Office Craze: Buttoning Up

by Kendall Meade (Madewell)

Lately, not a day goes by here at Madewell HQ where I don’t notice lots of women in the office embracing their inner geek and buttoning their boyshirts and blouses all the way to the top. It’s gotten to the point that when I put on a shirt in the morning, it feels totally unnatural (i.e., uncool) to let those top few buttons loose. On a whim, I walked around the office to see how many closed-up collars I could find (count: 15). Not everyone I spotted could fit in the photo, but here’s a bunch of us showcasing the look, as shot by our supercool art director Alice (yep, who was also wearing a primly buttoned-up blouse).

Left to right: Joyce, Khira, Me, Christie, Tonya, Jessica

Musical Muses: Au Revoir Simone

by Kendall Meade (Madewell)

It’s no secret that we have a long-standing love for this Brooklyn-based keyboard-playing trio. Over the years, we’ve roped them into everything from contributing to our monthly newsletter to spinning records at our Soho store. Since they’re so clever and cool, we couldn’t wait to see how they’d put a wintry spin on our Legging Jeans.

Annie (left) is wearing our Snowfall Sweater and Lumbercheck Tunic Shirt. Erika (center) is wearing our Birmingham Pullover and Burnished Bolt Bangle. Heather (right) is wearing our Houndstooth Gallery Hop Coat and Shrunken Corduroy Boyshirt.

It’s the holidays, after all, so we asked them to share a few of their favorite holiday gifts—to give and to get. And in case you’re wondering how they got that band name, here’s a behind-the-scenes video that explains it all.

The Voice Behind Our Holiday Video: Katie Herzig

by Kendall Meade (Madewell)

Credit: Tim Hanseroth

If you’ve checked out our new holiday video, you can’t help but rock out to the music, a supercatchy song called “Free My Mind” written and performed by Nashville-based musician Katie Herzig. A friend sent Katie’s MP3 to Madewell HQ and we were instantly smitten. Check it out and you’ll see what we mean.

Since we’re in a holiday mood, we asked her what she’ll be listening to this season and—just like her music—her playlist is equal parts dreamy and poppy (with some old favorites thrown in). Have a listen.

Katie’s Holiday Playlist

1. “White Winter Hymnal” – Fleet Foxes

2. “Calgary” – Bon Iver

3. “Lisztomania” – Phoenix

4. “Everlasting Light” – The Black Keys

5. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” – Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors

6. “Cinnamon and Chocolate” – Butterfly Boucher

7. “Extraordinary Machine” – Fiona Apple

8. “Poison & Wine” – The Civil Wars

9. “River” (Joni Mitchell cover) – Sarah McLachlan

10. “Only The Young” – Brandon Flowers

The Band Interview We Couldn’t Resist: White Denim

by Kendall Meade (Madewell)

Here’s the band—wearing jeans, of course.

It was just too perfect, almost inevitable: We’re a denim brand, they have denim in their band name. They live in Austin, we have an Austin store. What I didn’t anticipate, though, was that I’d be totally obsessed with their latest record, D. And I definitely wasn’t the only one. Whenever I played it in the office, without fail, someone would say, “Who is this? I reeeeeally like it.” Every song has a different but likable vibe. Take their slow jam “Street Joy,” for example, which sounds one part Jeff Buckley and two parts The National. Oh, and the amazing prom-themed video doesn’t hurt.

Wait, there’s more! We had the chance to pick bass player Steve’s brain about his favorite spots in Austin, how many pairs of jeans he actually owns and how it is they got that band name.

Name: Steve Terebecki

What neighborhood do you live in? The French Quarter

Best coffee in town: I’m a sucker for Progress Coffee.

Favorite BBQ spot: I am a Ruby’s loyalist. (If time wasn’t an issue, though, Smitty’s or Franklin’s would get my vote.)

Best music venue: To play at, Antone’s. To see music at, Dirty Dog Bar.

Best place to get good vinyl: Waterloo, Cheapo’s, End of an Ear, Backspin!

Vintage shop of choice: Room Service Vintage

Favorite day-trip activity: Swimming in Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve

How many pairs of jeans do you own? 3 or 4

Current favorite song: The track “Cleo” by Benjamin Herman

How’d you get the band name? Well, we picked three band names: White Denim, Totally Revolution and Crazy Sexy Rainbow. We flipped a triangular piece of paper in the air and it landed with White Denim up.

White Denim is currently on tour with Manchester Orchestra, and you should totally catch a show if they’re headed your way.

Hey, Detroit—Madewell Somerset Opens Today (Plus, Some Hometown Heroes)

by Kendall Meade (Madewell)

If there’s one thing I know from growing up in the Detroit area, it’s that the Somerset Collection Mall is the destination for shopping. When I’m visiting home, I’m either planning a trip to Somerset or talking to someone who is about to go there. (You seriously cannot have a conversation without the word “Somerset” somehow making a cameo.) So I was psyched when I could finally tell everyone from my hometown that we were finally opening a Madewell there (in the old North Face space). It was like the ultimate talking point (they’ve all heard enough about my dog, anyway). So in honor of Madewell’s Detroit-area debut (today, yay!), here are a few of my all-time favorite local spots and hometown heroes.

1. Commonwealth Coffee — I make it a point to get a C-latte within 24 hours of landing at Metro Airport.

2. Avalon Bakery — An amazing organic bakery in the Cass Corridor (i.e., smack-dab in the middle of downtown). Seriously good bread and vibes.

3. While you’re in the hood, stop by Pewabic Pottery to check out their famous colored tiles.

4. Mae’s — A supercute retro diner (also my brother’s favorite new lunch spot).

5. Indian Village — It’s fun to take a Sunday fall drive around this historic neighborhood. Fun fact: Jack White lived in a turn-of-the-century manse here for a few years.

6. The Motown Museum — Two unassuming houses filled with Detroit’s amazing musical history. Don’t miss the studio tour, where the original sheet music for “My Girl” still sits on the piano (I got chills the first time I saw it).

7. Still hungry? Head over to Ronin for delicious sushi or go straight for dessert and get a Sanders hot fudge cream puff at The Hill.

8. Detroit Eastern Market — My mom used to go every weekend to pick up plants and fresh produce, and now they’ve invited the coolest local food trucks to gather there on Tuesdays. This is so great for the city and, selfishly, for me (looks like I’ll be taking a long weekend home soon).

Office Craze: Taking a Stand

by Kendall Meade (Madewell)

That’s me, workin’ it a little too hard for the camera, but proof is proof, right? I’m still standing, believe it or not.

Recently, our tiny marketing department went on a lunch outing. At the end of our delicious meal, I started whining about my sore back and promptly blamed both my soft bed and the occupational hazards that go along with being a writer (translation: sitting for hours upon end). Gigi suggested standing up at my desk, which seemed supercrazy until I came across an article that suggested that sitting for most of the day at a desk can take years off your life. A panicked spark flew, and we instantly decided to band together and stand at work for as long as we could. My journey was filled with triumph, odd looks from coworkers and many suggestions for a playlist (you’ll find that below, too). And guess what? My back feels better. And I’m still standing.

Here, more true stories from the vertical front.

GIGI

Gigi gets major props for suggesting the standing ploy, as well as for successfully mixing stripes and prints. Days standing? A good solid eight.

When it came time to practice what I preach and actually work standing up, I was kind of like, “whoa.” But since I’d convinced my esteemed coworkers to do it, I figured I should be a team player. So I kicked off my wedges, slid into some sandals and entered the nine-to-five vertical productivity game. Then our designer Kin fed my fire by telling me about something called a treadmill desk, which I actually briefly considered, picturing myself breezily running a 5K while answering emails, taking meetings and having conference calls. I was further inspired by a guy I read about who leisurely walked the equivalent distance from midtown Manhattan to Secaucus, NJ, in a work day. And then, without explanation, I lost all momentum. But the biggest upside of working while standing? It gave me better perspective on my messy desk, which inspired me to address my most pressing well-being issue: getting rid of clutter. 

KHIRA

This is Khira (in her not-so-sensible shoes). Number of days standing? An impressive eight and a half.

First, let me say that I have no clue whether standing up at my desk for a week made any positive impact on my lifespan, but it definitely did wonders (or horrors, depending on your perspective) for my aptitude for death-related wordplay. It seemed I couldn’t even go 10 minutes without making a joke about how we were “standing up—to death,” how sitting people were getting “the chair” or generally remarking that pushing through the pain was about personal will—you know, to live. The one practical thing I can say about the whole ordeal? My shoes were very much platformed on Day 1—and that is so not recommended.

FIORELLA

It’s safe to say Fiorella did this purely as a reason to play R.E.M. in the office. How long did she last? Ten hours.

I admit, I do a lot of things that I’m well aware will probably take years off my life: I don’t get nearly enough sleep; I’m usually stressed about something; I frequently eat things that wouldn’t qualify for inclusion in any of the major food groups—I could go on. But I didn’t realize until my desk neighbor Khira clued me in that the simple act of sitting also deserved to be on that list of health no-nos. So when my coworkers decided to stand, I figured I should also rise to the occasion. I promptly cued up “Stand” by R.E.M. (Michael Stipe literally says I should “stand in the place where I work,” after all). The first few hours were fine—I had a new view, better posture and my posterior felt decidedly less pancake-y. But come Monday, I lasted only a few hours. Yes, I know I may be sacrificing time in my twilight years, but I think I’d rather live in the moment, comfortably. So after 10 hours of standing, I called it quits. Bizarrely (and sadly) a few days later, so did R.E.M.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST: THE PLAYLIST

“Get Up, Stand Up” by Bob Marley

“Stand” by R.E.M.

“Stand!” by Sly and the Family Stone

“I’m Still Standing” by Elton John

“Stand Back” by Stevie Nicks

Musical Muse: Annie Clark of St. Vincent

by Kendall Meade (Madewell)

She’s got mad guitar skills, three critically acclaimed albums under her belt and an elegantly quirky closet. See how Annie Clark of St. Vincent wears our High Riser Jeans her way (we love a gal who marches to her own tune).

Annie’s also wearing our Lunch Break Cardigan, Silk Leaflet Blouse and Prairie Boots.

If you’re as into St. Vincent as we are, we have a feeling you’ll want more. Just click here to see more of Annie’s personal twist on Madewell essentials, plus an exclusive Q&A where she spills the beans about her musical icons, the first thing she does after a gig and the one song she wishes she’d written.

Musical Muse: Binki Shapiro

by Kendall Meade (Madewell)

She’s our latest style crush and part of the insanely addictive L.A.-based band Little Joy (along with boyfriend Fabrizio Moretti—yep, of The Strokes). We love how Binki mixes our Vintage Rocker Jeans with her own low-key style—it’s as lovely and charming as her music.

She’s also wearing our Cableknit Crewneck Sweater.

Want more Binki? Just click here. And don’t miss this behind the scenes video, where Binki spills the beans about her vintage guitar, her favorite song to cover and the one she wishes she’d written.

Office Craze: Sippy Cups for Grown-Ups

by Kendall Meade (Madewell)

Real talk: I hate drinking water. To me, it’s a total snooze. Recently I spotted a few gals at the office with these plastic to-go cups practically glued to their hands and filled with—you guessed it—water. They looked so happy drinking this flavorless liquid, and I immediately wanted in. I spotted a cute red one on a trip to Dylan’s Candy Bar with my niece and immediately started drinking water like a madwoman.

Fully hydrated for once in my life, I sang its praises at our Monday morning Web meeting (usually I’m sucking on my second coffee). By Friday, almost everyone at the meeting had one in various colors and designs. Someone described them as “sippy cups for adults,” and it’s totally true.

That’s us above, caught red-handed at this morning’s Web meeting.

Rocker’s Guide To Summer Reading

by Kendall Meade (Madewell)

 
September’s sneaking up on us, so hurry and get in your summer reads, recommended by these supercool musicians.

Peggy Wang (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart)
Youth in Revolt by C.D. Payne

Mary Timony (Wild Flag, Helium)
The Dewey Decimal System by Nathan Larson

Joan Wasser (Joan As Police Woman)
Any of the Cosmic Trigger books by Robert Anton Wilson

Beth Wawerna (Bird of Youth)
Life by Keith Richards

Nina Persson (A Camp, The Cardigans)
2666 by Roberto Bolaño

Dee Dee Penny (Dum Dum Girls)
Henry and June by Anaïs Nin