I thought it would be fun extension of my weekly outfit posts to dedicate an entire post to each of my most worn items. My wardrobe essentials. In these posts I’ll share everything from why I purchased them, to how they fit, to how I’ve styled them.
To kick of the series, I decided to start with my jeans. Because it seems just about everyone considers denim a wardrobe essential. But boy, is it hard to find good ones. When they’re good, they’re so good and when they’re bad, they’re so bad.
Since late spring, I have worn only one style of jeans. The Madewell Cruiser.
I decided about a year ago that I just wanted to find one basic pair of jeans. Not too skinny, not too boyfriend, not distressed, not too dark, not too light. I first purchased the Levi’s Wedgie Fit, which I almost loved. They were pretty dang close. The fit was great and they sure were flattering, but I never fell in love with the frayed hem. Eventually, my personal preference on that tiny detail won and I sold them earlier in the fall. My full review is here.
I don’t remember how I first discovered this particular Madewell style, but I tracked them down on Poshmark and bought a pair secondhand.
It took three tries to get the right size, but luckily they resell easily. I first tried the 29 and they were more of a boyfriend fit. I kept them for a while as an alternative to the more fitted Levi’s, which turned out to be perfect during warmer months. I then stumbled across a pair in size 27 on Poshmark, so I bought those. While I can get them on, they are a little too snug for all-day comfort. So, I kept browsing (aka stalking) Poshmark and finally found the 28’s. It was my Goldilocks moment. I am a true 28, so I say these run true to size.
Side note: If you choose to buy secondhand, search Straight Leg Crop as that’s what the tag inside the waistband says. Also, there are some seasons that were not 100% cotton, so that’s something to watch for too.
What I Like
My favorite thing about these jeans are that they’re 100% cotton, so they feel like real denim. Being short, the cropped length of the Cruiser jeans works out to be a full length pant on me. I also love the 10″ rise for tucking in and being able to sit and bend over without worrying my undies are hanging out.
What I Don’t Like
Honestly, not much. If I had it my way, they would be about an inch and a half shorter so I wouldn’t have to cuff them. I also don’t know that they would dress up as well as a darker wash, but I have other bottoms I wear in those situations.
I don’t think there are many styling secrets to jeans, which is what makes them a wardrobe essential. For me, when putting together an outfit with jeans I try to make sure I watch the little details – a tuck, a belt, a necklace, cute shoes – one or two of those elements always take it up a notch.
I wear these typically twice a week to work and on weekends. They work well with everything from flips flops to Birkenstocks to clogs to ankle boots to velvet heels. I also have discovered a new found love of fully tucking my shirts into these high-waisted jeans for a totally different feel to an outfit.
For work, I tend to wear my jeans with a sweater or a tucked in top and boots or heels. I also love the look of denim and a blazer, so I’ll throw that into the mix every now and then.
For weekends, I throw on a t-shirt or sweatshirt and comfortable shoes. If we’re going out and about I add a necklace to pull the look together.