New Chimala Jeans To Obsess Over

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

Noticed: The Unlaced Oxford Shoe

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Often, the simplest and most subtle tweaks bring us the most sartorial joy—things that are really easy but also really outfit-making. And the latest discovery to fit that bill? Oxfords minus the laces. It’s that last part that makes them so right: Removing something that’s purely functional results in a subtle but still stylish statement.

So back to the functional part (those laces are there to keep your shoes on your feet, after all). We solved that little snafu by sewing in a helpful (and hidden) elastic band. They arrive laces-in, but pull a Jane Birkin and take ‘em out—then enjoy a day of not worrying in the slightest that your laces are untied.

Like what you see? Give our Serge Oxfords a try.

P.S. See more style tweaks we’ve noticed here and here

Lookin’ Good & Doin’ Good: Introducing Same Sky Bracelets

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Want a really good excuse to treat yourself to new jewelry today? We’ve got one. Get to know Same Sky™, the latest addition to our Labels We Love family. Founded by filmmaker Francine LeFrak in 2007, Same Sky is a fair-trade line of colorful fabric wrap bracelets, handcrafted by female artisans in Kigali, Rwanda. Through employment with Same Sky, they’re able to earn 15 to 20 times the average wage in sub-Saharan Africa. So go ahead, wear your good conscience on your sleeve (or peeking out from under it, as the case may be).

Hey, New York friends: Join us and Same Sky at our Fifth Avenue store on April 8th for a night of feel-good shopping and a special discount.

Weekly Roundup: What To Read This Weekend

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Are we speaking for everyone when we say, “what a week”? ‘Tis a weekend to look to the Internet for some downtime fun. Here’s what we found and loved in the few moments that we didn’t spend preparing for—and then obsessing over—our fall presentation.

Home: Perhaps unsurprisingly, these 20 secret rooms are a childhood dream come true, via Bored Panda.

Music: No disrespect to the thoroughly modern Spotify, but this digital cassette tape is way more romantic, via PSFK.

High Jinks: Here are the top 100 April Fool’s Day pranks, judged by notoriety, creativity and number of poor souls duped, via the Museum of Hoaxes.

Mail: Seven things to know about writing and sending notes from two people who would know: Terrapin Stationers and Knot & Bow, via the Madewell blog.

Word: bilita mpash (n.; Bantu): a positively amazing dream, especially one in which all is forgiven and you’re overcome with bliss. Not just a good dream—it’s the polar opposite of a nightmare.

P.S. Our set of Simple Stacking Rings is available here. William Dean Howells’s novella is available here (not ours, but no less worthy).

We’re tweeting and Instagramming all weekend long.

 

First Look: Our Fall 2014 Collection

We’ve got beach and sun on the brain nearly 24/7 these days—but the layered looks shown in our fall preview today proved to be exceptions to our spring fever. And boy, were they really, really great exceptions: boxy coats, graphic sweatshirts, coated denim, to-die-for accessories (like hats, boots, bags and sneaks). Consider yourself warned: Your fall wish list is about to get really long. Here’s head of design Somsack Sikhounmuong’s take on his very own covetable creations.

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“This collection was inspired by the reality and romance of urban life. We created pieces to fit effortlessly into a busy schedule.” –Somsack

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“Playing with proportion was also important: Cropped knits, high-waisted bottoms, oversized coats, chunky boots and long skirts were all shown.”
–Somsack

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P.S. There’s more good stuff on Instagram and Twitter.