small) || madewell reinvents the classic denim dress every season and spring’s version is particularly flirty with the exposed shoulder detail. while this one was plenty long to flatter my tall(ish) frame, its baggier silhouette ultimately left me feeling as though people might question whether or not i was hiding a baby bump (spoiler alert: i’m not). on the other hand, if you are pregnant, this dress would be adorable to accommodate your growing belly and light-weight enough to help you survive the warmer temps of spring and summer. throw it on with these pale pink lace-up flats and a pair of white framed sunnies.
size verdict: slightly oversized, could size down.
and there you have it. the first of what i hope to be many fitting room fables. my apologies for the sub-par iphone photos, i think it’s time to upgrade to the iphone 7 if only for the superior camera ;). thanks for coming along, i hope you enjoyed this post!
san diego-based style blogger, barre instructor & packaging assistant at natalie borton jewelry. curator of simple, affordable fashion. lover of my husband, family, coffee, traveling, and the bravo network. minimalist with a feminine twist.