Photo by Salt Water New England

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Reader Comment: On L.L.Bean 'Signature' Chamois


On L.L. Bean  'Signature' Chamois:

Good morning Muffy,

I love the addition of videos to your blog!

I decided to take a chance and ordered a chamois shirt from Bean to wear outside (untucked) while raking and doing other outside fall chores. I wanted solid black (the NYer in me) and because I’m tall I ordered men’s since Bean doesn’t offer much in the way of tall women’s sizing. I’d love to steal my husband’s 1980s L.L.Bean chamois but it’s his yard work shirt, too. 
I’m sad to report that once again L.L.Bean favors gimmickry over quality.

When I first put on the shirt I tried to brush off what I thought was white lint. No. Turns out it’s a poor stitching job of an inside label that completely missed the mark. I’ve attached a photo of the label so that you can see it since they do not show it online. It’s supposed to look like some kind of official archival documentation. What they left out is that this shirt is not made in the USA like the original! Because I wanted to wear this untucked it looks terrible with the rectangular stitching that is finished with white thread on black cloth. I thought maybe I got an irregular so I went back to the product page and when I zoomed in I saw that even the model’s shirt had the same design flaw. At the very least they could have used a retro L.L.Bean label in lieu of the awful “Bean Signature” label, a line that wasn’t even in existence until the 2000s.

As for the fit on a lady it fit more like a traditional men’s than a slim fit.

https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/65114

I sent it back for a refund and according to their website they state I may have to wait a month for that!




I want to add that they do say “imported” in the online description but the gimmicky label left out [Original's] Place of Manufacture: Maine, USA!

14 comments:

  1. What you want is the basic "Men's Chamois Shirt" not the signature line ;)

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    Replies
    1. I wanted the advertised "slim fit" since I'm female with a small frame, but also the non-Signature shirt isn't offered in black. Back in the 1990s I bought almost all of my clothing at L.L.Bean from the men's section but because of vanity sizing everything has gotten larger.

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  2. Use a quick unpick seam ripper or a very sharp, very fine knife blade and remove the label. If you push the holes back together with your finger and give it a wash it should be as good as unlabelled again. I've done this with a lot of clothes. I'm not a fan of tags and labels. I like to keep people guessing as to what I'm wearing.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed! I remove a lot of labels with a seam ripper. Seems like a very easy fix.

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    2. Thank you. My husband had that very suggestion when I showed him the label but I didn't like the fit so decided to return it. While I know that men's sizing will be a bit generous on me and I planned to wear it over a couple of layers it was still baggy on me. Bean sizing does seem to run larger, even with the "slim" fit of this shirt.

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    3. @Patsy, I wish the fix for L.L.Bean was easy, too. I keep hoping they'll revert back to what made them great and my favorite place to shop. It's just another example where someone in marketing thinks that references to "classic" and "legendary" are enough to make it so.

      Has anyone else had vanity sizing issues with L.L.Bean clothing?

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    4. @Averyl - I've found that the majority of the clothing I buy from L.L. Bean to be true to size, but since I find most of it to be a very boxy cut, I don't buy a lot.

      I was curious, so I went on their site to see what I've bought recently. In 2019 & 2020, I got a v-neck white tee shirt, down mittens (which are the best in the whole entire world) a set of new bath towels, running tights, another pair of down mittens, a backpack (gift), skeet shooting lessons, 3 boat and totes (gifts), another backpack, waterproof hiking boots (me), shearling lined Bean boots (husband), wool clogs (mother) and a baby lifejacket (gift).

      I get free monogramming and shipping with an LL Bean card, so it's my go-to for boat/house warming and baby gifts.

      Way more than you asked, right?

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    5. I'm embarrassed by how many Boat and Totes I have from them, many of which were purchased in the last few years. Still made in Maine and one of the ladies doing the monograms has been there since the 1990s (we chatted pre-Covid). I hope they continue to make them here.

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  3. Stay away from the Signature line! Stick with the basic.

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  4. The chamois shirts don't seem to wear like those made in the 1970s. And now they no longer sell the forest green, which was an original color. Their Scotch plaid flannel shirts come in a wide selection of colors, but the material is not tightly woven, a recent observation.

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  5. Yeah, I've also not had great success with the Signature line. I bought a pair of the handsewn camp mocs last summer and now, a little over a year later (and conveniently after the new return policy expires), the side eyelets are coming off. I've never had this problem with a pair of Bean shoes, which typically last me over a decade, until this.

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  6. Why in God's name is it "slim fit" if it's supposed to be modeled on the vintage product? There are so few things they're doing well, now. You'd think the could focus on DOING them well.

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  7. I received my refund yesterday which is pretty quick and not the long wait time mentioned on their site. I also appreciate that they didn't charge me return shipping due to my feedback as to why I was returning it. (Normally I go to the store in Freeport but won't during Covid.)

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  8. One final Bean complaint:

    Their prices have shot up significantly this fall season. The waterfowl sweater is a long time favorite of mine. Last winter when I purchased a new one they were $100 for the regular, $109 for the tall. This fall they've increased the price by $20 on both regular and talls. That's a 20% increase over one year, unbelievable. Their river driver shirts used to be staples of my wardrobe when I was an archaeologist and needed layers in the fall and winter. They were a terrific value at about $30 and they advertised about how that price was a constant over the years. These days they're $60! I get inflation and they're not doing well but charging more for limited returns in terms of their quality is really starting to wear on me.

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