Irony is the vernacular of this brave new world. Doesn't get more ironic than that.
This is brazen and a new low even for L.L. Bean.
Hah! That is really ballsy, for lack of a better word. And yet they stopped selling the men's sweaters they had last year manufactured by Northeast Knitting in Fall River--which could lay some legitimate claim to being authentically New England. I missed out on them and was told by Bean that they'd be back this year. Guess they need to make room for acrylics.
Tried to order a new supply of lined khaki's from Bean earlier this morning, and was informed that they now only sell the lined version made with treated cotton. Authentic formaldehyde ! What a shame.EJF
That looks like something I've seen in a Kohl's weekend newspaper insert along with all of those ubiquitous "flyaway cardis" for women that just look like droopy old sweaters to me.
Commentary: this is what I love about this blog!
Well, to be fair, the knit itself may be authentic, it's the fiber and place of origin that aren't.Glad I'm not from Worchester or Bridgeport or I might resemble that remark...........
There seems to be such a movement in this country back to "Made in the USA". It's hard to believe LLBean wouldn't jump on that and use it to their advantage. They wouldn't even have to keep any stock on the items. Everything could be made to order; surely there are people who Maine who know how to sew and knit good & well made clothes.
So funny, I was on the LL Bean site last evening and thought that same thing. I love your blog. Smart and classy. Oh, and to the person who mistyped: It's "Worcester." I'm thinking someone from that city won't like your reference :)Happy Friday!-Jenna
HA HA HA! Good one. I hated cowlneck sweaters even when they were in style. Wait, were they ever n style? $129.00!???? You have got to be kidding me. I'm pretty sure thy were selling the same sweater at the border of Tijuana, Mexico and California for $5.00 if anyone wants a better deal. I passed on the sweater, but picked up on of those heavy, pullover, surfer-style, woven jumpers.
I agree with Sara regarding the movement back to "Made in the USA", and why companies (in this case, LL Bean) wouldn't take advantage of the sentiment. I've noticed Brooks Brothers has added a search feature on their website for "Made in America" items, however limited, and expensive, that criterion has become. Given the popularity of this blog, and LL Bean's appeal to sell a New England-sartorial lifestyle (either authentic or manufactured), I believe their marketing/research department would notice posts such as these (and subsequent comments, as well). I'm curious as to what their response would be.
How did some of the people at the top get so out of touch, so morally hollow? It was not always like that in the past, was it? That ugly sweater represents nothing but pure greed to me. It's way to expensive for what your getting, it will go out of fashion and probably not even hold up well the first season and it was manufactured using cheap labor. I would love to see the paradigm of greed ruling business come to an end. If enough of us demand quality and eschew cheap fashiony garbage then perhaps the tide will turn.
“Uncommonly cozy in a supersoft blend of wool, acrylic and alpaca.”I didn’t realize alpaca are native to New England. They must be for an "authentic New England knit." Imagine that. I learned something new from the LL Bean catalog cover.Cheers,Gary
LL Bean actually does have a "Made in USA" section on their website, but it is actually pretty laughably desolate--almost nothing except for duck boots and boat totes. The sweater I mentioned from Northeast Knitting, I neglected to add, was of course pure wool and cost about the same as this thing.
Restraint was actually used in this post. So much more could have been said. Read the description of the sweater. How on earth will an "open stitch" sweater keep you warm on chilly Maine days? Open stitch just means less yarn used. I cannot imagine what is authentic about this knit. And "hand wash" with 40 percent acrylic?? (Stay away from an open flame with that!)
Well, as per usual I will be the voice of dissent and say I do like a cowl neck. I find it flattering. The rest of it I will not defend. As many have said, I'm sure there are people in Maine who could produce sweaters for LLBean, even this exact design if that's what they really want.Some of you may be interested in the information in this article about the cost of clothing production:http://nymag.com/news/business/boom-brands/everlane-2013-10/
Way too many companies are offering cheaply made (but overpriced for what they are), ugly, throw-away junk apparel made with a token amount of natural fiber and filled up with synthetics: Lands' End, Talbots, etc. None for me, thanks.Julia
Tangentially relevant: Text version of a story I recently heard on NPR about Bean's stupid return policy (and why REI ditched it) is available here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/09/25/223787129/what-happens-when-a-store-lets-customers-return-whatever-they-want
Wow. This is really ugly, in any part of the U.S.
I'm almost embarrassed for them. Acrylic. Authentic, where, exactly? And it's ugly, to boot. --Holly in PA
L.L. Bean Signature is really horrible and this Sweater is not their worst offender.Why they hold onto Signature, yet discontinued their wonderful Freeport Studio line from the early 2000s (remember it? There were nice things one could wear to work or for a special occasion) is beyond me.Currently I cannot find any jeans that I like from them (every time I find one I like they get discontinued) and I wish they'd use their old cuts in turtlenecks and tees that was not so short. But their sweaters and outerwear cannot be beat, their luggage travels well, and the tote bags are a classic. While I am at it I wish they would bring back plain navy blue ragg wool socks.I have started gently stockpiling items that I like, such as the Double L Sweaters and the French Sailor turtlenecks (got them from the sale section-- scared they will disappear like the long-sleeve crewneck version of that shirt.)Muffy-- They should seriously hire you!!--EM
As a native Mainer I actually love the appearance of that sweater, "authentic" New England or not... certainly not L.L. Bean Signature's worst offender, as someone else said. I find that cowl necks like that are very flattering on me, and fit in well in Midcoast Maine.But I am forever amazed at the low, low quality of L.L. Bean Signature pieces. I have viewed many in the store and they're often made of flimsy fabric, unlined, and of course, "imported"... all for twice the price of many of the non-"Signature" pieces. That sweater would become pilled very quickly... disposable, as is the trend these days.Side note: Alpaca may not native to New England, but a lot of people keep them and there are some Made in Maine products from local Alpaca. Obviously this is not the case here....
Maine Alpaca AssociationWho knew?
Interesting choice of the word, signature. A little like John Hancock putting his “signature” to a limerick. MGC
Anon at 3:42 & Anon at 3:55 -I never would have guessed there were alpaca farms in ME (I was just up in Portland and didn't see any!). I stand corrected.I just placed an order to LL Bean's -- first one in a while. Didn't order anything "signature," John Hancock notwithstanding. A few flannel shirts and a bunch of ragg socks -- just the staples.Cheers,Gary
I agree that acrylic that is cheesy but I actually like the style of that sweater - a very flattering silhouette - and I am from New England, although not Worcester or Bridgeport:)
Welcome to KMart, "New England."
I doubt LL Bean buys their Alpaca yarns from local ME farms... but, I might be wrong. From all the clothing conscious readers of this Blog, it is becoming clear that one has to use the internet as the 'home town clothing store' and seek out global sources for what was once available 'locally', unless one can make the trek to Bean-town (not Freeport) or NYC. So I buy shoes and sweaters from England, most shirts and pants on-line; our local "Men's Store" had to close a few years ago because of lack of customers for traditional, well made clothing. I still get a few select items from 'the Bean' (Signature's was deleted a long time ago; what a sad off-spring). I do miss the traditional LL Bean oxford button-downs and chinos without added chemicals... Oh, the sudden joy of ironing...
I suspect at least on of the Kardashians would be willing to be a spokesmodel for Bean, and if not there's always Jessica Simpson, who seems to have time on her hands now.
Exhibit "A" as to why I now shop vintage on E-bay!Aye God, Woodrow!
Well, for whatever Signature is aiming to do they would probably benefit from some Jessica Simpson branding advice. Her line makes about $750 million per year in retail sales.She does seem to be having babies at a rapid clip, which is not terribly prep.But I bet she does well in Worcester and...well, lots of other places in New England.
And this is why I no longer buy anything other than Sctch Plaid shirts and canvas boat bags from Beans. What a shame...
Nasty, and such a shame!
Bean seems to aspire to be the next Abercrombie & Fitch. They may succeed.
Michael Rowe:If one were selective at K-Mart, one could dress in a far more traditional manner than most American men do today.
Okay, acrylic might not be authentically New England, unless you live in parts of New England where the average family income does not permit people to wear nice all-wool sweaters, which might be most of the region, especially nowadays when working people have almost no money. And cowl necks aren't authentically New England, although they've long been common in Quebec, and French Canadians have been moving south all the way to Massachusetts for over two centuries. But the ad only says that the "knit" is authentically New England -- and so it is, as a matter of knitting per se, however lousy the sweater as a whole might be.Leave L.L. Bean alone. They're a mass-marketing company now. They no longer make what readers of this blog want to buy. So buy from those companies that do. They are struggling and need your business.
If LL Bean didn't produce such stuff for the folks in Omaha, Sioux City, and Topeka, they wouldn't be able to stay in business and continue to produce the few traditional items that, thankfully, we are still able to find there.
I honestly don't understand all the hatred for the STYLE of this particular garment. I have more "true New England prep cred" than, I suspect, have of the commenters on here, but I like the style. "Olde New England" may not have hosted this style, but it's still a relatively traditional, and versatile style. It's not vulgar. I would wear the open weave in the Maine winter. I am quite certain that if most people posting negative comments on here saw it on a 50-year old Maine woman, topped by a barn jacket, they wouldn't think twice. To me, the problems are the acrylic, the price, and L.L. Bean Signature trying to sell a lower-quality garment by resting on the New England identity they've built up over the last 100 years, when this company is really something entirely different.
Yes, but who would want to, when there's that fabulous acrylic cowl-neck sweater for those Frosty New England Nights In Front of the Fireplace or Long Leafy Hikes in the Woods While the Leaves Crunch Underfoot Just Dreaming of a Nice Hot Cup of Chowdah After Pahking the Cah in Hahvahd Yahd? I mean, that sweater just screams "New England" to me.
I don't know whether to laugh or sigh depressedly.
WRJ - Thanks for the link to the NPR story. Bean's policy is going to eventually come back and bite them. If people haven't started taking advantage of it, they will begin to do so just like they did with REI. It's one thing to take something back which is defective or if it's brand new and the customer didn't like it for whatever reason. It's something else to take back old, worn out, and used junk especially if it's replaced with the current price of the item. Stupid, stupid, stupid.And speaking of stupid. As I was taking a box of clothing to Goodwill the other day, the thought occured to me that I was stupid for not returning the Bean items for a full refund.
Muffy:I believe that the LLB Signature designer ( Carleton was his name, or something thereabout) was fired last season and the line is now designed by the same team as regular LLB. Can anyone confirm that? Take note of the comparatively sober designs this season from last and the change in logo.
You know, it's a simple matter to decry the blatant pandering in the ad, (and with 42 complaints here let's consider this horse well flogged). It's easy to say that Bean should know better. But so too should some of the commenters here. The revelation of an Alpaca industry in ME, is just one lol-worthy point. More significantly though, a bit of market analysis would go a long way here. While folks here universally condemn the signature line, it's debut pulled Bean out a 2 year tail spin and continues to draw in a wider audience allowing Bean to continue to offer its core products. Clearly, Bean has capitulated to a broad audience that has a desire to ape classic styles and has the will to pay more for clothes that cost less to produce (hipsters, trendsters, people that want to look younger than 50, etc). If Bean's sales figures had not waned there would be no need for a sig line. Clearly there are many factors that contribute to this, but at it's core it comes down to the customer base not buying enough. Hence, new markets.
The long love hate relationship with LL Bean.
I know I will get pummelled on this comment page, but I have to defend acrylic. Yes, it's a synthetic, but in a sweater it is warm - even when wet, it doesn't retain stains or ordors, it's moth proof, it retains its shape, it doesn't fade - unlike many cotton sweaters, you can machine wash it, it doesn't itch, there's a lot of positive things about acrylic. Yes, it will pill, but so does wool. A fabric shaver solves that problem. I've kept an acrylic sweater on my boat - in New England, for more than ten years now and it's come in handy many times. I would think clothing that is practial and durable would be something readers on this blog would appreciate.
Wow, that sweater is seriously ugly.My mother who used to develop patterns for Perry Ellis knitwear in the late 70's and early 80's, stated "I wouldn't wash my floors with that rag." I had to laugh, she's in her 80's now, and speaks her mind.
I'm not sure I understand the argument that, broadly, says: Bean has gone mainstream and mass-market, has to serve customers in Omaha (I feel bad for anyone from the Midwest who reads the comments here, as they are regularly insulted for no good reason), and therefore let's all just ignore the crappy stuff they make and sell under the banner of "classic New England" and accept the inevitable. It's actually not a foregone conclusion that every company must be gigantic, must be ever-expanding, and must serve all tastes. Bean could very feasibly have remained a relatively smaller company making higher-quality goods for somewhat higher prices and maintained its customer base. That would seem to be a model for stable, long-term success. It has instead chosen a different path, which has allowed it grow massively but also falter quite a bit with long-time customers. Once Bean has fully transitioned to making products that are of the same quality and style as can be bought anywhere, it will have only price as a means of competing with other low-quality retailers. And I can't imagine it's going to succeed there. But until the inevitable happens, many more people are making much more money at Bean (I suspect) than under the old model, and they're going to keep that particular train rolling as long as they can.
I think WJR summed it up correctly.
Can I just say "blech"......
The sweater is just an ordinary cowl neck sweater. I don't see anything authentic about it.I had a creamy white cowl neck from Liz Claiborne about 12 years ago that I wore constantly and it was very similar. Probably 90 percent cotton. It served me well.
Awful. I feel itchy just looking at it.-Erica in Cazenovia
Oh, let's keep flogging until morale improves. A well-timed post, as I happened to pass through Freeport yesterday for the first time in many years, so of course I stopped. The outlet was not the wonderful Factory Store of old (I am still using shirts and luggage bought there over 20 years ago). Nice conversation with an old-timer there who said I had gotten good value for those products; we both understood no further need be said on some of the other offerings. (Note to LLB HR: GREAT and very helpful customer service from this person on some shoes; these are the kind of people you want to foster, encourage, and reward at bonus time.) As for the main store, it was useful to have the opportunity to actually feel and touch products rather than relying on uncertain catalogue descriptions (and the accompanying returns). Some of the changes were just annoying. Even aside from iron/non-iron, was it really necessary to change the color in the university stripe shirts (significantly softer than it was for decades and should be again)? And was it really necessary to remove the extra fabric in the back of the chinos to prevent people from letting them out a bit if necessary? Really? How much did they save on this? Was it worth it to annoy customers? If they are truly eliminating the flannel-lined pants, I cannot imagine that is a good business decision and suspect they will hear from New Englanders on this one.More happily, the canoe/kayak store is still great fun, and I suspect the hunting area would be as well if that were one of my passions. I'm not qualified to comment on how or whether those products have changed.Finally, @sara: don't regret; you're helping others.
One might be able to glean the direction of Signature by the company they want to keep. Laurie Brooks, L.L. Bean's Senior PR Rep, recently hosted 5 bloggers for L.L. Bean Signature. I found it interesting to see who they think is in sync with Signature. I follow her on Twitter, and here is the list she posted. Keiko Lynn (www.keikolynn.com/); Saul Rasco (www.trendstyled.com/); Leah Chernikoff (http://instagram.com/leahchernikoff); Sarah Vickers and Kiel James Patrick (www.classygirlswearpearls.com/); Lauren Sherman (http://lapresmidi.com/); Sophia Chabbott (http://www.glamour.com/); Lindsay Huggins (http://www.self.com/).
The best buys these days seem to be at thrift stores: Clothing made 15-25 years ago in classic style.I took a close look at Sarah Vickers' "Classy Girls Wear Pearls" blog. (Love pearls but loath the word "classy.") Maybe it's the current thing to mix styles so wildly, I'm not sure. But whoever chooses the clothing featured pairs one or two classic items with something a bit quirky, an approach I can't say I dislike but that certainly wouldn't feel right on me.The LL Bean cowl does look itchy. I'm glad you posted this, Muffy, as I am finding the comments so interesting.
I've asked Laurie Brooks Senior PR rep for L.L. Bean:"How come all the flannel shirts are now made overseas?" Her response was: " because no one will pay over a hundred dollars for a flannel shirt made in Maine". She also touted that "L.L has *hundreds* of products still made in America. Well, they consider each and every size of their down comforters as *one*, so, one small down comforter is "Made in the USA", and one medium...and so on; that is how they calculate so many of their products are still made in the US. In my opinion, L. Brooks, works for 'the company' and not her customers. I would go on about our Ms. Brooks, but, well, Muffy asks us to: "be nice", so, I will do that. I would like ALL catalogs/websites to post, not imported, but the country of origin/where it's made. I've , basically, stopped shopping at Beans. I still buy the tote bags and the boots because they *are*, for now, still made in Maine. Everything else is off my radar.Oh, I almost forgot: nice sweater.
Pendleton has added a hipster line, Thomas Kay.I'm not sure if Pendleton is worn much in New England, but it's been a great source for me, and the sales are spectacular.
Wasp Decor - Laurie Brooks is an appropriate face of the new L.L. Bean. I can see why she invited the super trendy bloggers up. The company now has soulless dead eyes, as the rats seem to be getting away with the heist. However, Mr. Decor, Muffy said be nice OR smart, so...
We received our Thomas Kay catalog yesterday (along with the one from Gempler's). Hip? I wouldn't know. Pricy? Yes but they always have been, relatively speaking. Relative to J.C. Penney, that is. All these stores used to carry fairly nice woolen shirts, for instance, but I expect the market for woolen shirts has shrunk considerably over the years. Louise Dickenson Rich, writing around 1940, stated that her husband would get dressed up in a nice woolen shirt when friends came calling at their place in the Naine woods. Their friends were certain there was some country store nearby where those shirts could be had at a bargain price. But he bought his in Boston; the local folk couldn't afford nice woolen shirts like that. Pendleton, which still operates mills, has some products sewn overseas or Mexico but the quality is still good. But some Pendleton shirts available from other retailers like Cabela's seems to be of a different quality. Not exactly bad, just different. Don't get a lot of wear out of wool shirts down here in Virginia though.
Wish I could knit - I'd knit my own sweaters:)!
Blue Train, you reminded me I vowed to reread "We Took to the Woods" this winter.I was not taken with the styles in the Thomas Kay catalog. I do like plaid flannel shirts, though, and they had some nice but pricey models.The best flannel shirts I have found at a decent price still come from LL Bean. Tartan plaids are perfect for Wisconsin winters.
NEW Communications, her later book is, "My Neck of the Woods." It was written after the passing of her husband, I believe, and is quite different. I bought my copy at the Duluth Pack Store in Duluth, Minn., of all places. Her books capture a lot of Maine. I also recommend L.L. Bean's original book from 1941 about Hunting, Camping and Fishing. One suggestion for a hunting trip: wear from home your heaviest business suit.
Wasp Decor, Your comment above that an L.L. Bean rep. told you their chamois shirts are now made from cloth produced in Portugal and “constructed” in El Salvador (I called Bean to find this out) is “because no one will pay over a hundred dollars for a flannel shirt made in Maine.” It seems that many of the same people who shop at L.L. Bean might also go out and drop $100.00 on drinks and dinner, but refuse to pay more than $44.95 for a decent shirt made to last many years. This confuses me… I assume, therefore, that they either don’t recall what the quality shirts of the past were like, or they don’t mind replacing them much more frequently. In any event, we are now stuck with: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/22611?feat=589-GN1&page=bean-s-chamois-cloth-shirt I recently tossed out a loved but almost threadbare Bean chamois shirt I bought in 1982. I will not replace it with what they offer today. Not sure where to go for a replacement…Cheers, BC
One of the "joys" of getting older is understanding why the people who went before you did what they did.My uncle could have bought whatever he wanted but he tended to wear old, patched khakis unless he was getting dressed up or going to church. They were always very clean and ironed with the crease down the exact middle of the legs. I used to tease him about his clothes but he said since he couldn't buy the same quality clothing anymore, he'd just patch his favorites until they fell apart. (This was 20-30 years ago so the quality issue isn't anything new). I'm starting to understand his thinking and am tempted to do the same with some of my clothes. Hopefully it won't embarrass my grand-daughter too much.
Brad, I checked out your LL Bean link to men’s chamois shirts. You can now get them with your monogram. Seriously, no amount of Dark’n Stormys would get me into a monogrammed chamois. I can’t think of anything more odious. You might try a company called Mountain Khakis in Jackson Hole, WY. Their chamois are advertised as “imported.” Perhaps they’re imported from Northeast Harbor, or maybe somewhere further east, like Malaysia. MGC
Well, Sara, that's one of the joys I haven't enjoyed. I haven't really found any other joys of being older either. There's lots of good clothing out there still to be had but you have to be as choosy about making your selections as you were 30 years ago. Don't worry about it just because you didn't find it at L.L. Bean. They may not be the style you want but here I'm foolishly assuming that people here want quality over style. Just remember there has always been cheap (or inexpensive) clothing and other gear available because that's all that some people can afford. The only difference is that it comes from overseas now. There was a time when "imported" meant something better and usually more expensive.
Sara -I have a pair of Patagonia Stand Up Shorts that are old and patched like your uncle's khakis. My wife can't believe I still wear them. Nevertheless, they remain my favorite pair of shorts and I see no reason to retire them.Cheers,Gary
MGC, I realize that we are straying from the topic of whether or not that stunning Bean woman’s sweater is authentic New England or not, but thanks for suggesting Mountain Khakis as an option to go to for chamois shirts. They are of course made in either Cambodia or China, not Northeast Harbor ;-) Also, at first glance, not sure about the dual-shoulder shooting patch front yolk. I’m not much of a shooter these days other than saluting cannons.My other go to brand for chamois shirts in the past was Woolrich. Now, however, they only make two versions, the Sportsman and the Expedition. The Sportsman is made from a light weight fabric and is without the button down pocket flaps. The Expedition is a heavier weight fabric, but has a squared off bottom – kind of a jacket style. The old/vintage style, no longer available, was made with button down pocket flaps and could be tucked on or not. Also, like all the other brands, they are no longer “made in the USA.” They are made in… where else… China. I’m going to do what someone else here suggested and try to find some vintage shirts on eBay. By the way, I concur with your thoughts on monogramming chamois shirts… BC
Brad, I wasn’t serious about Northeast Harbor. I was serious about Malaysia (you can substitute China here). I remember my father grousing about boats built in China and imported into the U.S. And that was back in the sixties!The Chinese have throughout history been among the most skilled artisans on earth. If you ever have the opportunity, stop by the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA someday (specializes in the period of the China trade). It’s one of the great museums in the country. There you will find some of the most spectacular objects ever made by man. Today of course, the products we import from China fall into a somewhat different category. One good thing about clothes made in China, however. If you’re short on polishing rags, you won’t have long to wait before your Chinese-made shirt becomes one. MGC
I just received an order from Bean's that included four tartan flannel shirts. For all the bitching and moaning we do (me, too) about the company, these seem near-perfect. They are made in El Salvador, but stitching, color, construction -- all are high quality. Despite their swerving away from their traditional values, they still do some things right.Cheers,Gary
Something new & vaguely related to LLBean.My husband likes Bean's khakis and jeans for his work clothes. Because of his work, none will last more than a season or two so the price is right under the circumstances. He buys Bill's for other occasions. Just received a new pair of jeans this afternoon. They are made in Mexico (not some country I've never heard of) but it's hard to imagine the odor they gave off when the package was opened. There's an odd, almost chemical smell to the material. Suggestion to Bean management- perhaps you should give some thought to changing detergents.
Thanks, Blue Train. I looked LDR up online and realize she was rather more prolific than I had thought. I knew her husband died young and thought she did, too. Must have confused her with another female writer of that era. Good reading for hunkering-down times.
MGC – Thanks for the China info on the Peabody Essex Museum. I didn’t know that. I will make it a point to visit in the near future. I like China and its history. I am fortunate in that I visit China fairly often. I think that products coming out of China today are of less quality than in the past is due in part to the last 60+ years of communist rule (in particular, the Cultural Revolution) and the policies that continue even though they are becoming more capitalistic every day. In many ways, the culture has been turned on its head. For example, in the past, an elder carried great respect. Today, walk into any government agency or business enterprise in Mainland China and you will be struck by the large numbers of young adults working there. Because of the huge population and difficulties employing all those people, mandatory retirement age is set low, especially for women. This makes room for younger workers, but of course, knowledge and skills are lost with the early retirees. It boggles the mind.Environmental regulation seems non-existent. In Beijing on most days, it is literally difficult to see through the haze across the street. You can cut the pollution with a knife. For the 2008 Olympics, the government literally shut down factories in certain locations because the prevailing wind carried too much air pollution into the city and games venue. Fortunately, this is changing. The Chinese are resilient and wonderfully good people. The average Chinese citizen is not the same as their government. Every major company you know from the US, Canada, Europe and Asia is there. Part of the deal of being in China is to teach knowledge and skills to Chinese workers. Because of this and other developments, we should see good things coming out of China, including better products. It will occur slowly, but the average Chinese Joe and Jane see Century 2000 as their time. I suspect (and hope) they will make the most of it.Cheers,Gary
Gary, I share your fascination with China, which for me began with my first visit to the Peabody Essex Museum. I’m sure your first visit will be worthwhile. Here’s a link to a little “teaser” for the museum (other readers might enjoy this as well) : http://ocw.mit.edu/ans7870/21f/21f.027/rise_fall_canton_04/gallery_commodities/index.htmYou can enlarge each photo with a click of the mouse. Let’s face it, the Chinese produce exactly what today’s market demands. On a parallel note, eBay and other outlets are awash with fake Chinese antiques. Porcelain, wood, bronze, cloisonné, jade; it makes no difference. Not only do they have an army of craftsmen trained in the old methods, they have the aging process down to a science. It often takes an expert to distinguish between real and fake, although the prices should be the first clue. I’ve never been to China. I do have an appreciation for their art and culture, but not for the politics of feudalism or communism, both of which have been unimaginably destructive to the Chinese people. MGC
Gary - The Scotch Plaid Flannel Shirt is our favorite Bean item; it might be a good idea to stock up on them. Like all our other past favorites, someone will probably get the bright idea it needs to changed in some respect. They already seem to be veering away from the traditional plaids into some less attractive options.
MGC –Thanks for that link. The photos are enticing. We will get up to Salem soon. I agree with you about the politics. While we may not agree with the philosophy of Marx and Engles, they had great respect for average people. The Chinese government under Mao had anything but and was incredibly destructive to China and its culture. The Party still dominates, but it no longer has the power it once had, thankfully.Sara –Probably good advice on the Scotch plaid flannels. If they get Signaturized with the Line’s modern, slim fitted look I could be in trouble!Cheers,Gary
Those who I know who have traveled to China frankly did not have a lot of good things to say about it but some went for business reasons. My son-in-law when stationed in Korea claimed air pollution there came from China and it probably did. He just returned from Afganistan but hasn't said anything about air pollution there. I prefer Groucho and John instead of Karl and Vladimir. I do have a certain fondness for Trotsky but only because he was a friend of Freida Kahlo.By the way, Cabela's carried a nice 80/20 wool nylon ragg wool sweater like Bean's used to carry.
I call it as I see it regarding all of the US Prep brands and high-end retailers who went down this road; it is unadulterated disgusting greed, nothing more.
I'm not opposed to cowlnecks. In fact, I think women look quite attractive in them. But the one above is just too form fitting. It really does remind me of Abercrombie & Fitch.
Brooks Brothers, Lilly Pulitzer and now L.L Bean have prostituted themselves. We call it “mall crap” at our house. Who would have ever thought you would see a Lilly down jacket? Or how about a “trim-fit” Brooks Brothers 4-button suit made in China? And now, a polyester sweater from L.L. Bean? I predict L.L. Bean will be in your neighborhood mall within five years…or at the very least, as a signature collection and Kohls. I’m not a New England prep coinsure, I’m a southern-prep…but I know my stuff! Roney Hilliard III in Weaverville NC
But L.L.Bean is in our local mall, just down the corridor from Brooks Brothers in Tysons Corner, Virginia. However, one is not required to shop in either store, should you care not to. Tiffanys is just across the street. I wonder how they compare with the way they were in the good old days?
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