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I got the new Lands End Fall Men's Catalogue today. In browsing through it, three items leaped out at me:



In the catalogue, they advertise the fact that the fabric comes from a British source that has been producing it since 1666. The windowpane pattern which is shown in the catalogue seems to me to be an uber-Anglo style.



Ok, it's wrinkle resistant, which a lot of traditionalists don't like, but Lands End is offering a 3 piece option.



Again, the brown spice option is a bit odd, but they are also offering a full canvas suit. The way the website presents it, it makes it seem like the coat is made of canvas, but in the catalogue, it says "This, our finest suit, has full canvas construction- tailoring that usually reserved for suits starting at $1500."

So, this got me thinking. Many members of this site lament the fact that so few men bother to dress up in suits and ties. As that number gets smaller and smaller, won't companies that make suits be forced to cater more and more to people like us? Meaning, won't they be forced to offer things like 3 piece options and full canvas construction? If Lands End is doing it, there must be a rise in the demand for it.

Any thoughts?
 

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I have a few of the half-canvas suits that LE used to have made in Canada (by Samuelsohn, maybe?) and I think they were (and are) quite good suits for the money.

Likewise an LE that I got in an E. Thomas Super 130s dark gray with a subtle blue rope stripe--it was made in Portugal, and also has served well in my suit wardrobe.

I have been sorry to see recently that LE has started having ties made in China (they used to source nearly all their ties from right here in the States, TTBOMK), but I guess that was bound to happen sooner or later. Even ubertrad shopping mecca J. Press had some made-in-the-Middle-Kingdom ties in their shops this past summer. The Brothers are a real throwback in this regard, as they make all their mainline-store ties on Long Island.
 

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The two silk knit ties I received from LE in the last couple of weeks were made in Italy. They're very nice and a good value.

Over the summer I bought a cotton plaid tie that ended up being made in China. I sent that one back.
 

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I noticed those things too. I'd be willing to roll the dice on the full canvas navy suit (who doesn't need a great navy suit?) except for the ridiculous button stance. It's so high, it looks like something Lincoln would have worn.
 

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I don't like LE because their blazers, sportcoats and suits - at least the best ones - never come in short sizes. I guess it's too much of a hassle, but I have to imagine there are a lot of people like me who would buy more from LE if they had short sizes.
 

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Over the summer I bought a cotton plaid tie that ended up being made in China. I sent that one back.
LE seems to go for a "price point" and sacrifices quality for price. The $19.99 OCBD is a prime example. I've been buying them for over 20 years. The original was more like today's Hyde Park version. I remember the old Hyde Park being a lot more sturdier. You'll never see a car mfg say we kept the price the same for the last 20 years. I believe LE should keep quality the same and increase the price instead.
 

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Why are you buying clothes from Sears?
Are you paying for his clothes?

If you are, then certainly you have room to question. If not...
 

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3 piece

i have said it before - they are coming back. Men's vogus just did a spread on them, Charles T now offers them, Brooks Brothers offers them, Bannana Republic offers, Joseph Abboud's line at Lord and Taylor includes them, and the lead photo at HSM's website shows a 3 piece. And the Dark Knight had a few as well. So Land's End is just picking up the trend.
 

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It's funny you should mention Willis & Geiger. I have a good friend who is an attorney at an investment bank. He and I were really upset that LE decided to fold up Willis & Geiger. We contacted LE and tried to buy the name from them, but they wanted to just let it die.
 

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I started getting their $19.99 OCBD when I was in junior high in '86 and couldn't wait until I could afford the Hyde Park oxford. Did finally get a couple in '88 and those things were HEAVY! Great shirts. Haven't looked at or worn LE stuff in 15 years so I'm amazed they still keep that price point. I'd hate to see how flimsy they've become.

LE seems to go for a "price point" and sacrifices quality for price. The $19.99 OCBD is a prime example. I've been buying them for over 20 years. The original was more like today's Hyde Park version. I remember the old Hyde Park being a lot more sturdier. You'll never see a car mfg say we kept the price the same for the last 20 years. I believe LE should keep quality the same and increase the price instead.
 

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It's funny you should mention Willis & Geiger. I have a good friend who is an attorney at an investment bank. He and I were really upset that LE decided to fold up Willis & Geiger. We contacted LE and tried to buy the name from them, but they wanted to just let it die.
I bought most of my outdoor wear from Willis & Geiger for twenty-five years, right up until Lands' End got out the garotte. I, too, am at a loss to explain Land's End's actions and so is Lands' End.

The small consoltaion is that the old W & G stuff gets better with age and I am still wearing many old shirts, trousers, photographer's vest, A-2 jacket, et cetera.

Nonethelss, I will never...NEVER...spend one cent at Lands' End because of what they did.

Buzz
 

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I was under the impression they'd saved or prolonged W&G for a while. LE acquired ownership not long after a significant number of W&G horsehide and goatskin A-2s had surfaced at TJMaxx @ $99.99. Before that the first of the W&G stores had opened in the Southpark area of Charlotte. The same location had previously stocked an extensive amount of W&G under another store name (The Sportsman(?), a small southern chain). It languished. The fact is there was not enough appreciation of W&G amongst a large enough potential market. Orvis, Filson, etc. expanded, W&G shrank. Burt Avedon, W&G's owner apparently bailed out. Gary Comer (LE) acquired W&G and sustained it for a while. The market killed W&G.

(Quality isn't new to LE. They usually get burned with it's proffered. Fifteen or so years ago they offered $850 shawl collar cashmere cardigan sweaters made by William Lockie of Hawick Scotland (T&A stocked the same sweater at over $1200 at the time), cashmere Argyle sweaters by Corgi of Wales, genuine mackintosh riding coats by Traditional Weatherwear of Cumbernauld, Scotland and Shetland isle hand-framed fair isle knitwear of real shetland wool at about $150. And recently, Alfred Sargent footwear. Unappreciated by LE buyers. Such upscale items are a risk for LE.)

( W&G aficianodos may recognize a few items here www.jlpowellusa.com )
 
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