#Totewell For A Chance To Win A $1,000 Madewell Shopping Spree

At the Madewell offices, it isn’t uncommon to see our Transport Tote on many desks—or on the arms of many staffers riding the elevator (carrying everything from CSA deliveries to gym clothes to flowers). We suspect your favorite bag stays pretty busy too—and we want to see what’s in it and where it’s going.


Starting today, upload an image on Instagram of what’s in your bag or where you’re carrying it (can be a Madewell tote or whatever you carry and love) with hashtag #totewell. The photogs behind our three favorite snaps will each receive a $1,000 gift card.* You have until May 19th, so start snapping.

Once you’ve entered, be sure to follow us on Instagram to keep up with the #totewell action.

P.S. Like what you see? That’s our Transport Tote, Hepcat Shades, Zip Pochette, Simple Stacking Rings and Daniela Bustos Maya™ Coin Bracelet. Below, our designer Alex wears a SkarGorn™ tee (similar here), her own jeans and our Billie Boot.

*No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States (including D.C.), ages 18 and older. Void where prohibited. Enter contest by May 19, 2014. For official rules and prize description, visit http://madewell.promo.eprize.com/tote/public/fulfillment/rules.pdf.

Entries must comply with Instagram’s Terms of Use. By uploading a photographic image (the “Photograph”) to Instagram with the hashtag #TOTEWELL, you grant Madewell, Inc. (“Madewell”), its agents and licensees, the irrevocable, sublicenseable, royalty-free right and license to reproduce, publish, transmit, distribute, create derivative works from and otherwise use the Photograph, as well your image or likeness as reflected therein and your name and/or biographical information in association with the Photograph, for marketing, public relations or other promotional purposes, in perpetuity, throughout the world, in all media and formats now or later known or developed, without further notice or compensation therefor. 

Listen Up: Hannah Henderson’s Playlist for Plants


We’ve often heard that music can help plants grow. And while this is an untested theory in our apartments, it’s been working for Hannah Henderson, one of the owners of the impeccably curated Los Angeles boutique General Store. The shop is full of plants—towering in light-filled corners or trailing down walls—that are as eye-catching as the wares. Though not all the greenery is for sale, Hannah did send us off with a plant-friendly playlist that she claims has a successful track record.

1. “Who Loves the Sun,” The Velvet Underground

2. “Little Yellow Spider,” Devendra Banhart

3. “Vis a Vis,” Allah-Las

4. “Debra,” Beck

5. “You and Me,” Penny & The Quarters

6. “Hey Hey What Can I Do,” Led Zeppelin

7. “Please Do Not Go,” Violent Femmes

8. “Hey Mama Wolf,” Devendra Banhart


Stream this and all our other playlists on rdio.

Show + Tell: Hannah Henderson of General Store


Just meeting Hannah Henderson, co-owner of Los Angeles’s General Store, had us wanting to breathe deeper, go for long walks and wear even more denim than we already do—there’s something just so unhurried and laid-back about her. We spent a morning at her Venice Beach home and then cruised over to General Store in her navy blue Defender in an attempt to absorb some of that relaxed attitude (and style, of course).

Her unflinching piece of style advice? “Wear your clothes. I used to buy precious things and save them, but they only ever saw the inside of my closet. Now I buy carefully and wear my favorite pieces no matter where I’m going.” What’s made the cut? Denim, in all forms, simple T-shirts and unembellished dresses. Some may say this lean toward comfy basics was part of her upbringing: “I wasn’t allowed to wear synthetic fabrics, so I grew up wearing only cotton.” Raised in Phoenix in the 1990s, her peers didn’t quite “get” her bohemian style and she learned not to care what others thought. “It was a great lesson,” she says.


Now, it just so happens people care very much what she thinks, and her taste has grown the Los Angeles-based General Store to a must-visit shopping destination. She and her business partner Serena Mitnik-Miller have sparingly filled the whitewashed shop with an assortment of books, ceramic objets, delicate jewelry, vintage clothing and lush plants. In fact, the bright green leaves are some of the most colorful pieces in the shop, which adheres to a hand-touched, pared-down sensibility. “I take it slow and make sure we have integrity. You can sense the difference in things that are handmade. You can tell when a vintage piece has lived many lives.”


Outside the store, her creativity extends to her own home—where she lives with her partner and children. “It’s small and sunny, and it’s really a product of me sneaking my hippie stuff into our modern space slowly enough that my man doesn’t notice!” It’s worked—pillows serve as seating on the floor, and eclectic artwork from flea markets and artist friends like Mike Pare and Kyle Field cover the walls from floor to ceiling. The bungalow’s cozy corners, draped with textiles from Etsy, provide ample opportunity to curl up, put on a record and read the morning paper. It’s exactly the type of dwelling we’d expect from the person who finds pleasure in letting life unfold instead of forcing it to happen. “Fill your house with things that have some soul, decorate for no one but yourself and put something good out into the world.”


Inspired by Hannah’s laid-back style? Shop our denim here.



Weekly Roundup: What To Read This Weekend


A weekly link pack that encourages you to step away from your device and get busy, whether by writing, cooking, laughing or traveling.

Compensation: Here’s a precise look at how much Jane Austen was paid for her writing (hint: not much—we would have given her a raise), via The Billfold.

Food: Ever wonder what is the appropriate music to play while making a fresh spring salad? This blog pairs a mother’s recipes with a son’s great taste in tunes, via 5am Feast.

Hobbies: LIFE Magazine called the skateboard “the most exhilarating and dangerous joyriding device this side of the hot rod,” and has the vintage photos from New York circa 1965 to prove it, via Time.

Curiosities: Watching babies eat lemons doesn’t have much to do with denim, but it sure is entertaining (and after all, who hasn’t made that face?), via Dooby Brain.

Film: The graphic and prop designer of The Grand Budapest Hotel talks about how she created the tiny details of a fake country, from currency and postage stamps to menus and mug shots, via Creative Review.

Word: natsukashii (adj.; Japanese): describing a small, ordinary thing that suddenly brings a fond memory flooding back to you; cherished and yearned after with appreciation, not with sadness.

While you’re still here, follow us on Twitter and Instagram

Like what you see? That’s our Gingham Clipboard Dress and Mini Transport Crossbody.

 Special thanks to Fingerprints in Long Beach.

New Chimala Jeans To Obsess Over


You’re likely already familiar with our love of Chimal—the Japanese denim from designer Noriko Machida that’s not easy to get your hands on. But when you do snag a pair, you’ll have jeans that you’ll love for a long time. The latest arrivals from this small-batch denim maker include some great new shapes—like these selvedge baggy jeans and this tapered pair.

There is something undeniably appealing, something so right for right now, about Chimala’s silhouettes. We think it has something to do with those fits (which are unlike anything else out there). They’re sexy in a laid-back, androgynous way, as if to say, “I don’t have to try.” Noriko says the jeans aren’t designed with a certain gender in mind. Instead, she pulls references from the strength of military workwear with an eye toward understatement. And there really is something delightfully unisex to them. When asked who she really loves seeing in her jeans, Noriko offered a very diplomatic response: “I don’t differentiate between stylish women and stylish men. I just love people who have their own style and wear clothes with confidence and attitude.” So to that we say: hide these from your boyfriend.

Sold on the idea of loosening up?
Shop our entire assortment of Chimala here.

Noticed: Baseball Hats, Everywhere


You’ve probably noticed—baseball hats are everywhere. Their original function—shielding eyes from the sun to better throw a curve ball—has become less important than their style appeal (which, you guessed it, is what we’re really after). So if your athletic ability or fan-ship is limited, here are some rules to achieve an effect that’s more “cool” than “coach.”

Rule number one? Ground the whole sporty thing with a feminine thing (try a swingy sundress or an embroidered jacket). If you really are going to do head-to-toe tomboy, just do it with bleacher- (not field) friendly pieces. Secondly, embrace the carefree, fuss-free attitude of the hat and keep hair loose. The mussed-up je ne sais quoi of slightly tousled bedhead is, in our humble opinion, a home run.

Like what you see here? It’s the Biltmore® x Madewell Baseball Hat and Folkstich jacket.

P.S. See more style tweaks we’ve noticed here. And follow us on Instagram and Twitter for more. 

Weekly Roundup: What To Read This Weekend


When The Beatles sang about the need for eight days in a week, we’re pretty sure they were hoping for an extra Saturday. Make the most of the one you’ve got and set aside some time for reading. Here, a few things we saw and loved this week.

Music: Whether you’re off to Indio or just to the gym, we put together a playlist of our favorite acts from this year’s Coachella lineup, via the blog.

Flowers: A Costa Rican village was flooded with 8 million flower petals, and it’s pretty glorious, via Lost At E Minor.

Art: Social media symbols and emoji explain what’s really happening in famous paintings, and the “someone is typing” text bubble has never been quite so poignant, via Design Boom.

Books: One author explains her preference for book narrators who lie, deceive and keep audiences in the dark. Her argument sort of has us agreeing, via Daily Beast.

Word: eunoia (n.; Greek): the shortest English word containing all five vowels, it means beautiful thinking or a well mind.

Like what you see? Those are our Beadbraid Bracelets and Hepcat Shades.

 More good stuff like this, right over on Twitter and Instagram.

Listen Up: Our Coachella 2014 Prep Playlist


Arguably one of the best parts of Coachella is getting hyped for the music on the way out to Indio. Here’s what we’re playing en route (and wishing we were listening to live this weekend). Stream it here.

1. “You’re Not Good Enough,” Blood Orange

2. “Heartbeats,” The Knife

3. “Can’t Hardly Wait,” The Replacements

4. “Stay The Night,” Zedd featuring Hayley Williams

5. “Hands In The Air,” Girl Talk

6. “Night By Night,” Chromeo

7. “Don’t Save Me,” Haim

8. “More Than This,” Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music

9. “This Song Is Not About a Girl,” Flume and Chet Faker

10. “Raspberry,” Grouplove

11. “Fantasy,” MS MR

12. “Now Is Not The Time,” CHVRCHES

13. “New Theory,” Washed Out

14. “The Whole World,” Outkast

15. “I’ll Be Around,” Empire Of The Sun

16. “Team,” Lorde

17. “Alive,” Krewella

18. “Holding On,” Classixx

19. “Voyager Reprise,” Surfer Blood

20. “Do It Again,” Holy Ghost!

21. “Crave You,” Flight Facilities featuring Giselle Rosselli

Stream this and all our playlists on rdio.

P.S. Because the only thing that may rival the music at Coachella is the fashion, may we suggest you pack our Indio Shades, this dress and these sandals?

Weekly Roundup: What To Read This Weekend


Because it’s the weekend and because we’ve got glorious t-i-m-e on our hands: a few things to click on while you wait for a brunch table.

Travel: A very insightful infographic on restaurant etiquette in countries likely on your travel wish list. Practice your manners now, learn to fake the accent later, via PSFK.

Food: The comprehensive no-tears, no-cuts, no-cursing-yourself GIF guide to cutting produce like a pro, via First We Feast. (Who knew that’s how you cut a lime?)

Sociology: How you make small talk with strangers has a lot to do with where you’re from—just watch this revealing four-minute video, via The Atlantic.

Inspiration: This quirky two-minute video offers super-simple tips for staying productive and creative at work, at the gym and at home, via 99u.

Word: wabi-sabi (n. or adj.; Japanese): finding beauty in what is simple and imperfect. Art critics use it to mean “flawed beauty.”

The tweeting and Instagramming party doesn’t stop just because it’s the weekend. Follow us for more.


Good Stuff: 4 Natural Beauty Products We’re Loving


Vitamin D deficiencies aside, there’s really something about this time of year that makes us want to give our skin some extra TLC. And in the spirit of spring cleaning, we’re caring for ourselves with clean products (translation: no weird ingredients we can’t pronounce). Here are a few we’d happily give a gold (or, you know, green) star.

Province Apothecary™ Parfum Botanique No. 7: From holistic health practitioner Julie Clark, this small-batch organic perfume oil features a mix of bergamot, sandalwood, juniper berry and bay laurel—which means it smells like the best vacation ever.

Province Apothecary Lip Balm: Healing and soothing, this all-natural balm glides over lips without leaving any stickiness behind (plus, the peppermint gives it an amazingly fresh tingle). We can feel good about using it too: Clark grows some of the ingredients herself and buys the rest from local farmers.

Jao® Brand Hand Refresher: Yes, this kills germs—but this hydrating, fresh-smelling gel has none of the alcohol-y notes of typical antibacterials. We love it so much, we’ve been known to apply it very liberally—not a bad thing, considering picnic season is right around the corner.


Jao Brand Goe Oil: Works on, well, everything and looks lovely on the bathroom sink (and we believe that matters just a bit). This one-size-fixes-all balm, when warmed between hands, melts into a liquid that does everything from soothing dry feet and hands to smoothing flyaways. Plus, the 28 natural oils have calming, healing properties.

Find them all at madewell.com and grab some beauty rest while you wait for them to arrive.