Our Head of Design Joyce Answers Your Denim Questions


Back in December, we asked you to send us any and all of your denim questions with the promise that Joyce, our head of design, would answer them. Within a few days, we had hundreds of burning blue-hued topics to tackle, on everything from how to style the newest fits to how to make your jeans last. We whittled them down to the most common themes and turned them over to Joyce. Her super-helpful replies, here.

@oregonmaya: What are three easy ways to style high-rise jeans?
Joyce: 1. Belted with a tucked-in tee and chunky heeled boots.
2. With a loose button-down tied (not tucked) at the waist to show the rise.
3. For evening, add a silk top and heels.

@vatreew: How should I style a jean jacket…at age 50?
Joyce: Denim is ageless. Keep the jacket true to size and make sure it hits right at your hips. Wear it with a tee and cropped trousers.

@yaymaggiemay: I’m 5’5″ and want to make my legs look longer. Any advice?
Joyce: Cropped skinny jeans that show a bit of ankle make your legs look longer—we can hem them to just the right spot for you in stores. A higher rise also does the trick (it gives that legs-for-days illusion).

@sewsewsage: Is there are way to style flares without wearing heels?
Joyce: Definitely. The trick is the length of the inseam—the jeans should graze the floor without dragging. With a flat sandal, the look is a great nod to ’70s style.

@elizabthgreene: How can I wear denim on denim without looking like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake circa 2001?
Joyce: Here are three easy ways to avoid their acid-wash red carpet look.
1. Mix different shades and varying washes of denim.
2. Try pairing different proportions, like an oversized denim button-down tucked into a slim midi skirt.
3. Break up the denim tuxedo look by adding a striped tee or a printed top under a jean jacket.

@christine.aguirre.sanchez: What tops look good with flared overalls?
Joyce: I like how simple fitted tops balance out the volume of the flared legs. In colder months, try a turtleneck. When it’s warmer, break out a classic crewneck tee or tank.

@allyrvee: I like the snug fit of my jeans when they’re just washed, but I don’t want to overwash them.
Joyce: You can refresh your jeans in between washes by lightly misting them with water in the thighs and rear, then hitting those areas with a hair dryer on high heat for just 30 seconds. (Check out our care tips for white jeans and black jeans as well.)

Have Q’s of your own? Tweet us @madewell1937 anytime.

P.S. Show us how you’re wearing denim—the “denim rule you dress by,” if you will—for a chance to win a $1,500 shopping spree and a denim party for you and 10 friends, with free jeans for each guest. Just tag your photos #denimmadewell #contest and explain what your “rule” is. Details and examples here.