/  Style /  Casual

Madda Fella Review: Hands-On With Their Coastal Attire

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post containing affiliate links. We received compensation and courtesy product from Madda Fella in exchange for our honest review only. All opinions expressed here are our own. Learn more.

Joe Niehaus
Expertise:

Style, Skincare, EDC, Fitness, Shoes

Joe is world traveler and brand fanatic. He's been writing about physical goods and the founders behind them for over four years. Beyond his work for The Adult Man, he's contributed to The Quality Edit, Business Insider, Men's Health, Travel + Leisure, and more. He's been around the block, taking his goods across the world to countries like China, Spain, Italy, Thailand, Dubai, France, and Mexico. Read full bio.


Published: Jun 10, 2024
9 min read
Model-wearing-Madda-Fella-Ernest-Linen-Shirt-and-Corduroy-Drawstring-Shorts-on-Grass

Madda Fella evokes the Key West flavor with some of the most fun and unique designs I’ve seen on apparel. But is their premium line worth it for young guys like me?

For my Madda Fella review, I grabbed some of their bestselling shirts and a pair of corduroy shorts to see if the beachy brand is worth your money.

The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: Madda Fella
Madda Fella

Bottom line: Madda Fella makes quality clothes with very unique designs. But, the apparel line is quite pricey. If you like Madda Fella’s prints, want to bring a taste of the tropics to your town, and can afford it, then it’s probably the best brand to turn to.

Ratings: The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service
Pros:
  • All styles are made to fit a wide range of body types (regular fit).
  • Free shipping orders over $100 and free returns for U.S. orders.
  • Ernest Linen Shirt is the most durable I’ve tried.
  • Cord Drawstring Shorts have a clean look and cozy fit.
Cons:
  • Sizing can run a bit big.
  • Pricier than other casual brands.

A few years ago, my parents got a condo down in Sarasota, FL.

It’s a wonderful spot—warm weather, beautiful skies, and a certain level of peace and tranquility that you can only find in a spot dominated by retirees.

Funny enough though, downtown Sarasota is bustling.

There are plenty of shops, restaurants, bars… I could go on. But the point is: It’s thriving.

I’ve always felt a little out of place. And it’s the FOMO type, not the uncomfortable type.

Everyone just seems so chill and put together, rocking fun clothes that my yuppie self just couldn’t pull off back home in Ohio or in Texas where I currently live.

I came across Madda Fella, a brand that makes Key West-inspired clothing, and thought it’d be a great entry point to some of that Florida paradise magic I so badly wanted to cultivate in my everyday life.

So, here are my thoughts on their gear.

What Is Madda Fella?

View this post on Instagram

Madda Fella is an apparel brand that was launched in 2015 by Michael Louden, inspired by Florida’s relaxed lifestyle.

The phrase “madda fella” is Caribbean slang used to express passion, excitement, and adventure.

The team had been visiting Key West for the past decade before starting the brand, fishing and relaxing in the beautiful natural playground, and wanted to bring the same flavor to guys across the world.

Since its founding, Madda Fella has experienced tremendous growth, expanding its operations to meet strong demand in geographies like Australia, South America, and Europe.

Today, the line has tops, bottoms, accessories, and plenty of education to help you crush your next cruise and beachy party.

Things to Consider Before Buying

The Adult Man Madda Fella Ernest Linen Cuffed Front 800

Madda Fella is bold, simple as that.

You’re not going to find any basic “essentials” or boring patterns with any of the clothing you pick up from the brand.

They also use some of the best fabrics, like linen and 100%-cotton corduroy, so don’t come here looking for cheap thrills that you wear just once to blend in at a party.

Each item is unique, detailed, and thoughtful.

So, if you’re ready to invest in some authentic beach vibes, Madda Fella may be for you. But don’t think that you’re going to get away with any two-for-one deals or fast-fashion styles.

My Hands-On Review

Ernest Long Sleeve Linen Shirt

The Adult Man Madda Fella Ernest Linen Blue Shirt 800

Tying together a nice long-sleeve shirt that can be worn in warm weather is a balance.

On one hand, the dressier style is nice to have, but on the other hand, you’re limited in your choice of fabrics.

Enter: Linen.

The Ernest Long Sleeve Linen Shirt is a traditional button down made of 100% linen. Instant bonus points from me.

The Adult Man Madda Fella Blue Ernest Linen Shirt Behind 800

Linen tends to be much more “breezy” than cotton, so you get a relaxed fit and can really feel the difference.

Madda Fella offers two styles: Basic colors with no accents and a wider range of shades with pattern accents along the buttons and cuffs. I went with the un-lined version (don’t call me boring!).

The shirt’s construction is about as high quality as I’ve seen. The stitching is tight and the fabric is strong.

The bigger buttons all have custom “Madda Fella” text, which goes to show the level of care put in. A subtle logo is also embroidered on the left chest pocket.

The Adult Man Madda Fella Ernest Linen Behind 800

The fit is standard, not slim and not baggy. I actually prefer slim-fitting clothes, but especially if it’s hot, I’m fine with having some room.

At almost $200, the only downside is the price. You can likely find a similar 100%-linen button down for half price online, so I personally wouldn’t rush to choose this one.

But that being said, if you go for the model with the patterns along the buttons and cuffs, it’s more worth it because you can’t really find anything else anywhere.

Madda Fella doesn’t deal in the basics space—save for the Ernest Long Sleeve Linen Shirt. It’s a no-brainer if you want linen’s warm-weather prowess but you don’t want to dress like the newest member of the Beach Boys. Like their music, this shirt is timeless.

Madda Fella Ernest Long Sleeve Linen Shirt

Linen is the only thing I'll wear for long-sleeved shirts in hot weather, and Madda Fella's is pure quality. The lightweight fabric and standard fit allow plenty of airflow on humid days, and minimal branding keeps things classy.

Check Price

Cotton Dobby Shirt

The Adult Man Madda Fella Ernest Linen Shirt Navy Front 800

The Ernest Long Sleeve’s cotton brother, the Cotton Dobby Shirt is a standard casual button up, with a hint of the island lifestyle.

Actually, I should clarify. It looks like a button up, but has a nifty button beneath the main collar that holds it down.

The Adult Man Madda Fella Ernest Linen Collar 800

I’d never seen that before and this was a pleasant surprise.

The 100%-cotton fabric has a unique ribbed pattern and is pre washed to give a more classic, vintage look.

It fits similar to the Ernest Long Sleeve Linen Shirt in that it’s right down the middle—not too baggy or too tight.

The Adult Man Madda Fella Ernest Linen Cuffed 800 1

Another nice feature about this shirt is that it looks good both tucked and untucked. And, if you’re a roll-up-the-sleeves kind of guy like I am, the color pop is a nice accent.

In the same range as the Ernest Long Sleeve Linen Shirt, I think the Cotton Dobby Shirt’s price is fair. You’d be hard pressed to find something with more build quality, and the subtle color variations provide uniqueness that most shirts don’t.

Madda Fella Cotton Dobby Shirt

I'd wear island prints every day if I could. If I'm still trying to make a tropical statement, the geometric weave, contrast placket, and striped cuffs exude palm-fringed flair—only simpler. The dobby fabric is more robust than linen yet handles the sun's rays with ease.

Check Price

Catamaran Camp Shirt

The Adult Man Madda Fella Camp Shirt Front 800

Finally, rounding out the shirt haul I got from Madda Fella is the Catamaran Camp Shirt.

This is about as classic of a “Florida shirt” as you can get.

Love flashy prints that scream fun? This is for you.

The Catamaran Camp Shirt comes in six island-y patterns and one straight shade of blue. Fruits, flamingos, plants—you will definitely be the center of the show when you’re rocking this.

The Adult Man Madda Fella Back Corduroy Short Shirt 800

The cotton fabric is pre washed, giving it a worn-in feel, minus the body odor and wear and tear.

I also picked this up in a medium like the others. Like I mentioned, I prefer a slim fit.

The sleeves on this were a bit longer than I typically like, but perhaps it’s best if you’re out in the sun and want some extra skin protection.

I’ll end up wearing the Catamaran Camp Shirt the least. Not because it’s uncomfortable or bad quality (far from it, actually), but because rocking a piece so rich with Carribean character would lose its novelty. This is the heavy-hitter I only pull out for waterfront festivities with tiki torches, beach balls, and floaties.

Madda Fella Catamaran Camp Shirt

Decadent 100% pre-washed cotton and short sleeves provide all the comfort I need to focus on enjoying paradise. Whether it's decked out with tropical plants, citrus slices, or flamingos in my case, it's an unofficial uniform for sipping out of coconuts with turquoise waters behind me.

Check Price

Cord Drawstring Shorts

The Adult Man Madda Fella Tucked Linen Ernest Shirt 800

I have zero khaki shorts. I don’t believe in them.

If you’re going to wear shorts and you need to iron them and wear a belt, then you may as well just go all the way and do chinos.

But, if you are looking for some extra breathing room—just go with a pair of athletic shorts, right?

The Corduroy Drawstring Shorts blend casual looks and comfort.

The Adult Man Madda Fella Corduroy Shorts Logo 800

They’re made of durable 100% cotton 21-wale corduroy and have a nine-inch inseam. They feel like your favorite pair of worn-in cotton Champion shirts, great if you’re a guy that prioritizes comfort over everything else.

The waistband is stretchy, yet strong, and has a rope-style drawstring with brass tips for a subtle hit of nautical charm. I really appreciate the elastic-drawstring combination because after eating a big meal I didn’t feel suffocated by a tight fit.

This is more a matter of personal preference, but the nine-inch inseam length is a bit long for me, but if you’re not a fan of a fratty look these’ll suit you just fine.

You can reach out to Madda Fella by phone if something’s up with your order—talk about knowing your customer. Seeing that returns cost $8 was a rain cloud on my beach day.

The Adult Man Madda Fella Corduroy Shorts 800

Finally, the best feature of the Corduroy Drawstring Shorts? They are machine washable.

Thank the apparel gods—I’m tired of having to delicately care for each pair of pants in my closet because they can’t withstand some commotion in the washer.

The Corduroy Drawstring Shorts fit like your favorite pair of athletic shorts and look as good as any pair of shorts you can wear out casually. Personally, I think this style nails the laid-back islander look with a linen or cabana shirt. ~$100 for shorts isn’t unheard of today, so the premium corduroy fabric and brass aglets really bolster the value.

Madda Fella Corduroy Drawstring Shorts

Ironing shorts and matching my belt are a waste of island time. The khaki-colored corduroy screams class while the drawstring waist whispers convenience and leisure, and the rope-style drawstring with brass tips keeps the tone nautical.

Check Price

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

View this post on Instagram

For a brand that’s been around for almost a decade, I was surprised that there weren’t many other reviews online.

Perhaps it’s because the target demographic is a little older and their first instinct isn’t to write about their experience on a website.

But, the Madda Fella site has plenty of customer feedback.

Past purchases of the Ernest Long Sleeve Linen Shirt found it to run a bit larger, and I agree.

It seems the same sentiment goes for the Corduroy Drawstring Shorts, but despite the sizing hiccup, most people love how comfortable and durable they are.

All that being said, the overwhelming majority of reviews are five stars, with just a few outliers commenting on sizing issues.

My Thoughts Overall

What I Like

  • All of the clothes have a regular fit that will suit almost all body types.
  • Made of 100% Irish cotton linen, the Ernest Long Sleeve Linen Shirt is both lightweight and strong, making it a great summer shirt if you’re hoping to dress up a bit.
  • The Cotton Dobby Shirt is extra durable and the color accents add some fun differentiation.
  • The Catamaran Camp Shirt is an iconic party and beach shirt.
  • Free shipping for orders over $100.
  • Madda Fella really leans into its heritage and ethos with the designs.

What I Don’t Like

  • The sizing may run a little big, so keep that in mind when ordering.
  • Everything I tried was over $100 for one piece, which is quite steep compared to some better-known brands.

Who Is Madda Fella For?

Madda Fella is for the guys who just want to get away. If you constantly find yourself daydreaming about being on a beach in the Florida Keys and you wish you could cultivate some of that magic at home, then you should definitely check them out.

The Verdict

Madda Fella makes great clothes, full stop.

They’re made of high-quality fabrics, the construction is thoughtful and purposeful, and the designs are easily some of the most unique on the market.

My favorite items from Madda Fella are the Ernest Long Sleeve Linen Shirt and the Corduroy Drawstring Shorts. I’ve had linen before and it tends to be really delicate and fragile. That’s not the case with the Ernest.

The Corduroy Drawstring Shorts are perfect for me because I don’t want to be super dressy if I’m wearing shorts, so these are socially acceptable and feel more like flexible gym shorts than stuffy khaki shorts.

If you can afford it, then Madda Fella should be a go-to addition in your closet.

Madda Fella

Madda Fella makes quality clothes with very unique designs. The apparel line is priced on the higher end, but if you like Madda Fella’s prints and want to bring a taste of the tropics to your town, it’s probably the best brand to turn to.

Shop Madda Fella