New Jeans: The Shades to Wear Right Now, According to Our Denim Designers


Brighter blues, a spectrum of blacks, very subtle weathering…our head of design Joyce and denim designer Mary talk us through the spring/summer colors and textures to know now.



“There’s nothing happier than a light blue jean in spring,” says Joyce, who was inspired by vintage hues from the ’70s. “We love the look of jeans that started out super-bright but have had some adventures by the time you find them, like a pair your mom may have passed down to you,” says Mary. How do we achieve that patina? “Light hand-fading softens the brightness in places that would naturally wear, like the seat and thighs,” says Mary.

Try it with: 10″ High Riser Skinny Skinny Jeans in Rosedale



“Everyone needs a great black jean,” says Mary. “A dark, even black is classic, and it’s one of the most polished ways to wear denim. Faded black is sexy since it looks lived in. Small rips and frays are edgy without looking sloppy.”

Try it with: 9″ High Riser Skinny Skinny Jeans in Black Frost



Subtlety is the word of the season when it comes to rips and holes. “Distressed jeans are growing up,” says Joyce. “It’s less about big tears that can look cliché and more about quiet details like raw edges or distressing just on the pockets’ edges.” But the casual touches aren’t limited to just jeans. “Raw hems are everywhere, on shirts and dresses too,” says Mary. “It’s a way to add texture while still wearing denim.”

Try it with: Cali Demi-Boot Jeans in Essex

P.S. Share your favorite way to wear denim—the go-to denim rule you dress by, if you will—for a chance to win a $1,500 shopping spree and a private party at your nearest Madewell store for you and 10 friends, with free jeans for each guest. Make sure to tag your photos #denimmadewell #contest (don’t forget that second one) and explain what your “rule” is. Details and examples here.

Shop our entire assortment of denim here.