We’ve all been there. A cool girl on the street. A pair of jeans that fits her just so. And then right as you’re about to eye the label, she disappears into the crowd. Here at Madewell HQ, we’re very familiar with this scenario—though thankfully, it happens most often in our offices and we can track each other down pretty easily. We decided to chat with our most denim-obsessed staffers about the jeans they’ve loved + lost and loved + well, won. They spilled; some serious denim love stories ensued.
MARIE, GRAPHIC DESIGN WHIZ, IN CRUISER STRAIGHT CROP JEANS
Jeans you’ve loved + lost: A childhood pair of overalls that I, sadly, grew out of.
Missed connection: I have them all the time! Basically whenever I see a woman in a perfect—not too light, not too dark—wash, I wish I’d asked her about her jeans.
Denim soul mate: I own two pairs of the Cruiser Straight and have to force myself not to wear them every single day. That says true love, no?
BETH, MERCH MASTER, IN 9″ HIGH-RISE SKINNY JEANS
Jeans you’ve loved + lost: The Cali Demi-Boot which I haven’t lost, thankfully. [Laughs] I still have three pairs. But they’re probably one of my first true denim loves.
Missed connection: In Brooklyn, I spotted two girls in identical raw-hem jeans and sneakers and I’m still trying to emulate the look.
Denim soul mate: These 9″ high-risers—the exposed buttons make them feel new and the reinforced pockets are super-flattering.
LISA, STYLIST EXTRAORDINAIRE, IN HIGH-RISE DENIM BOYSHORTS
Jeans you’ve loved + lost: Two come to mind, both vintage. I stupidly ditched one and traded the other sometime between college and moving to New York City.
Missed connection: Mine has a happy ending, actually. There’s still hope for those of you who believe you’ll never love as deeply as you did those vintage pairs from high school. I felt this way until I tried our Perfect Summer Jean. It comes with the vibe of a past life, so you don’t have to work too hard breaking them in.
Denim soul mate: I am a shorts girl—being from Miami I prefer less clothes than more—and our high-rise shorts look like the ones I used to hunt down at my local Salvation Army in high school except they have a bit of stretch so the fit is slim and supercomfortable.
BROOKE, MARKETING GENIUS, IN SKINNY OVERALLS
Jeans you’ve loved + lost: I was madly in love with my bell bottoms in middle school. I felt so cool and I made my mom patch them like six times before letting them join the denim gods.
Missed connection: Thankfully, I don’t have any.
Denim soul mate: These overalls. They make all the right things look fantastic.
JEN, WEB GURU, IN RIVET & THREAD RETRO STRAIGHT JEANS
Jeans you’ve loved + lost: A distressed pair of OshKosh B’gosh jeans I rocked as a toddler that, coincidentally, resembles several pairs I have now. I guess some things never change!
Missed connection: I notice enviable jeans on a daily basis in the Madewell office, but thankfully, I’m able to track them down.
Denim soul mate: The fit of these high-risers is comfortable and loose in the best way. And the distressing means I don’t have to spend years living in them to look like I did.
SHALINA, DESIGN AFICIONADO, IN 8″ SKINNY JEANS
Jeans you’ve loved + lost: I had these vintage straight-legged ones that I loved—they were the perfect over-dyed stone wash. RIP: They disappeared in lost baggage.
Missed connection: Usually on the subway in passing (sounds creepy, I know), but once on the train, I spotted a woman wearing a vintage pair of flared jeans with slits on the inseam. They were amazing.
Denim soul mate: I tend to forget that there are other rises than high rises, but I’m in love with these. They’re perfect for tucking in a button-down and they taper at the ankle in a super-flattering way.
Looking for your denim soul mate? You might want to check out our latest blues. (And if you see something you love, don’t wait—missed connections are real.)