I had a personal Pride & Prejudice moment a few days ago.  The L.L. Bean catalog arrived in the mail.  I've only mentioned L.L. Bean on this blog one other time, in this Top 5 Banned Wardrobe Items post. And I used them simply as an example of style-assassinating mom jeans. Even though I have never ordered anything from them, the catalog has continued to arrive. And the other night as Mr. Darcy and I lay snuggling in bed, I pulled it off my nightstand to have a good snark-session and chuckle at the unflattering pants and boxy shirts.
Until I got to page 9 and saw this.
Double L Rib-Knit, Elbow-Sleeve V-Neck Tee
Now, this may not be earth shattering to you. You might be thinking, "What in the world would make her pause on this?" Well let me tell you. A v-neck shirt with elbow length sleeves is extremely flattering on my particular shape. I think it's extremely flattering on many women, if not most. The v-neck draws the eye up to the face and opens the neck space to lengthen and slim much better than a scoop or crew neck tee.
But the sleeves are the real kicker. I greatly dislike t-shirts with short sleeves that cut across the widest part of my upper arm. That would be nearly ALL t-shirts that aren't long sleeve. It's infuriating. And yes, with all my recent weight loss my upper arms are much slimmer than they were a few months ago but there is still some under-arm waddle I'd like to keep under wraps.
So I stalk elbow-sleeve v-neck tees with great vengeance. If you also prefer these tees, then you know how difficult they can be to find! Hence, catalog pg. 9 stopping me in my tracks.
The next morning, I went to the LL Bean site to order one of these tees.
And lo and behold, I found a few other cute things.
L.L. Bean Signature Rayon Wrap Dress

If L.L. Bean can do this...

(This dress is so mine. A wrap dress with vertical stripes?! Express shipping please!)

Vacationland Blazer

... and this.

(Really cute edging on this blazer.)

L.L. Bean Signature Stretch Denim Flare

... and this!

(I'm wanting to add a gray jean to my new wardrobe and these look good!)


Then why do they also put out THIS?!?


and this?!?
Elastic waistband. Shudder!

Maybe the key is to shop in the Signature section, though the pink blazer is from the regular side.  One thing that L.L. Bean is known for, and I'll be putting it to the test shortly, is their quality. At my old company when we were choosing company logo-embroidered shirts for conferences, several people wanted to get L.L. Bean Double L polos instead of the generic corporate versions. That didn't get approved but they raved about the quality of them and I do need a good polo shirt. I've shrunk out of all of mine.
So I put aside my prejudice against the Bean and placed an order. (They offer free shipping, no minimum order. That's nice!)
If the t-shirt fits the way I'm hoping, I'll be getting it in multiple colors. I'll let you know as soon as my things arrive. Keep your fingers crossed!


04/05/2011 15:52

I LOVE L.L.Bean! Someday, if I can afford to, I want to buy almost everything from them... their quality is incredible... my dad has a few of the chamois shirts that are older than me but still look great!

They still sell the mom-jeans because.... well, because people still buy them I guess.... Not me! :)

04/05/2011 20:11

oh my gosh, this post totally hits the mark. that wrap dress? hello! beautiful. buuuuut...then the elastic-waister jeans make me seriously furrow my brow in concern that i'm trusting the seller of both items. i canNOT get over mom-jeans. hah. so gross.
http://adayinlifetoo.blogspot.com (my daily outfit blog; come on by if you'd like!)

04/06/2011 15:16

Yeah, they've totally been stepping up their game lately.

04/06/2011 15:58

Maggie - Glad to know their quality gets high marks from you! That's what I'm hoping for. The real question is, how do we get THOSE women to stop buying the mom jeans!?! If I can answer that I think I deserve the Nobel Prize.

Brittney - That is too funny about concern that someone could sell these two items on the same site. And it's a valid concern!

Elaine - You're right. I've seen L.L. Bean and Talbot's trying hard to defrump their target markets. I'm excited to see what directions they ultimately take.


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