though i no longer have a need to go “back to school” shopping in its purest sense, it’s still fun to do a little closet refresh once the seasons start to change. as i’ve noted many times, my favorite season to dress for is fall. hands down. the colors, the textures, the layers, the fabrics. i love everything about it. though we’re not quite in the thick of it yet, stores have already begun releasing pieces from their fall collections, including madewell which i was able to pop into over the holiday weekend. below are my top picks, what went home with me (and subsequently, what you’ll be seeing on the blog in the coming weeks), and my sizing recommendations. enjoy!
striped ruffle-front blouse (xs) || after this top sold out at j.crew (it’s now available at nordstrom), i was excited to see madewell had a similar version, in a more demure shade of blue. while i typically vacillate between an x-small and small at madewell, this size felt quite snug -especially in the shoulders and beneath the arms. however, even if i had sized-up, the style seemed unflattering on me. unfortunately this is a case of a garment not translating as well in real life as it appeared online. c’est la vie.
size verdict: runs snug in the arms, size up.
perfect summer jean (26) || since embracing the wide-leg cropped pant as my ideal silhouette, i’ve created quite the collection of them -in both cotton and denim varieties. so i pushed myself to try on a different jean style on this visit to the store, opting for the highly-praised perfect summer jean in a high-rise. while i loved the light wash (probably not the best purchase as we’re transitioning into fall), the fit was a little stiff for my liking. i think i expected these to have more of a boyfriend style and was confused when they fit closer to my body. maybe i’m used to wearing jeans with stretch in them? regardless, despite the 261 reviews on madewell’s website speaking to the contrary, i found them to be a miss for me.
size verdict: true to size, size up for a more “boyfriend” fit
gingham lace-up bell-sleeve top (xs) || i’m a sucker for anything in a gingham print, so i was excited to try this top on in person. i love the lace-up detailing along the sleeves and the slight bell at the cuff. these added details give this otherwise simple blouse a little character, which is something i always look for in my tops. regardless of its charm, however, the fit was still off for me. the boddess fit fine (if not a little flowy) but the arms/shoulders were just a tad bit tight for comfort. it was one of those cases where the cut just didn’t work with my body, if i had sized up for more room in the arms, the overall fit would have been too baggy. too bad, because it looked super cute with jeans, or would be adorable tucked into a denim skirt and black booties.
size verdict: true to size-ish, may need to size up for space in the arms
eyelet ruffle-front blouse (s) || the two things i was most excited to try from madewell’s fall collection were the striped ruffled top (see above -womp, womp) and this adorable eyelet top. thankfully the latter was a total home run. similar to this blouse, this beauty is perfect for transitioning from summer to fall. the eyelet fabric makes it breathable in the lingering summer heat, but the long-sleeves ensure warmth as the temperatures begin to dip come october. while i didn’t find it to be too see through (i was wearing a nude bra), you could always layer a cami underneath it for both modesty and/or an extra layer of warmth.
size verdict: true to size if not a little big. given the fact that many of madewell’s tops tend to fit too snuggly in the arm/shoulder area, i think i’m more of a small than an x-small in blouses like these. noted!
langford wide-leg crop pants in light latte (26) || another day, another pair of wide-leg croppd pants. at this point, i’m just embracing the fact that i may have a small problem with collecting pairs of this silhouette. what can i say? when you find something that works, you run with it. while i tend to avoid khaki since my uniform-wearing days, i decided to try this one anyway (in all honesty, my mom convinced me to!). once i had them on, i was pleasantly surprised by how much i actually liked them. the flat-front is extremely flattering and high-waist showcases the smallest part of you. i tried them with a blouse tucked in (as shown above) and a sweater front-tucked (seen below), and believe they’d also be flattering when paired with a cropped tank like this one.
size verdict: true to size.
soundcheck side-tie tee in stripe (s) || i’m not much of a t-shirt gal, but i was drawn to this one for the side-tie detail and the fact that it’s striped (obviously). it comes in this muted blue and a color called “russet brown” which makes me think of a potato, but in all seriousness would be a pretty color for fall. it’s very light-weight, reminiscent of madewell’s tissue tee line. it would be ideal on its own for our southern california climate where temperatures remain fairly pleasant throughout the latter half of the year, or as a layering piece under a light jacket and scarf when tailgate season is in full swing.
size verdict: true to size.
province cross-back pullover sweater (s) || much like wide-leg pants, i’ve become quite the hoarder of comfortable sweaters, since i wear them pretty much exclusively from about october through march. i wish i had gotten a photo of the back of this knit because that’s really where the party is -the subtle peek-a-boo detail gives it personality and the waffle-knit material makes it so cozy, perfect for pairing with everything from your favorite skinny jeans to a cotton twill pant (like the ones above, or these, of course). i snagged this one in muted green, but the heather mauve color is also gorgeous in person.
size verdict: true to size (fits slightly slouchy)
gemma pointy toe mule (9.5) || i came, i saw, i muled. call me a convert, y’all, because i love these mules! they are so dang comfortable and the leather is like butter on your tootsies. for a gal who has pretty wide feet, these fit perfectly, even with the pointy toe. at under $100, they’re a steal and a surefire staple for your fall wardrobe.
size verdict: true to size.
ribbed mockneck midi dress in stripe (xs) || i was instantly drawn to this dress for its midi length, despite the fact that it’s a little more bodycon than i normally wear. when i tried it on, i found it to be quite flattering. the cut hugs the body, accentuating your curves, while the mockneck makes it modest enough to wear to the office. ultimately i felt a little too self conscious in it to make it mine, but it would be a great piece to transition from summer to fall — worn with sandals now and booties and a slouchy cardigan when the cooler weather rolls in. p.s. it also comes in a muted green and grey.
size verdict: true to size (meant to fit close to the body)
mistlight mockneck dress in seattle floral (s) || while i’m not a big fan of turtlenecks, i was really digging this “smockneck” neckline. the smocked detail at the neck and around the cuffs gives extra personality to this fall floral mini dress, which i really wanted to love if only for the fact that it would pair perfectly with these over-the-knee boots (one of my favorite fall/winter outfit inspos). ultimately, the proportions of the dress were a little off for me so i opted to leave it in the dressing room, but for someone else it could be the perfect fall frock. personally i’d style it for work with tights and pumps, or with a jean jacket and suede booties for a day at the pumpkin patch.
size verdict: true to size.
after taking a small hiatus from madewell, this season’s collection has me back on board. i ended up taking home these mules, these pants, this blouse, a belt (not pictured above), and this sweater. i can’t wait to style them for future posts! stay tuned and do yourself a favor and make it to a madewell store, stat.
i get a small commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post. thank you for supporting the brands that keep this blog up and running.4