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  • Writer's pictureSydney Umeri

Target's Universal Thread Clothing Line is like Madewell But Cheaper

Updated: Jan 16, 2020

I love Madewell! My love for their clothing began last summer, 2017, when I traded in my old pair of American Eagle jeans during their recycled jean drive in exchange for my first pair of Madewell jeans.

Until that point, I felt that all jeans were built the same, so why jeans would ever cost over $100+ was beyond me. The pair of jeans I got were $135, but fortunately, I didn't have to pay a dime. I was one of the first 10 people in line at their jean recycling event, so I got mine for free!

Since then, I've had a hard time taking them off.  But my perspective on jeans wasn't the only thing that changed that day.

Have you ever walked into a Madewell store, or any store, and thought to yourself, "Wow, I could buy everything!" You pick up a shirt and say, "This is definitely my style." Then you walk over to next shirt and say the same thing. Oh, and the skirts in the corner, it must be a coincidence, but they're totally something you would wear too.

Now you're faced with a dilemma. You have Madewell taste, but not Madewell money. I get it, sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Madewell clothing generally lasts a long time, and in the long run can be worth the money. But when you're trying to gear up for the incoming season and picking out the latest trends, I don't think you want to drop stacks at that store. So how can you get around it? Universal Threads!

Universal Thread is a new brand only available at Target. It just launched this past weekend, February 4th, 2018.

Now, I've been one to steer clear of Target clothes because I haven't had the best luck with them. The quality of their clothing and shoes has always left something more to be desired. But this past weekend I fumbled into Target to get a few kitchen supplies, and as usual, I found myself in a section of the store I had no business being in, the women's shoes and clothing department.

I distinctly remember a woman saying, "Now, these are my type of prices," and like the well-trained bargain shopper I am, my ears perked up. She was holding up a striped faux linen (it was 100% cotton) button down shirt that if someone threw it into a Madewell store, you honestly couldn't tell the difference.

I quickly picked up my size and continued to look around. From sweaters to shoes and shirts I was quite impressed. They have the same vibe as Madewell, classic/preppy style, and a neutral color scheme, but the biggest difference between the two are the prices.

Universal Thread clothing is generally under $40, while Madewell clothing is usually $50+. I will say, the biggest reason for this price disparity is the fabrics that each company use. Madewell is known for their leather, while Universal Thread uses faux leather. You will also find more acrylic fabric in Universal Thread clothing as well, so it depends on what is most important to you, price or quality.

Here is how similar these brands look.


In my opinion, they are quite similar, and that's great for anyone who is trying to look good on a budget. So next time you're in Target, be sure to check out their clothing section and look for Universal Thread. If you like Madewell at all, I'm sure you'll find something you like from the Universal Thread line.

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