Thursday, February 2, 2012

L.L. Bean Signature Photoshoot

LL Bean sent me another invitation to purchase from their catalog.  When I first opened this up, I was happy to see that LL Bean Signature was veering towards a more permanent and classic style.  Subtle tartan flat-front wool pants?  Polished leather shoes?  Count me in... I'll take it.

A nice classic sweater of wardrobe-staple caliber?  Yes.  Wearable and versatile shirt, too?  Now we're talking.  Untucked I wouldn't do, but who cares.  It looks good.  Well, Bean Signature, you may be winning me back.

Wait... what the-?  Are the Bruins playing tonight?  Why is this guy drinking at 9AM on a Tuesday?  He can certainly flick a cigarette further than most, but I don't like the way he is eyeing that plate-glass window.

Tired of people asking you where you bought your belt? 

LL Bean Signature's design team has scoured thousands of old publications and images for their inspiration, and apparently high school yearbooks from 1991 were fair game.  After college, it took this small-town varsity quarterback three tries to get his real estate license.

This guy wasn't even born when Hee-Haw was still on prime time.  The hunting motif serves as a painful reminder of activities in which he'll never participate... unless he hits a doe with his Passat.

Are you a private detective who also runs an auxiliary snow-plow route?  Luck was a lady tonight because your up-state upholstery connection has finally paid off.  [Read actual reviews here.]

He proudly tells you that the small cut on his hand is "from a chainsaw accident".  What he doesn't tell you is that it was from dropping the Husqvarna floor model at the local hardware store.

This smarmy guy has been prowling around the train station in Budapest asking women to have lunch with him and bumming smokes from the older travelers.  He hasn't showered in days and has an unrecognizable accent, and now your passport and iPod are gone.


I hope that they will do more of this...

...and less of this:
Wool Blanket Trench, Plaid

There is a reason re-invention often goes poorly.  There is little lasting wisdom from focus groups, but three or four generations of society tend to shake out the forms that deserve to last.  The first round of Signature snark is here.


  1. What the &%$? is this "thing" about the untucked shirt, especially under a sweater? So, okay, the New York "men's fashionistas" thought it was so chic and daring a few years ago, don't they know that NOW it's the go to look for suburban housefraus?

  2. Good one. A snappy and sarcastic post after my own heart.

  3. Still laughing at your first post on this. This one is even better. Hopefully someone from L.L. Bean is paying attention.

  4. I still like the ugly hunting motif flannel. If someone much more interesting were wearing it, and not inexplicably laughing at the ground, it could work in the right setting.
    Après-ski with a bourbon in hand by the fire, Draped in a hideous flannel...sign me up.

  5. Well done sir. LLBS just looks like it is trying too hard to be something it's not. But I have to wonder how long it will take for Bean to do a reversal, back to it's roots campaign and ditch all the hipster junk and bring us a few classics.

  6. *NCJack: I'm with you. It's one thing when the untucked-shirt-underneath-sweater is from a game of pick-up football or similar, but when a guy leaves the house that way...

    *Scott-A: Your sarcastic posts are some of my favorites.

    *Mrs. Weston: I doubt they read this.

    *Phillip: You paint a nice picture... bourbon by the fireside. The reviews (which I read through for some reason) said that the shirt isn't even that soft. If you zoom in on the image, it's clear that it is just a lack-luster cotton shirt.

  7. Hilarious! The points you make are exactly why seldom purchase clothing from L.L. Bean.
    They present an inconsistant image; a lack of quality clothing; trendy "crap" mixed in with items that might be useful.
    Bean has lost it's soul...although I did get a nice waterhog door mat for Christmas.
    Sticking with Mercer, Flusser, Barbour, et al for what I choose to wear.

  8. Where is this "unshaven" look coming from? Is it now considered "hip" to look like you just woke up on a park bench in SoHo after a 3-day bender on "Mad Dog?" Or is it "Occupy" chic? Yuck-poo!

  9. It's LL Bean copying the new-old-Americana-look urban hipsters, who were ironically copying LL Bean as inspiration for their looks. Has the tail finally starting wagging the (hunting) dog?

  10. Ha ha ha ha ha.

    What the.....??? Seriously. I think the hunting motif shirt with the odd camo pants would make an AWESOME outfit.

  11. "Occupy" chic - I like that! It reminds me of the "Derelict" (pronounced Dereleekt) fashion line on Zoolander.

  12. I normally have little interest in clothing blogs, but your incisive, witty and snide remarks won me over. You punctured every bit of pretense in that catalog.
    --Road to Parnassus

  13. It looks like the quarterback is wearing a River Driver's Shirt... a little late 70s L.L. Bean (even has the nice angry red color scheme), but it doesn't look like they did much re-imagining there...

    I do agree they need to do something about their models, though. I hear that they used to use their employees for that sort of thing... I wonder why they stopped?

  14. I remember when we ran into that guy in Budapest! He had a particularly off-putting bandage too, if memory serves. Wasn't he supposedly from Poland or something?


Let's keep it clean... but if you DO have to get foul, at least give it a bit of wit. Also, advertising disguised as comments will be deleted, unless it is clever.