Meet our new style muse: Solange

No one pulls off a great style mix quite like Solange. The key to putting together your own style mix? It’s all about how you pair it—and make it your own.

Watch the behind-the-scenes video from our campaign shoot and read our exclusive Style Q&A with Solange below.

Describe your personal style in three words.
I. Can’t. Describe.

How about in a song title?
“Extraordinary Machine” by Fiona Apple.

You’re fearless when it comes to mixing and matching. Any advice on how to do it well?
It’s all about experimenting and instinct. Believe me, every once in a while, I might change clothes four times before I leave the house. You gotta play around until you can say, “OK, this works for me.” But you’ll never know until you try!

Do any past outfits make you say, “What was I thinking?”
I’ve worked some pretty outrageous things in the past—just Google “Fashion Rocks Solange.” But, hey, at least I went for it. Isn’t that what being in your ’20s is all about?

Top style icons?
“Queen Ross” (also known as Diana Ross), Erykah Badu, Fela Kuti’s queens, Björk, Lauryn Hill.

You have five minutes to get dressed. What do you throw on?
A white silk blouse (my saving grace—I own eight or so), a comfy colorful skirt and a simple nude sandal.

What’s your favorite style of jean?
Baggy boyfriend jeans rolled up on the bottom. Comfy, easy and playful!

Did you have an imaginary friend as a child?
I actually had an entire imaginary family named the Pintos. In my mind, they owned the best everything, so whenever my mother wouldn’t give me what I wanted, I’d tell her the Pintos let their daughter have it. I was guilt-tripping on a whole other level!

What recent books and films have you been loving?
For movies: Bernie, Being Elmo, Tomboy, Pariah and Beast of the Southern Wild. And books: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, Little Bee by Chris Cleave and Zelda by Nancy Milford.

The fantastic floats of Mardi Gras World

by Sarah Z. Wexler (Portland)

The warehouse is filled with heads of the likes of Princess Jasmine, Medusa and Salvador Dalí.

I’ve never been too interested in going to Mardi Gras, but I’ve always wanted to see the floats in person—in all their glorious artistry and weirdness. So when I visited New Orleans recently, I knew I had to check out Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, the vast warehouse where nearly every parade float has been designed, constructed and stored by the Kern family since 1947.

How it works: Kern’s artists spend an entire year sculpting the figures out of fiberglass and Styrofoam, re-purposing pieces from floats past, while tourists (like me) get to watch the process. The warehouse (which spans more than a dozen football fields!) is the coolest, most eccentric place I’ve ever been. Plus, they hand out slices of traditional New Orleans King Cake—and you can’t argue with a museum that provides free dessert, can you?

How to play with color

 

Here, a few ways we love to brighten up.

SILK COLORBLOCK BOYSHIRT

worn with…

Skinny Skinny Ankle Cords

Han Kjobenhavn™ Paul Senior Sunglasses

The Manuscript Mini Wedge

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SKINNY SKINNY ANKLE CORDS

worn with…

Silk Doublet Top

Colorblock Cornershop Cardigan

Academy Blazer

G.H. Bass® & Company Weejuns

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HONEYCOMB SWEATER

worn with…

Silk Boyshirt

Silk Tap Shorts

Arrowstack Necklace

BAG’n’NOUN Canvas Toolbag

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STRIPED SWEATSHIRT TEE

worn with…

Colortread Midline Skirt

Artdot Blazer

Faraway Beads Bracelet

G.H. Bass® & Company Weejuns

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For more color play, head over to madewell.com.

Happy Socks, happy feet

by Emily Hsieh (S.F.)

I’d been searching for weeks for some colorful, not-too-tall, not-too-thick socks to wear with boots in the summer and finally found the perfect ones. These, by the aptly named label Happy Socks®, are soft, superlightweight and come in the best combinations of colors and prints. They hit at just the right spot above the ankle, so if you pair them with, say, biker boots and an easygoing dress, they’ll add a charming hint of whimsy to your look.

Blue looks we love

From jeans to chambray shirts, we can’t get enough of all things blue. Here, a few ways to wear our favorites.

CHAMBRAY SONGBIRD DRESS

worn with…

Pencilstripe Pullover
Wheelspoke Pendant Necklace
The Chronicle Bag
The Barnwood Boot

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SILK WAVEFORM CAMI DRESS

worn with…

Long-Sleeve Indigo Ink Tee
Han Kjobenhavn™ Timeless Eyeglasses
Happy Socks® x Madewell Trouser Socks

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PERFECT CHAMBRAY SHIRT

worn with…

[BlankNYC] Printed Denim Jeans
Trinket Weave Chain

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For even more looks we love, pop over to madewell.com.

One band, three color combos

See how Alpha, Ashley and June of the emerging NYC rock band Widow wear summer’s coolest pairings—then vote for your favorite on our Facebook page.

COLOR COMBO #1: THE BLUES

Shop Alpha’s look (left) | Shop Ashley’s look (center) | Shop June’s look (right)

COLOR COMBO #2: PRETTY PASTELS

Shop Alpha’s look | Shop Ashley’s look | Shop June’s look

COLOR COMBO #3: BLACK AND WHITE

Shop Alpha’s look | Shop Ashley’s look | Shop June’s look

Best Etsy bet: colorful iPhone cases

by Emily Hsieh (S.F.)

Poking around on Etsy the other day, I discovered BlissfulCASE, a shop that
specializes in the most thoroughly fashion-y array of iPhone cases I’ve ever seen. You can choose from super-on-trend florals, color blocking, jewel tones and even pastel leopard prints. Basically, there’s something (graphic and amazing) for everyone. And since they all ring in at a wallet-friendly $15, I think I might have to start re-accessorizing my phone seasonally.

How to stay cool…

…on summer’s hottest days? Try these breezy dresses on for size.

BOBBIN SHIFT DRESS

worn with…

Super™ Ciccio Sunglasses
Leather Wrap Bracelet
Braided Friendship Bracelet
Feather Cuff

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SILK CHEVRON TANKDRESS

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TUNIC DRESS

worn with…

The Contrast Caravan Mailbag
bed|stü™ Aunt Ruth Loafers

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For even more, head over to madewell.com.

What to sip this summer

by Tina Jeffers (Portland, OR)

Portland-based food blogger extraordinaire Tina Jeffers (of Scaling Back) whips up a delicious summer recipe just for us and—get this—chooses a Madewell ensemble that matches in color and spirit.

Cool down a hot summer day with this refreshing sippable drink made with simple syrup, fresh herbs and lemon. It’s supereasy and quick but sure to impress even the pickiest of party guests.

Lemon Thyme Cucumber Cooler

Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup thyme sprigs
1/2 lemon
1 large cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise
6 cups soda water, divided

Stir together the sugar, 3/4 cup water, thyme and lemon in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce the temperature to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cucumber and let steep for 30 minutes until cool. Strain the syrup into a container. Keeps up to a week chilled.

To assemble the soda, add 2 tablespoons of the syrup and top with soda water. Stir to combine. Garnish with cucumber slices, lemon and sprigs of thyme.

And here’s my recipe for a summer look that’s just as refreshing!

1. Biltmore® Straw Fedora
2. Slipstitch Sweater-Tank
3. Drifter Shades
4. Bungalow Stripe Panorama Shorts
5. The Bridgewalk Sandal
6. The Marketplace Day Bag

How to play the pattern game

 

Discover our favorite way to mix it up this summer.

SHAPESKETCH SILK SHORTS

worn with…

Serenade Tank

The Marketplace Clutch

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[BLANKNYC®] PRINTED DENIM JEANS

worn with…

Coneflower Pullover

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SILK BRUSHFLOWER SHIRTDRESS

worn with…

The Marketplace Day Bag

Shop the Look

CHEVRON TYPSET TROUSERS

worn with…

Wave Ropemaker Tank

The Crisscross Boardwalk Sandal

Shop the Look

ARROWSHIFT LINEN TEE

worn with…

[BlankNYC®] Moroccan High Tiled-Up Jeans

The Dotted Caravan Mailbag

The Whistlestop Sandal

Shop the Look

SLIPSTITCH SWEATER-TANK

worn with…

Daybreaker Dress

Braided Hammock Belt

The Basket Weave Sandal

Shop the Look

For even more (including summer style tips from our head designer, Kin), head over to madewell.com.