I've always been interested in fashion, even before it was immediately evident by my often (still) questionable sartorial choices. As a kid, I'd flip through the deluge of catalogs we'd receive in the mail every month and I'd always take on the peculiar challenge of figuring what I'd wear if I could only shop from that one catalog. Obviously, for some brands (like J.Crew, Urban Outfitters, or Anthropologie) this mental exercise was far easier than it was for others (Land's End. Chadwicks of Boston. Newport News. Like I inferred before, we had a lot of catalogs coming to the house). One of the worst offenders was the venerable L.L. Bean. Duck-billed rubber/leather hybrid boots. Mom jeans. swooping sunglasses that hugged the face like a, well, hug. Even as a kid, I categorized these products swiftly as Do! Not! Want!
Imagine my amusement now that given the resurgence of workwear-is-the-new-homeless-chic movement currently making its rounds amongst well-styled fellows, The Bean is au courant once again (or maybe for the first time?). It's gotten mentions on Selectism and Street Etiquette recently, not to mention the hearty high-five it received in my February issue of GQ. The company also hired Alex Carleton (founder of Rogues Gallery) on as creative director on a new line debuting in March called L.L. Bean Signature. Expect buffalo plaid, savants!
In the meantime, I perused L.L. Bean's website and put myself to task creating a collection of what I'd be found sporting if my shopping options were suddenly whittled away to one. What I found were a handful of classic basics likely more at home in a gentleman's closet than my own, but I was certainly pleasantly surprised to discover the perfect Breton sailor stripe top for thirty-five bucks. L.L. Bean, you may just impress me yet.