Madewell diamond jacquard suit review
A stylish suit that feels like a sweatsuit—sign me up!
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My biggest style obsession in 2021 was a good matching set. A knit skirt and coordinating sweater? Yes, please. Linen shorts with a short-sleeve button-up? I’ll take it in three colors, thanks. I’ve been steadily picking up these little outfits over the years, even before they got trendy, sniffing them out like a power-matching hound, and it’s about time everyone caught up. As matching sets grew in popularity, and retailers continue to add “matching sets” and “co-ords” sections to their sites, I developed a take: Matching sets are the new jumpsuits. They offer all the same simplicity with none of the getting-almost-naked to go to the bathroom. It’s low-effort and high-reward dressing.
In 2022, my take is holding strong, as is this quilted diamond jacquard suit-like set I bought from Madewell last fall—a two-piece that consists of the Diamond Jacquard Shaw Blazer and Pull-On High-Rise Tapered Pants, which cost $148 and $92, respectively, and are part of Madewell’s Do Well program, in which the company claims it contributes to a Community Development Fund managed by the workers for each piece made at the Fair Trade Certified factory.
The product descriptions call the pants “a polished alternative to sweats,” on which I agree 100%—but if that’s not enough for you, I have some additional notes on why you should make the investment.
What I like about Madewell’s Diamond Jacquard Two-Piece
It’s roomy and warm
First thing’s first: This set is comfortable. The fabric is soft and warm, and the cut of both top and bottom is roomy without looking sloppy. The length of the sleeves hits at my wrists and the pants hem lands at my ankles—just right on my 5-foot-6-inch frame.
Wearing this suit is like wearing a lightweight quilt—it keeps body heat in and cold air out. I live in New Orleans, so my window for cozy looks is relatively small, but this suit has served me well without a coat on a 60-degree day. I also wore it with an oversized faux-shearling coat while visiting my family in New York over Christmas, where it was a windy 30-something degrees, and stayed nice and toasty. And should things get a little too steamy, the sleeves easily—and cutely—roll up.
It’s super versatile
With the exception of the basics like tees and jeans, this suit might be the most versatile thing in my closet. In the last few months, I’ve worn it while working from home, to Thanksgiving dinner, to an art museum, and to a Mardi Gras parade. Styling it is all in the shoes and the undershirt—I’ve dressed it up with a blouse and strappy heels or down with a T-shirt and sneakers. It can’t replace a formal suit when the occasion calls for it, but it works for just about everything else.
It looks and feels great
Both the blazer and pants have a loose, unstructured fit that doesn’t look too baggy, thanks to the heft of the cotton. I bought my set in a size small (more on that coming), and the fit is roomy without looking comically oversized. The texture of the fabric, a diamond jacquard—that’s a pretty word for when a pattern is sewn into fabric—elevates the look, and the “dark forest” green color I bought looks the same in real life as it does online.
And let’s not forget the all-important compliments metric. I’ve gotten so many flattering comments from a wide range of people, from my aunt to a cool teen.
What I don’t like about Madewell’s two-piece suit
The waistband gaps awkwardly
I first started shopping at Madewell because my friend gave me a glowing recommendation of their jeans, but it turned out I have a problem with all of its pants: gaping waistbands. Madewell is a sister brand of J.Crew, and in my experience, sizing across both retailers tends to run large. I normally wear a size 4 or 6—or a small or medium—but with these brands, I often need to size down to a 2 or XS. Even then I’ve ended up taking things to a seamstress to be brought in at the waist. In this case, I checked the size chart—which ranges from women’s sizes XXS to XXL—and rolled the dice on a small.
When Madewell jeans fit me well through the legs and butt, they’re too big at the waist, and that holds true for these pants. I have to keep pulling them up if I want them to sit where they should. If I put my phone in one of the (ample) pockets, it drags that side way down. The elastic waistband does nothing to cinch, though I suppose it keeps the pants from slipping all the way off. I considered exchanging the small I ordered for an XS, but this suit is meant to fit loosely and I didn’t want to go snugger in the legs. Being that the fabric is 100% cotton, I thought it might shrink in the wash, but no dice. Of course, this is a body-type-specific issue, so the pants may fit other bodies just right.
Also, the lapels on the jacket don’t come out of the dryer lying flat. It takes a little time and effort—and ideally an iron—to get them crisply folded.
Is it worth it?
Yes, if you’re looking for something versatile, cute, and comfy
This suit is my home. I live here now.
At $148 for the jacket and $92 for the pants, you might want to wait for a sale to snag it. (I did.) But the amount of wear you can get out of it justifies the spend. I know I’ll be wearing it for a long time. And if I didn’t live in a city-sized sauna in the summer, I’d have my eye on the shorts and shirt-jacket version, too.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.