Madewell HQ: Our Style Resolutions for 2012

At Madewell headquarters, we’re all very serious about committing to our New Year’s resolutions. OK, maybe not all of them and maybe not for very long, but we do take our style oaths seriously. Check out how some key players on Team Madewell are vowing to refresh their wardrobes for 2012.

GIGI, resident tastemaker

Resolution: Play Around With Plaid.

In her words: “I’ve always been a big fan of pattern-on-pattern dressing, and I’m all about taking style risks. Plus this look is offbeat and unexpected.”

What she’s wearing: Vintage made-in-Ireland poncho, Madewell Legging Jeans and a black plaid scarf—plus some very tartan reading material.

KIN, head of all things design

Resolution: Brighten Up My Blues.

In her words: “This ensemble may not seem very extreme, but I’m a huge lover of muted chambrays and washed-out denim, so this bold blue is a new thing for me!”

What she’s wearing: Madewell Silk Mosswood Shirt and Madewell Heritage Premium High Riser Jeans in Spur Wash.

CHRISTINA, spot-on stylist

Resolution: Dress It Up.

In her words: “I’ve always leaned more toward menswear-inspired style, so I’m trying my hardest to get into dresses.”

What she’s wearing: Madewell Lily Lace Dress and Madewell Clog Booties.

JAC, denim designer and devotee

Resolution: Stop Skirting Skirts.

In her words: “Everyone knows I’m obsessed with denim—in fact, I was wearing a denim jacket before we took this photo. So wearing skirts is something I literally forget to do because I just love jeans to death. I’m turning over a new leaf!”

What she’s wearing: Alexa Chung for Madewell Grandma Skirt and a vintage tank.

JOYCE, most excellent accessories designer

Resolution: Get Dotty.

In her words: “I’m very much a shirt-and-jeans kind of girl and even though I love prints and patterns, I forget to incorporate them. Dots are my first choice for branching out!”

What she’s wearing: Madewell Spotted Snowfall Sweater, vintage jeans and Madewell Polka-Dot Film Noir Pumps.

Awesomely Bad Gifts We’ve Received

If you’ve been on lately, you may have stumbled upon something we call the Sad-to-Glad Gift Guide, where we colorfully rehash the lamest gifts we’ve received—and then provide much happier alternatives. But did you know that we actually polled the team at Madewell HQ to get those stories? Well, we did. And there are even more. Check out the peculiar group of holiday gifts some of our designers, stylists and marketing mavens have gotten in the past.

Giftee: Kate, marketing guru and ceramic armadillo recipient

Gift: Mexican talavera

In her words: Oh, god. We saw an armadillo in Austin and I was fascinated by it because I had never seen one in person. My dad took that too literally and bought me this talavera armadillo from a Mexican imports store on Congress Street. Mind you, I was living in a 450 square-foot apartment in NYC with absolutely no outdoor space. Needless to say, the armadillo now lives in my parents’ cactus garden.”

Giftee: Ash, dress designer and spice seeker

Gift: A big ol’ vat of Tabasco sauce

In his words: “My love of spicy food is well known, so my good friend thought to give me the ultimate ‘perfect’ gift: a mini-keg of Tabasco sauce. The size is a bit insane, but I actually end up putting it on almost everything and am working my way through it pretty quickly!”

Giftee: Jac, denim designer and avian aficionado

Gift: Quacky shower cap

In her words: “I had a pet goose growing up named Squawee and I just love all things feathered, so I have become a habitual recipient of weird bird memorabilia. This latest gem is from an old boss who bought it for me while on a work trip in Copenhagen.”

Giftee: Lisa, superstylist and graphic tie getter

Gift: Dramatically illustrated neckwear

In her words: “If you couldn’t tell, my mother (the gift giver in question) lives in the Southwest. These neckties were originally gifted to my uncle, husband and brother, but I soon found them stashed away in my own suitcase while unpacking from Thanksgiving with the family. Yup, everyone loves gifts from my mom.”

Gotten an amazingly bad gift? Send photos to us at—we’ll feature our favorites in a future blog post.

Secondhand Superfan: A Trip Inside My Closet

by Jac Cameron (Madewell)

As soon as I was big enough to fit into my mother’s vintage collection—which consisted of the most amazing bell-bottoms, prairie skirts, jean jackets and batwing sweaters—I became obsessed with secondhand style. I’ve been collecting vintage most of my life (to the point where I own about 250 pairs of jeans, around 100 denim shirts and close to 200 denim shorts). What can I say? I’m totally obsessed with anything worn to death, and I just love the idea of clothes having past lives. So how fun would it be to dig out some of my favorite vintage treasures and tell their tales? Find out below!

Left: I got this floral onesie at Narnia on NYC’s Lower East Side. I’m in love with its bold, in-your-face print—even though it proved too much for one person. Back story: I was walking to brunch in the East Village and someone literally rolled down their car window to shout, “Did your granny throw up on you?” I was pretty gutted, but I still wear it with pride!

Right: Another score from Narnia. This easy-to-wear crochet dress is insane with a denim jacket! I definitely repeated this look multiple times on a very long trip to Europe this summer. (We hit London, Scotland, Berlin, Amsterdam, back to London and then finally back to New York. I packed superlight, so I wore this about a million times!)

Left: I got this railroad denim shirt at one of my absolute favorite spots in L.A., Chuck’s Vintage. It’s so perfectly oversized and pairs amazingly with skinny jeans! Because all my friends (male and female) are obsessed with this piece too and borrow it constantly, I’ve nicknamed it the communal shirt.

Right: These vintage Wrangler jeans came from Brit Eaton, owner of Carpe Denim Vintage, who scours America in search of the greatest well-loved stuff. The thing I love most about this pair in particular is that somebody really, really, really, really adored them—to pieces. And even though Brit keeps his sources top secret, he did hint that these were found in an abandoned farmhouse. Amazing!

Left: An all-time favorite! This red silk top goes with any and everything. I took it with me on a cross-country road trip in a tiny canvas bag. Though I couldn’t bring much, there was no way this guy wasn’t coming along for the ride.

Right: This vintage embroidered indigo kimono speaks for itself. Absolutely. Amazing. I will keep it forever and a day!

Designer Dispatch: London & Amsterdam

by Jac Cameron (Madewell)

Me hanging at the Amstel River in Amsterdam; Ash goofing off in London.

As designers, Ash and I love traveling to different corners of the world to absorb the culture and style of other countries. Whether you work with denim (like I do) or with dresses (like Ash), it’s always amazing to see how people put themselves together, from Tokyo’s Harajuku to Amsterdam’s De Negen Straatjes (The Nine Streets). So for our latest adventure, the two of us hopped on a plane to the Europe to see some of the best street style, amazingly quirky boutiques and fantastic flea markets London and Amsterdam have to offer. And, of course, we stopped off for a lot of tea and cake along the way too. Here’s a mini photo diary of some of our most memorable moments (and meals).

1. Me eating the most delicious scones at Liberty in London.

2. A beautiful pot at tea time.

3. Posing up against some pretty houses in Notting Hill, London.

4. The Amstel River in Amsterdam.

5. And this time, with boats.

6. A sweet pick-me-up at the Bishop in Shoreditch, London.

7. Ash at Spitalfields Market in East London.

8. Scones at Liberty in Soho.

9. Headed home!

Meet the bloggers

Well, first off, there’s us. We’re an ever-changing group working on all sorts of creative things at Madewell. Designers, media mavens, tastemakers, industrious interns—the gang’s all here.

We’re really excited to share all the stuff—big or small, far and wide–that constantly inspires us. Hop over here and you’ll get the story on each of us.

But wait, there’s more…

We cast a net from coast to coast, sweeping up some of our favorite writerly women who we think are just so Madewell. (We have a hunch you’ll think so too.) Read up on the group, whose musings you’ll find mixed in with our own.