Shining the light on a new look

Quick, whose merch is this?

Very MaxMara- or Eric Bompard?

Lafayette148? Theory?

Ralph Lauren?

These shots were grabbed from the new Lands' End quarterly magazine, Apostrophe, in which they also explain that misplaced punctuation.

That apostophe may still grate but I dare you to not smile at these guys:

I've been buying LE slim-cut cords, including these mint green ones, but would never have thought to wear them with black and white checks:

The quarterly (unlike the web site) embodies the stylist's art and the eminence of a good steady stripe, chevron or check. (The dresses are less successful, as I'd expect at this price point.)

The doggies' tartan scarves are acrylic, and so, unless allergic to wool, I'd give them a miss, saving instead for a snuggly cashmere like the Autumn Buchanan version from Johnston Cashmere; price, $155.
Whether human or canine, a cute model won't substitute for quality. And if the quality isn't there, the slick LookBook will only alienate the customer once she finds the actual fabrics pill or the seams wobble. That's you, Talbot's.

In Apostrophe, LE's logo's lighthouse beacon swings wide, aiming for more snap without straying too far out to sea, away from their core classics.

Let's see how they do; I wish them well. There aren't a lot of options for women, including Womens' and Petites, who live far from shops, need basics of decent quality and hope for a soupçon of style. 


Susan G said…
I've been wearing LE for years. In the past couple of seasons they've expanded their offerings to include Talls in coats and tops as well as pants. Great news for me (I'm 6'1½)!
frugalscholar said…
Very bold of LE to shoot that magazine in Portland ME--home of LLB! I was looking on-line at some of the bags: many bad reviews, unfortunately. I appreciate the no questions asked return policy.
Une femme said…
I remember several years ago when LE used to do some really nice styling suggestions on the website. I think they stopped doing this when they were bought out by Sears, maybe? But hooray! Love seeing basic pieces styled creatively. I hope their quality is still there. Love the pups!
LPC said…
Land's End has been struggling for find a style identity for a while. I really do wish them well.
Would you recommend the slim cut cords?
I see that they are available in a variety of colours and sizes?
I think this quarterly issue looks promising...thank you for sharing it.
Cornelia said…
I am an ex LE customer that has moved on. Don't know if I will ever go back, because just like Coldwater Creek, once you move on and realize that by spending just a little more you will get better attention to detail in your clothing it is well worth it.
Duchesse said…
Susan: The are a boon to those needing specialty sizes! I have a firend in France who is your height and orders all her pants from them, she cannot find any off the rack with a long enough inseam.

frugal: Are you still looking for a bag? I would not expect Longchamps quality from LE.

une femme: They also had a virtual model feature I used for the few things i bought there.

LPC: They and J Crew seem to have taken off in more new directions than LL Bean. I don't know why but retailing strategy fascinates me.

hostess: They've worked well for me as everyday pants: they fit my build and wash very well. I bought mine on deep discount.

Cornelia: I use LE for basics like silk long underwear and have several cashmere pieces that are good workhorses. But I'm not inspired by most items.

Le Duc and one son have LE's down parkas and love them. The parkas have some sharp details. A gf has a peacoat that looks many times its price. There are some good things and perhaps more to come, and as I said to Susan G, it's difficult to find women's pants with a 35 inch inseam (or length to order, hemmed for free) elsewhere
Thanks for keeping us informed!! I also hope the quality is still there. I have not owned a LE garment for years.
Duchesse said…
Pam: The brand refresh could go either way. There is a huge market for basics in a wide size range, available by mail.

Clearly they are changing their image- let's see what happens. Many lines (dresses, skirts) need major work before they could be called styish.
materfamilias said…
I'm not a catalogue nor much of an online shopper at all, but the images are certainly engaging. As for the apostrophes, I'm not at all clear that anyone even notices anymore. We who find their misuse grating are fewer by the hour. . .
SewingLibrarian said…
As someone who will be moving from San Diego (everything available from WalMart to Hermes) to somewhere much smaller, I am hoping for a successful LE makeover. I wish they would recapture the quality of their cashmere from ten-fifteen years ago.
Susan said…
For me, quality is an item that fits well, holds up for several years of wear (and is appealing enough to be worn often) and is made from either a natural fabric, or a blend that has properties better than an all natural fabric. It is certainly a disappointment when a trusted brand lets you down.

I don't know that I've ever owned a LE product, but have owned LL Bean and Eddie Bauer in the past. I guess my fear is a frumpy fit from some of these merchants. I always hesitate to buy clothing online if I am not very familiar with the brand--unless the return is very easy.
Mardel said…
I LE reinvents itself yet again! I wore their clothes long ago, stopped, and started again before we moved to Tennessee. Perhaps I will go to Sears and check them out before placing an order, or they may turn out to be like Eddie Bauer, which never has the basics I love in the store, requiring me to be an online shopper.
Anonymous said…
For those of us on a budget, LE is one of the only places where you can find clothes in a quality above Old Navy in a price point less than other popular retailers and in a variety of sizes. For those of us who shop the plus-size market and are over 25, LE is a godsend.
Anonymous said…
The quality has really gone downhill but what is worse is the sizing used to be very accurate, they even had virtual models where you input your measurements and they told you which size was best. I actually bought the skirt pictured in this article and the length was off by almost 2 inches, so it was a petite length. It costs $8.95 to return anything so I am paying to fix it. This would never have happened in the old Lands End and it happens all the time now, sizing is way off between different items, even the same item you buy 2 tee shirts and 1 is larger. This happens so much that I never buy anything until I can read the user comments.
Anonymous said…
Lands End has lost it's way and LL Bean is going down the same path. To keep prices down they are going with cheaper and cheaper fabrics. Lands End is a bit worse for that with the quality control going out the window as well. Their target has also changed to Plus Size and young kids via Canvas, last winter all their skirts were plus-sized exclusive, I wrote to them and complained. For decent work stuff particularly skirts and pants the only place left is Talbots and I fear they will be in bankruptcy soon. You can't sell a skirt for $50 with any quality you will get one with poor seams and no lining and that's what is happening.
Duchesse said…
Anon@ 9:32: I have a plus sized friend whose uniform is an LE's classic Supima shirt and she looks fantastic in them: crisp, pretty. This fall there are several gorgeous prints as well as good colours, and they come up to 26W.
(Like this one:

I have to give them a hug for that.

Anon@11:19: Oh, I liked that virtual model!

Suggest you contact customer service; they have refunded return shipping when item was faulty, and a 2" error on length seems to warrant that. Still, such inconsistencies are annoying!

re reading comments, I've seen a vast range of opinion on an item, so wait for free ship and order, unless the thing is universally slammed.

I order little for myself from LE but last winter bought two of the down parkas for family and they exceeded expectations, very good quality.

Anon@7:59: A glance at the current skirts showed at least 10 models (in LE line, not Canvas) though I didn't check to see if all sizes were in stock.

Having long railed against the limited sizes and sad fabrics most vendors offer to plus customers, I can't fault LE for its size range and fabrics like their good-looking classic cotton shirts.

I also love that a plus-sized woman can get a leopard cotton cardigan delivered to her door, if she wants:

Plus sized women have a hard time finding clothes with some spirit, especially if they don't live in major urban areas with specialty boutiques.
Susan Partlan said…
"I don't know why but retailing strategy fascinates me." Me too. That's why I enjoy visiting here.

LE was a staple brand for me for many years. These days I'm trying to branch out a bit so I've not been watching what they're up to.

Thank you for the update, and the doggies :).

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