Photo by Salt Water New England

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Logo - Keep or Remove?

Front of Bags, Photos by Salt Water New England

Back of Bags

L.L. Bean has brought back their Made in Maine Leather-Handle Katahdin Boat and Tote.  The question is, should I use my seam ripper and remove the logos on the front of the bags, or leave them on?

106 comments:

  1. You are allowed to like logo but I would remove them if they were mine.

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  2. It's a nice, clean look without the logo. A text-only logo might have been OK, but the illustrated one, while basically inoffensive, is a bit busy.

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  3. Yes, I think the label inside is enough. Maybe have the bags monogrammed with a bright color (thinking lime or hot pink) instead of the logo.

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  4. Remove! I can live with small or subtle. LL Bean seems to be in a "loud" logo phase.

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  5. Not a fan of labels, but not sure I would go to too much bother about them. Personal preference I guess.

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  6. Personal taste, indeed, but if they were mine, I'd remove them and have the bag monogrammed. As a side note of my own opinion, companies with their logos get a lot of free advertising from the consumers, of which we - ironically - pay for. --Holly in PA

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  7. A hard call to be sure! Thanks so very much!

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  8. Only if after removal there is no obvious outline. Logos are just part of life and have been for quite a long time. The question got me to puzzling, however, why is a logo on a tote offensive but "Maxply Fort" on my tennis racket, "Mizuno MP-29" with that cute little bird on my golf clubs, RTIC on my cooler, and "Simpson" on my shaving brush are not...or are they? Is there anyone out there who buys a fly rod and scrapes off "Sage" or removes the airplane propellor logos on bonnet, boot, and hubcaps on the new Beemer? Then there is the customary premium for no logos. There is a Japanese company that makes lovely, logo free totes, but the cost is a multiple of Bean's price. My tacky Titleist golf bag was about 20% of a beautiful and logo free Mackenzie. I agree that apparel is different, and thankfully logo free togs are readily available without paying up for the privilege, but as noted in another discussion, some beloved items like Barbour coats and Patagonia shorts come with logos, and most of us learn to live with them.

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    1. Agree. I sorta wonder about the real “why” of personal monograms on such items.

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    2. Interesting observations. Made me wonder why I do not mind at all showcasing Volkl, or Rossignol when on the slopes. But, I wouldn’t be caught dead in town with a jacket that sports a glaring logo. Maybe it’s because skiers, tennis players, golfers etc. are wearing their equipment among equals. It’s not like you’re waking down the street and want to stand out in your M.Miller.

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    3. I agree on the importance of the outline which is more likely to be visible on the white bag. My suggestion is to remove one and keep the other to see what you prefer. Personally, I don't like that particular logo and would remove both. If necessary, the outline could be covered by new pretty patch or embroidery.

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  9. It looks too busy with the over-sized logo. Without the logo, I'm sure random people will ask you where you purchased the bag.

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  10. I'd keep them. Removing an unpretentious logo strikes me as pretentious - rather like "he doth protest too much" and humble-bragging. And who knows, your having them may help in the restoration of L.L. Bean!

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    1. You can’t bring the dead back to life.

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    2. I also think removing the logo is pretentious.

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    3. Seems a bit: 'trying to hard'.
      I would leave it.
      You could always turn the bag toward your body.
      In Maine, you might get some clam mud thrown at you with the label out.

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    4. Anonymous April 21, 2021 at 1:04 PM

      Please check your Bible.

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  11. Great bag, but I would remove the logo and replace with my monogram.

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  12. We don't care about logos. Heck, even monograms are ignored here. In outlet stores, LL Beans sells monogrammed boat bags that have been returned. We have bags with MMR, SWK, MCP, and "Spankie." No one seems to notice, or if they do, we say, Yeah, we don't talk much about Spankie. Black sheep of the family now serving out time in the Big House. But we get to use Spankie's bag in the meantime, so all is good.

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    1. I would have purchased the "Spankie" bag at the outlet in a heartbeat.

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    2. Got my cousin a NANA bag for his birthday and filled it with beer! Big hit.

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  13. Perhaps leave it on, but always carry the bag with it facing towards your body.

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  14. Remove! I love L.L.Bean and most know the manufacturer of this bag without the logo, they are iconic. The subtle logo tag on the inside seam should serve Beans purpose...

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  15. Personal preference, first and foremost. i probably wouldn't bother. When Bean brought back their long-discontinued anorak, i bought one to replace my old one & left the logo on - i don't notice it.

    It's interesting that the open top boat/tote bag with cloth handles doesn't have that logo and offers to monogram, and this one doesn't offer the option of a monogram. if you dislike the logo that much, you could get the simpler version, save some money, and get it monogrammed.

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  16. I prefer the L.L. Bean logo should be place in the interior of the bag.

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  17. I would remove and replace with something personally unique. I'm generally opposed to purchasing products that function as advertising vehicles for the manufacturer, no matter how affectionate one feels toward the company.

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  18. Leave it. No matter how hard you try to get rid of the evidence, you will always be able to tell that there had been a tag there. Like anonymous above, I've purchased totes at their outlets that have other people's monograms on them to use for groceries, etc. I tried to remove a monogram on one of the bags with a seam ripper and despite my care and attention the outcome was worse than the monogram itself.

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  19. That bag is maybe not my favorite; I do, however, like the traditional 'boat and tote' with the canvas handles...

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  20. ditch the logos. Logos scream Middle Class.

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    1. ^ Give me a break. What's middle class is to waste time obsessing about it.

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    2. Yes! Who really cares?

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    3. Absolutely agree.

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  21. Hmmm, I kind of like it - keep it! But, I have an old leather handle "ice bag" as my FIL always called them, without the logo, and I like that....so, put me down for both ways!

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  22. TTFW...aka too tacky for words

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  23. Plaster a Vineyard Vines or Apple Decal over it!

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  24. Remove it...nice that it's made in Maine.

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  25. Remove. And if there is an unsightly trace of the label, have it monogrammed.

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  26. Oh my gosh...... America is going to Hell in a handbag, and you are concerned about a label on a canvas tote !!!Shame, Shame.....

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    1. It is your opinion that America is going to hell in a hand bag. Not everyone thinks so. And some people enjoy talking about trivial issues.

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    2. "handbag" Get it?
      It's affordably luxurious to care about little things. Indulge us.

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    3. Re: "It's affordably luxurious to care about little things."

      That was so well-expressed.

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  27. Come on! Monograms are so pretentious.

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    1. In order for it to be "pretentious," there has to be some pretense. What's the pretense, in your view?

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    2. Monograms are considered pretentious, at least outside of New England and parts of the South, something wannabes do to look posh. https://www.zippia.com/advice/the-snobbiest-states/

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    3. Anon: 12:37, I can't even imagine playing to seats that cheap. If Bill and Mary Six-Pack from Peoria find monograms "pretentious," there are lots of hideous logos for them to enjoy, and lots of knockoff bags they can easily afford. And if monograms make them uncomfortable there may be an admittedly unfortunate reason for that.

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    4. Who says logos aren’t pretentious?

      They just beat monograms, which are a conscious choice, as opposed to logos, which the buyer does not choose.

      Mrs. William Sixpack
      Peoria, I’ll.

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    5. Anonymous April 21, 2021 at 4:41 PM

      No they ain't.

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  28. Remove label, monogram in initials that aren't yours, so people will think you got a total bargain at the outlet.

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  29. The logos are so ghastly. LL Bean is a mockery of what it was.

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    1. Agree. Totally.

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    2. The store's entire inventory is overpriced--made in USA prices with globalized production costs. One can't regain lost reputation if no one buys in.

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  30. Funny coincidentally I was looking at those very bags yesterday. I not a fan of labels but I love LL Bean bags. I use them as a handbag in the summer, if they get wet on a wet dingy ride to the mooring they wash well and you don’t ruin a nice leather bag. I don’t know if removing the label would leave an outline.

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  31. You must be kidding??? You are worried about that??? OK - I'll play; What did your neighbors do?

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  32. For someone like myself who finds some logos crass and ostentatious, the LL Bean logo doesn't bother me, in spite of how folks feel about the brand lately (it is still a part of authentic Americana that's going through a few hiccups as of late). I'd keep it. I agree with those that say it's actually more pretentious to have to use a monogram in place of the logo and it's really useless to carp over such a small issue. As with everything else with the trad New England lifestyle, let's not be too contrived and self-conscious. Our ancestors weren't.

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    1. Yes! https://www.zippia.com/advice/the-snobbiest-states/

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    2. I checked the zippia rankings. Hilarious. Their methodology was driven by college degrees, presence of Ivy League schools, and wine consumption. Shockingly New England and the West Coast led the way. I noticed Virginia made it into the top ten. Lacking an Ivy, I assume they have moved from the bourbon favored when I was in school there to more wine. Genealogy is a big deal in Virginia, maybe genealogy obsession is a better indicator of snobbishness than what people drink. I was glad to see Texas sort of in the middle. I cannot imagine a Texan even thinking about removing a logo from a tote. If it were an OU logo, they'd just refuse the tote or throw it away, but otherwise they'd use it. However, we do not see a lot of totes used here except for grocery shopping, and they are more likely to be insulated and bear the H-E-B logo (proudly).

      The more common tote equivalent here is the cooler, and people seem to think it says something about them if their cooler has a particular logo. Popular ones are Yeti, Koti (store brand Yeti knock offs from H-E-B), Igloo, and a few Corona. The ones with no logos (other than vintage Skotch Koolers) are $2 plain white styrofoam. I think the ones with logos are more ecologically responsible than the ones made of styrofoam that quickly break up and head for the landfill. BTW if you are in the market for a cooler, I recommend RTIC. They are on a par with Yeti but much less pricey. Yes, they have logos. So everyone will know you value performance but refuse to spend money recklessly.

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  33. Hey, my former local news anchor Lee Nelson is modeling the bag on the site!

    I would wear the bag with the label against my body.

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  34. You are able to purchase similar totes sans logo from the Bean business site. As far as I know, non-businesses can order from this site as well.

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    1. You need to establish a business account in order to approved to shop the business site.

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  35. Let she or he among our anti-logo cousins cast the first stone at someone wearing a ball cap emblazoned with their (or their child’s) prestigious alma mater.

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  36. https://ichizawa-kyoto.com/collections/tote-bag

    Mischief managed. Obviously, I hope, as lovely as these are, I am not serious. I like to buy American when I can, I would never pay this much for a tote bag, and I am generally accepting of logos on stuff other than ordinary clothing. I accept them on athletic wear and the like. Living in Austin and not having attended UT or sent a child there, however, I do wish the Longhorn logo weren't so prevalent. I'd be more tolerant of Bevo everywhere if he weren't so often white on burnt orange. A burnt orange shirt on a 105 F degree day in September, walking to DKR, bothers me a lot more than Bean logo on a nice tote. Thankfully younger people seem to prefer a burnt orange Bevo on a white shirt. It's those diehard traditionalists of my vintage who pull out the twill shirt they bought in 1978 at every opportunity without regard for the weather!

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    1. Ancient History
      Alum of Bevo High is my nom de guerre, butcept I don't drink the Kool-Aid. Back in the late 60's & early 70's wore a coat & tie or a OCBD-Khaki-Weejuns BDU...Battle Dress Uniform. Back then only the band & the football team wore orange. It was considered to be in poor taste for spectators to wear orange. Bevo High has trashed the brand. DKR did not allow flashy uniforms...he called them work clothes. Back then we had grownups around. Enuff said.

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  37. Love this tote, but pass the seam ripper. I'd rather live with an outline of tiny holes than that particular logo. I think the design of the bag is busy enough with the leather handles and vertical stripe detail. Adding a monogram brings nothing to the table.

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  38. Dear Muffy acolytes old and new, I regret, not very deeply, that many of you appear to have missed the gravity of Muffy's inquiry and dilemma. What sets the true Prep apart from poseurs, wannabes, Ralph Lauren, visited Nantucket once with my Aunt Prep is detail. Detail is another word for secret password, secret society and, finally, and most importantly, 'we are superior in every way to you'. A true Prep would no more be seen in public with this hideous tote than drink a can of Budweiser. Doing so would, in Muffy's case, undo the past 50+ years of successful superiority in the Prep World. Let me give you some more examples: would true Prep wear Florsheim tassled loafers; would true Prep ever eat at Golden Corral; would true Prep wear a Parka from Land's End to her daughter's field hockey game, or, for that matter, would true Prep have a daughter who played anything other than field hockey or lacrosse; would true Prep ever wear earrings larger than a gold knot; would true Prep consciously drive a Ford Explorer; would true Prep ever discuss politics in public; would true Prep ever wear a green suit; would true Prep ever wear khaki pants with less than a 10 inch rise; and so on and so on. Muffy's question here is, as they say in Darien, "key".

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    1. Being fastidious is one thing (and, often, a good thing) but thinking - or saying/writing -that you're superior to those around you seems something of a reversal of the ethos taught at your revered preparatory schools, be they in the US, or the UK (their public schools). I find that kind of thinking just a bit more than ironic, not to mention - a tad superficial. Perhaps those "hard-learned" lessons didn't quite sink in as they should have. As for the occasional logo, well - let him/her who is without sin cast the first stone... Just say'in...

      Your intrepid reader from north of the 49th,

      Banacek

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    2. Maybe a good idea to find a picture that doesn't feature your bare legs when writing Darien fan-fiction...a "true prep" went to prep school, period. The diploma isn't withdrawn if they see Golden Corral pop up on a credit card statement. Remove or remain, the label isn't middle class. Agonizing about it is.

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    3. That, and hopefully - just hopefully - one has evolved since completing secondary school (no matter where that may have been). ...met a "prep" while posted abroad some years ago who'd decided to spend a not inconsiderable time chasing a much younger member of the opposite sex - all the way to Africa, where they proceeded to live in a tree. Then, she left. Foolish fellow; prep, or no. Still has his diplolma, though... Again, unless the lessons are truly learned, the paper one receives thereafter is about as valuable as any other piece of paper. It all comes down to character, I suppose... nasty reality though that may be.

      B.

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    4. What is, please, and where would one find, a “Golden Corral?” It sounds like it might be some sort of horsey themed off-ramp eatery. Are they convenient to where you reside? Or, might it be an equine version of Middlebury’s old Dog Team? Alas, that’s gone now and was not, unfortunately, conveniently located to our corner of the “true Prep” world. Is there, come to think of it, a true Prep imprimatur on any chain “dining” establishment, save Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napolitano?

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  39. I would loose the bag entirely its not very attractive.

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  40. I'm going to file the Bean Boat and Tote logo or no logo thread under "First World Problems" and not give it a further thought until I feel the need for some entertaining reading.

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    1. You are so right! And I had to do a double take with that post about a "True Prep" does. How obsequious!

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    2. Dear Anon, you sure about obsequious? "obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree". I can assure you that I have never been obedient let alone attentive to any degree. True Prep, like our honored Muffy, obeys nobody and is not burdened with being attentive. To be attentive implies that one is wary, or is looking for an answer or a sign. True Preps are born with the answers and all the signs, which is why many of us are so blasé. Indeed, I am sufficiently blase' today as to end your education at this point.

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    3. I rather enjoy the signature snark of Cirquitor, worn like a proud badge or label.

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    4. Before The Cirquitor corrects my grammar, I should have said proudly worn.

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    5. Really? I rather think he is all bluster.

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    6. A memory from a true prep is that in most prep schools a boy who was not attentive soon became a product of a military school.

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  41. I did not go to a prep school or a private university, which I suppose everyone knows by now. But I have an L.L. Bean tote bag with someone else's initials and no outside label. It belonged to my late mother-in-law.

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  42. Take it off. I remove Patagonia labels all the time.

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  43. Hilarious comments! I love them. As an Alabama girl (that Zippia-list is brilliant, btw), here's my take: It looks more tote-ish with the label on & prettier without it, so leave it if you're carrying it as a tote and remove it if you're carrying it as a purse/handbag. As for the holes left from the stitching, I'm fairly sure they can be removed with steam or by dampening & manipulating the fabric. Nothing wrong with going to a little trouble about an annoying trifle if the results make you happy. (But if you're doing it for the sake of public image, as many comments suggest, you probably need to get a life-- or just own your neurosis and shell out the big bucks for label-free items.)

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  44. I love the idea that these bags, with their horrible, garish logo, can score 76 comments. That's lockdown for you.

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  45. It appears this thread is steadily degrading.

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  46. Leave it on if you're going to Easton's, off if you're going to Bailey's,

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  47. I'm addicted to the Bean totes. I just bought two of the extra-large, long handle version because I use them as a hamper and a laundry bag for dropping off clothes at the Fluff and Fold. I have seven bags total and that doesn't count the many I've truly worn out over the years, one by using it to drag musical instruments across a parking lot. That said, I think the bags you posted above are more attractive without the logo. I think this is a fascinating thread. We live in a branded world. Even items without a branded label carry brand recognition by those who know the items. We are all walking billboards, all day and every day, regardless of where a label placed or is not placed.

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    1. You are so right, Lisa. Best to just be zen about one's purchase. And to the gentleman above who purports superiority over others, he doth protest too much, methinks. ;-)

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  48. I’ve ripped logos off before, but only if I think it looks better aesthetically. This one doesn’t particularly bother me. You can make the tiny thread holes disappear by brushing/wiping the area with hot water and letting it dry. It shrinks the threads and obscures the marks well in most cases.

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  49. I don't suppose there's any point in mentioning that Levi Strauss was putting conspicuous labels on their denim jeans before 1900. I have no information on what those who bought them thought about it.

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    1. Amen! I don't see a bunch of cowboys sitting around the campfire, painstakingly cutting the leather tabs and little red tags off their new jeans and then sewing on new logo free buttons before hitting the trail in clean jeans, but it conjures up a Garrison Keilloresque image of a skit about the cowboys of New England!

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    2. Exactly. ...and evokes memories of "Blazing Saddles"-esque silliness. Satire at its oddest.

      B.

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    3. Cowboys today wear Wranglers. Levi's were originally marketed towards miners. Hope the idea of marketing doesn't disturb anyone. Buttons marked "L.S. & CO" and "S.F." were attached with rivets. There were other producers of work clothes mostly now forgotten.

      Supposedly the majority of the workers at Strauss' San Francisco factory were Chinese immigrants. It did not pass unremarked.

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  50. What I like best about the bag are the two little faces on the carry handle. Does anyone else see the two big grommet eyes and the huge ear-to-ear grin? Looks like the Irish good luck figure, the Billiken.

    Labels? All I know is to never trust anyone wearing a Louis Vuitton baseball cap in public.

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    1. Maybe you are the only one who sees the grin. Do you think it’s LLBean’s swipe at your subliminal?

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  51. Not the most intelligent comparison, really. Levi Strauss wasn't trying to create a status symbol.

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    1. Perhaps, but they certainly were publishing their brand at the buyer's expense and on the buyer's body. I think the comparison works and find jumping from any incongruity to a conclusion regarding intelligence a little surprisng.

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    2. At the buyer's expense? Well, maybe. But they were certainly trying to establish brand identity so that potential buyers would buy their jeans instead of brand-X. The label wasn't all that prominent in the first place. But it was a case of "look for the label" so you know you're getting the genuine article. Ironically, these days the garment might be a fake, no matter what the label says. I don't know when that practice started.

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  52. I don't like the label and I wouldn't buy anything that requires me to break out a seam ripper. I recently purchased a quality wallet and was pleased to see I could delete the maker name when ordering. Too bad L.L. Bean doesn't offer the option.

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  53. I would remove it, personally. The last thing I bought from LL Bean with a logo was a pair of board shorts. I unpicked the little logo patch before wearing them, and have been known to 'black out' logos on the backs of snow/wellington boots with a Sharpie!

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  54. Lose the logos.

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