Yea or Nay: J.Crew’s New Store Madewell 1937

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What’s up with our favorite stores doing all of these questionable brand extensions? First, Gap, Inc brought us the Anne Taylor competitor Forth and Towne (GOOD). Then our friends at Gap, Inc brought us the Piperlime shoe site (BAD).  Now everyone’s preppy favorite, J.Crew, has a new concept store called Madewell 1937 which is like a cross between Eddie Bauer and Forever 21.

I’m not sure why J.Crew feels that they need to do a “younger” line, especially one full of styles that any teen can scoop up at their local Abercrombie for much less. $100 bucks for a pair of jeans? $150 bucks for a dress? Uh.. No! And the name… Way too complicated… How about just Madewell?

Now in all fairness, I’ve only seen the press materials and have yet to go to one of their stores,  (only two locations- Northpark Center in Dallas and Century City in LA), but I still think that J.Crew should just stick with being J.Crew.

Madewell 1937– Yea or Nay?

P.S. If you live in Dallas and LA, check out the stores and report back to us in the comment section.

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  • Lana

    Madewell has excellent quality materials for clothing. I know they’re expensive, but my experience is that the items last me a really long time. SO in love with Madewell!

  • Tiffany Grazie

    A yay, duh! Madewell is SUPER affordable. Like WTF, since when was 100 expensive for jeans or 150 for a dress? Oh, maybe its because you’re used to wearing clothes from Target that cost 3 bucks, max.

  • makeda sylvester

    Definitely a NAY. Too expensive for the quality. I have given Madewell several chances but their products are too grungy, shapeless, dusty and raw looking to be taken seriously. Each time I go in, I come right back out and go over to JCrew which I used to love but even they are getting old with the cardigan/sweater look.

  • c

    i just shopped there. today they had a 25% off all sale items deal. got a v-neck t for $10 (down from $30 original)… awesome! i feel so good about my purchase. you can also get 15% with you student id on non-sale items. i really like all the clothes, especially the tops. they remind me of jcrew’s casual t’s and tanks, just more of those types of clothing and more variety. the fabrics they use are light and high quality; you get what you pay for.

  • j

    Yea and Nay!
    I don’t think it is geared towards teenagers. More like in your twenties. I am 25. Really cute clothes but their prices are expensive and it would be awesome if they were cheaper. I won’t be shopping there very often since it’s not very afordable. But I do think it has a “younger” style more for in your 20’s. Jcrew seems to me that its more geared for the 30’s+
    but guess i will be shopping more at jcrew then madewell before i know it! 🙂

  • invisiblejane12

    I was in Madewell recently, in the Walt Whitman Mall on Long Island, NY; it just opened.  Anyway, I walked in thinking I would just look around, and I spotted a pair of lace up gladiator sandals; everyone is selling gladiator sandals, but I’ve been SEARCHING for a pair of lace up ones FOREVER!  They were $60, but I had an AmEx gift card, so I splurged; I probably would have bought them anyway, since I’ve been looking for a pair like that for so long, but the store is pricey.  They have a really cool selection of scarves also (but they run between the sale price of $20 and somewhere around $40), and their salespeople are extraordinarily nice and helpful, but clothing-wise they looked unoriginal.

  • Stephh

    the quality is okay, and i’ve been shopping their for about a year now, with no regrets. they have great sweaters and scarves, and it’s my go-to store for basics that i can layer. the garments are extremely versatile, so its excellent packing clothes if youre going on vacation.
    and no way its “jcrew and hollister”. its jcrew aimed at a hipper crowed, not for the 14-18 year old wannabe surfers.
    the staff are so sweet, and they don’t pressure you to buy anything at all. infact, theyre great conversationalists, and ask about what you have in your closet so that you can incorporate madewell piceces to enhance it.
    everythings super flattering.

  • tati

    Definitely a yay, at least when they are having a sale.  I bought a peacoat styled sweater there during their winter sale and have worn it at least every other day since.  Their stuff is not only made well it’s also well cut.

  • vivalakellye

    i live in Dallas and i love the Madewell store here. the prices are a little high, but they are actually comparable to abercrombie and fitch, not more expensive (A&F;: $80 for a pair of capris? whatever.)

    if you know when to buy things on sale, it’s better. i bought this adorable bubble dress/long shirt…for $10. the jackets they make are actually very sturdy and warm, and cost only $30 (not on sale, either. compare THAT to juicy.) i’ve had my jacket since christmas, and i’ve had no issues with it, or my dress for that matter. i haven’t tried the jeans yet, but i plan to seen.

    overall, i’d recommend at least looking around and trying things on to see if you like them.

    ps- i’ve never heard that the employees get in trouble if you don’t buy at least 5 items. not once at this store have i been told “that looks so cute!” even if it doesn’t.

  • Brooke

    Madewell is definatly a yay their sweaters are perfect and they have them in every color, their scarves too are very cute but kind of expensive.  But when things go on sale they are super cheep i got a hoodie for 20 dollars

  • sue

    Yay! They just open one near me, at natick mall in Massachusetts. It’s nice, and the quality isn’t bad.

  • Mia

    Does anyone know if Madewell 1937 is doing well for the J.Crew company, and if they plan on opening any more stores?  I’d like to check it out, but there aren’t any near where I live.

  • adsfa

    YAE! madewell is SO amazing. i love it; it’s like j.crew mixed with hollister. …kinda. :]& their jeans are so sweet.

  • HotChica

    I agree with Bitterboo and Claire on the prices of these new stores. Abercrombie is over my budget also. If you can get good quality for less at Old Navy or the outlet stores, why not? These designers like J. Crew should open inexpensive versions of their stores for us normal people. Not everyone can shell out $100 for a blouse.

  • Alyssa

    Yay!!! Completely! They have a store in Las Vegas at the Fashion Show- Their clothes are simple and yet the color pallet is quite catchey and fun- Definitally do NOT go by the website, it serves it no justice! Although I do admit they aren’t “cheap”, if you truely care about fashion; quality and appearance matters inside and out, and always above all. You can’t honestly believe that a discount dress with cheap plastic seams and unmatching thread is fashionable… No offence anyone- Seriously though, before you turn your nose up, give it’s comfortabe bohemian vibe a try… 🙂

  • me

    YAY!  This stuff is totally cute – you can’t go by the website – it doesn’t do the clothes justice.  They have a store in NJ now, & I want everything in there…  They have colored denim which looks awesome on, & at $89.50, it’s not nearly as steep as J Brand, or Joe’s colored denim which starts around $150.  The quality is really good – it’s just more casual than J Crew..  Besides, are we actually mentioning “quality” & “Forever 21 in the same sentence?

  • Ashleigh Freese

    I thought the store was super cute! I do agree that the prices were a little high. I live in Vegas and it’s the first Madwell I have ever seen.

  • Stef

    Looks like a free people rip-off if you ask me. Nay. Speaking of which, what do you think of Free People?

  • April

    Madewell is a super NAY! I own several items from that store and let me tell you, I will NOT be shopping there next season. You can get stuff this badly made for way less. The dyes bleed and fade. The jeans loose their shape and fit poorly after the first day of wear. The denim is supposedly garment dyed but the washes splotch out and bleed everytime you wash them. The return policy is strict and bogus. They use really cheap materials on EVERYTHING and they obviously put no investment into their paterns because its a huge time consuming struggle to find the right size in anything. ALSO BUYER BEWARE—their employees get in trouble if they don;t get you to buy atleast 5 items. So, whatever they try to tell you about the quality of the clothes or how they look on you—don’t believe them.

  • eva

    I really like Madewell. I live in LA, and have shopped their Century City store a few times. Great cuts on pants – I bought my new favorite pair of chords. Slim but not skinny, and very casual. Nice relaxed fabrics, similar to abercrombie, in that regard. However, the styles and more sophisticated and feminine than abercrombie. Feels exactly like a younger J. Crew to me (I like J. Crew, so I’m biased, but many times their cuts don’t work for me) Also reminds me of casual/travel oriented Anthropologie (but better prices, thank god) and Martin&Osa. Very cute dresses and colorful tops. Nice bags sometimes, but a little too steep for me.

    The BEST thing about Madewell, IMHO, is that you can scope something cute out and come back a week or two later and it’s 50% off or more. Consistently.

    I say wait it out, and then you’ll get a good deal.

  • wonster

    madewell is dumb; i don’t think they did the right market research.  i don’t know who would shop there:  the clothes are too expensive to be fast fashion, too non-trendy to have that “i gotta have it” factor, too casual to wear to work.  basically it’s stuff one would wear on a weekend, and on the weekend i’m going to wear either cheap comfortable (my old sweats) or look nice to go out (trendy items).  i (nor anyone else i know) would buy old looking clothes at a premium when at the same price i could buy something nice for work or a bunch of fast fashion items.  it’s too expensive and not wearable enough.

  • Edna Galo

    Saw cropped cargo zipper pants for $70 in June issue of Elle. They look great but I hope they fit my size 8 body. Will call tomorrow to order.

  • Cassie Edmondson

    Madewell is awesome. The denim is under 100 bucks. They have the best hoodies and super soft tshirts. Its full of perfectly cut basics with no logos or worn out looks. Everyone in the store is super nice and they send me 15% off coupons in the mail all the time. J Crew doesn’t have as much to do with it as everyone thinks. J Crew only has the rights to the name, but nothing to do with the clothes. LOVE MADEWELL!

  • rosejo

    Love it. Not like J Crew. Bought an awsome leather tote for $98.00. The store is small . I was in Dallas about a month ago. They had great bright t-shirts.

  • lottie

    I’m so glad they opened a store in Los Angeles – I own various pieces and they work so well with my existing wardrobe. Like, I couldn’t do without their chinos – which are flattering, comfortable, and don’t have that cheap polyester blend look that you get from the trousers at 21 or H&M. The prices are kinda high but considering how much wear and use I get out of each piece, I think it’s totally worth it!

  • classic1908

    I peeped Madewell in Century City (LA), and I am going to pass. I much prefer J. Crew, particularly when they have end-of-season sales. Matter of fact, I’m wearing a J. Crew cashmere shell today that I got at its final sale for $45, down from $98.

  • Kim

    I like J. Crew for some of their pants and jackets.  But…there is absolutely no way I would pay those prices for trendy stuff I could get at Forever 21, Old Navy, Urban Outfitters, and etc. for WAAAY cheaper.  I think they dropped the ball on this one.

  • Anna

    Nay… All the way. Why the heck would I shop there? Most people who shop on mommy and daddy’s money would not shop at this store if they can afford J. Crew. Those who don’t earn minimum wage???? American Eagle would probably be just as good for the same look.

  • B K

    I have to vote nay too.  They both looked too much like Anthropologie ripoffs.  And if you can shop Gap and JCrew online, why can’t you order online from either of those sites?

  • Sara

    A big nay…I have started to resent knitwear that’s marketed to me like it’s fashion gold.  Knitwear is the cheapest stuff in the world to make and suddenly dozens of designers are specializing in it, twisting it in odd ways and leaving seams unfinished to achieve some sort of deconstructed chic aesthetic (which inevitably causes the garment to fall apart without special handling, like drycleaning, sheesh!  drycleaning tshirts).  And jacking up prices unbelievably.  This is cheap knitwear at high prices and a few untailored sweaters to boot.  No thank you.

  • Samantha

    NAY! Numnber one, the clothes are atrocious. It looks like a throwback to my kindergarten days of primary colours and smock-looking dresses. Two, the model isn’t cute and doesn’t present the clothes in a flattering way, which totally turns me off from the company. Besides, what teenager has that much to throw around for clothes, unless they’re a mini Paris Hilton?

  • Julie

    I’ve been to the one in LA numerous times and have found great deals and a great deal of items I wish I had more moolah to buy.  Overall, comfortable and cute clothes, but do wish the prices were a bit more affordable.

  • Christine

    Naay! I’m a teen, and I’d much rather shop at H&M, Forever 21, and Urban Outfitters… these clothes are just not in a teen’s budget.

    Abercrombie is more in that price range – but these clothes seem to be catering to a whole different type of teen. There are stores cheaper than this that sell similar clothing.

  • Jude

    nay.  their site isn’t even madewell

  • Lana

    I think the reason J.Crew is successful, with ever-rising prices, is that they sell clothes you can wear season after season. Classic shapes, classic colors, not a lot of fussy details that will tie a sweater to a particular season. I don’t have a problem paying more money for a wool sweater that will last through a whole lot of Michigan winters.

    But Madewell just seems like a step down in something—quality? class? style?—without a coordinating step down in price.


    I think someone else hit the nail on the head—If I want a flimsy striped shirt, I’ll go to Old Navy.

  • I’ve been to the Madewell in Dallas, and was decidedly unimpressed. It’s not all that different than Ruehl (Abercrombie’s “older” sibling), but more expensive and with fewer wearable clothes.

    Unlike Ruehl, the store had at least a couple of lights in it. So they’ve got that going for them.

  • Honestly?  Abercrombie is pretty expensive, too, especially for teens shopping on tiny paychecks (like me).  That’s part of the reason I don’t shop there, but I just checked their website—$70-80 for jeans sounds pretty steep to me.  Old Navy, Forever 21, H&M, and the like are much more within my budget.

    So to cut a long comment short, nope, Madewell 1937 won’t be getting any business from me.  🙂

  • Tom


  • jinx

    The small selection shown on-line had some appeal. Without seeing the items in person it is a bit difficult to assess quality. What I do like is the “funky- preppy” look with crisper shapes and sharper colors. I am always looking for pieces to mix with my more conservative classic styles.

  • Bitterboo

    I live in Dallas and will definitely check it out. But it’s sounding too rich for my blood. Who exactly are they marketing to? If I can afford J Crew, why would I shop at Madewell. *sigh*. I just really wish there were more quality options for those of us that feel like we’re splurging when we spend $50 on jeans, and $30 on a shirt! And let’s not even talk about shoes…