Love for Land’s End

Upon returning from taking the dogs out in -2 degree weather…

Me: I am so in love with Land’s End right now. The only part of me that’s cold is the only part of me that isn’t wearing something from Land’s End.

Al: Your heart?

Aw. Happy fucking Valentine’s Day.

More importantly, the only actually cold part of me (other than some exposed face) was my calves, which were only covered by Target sweatpants. Other than that, I was wearing:

Reversible quilted down coat

Fleece hoodie pullover

Weatherfield bomber hat

Thermacheck scarf

Thermacheck gloves

Extreme squall boots

If I’d been wearing the pants that go with the hoodie instead of the thin Target ones, I could have had a damn picnic out there.

(Also, I looked super hot, as you can imagine.)

I want to have 10,000 of Land’s End’s warm, functional, unattractive babies right now.

27 thoughts on “Love for Land’s End

  1. This is hysterical. I bet you looked “hot”–as in, you couldn’t possibly be cold in all that! Kind of like my hot fiance who dressed for 30-degree weather the other day by putting on thick wool socks, heavyweight long undies, Carhartt pants, a long underwear top, a sweatshirt, a softshell/fleece lined jacket, a Carhartt arctic weight coat, and snowboots. Jesus H, I was sweating just looking at him!

    The only Land’s End thing I currently own is a pair of long undies. They are not as comfy as my Irideon ones (Irideon is a breeches manufacturer, and is somewhat unique among equestrian companies in actually understanding that people who ride aren’t all 5’11” and 120 lbs). I don’t honestly find the LE long undies all that great fit-wise; they are warm, but they are cut without any basic understanding of how people change shape as they change size. The thighs are ginormous, the butt is nonexistant. They also have seams in the inner thighs, which the Irideons don’t since they’re designed to ride in. One point for the LE ones, though: they have a low enough rise that I don’t get weird rolls around my middle (that I don’t really have) any time I try to put jeans on over them. The Irideons are great under breeches or other stretchy pants with longer rise, but under Lane Bryant bootcut jeans, they are death to my waist, and not very comfortable anyway since it always feels like something is creeping up or down (or both at once).

    I’ve been coveting the LE flat-front wool trousers lately, but I’m afraid they will also have the big-thighs-no-butt problem, and probably the big-waist-no-butt problem as well. Then again, nothing really fits my butt, I suppose I should get over it.

  2. Screw what their clothes look like, I just love the feel of them. Those brushed fleece sweatpants — mmmmm, makes me feel like a giant kitten in them. Even their turtlenecks are nice and soft. Turtlenecks.

    And yeah, those Squall gloves have gotten my hands through plenty of wet, cold waits for buses, or 1-mile walks to TJ’s in a chilly drizzle. And I could get them in a color that EXACTLY matched my coat. Now, if they’d only make those All Weather Clogs again. I’ve worn the living shit out of the ones I bought 3 years ago. Perfect Northwest winter shoes.

  3. I have a love hate relationship with lands end. On one hand, yes, many reasons to love them, such as the 3 in 1 extreme squall jacket, which is the perfect jacket for a bike commuter in sloppy, often very cold Chicago winters. Which also came in pink last year.

    On the other hand- I always feel like a second class citizen shopping there. Why? Because the selection for the plus sizes isn’t the same as for straight sizes. There’s far less selection. And you can be darn sure that if a product comes in only certain colors for plus sizes, it won’t be the pretty ones. It’ll be the “practical”, dark colors like black, navy, brown etc. Not pink or orange usually. Here’s how a catalog shopping session with Land’s End usually goes at my house.

    Gets mail. “Oh, cool, new Land’s End catalog.” flip, flip, flip. “Hey, that’s pretty.” Pause. “Not available in my size.” flip, flip, flip. “Oh, that’s pretty too.” Pause. “Nope, not in my size.” Flip, flip, flip. “Hmmm, practical, but not too uncool. Nope, not in my size either. Well, #@! it” Throws catalog away.

    Sorry to harsh on your Lands End love, but honestly, I just can’t feel 100% good about shopping there, even when I do find things I like or need. I always get a little knot of angst in the pit of my stomach when forced to order there because nobody else really has what I need at a reasonable price.

  4. They have a better plus-size selection than most straight-size retailers that carry some plus, but you are absolutely right that every time you spy a garment in the LE catalog that is the new, cute thing that would be just perfect for this or that–or a really striking, interesting color–it is absolutely guaranteed not to come in plus. It’s infuriating. At the same time they do have a fairly good selection of high-quality basics in plus (certainly better than the equivalent selection in LL Bean or Eddie Bauer, for example) so it’s hard not to cave and shop there.

    I know there are various lines of thinking on this matter, but I have always been firmly in the camp that says all stores should carry every item in a full range of sizes, and let the consumer sort it out. I don’t want to have decisions made for me as to what plus-size women like, or what is objectively “flattering” to us, or whatever. You would never see them going “well, this doesn’t come in an XS because this style is just not flattering to the ‘less-curvy’ figure.”

  5. RoseCampion, you can get LE to send you a plus-size-only catalog. That should help eliminate a lot of that frustration. But yeah, more bright colors in the larger sizes, please. Not all of us want to dress like we’re going to a damn funeral every day.

  6. Getting them to send me the plus size catalog doesn’t really end the frustration because I know that the stuff that’s offered for straight sizes is better. Is it any better to skim through a whole catalog and only go “meh” in response to what I see? Just seeing only the plus size selections doesn’t help if those selections are inferior or not to my taste in the first place. Also, they won’t just send the plus size catalog, because I’ve asked them to before. They always start sending the regular catalog after a while.

    And the stupid thing is, if I lost like twenty or so pounds, I’d totally fit into the biggest straight size they have. At times, its really enough to send me into that downward spiral of the the fantasy of being thin(ner).

  7. my work uniforms come from Lands End, and I love them. The khakis fit me nicely, in a manner I like. Which means they dont constrict and they are not so tight in the crotch area that it feels like the seam is getting intimate with my hoohaw. I have had so many pants that fit everywhere else but when I sit in them or crouch down, or do anything that causes tightness down there it’s damned uncomfortable. Of course that could be because of certain *ahem* piercings I have in that region.

    Ok so all that to say I have actually gone to my manager and told her I want to order some of the khakis just for me, they are so nice.

  8. Damn, Rose, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.

    Here is something very weird about their sizing, though. In knit items, which tend to run a little bigger than the fitted items, the XL is actually a bit bigger than the 1X. I started out as an XL, or size 18-20 (I was technically at the top of that range), and lost just enough weight that now I fit into their…1X, or 16W-18W. Which costs more than an XL. Which is another reason this shit makes zero sense! If you can make something pink (for instance) in an XL, I cannot see any logical reason why you can’t make it in a 1X, and just go all the way and offer that same color in the 2X and 3X also. It’s not like there’s only so much pink dye in the world.

  9. I love Land’s End for their return policy and luggage – I don’t think I’ll ever buy luggage anywhere else. And for the warmness, too. I can only afford things in their overstocks, but often there’s some good stuff there too.

  10. Kate:
    1) Lands’ End is the proper punctuation of their brand name, even though it is clearly wrong. Apparently they had a typo that got trademarked years ago.
    2) That hat is the fugliest thing I have ever seen. Ever.
    3) By “have” 10,000 babies, I assume you mean eat?
    4) Dad will be proud to hear that you learned the warmth-over-vanity lesson well.

    Stay warm. And stop sending that coldness this way!

  11. I wish there were Land’s End stores here in Montreal… >_<

    I only own 2 articles from Land’s End, which were gifts from my ex-bf’s aunt. One is a cool black-and-burgundy tote bag, the other is a pair of warm double-layered fleece gloves, which are great.

  12. Lands’ End ad copy is kind of hilarious:

    Extreme Squall Boots are packed with technology, not with weight — or price.

    Maybe it’s just early, but that really bagged me up. Packed with technology! PACKED WITH IT.

  13. Hey, ladyjaye – go to landsend.ca. You can buy Lands’ End at Sears, but the selection stinks. It’s better to use the mail order, anyway, and they ship from within Canada for a reasonable price – and you can return and exchange without any trouble.

  14. Well, Lands’ End could be correct if they’re talking about the end of many lands.

    And.. yeah.. LE stuff is sometimes fantastic, always too pricy, and almost never in the color I want. It’s noteworthy that this last phenomenon happens when I LIKE dark colors, but I also like heather gray and lilac-type purples and sage, and those are often not available. I do like that I can return whatever doesn’t fit at Sears. :-)

  15. I want those boots…oh damn, no 9.5, wide or otherwise. I’m lucky I can shop for serious winter boots in the men’s section, nobody ever has my size in something practical.

    The link for that coat had a nice sidebar of cable knit cashmere stuff that just screams “buy me!” *sigh* Maybe next year.

  16. At about this same time, probably, I was wearing pajama pants, sweatpants, a t-shirt, a pajama shirt, and a sweater. We’re trying to keep the heating bills down.

    It’s not normally cold enough here to justify Lands’ End, but I will take this as a recommendation if we move somewhere cold (over my strenuous objections).

  17. Okay, I totally hear all the comments about the plus range being limited, and I agree that the ideal would be every store carrying a full range of the same stuff. But I can only think of two stores that do that — Eddie Bauer and J. Jill, which are where I buy about 75% of my clothes. In the meantime, I’m pretty comfortable promoting a store that goes up to 18-20 in straight sizes and offers hundreds of plus-size options.

    I mean, every time I talk about Lane Bryant or whatever, I’m leaving out everyone who’s above a size 28 — and I’m very conscious of that. And one of the reasons I personally love EB and J. Jill (and LE, for that matter) is that they carry petites up to 18 — but then, short women who wear sizes above that still have to buy clothes that are too big in scale for them. Talbot’s carries a woman petite line, which I love them for, but it’s hella limited, and it only goes up to 24W. Tall women are screwed at a lot of places I shop. Etc. Really, the only way to avoid excluding/disappointing some people is to not talk about clothes at all. And I like to talk about clothes.

    On a happier note, LE just released a whack of new spring stuff, and you might be surprised by some of the colors available in plus.

    1) Lands’ End is the proper punctuation of their brand name, even though it is clearly wrong. Apparently they had a typo that got trademarked years ago.

    I am so appalled by that, I refuse to acknowledge it. That’s even worse than Starbucks having no apostrophe at all.

    2) That hat is the fugliest thing I have ever seen. Ever.

    You should see it on! It’s awful! But OMG, there’s a huge difference when it’s -2 between my regular hat and one with fleece-lined ear flaps. And I am my father’s daughter. (Also, I got it from the overstocks and only paid $9.99. I really wanted this one, which I actually think is kinda dorky cute [especially in pink], but since a bomber hat is only ever gonna be so cute, and I’m only likely to wear it on bitter cold days, I went for the cheap one.)

    Lands’ End ad copy is kind of hilarious:

    A few years ago, when I was looking for excuses to move back to the States, I saw that they were looking for a copywriter and was SO tempted to apply. Unfortunately, while I did want to get back to the midwest, I was not prepared to move to Dodgeville, WI. Also, I am not clever enough to think up phrases like “packed with technology.”

  18. I absolutely love Lands’ End. I have so much of their stuff, for rowing, for hiking, for work, it’s all just so comfy I want to wear it all the time. Which makes me the coolest 22 year old in town, but I just don’t care, whenever my mother gets anything from Lands’ End it somehow ends up coming to uni to live with me. Also, their slippers make me want to die of warm snug happiness.

  19. I almost always shop at Land’s End for my pants and slacks because, as a fat woman who is also freakishly tall, it is one of the few places that I can actually get pants that fit me in both directions.

    Alas, this is not true of their jeans or sweatpants, etc.

    Usually my pants get rubbed through in the inner thigh very quickly, but I have 3 pairs of lands end cords I’ve been wearing for over 2 years now without that happening. I mean, they’re thinner, but no holes or runs or anything.

    I just bought several more pairs, including the navy blue, velvet-look, jeans-style pants I’m wearing at this moment, which I love.

    The only sad thing is that I am now usually wearing their largest size.

    -E

  20. I’ve never bought anything from Land’s End, but I’ve been checking out their website with a lot of interest lately. My husband and I are going to a wedding in Aruba in August, so I’ll need a swimsuit. (I technically already have one, but it’s about eight years old, and I need only the tiniest shred of an excuse to buy new clothes.) And Land’s End is one of the few places that actually carries colorful suits in plus sizes in a wide variety of styles. Yeah, they don’t have as wide a range of colors as in the straight sizes, but just today I saw some really adorable paisley suits that I’m very tempted to order.

  21. Julia, check out their overstocks. I just got a really cute swimsuit at Lands’ End [that apostrophe just . ain’t . right.] for less than half of the original price.

    Ladyjaye, Mountain Equipment Co-op (there’s a store in Montreal) totally rocks for outdoor equipment and clothing, and they have at least some items up to size XXL (20-22).

  22. Come on, let’s keep it real, Kate – if you had Land’s End’s babies you would just end up frying ‘em up into donuts like ten minutes later. No more false platitudes. It’s the high holy days of commercialized love – you have to mean it.

  23. I want to give big love to the LE swim suits. Kinda pricy, however, OH MY GOD worth it. I hadn’t been to a beach or been in a swim suit in like, 10 years. Went to the beach this summer and felt pretty! and had a blast. and learned to boogie board. and went into the water past my ankles, which is actually a huge fear of mine. ok, the swim suit didn’t really help with that, however, my boobs did stay in the suit while boogie boarding, and that was all in the suit, cause those bad boys wanted OUT.

  24. Come on, let’s keep it real, Kate – if you had Land’s End’s babies you would just end up frying ‘em up into donuts like ten minutes later.

    Sass, that’s the point! ;)

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