Why Doesn’t Lands’ End Want Me Anymore?

Lands’ End* doesn’t seem to want me anymore.  Neither does LL Bean.  Brooks Brothers still cares, but for how long I don’t know.

Wal-Mart and Target want me, but their sartorial embrace is clammy and disposable.

I realize fashion – even men’s fashion – changes.  I’m OK with that.  Ties get wide, ties get skinny.  Pleats are in, pleats are out.  Three buttons one year, two the next.  But my old, dear friends at Lands’ End and LL Bean have decided American men need to be skinny.  Really skinny.  And not particularly muscular.

In the meantime every paper I pick up tells me that American men are really quite round.  More than we should be (hence this blog).  I’m working on becoming fit, but you know what?  I could lose another hundred pounds and my bones are still going to be bigger than that ol’ boy modeling clothes for LL Bean.  And I’m not the only one.

These two clothiers – Lands’ End and Bean – used to be my go-to catalogs.  I could count on them for clothes that a.) fit and b.) lasted.  And didn’t require the bulk of my paycheck.  There are still a few items they provide that fit the bill (more Bean than LE).  I’m wearing a favorite pair of Bean khakis right now.  But (to illustrate) I recently bought a Lands’ End Hyde Park oxford button down – in the correct size – that simply didn’t fit.  The Hyde Park line at LE used to be comparable to the original oxford button down at Brooks Brothers, only (much) cheaper.  They were both, to be blunt, wide enough.  They had room to move.  The cloth is still nice and heavy, traditionally so, but by the time my belly can comfortably fit into the LE Hyde Park my neck will swim in it.  Brooks is still proportional, thank goodness.

Clearly both Bean and Lands End want to be Banana Republic.  Which makes no sense – particularly for LL Bean.  Bean is and has been for many years a trusted and distinctive brand.  Why do they want to swim in the small pond that is skinny urban men in their 20’s?  I look at their catalogs and websites and realize they don’t want my business anymore.  And I’m not alone.

My body is big.  It will still be big after I reach my target weight.  I hope before I get there – and need a new wardrobe – my old friends at Lands’ End and LL Bean will have come to their senses and started selling clothes that fit me, like they used to.

Here endeth the rant/eulogy.

* Yes, I know the apostrophe in Lands’ End is in the wrong place.  That’s part of their branding, not poor grammar on my part.


One response to this post.

  1. […] not confuse these with the posts that have been read the most (this one and this one, primarily because of their formidable friendliness to searches by The […]


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