Saturday, February 24, 2007

No-Iron Shirts, And A Land's End Catalog Review

Look, fellas!
I found you some nice no-iron shirts from Land's End!

While the boys are off shopping, can we gals tawk?

PeaceBang was perusing the new Plus Size Collection of the Land's End catalog, which she generally finds to be a source of affordable and well-made clothing. Land's End seems to be deluging her mailbox lately, in fact.

But she was very unhappy with this latest offering and if there are any plus size designers out there, PeaceBang would like to HAVE A WORD WITH YOU. Through a MEGAPHONE, darling.


Now, PeaceBang has not noticed this problem on the on-line catalog -- which has no models -- but she notices it when looking at how the clothes fit one real-life women (if catalog models could be considered "real life," and for the sake of argument we'll say that they can).

These clothes, when worn by women, seem to PeaceBang to be mostly shapeless and on the edge of frumpy. Oh sure, the models look cute. That's because they had their hair and make-up professionally done and they're in fabulous lighting and smiling huge, well-rested smiles and standing around on beaches and porches without a care in the world. Wouldn't you look adorable under similar circumstances? But PeaceBang is a shrewd little vixen and she is not fooled. Outside the magical Land Of Catalog, those clothes are mostly just not designed very well, especially the skirts which are really just a Long Column Of Fabric. We are not fooled, Land's End! Your Long Print Bias Skirt on page 31 is just a sheet with a zipper and button closure, isn't it? Isn't it?
Thank you for not making your blazers similarly shapeless. You can fire your skirt and shirt designer and keep the blazer and pants designer.

This catalog also highlights the difficulty we have determining genres of clothing and whether or not they will work for us. In this particular case, PeaceBang is typically confused. Is this Land's End clothing meant to be casual clothing women could ostensibly wear to work, or is it meant to be casual sportswear that would be especially nice for gardening in?

Hence, methinks, the crisis in dressing for many of us. There's too much gray area out there. And that's where YOU have to be discerning and wise, powder pigeons. Land's End or Macy's or Target or Kohl's or Dayton's are not going to make it clear to you in what context their offerings are acceptable or appropriate. YOU have to do the work of finding your own look and determining what's appropriate for your work and your message.

While we're on the subject, PeaceBang happens to think that the colors of many of Land's End garments are puerile -- too reminiscent of the nursery to adorn her 41-year old person. In fact, PeaceBang finds this problem with many manufacturers of sportswear for plus-sized women. All those complexion-killing greens and cheap saccharine pinks and horrible powdery blues.... eesh. PeaceBang likes colors with a bit more complexity and sophistication when she can find them, and by that she doesn't mean "island turquoise" or "deep coral." She does not work as a luau hostess, Land's End. And I love pink -- but that raspberry pink they're calling "French pink," well, non. That's not French pink. PeaceBang has been to France and she can tell you that that's not French pink. It's more like Akron, Ohio Pink.

That said, the neutrals are quite nice. And you thought I never had anything nice to say.

My point is, darlings, that not only have I not finished my first coffee of the morning, but is to say that the clothier's job is to sell you clothing, not to define your image for you or to work with your figure or your coloring. That's up to you.

It's hard work, but someone's gotta do it, and you're the best one for the job. In fact, when it comes right down to it, you're the only one for the job.



Blogger Christine Robinson said...

I hope you will share your findings on women's clothes. After clothing myself and my family for a decade from Land's End, I'm done. (for everything except casual pants, for which I need an 18T...hard to find elsewhere.

But I digress. Lands End merged with Sears a couple of years ago and has changed to focus on youth (sappy colors, low waists and , shortish loose blouses, to cover the square middles the youth seem to have no compunction showing) and worse yet, the quality has gone to you know where in a handbasket. So I'm done with Lands End.

Last season I bought a few things from coldwater creek. Better styles but not well made and not for tall large persons. So, please, persevere!

10:27 AM  
Blogger ms. kitty said...

I still buy a few things from Lands End, but I'm tired of the drab colors I see in the styles I'd most wear professionally. I agree about the long skirt--yuck.

Several years ago I discovered Appleseeds and the Tog Shop, both catalog venues with some actual stores. Though they have a lot of polyester, it is good-looking clothing and though some of it is extremely expensive, a nice-looking jacket dress in Supima cotton can be found for under $75.

Actually, Christine, I don't think they merged with Sears, but they did start selling clothing in Sears. I just got the no-waist jeans at a Sears store and find them to be the best jeans I've ever had----comfy in the waist, long enough in the leg (31 inches, which is not available in the catalog).

Try Appleseeds and Tog Shop for catalogs. Many, if not most, of their styles are available in plus and some in tall.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. Philocrites said...

I had the dispiriting experience of ordering a custom dress shirt from lands' end- a CUSTOM SHIRT- and ultimately being told that my shoulders are too narrow for the patterns they have (they use a computer to design the pattern). However for non-elf sized folks I would recommend these.

Also, practically all my sweaters are from the girl's section of Land's End- for those of us with short little arms and torsos they are great and they usually have a few colors that are not recognizable as kids' clothes.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

I just had to post because the word verification is so cool this time
jazzendy, if that isn't a word, it should be.
As for Sears and Lands' End, Sears actually bought them.

Thanks PeaceBang for getting me out of my frump.
Sooo,what are good colors?

11:40 AM  
Blogger Peregrinato said...

I've been looking at some coats and other items from Lands End (in fact I just bought DJ a coat as a birthday present). I thought about trying one of their shirts, but my mother bought one for my father and said it was paper thin. (White shirts should not be see through! I want to take a coat off and not advertise whether I'm wearing a tshirt, what my tattoos like like, and whether I have chest hair all by looking through the gossamer shirt!) Maybe it was the particular shirt she bought, but she told me I should visit Sears (part of me shudders at that) to look at what their shirts are like.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Kim Hampton said...

Thank you Thank you for talking about the colors that they think people want to wear.

When you talk to the clothing people about designing for plus sizes (thank goodness I can sew or I would be up the creek without a paddle), could you remind them that there are people of a darker hue around who need clothes too. Most of the colors that are popular right now don't look good on many darker skins.

4:38 PM  
Blogger MinnRev said...


If it wasn't for my ex-girlfriend I would still be wearing jeans and tee-shirts to the office. That said...I've never liked Land's End. It makes me want to play tennis instead of go into the office.

On another note...I live in Minnesota and we used to have Dayton's but alas, Dayton's was bought by Target Corp and then sold and become Marshall Fields. MF sold it this past year so now it's Macy's. It was much cheaper and had better cloths when it ws Daytons.

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear. It appears that Land's End shirt and skirt designers have transgressed exceedingly and resulted in driving the Right Rev'd Peacebang so far beyond the beyonds that she is exasperated to the point of calling for thier firing. Are they beyond reconciliation?


12:47 AM  
Blogger convallariamajalis said...

Amen, sister.

Of course, diving into my garden following particular parish meetings meant that I could use the clothes in the diverse way that LE presents. Except I usually try to avoid "dry clean only" at both parish meetings and in the garden.

I keep hoping LE will see the light, but I'm not holding my breath. Their most recent catalog just gave me a headache. It didn't border on frumpy; I already am sitting on that border. It crossed the line.

So here's my prayer: all those tunics will go far, far away, and classic tailoring, princess seams, jackets will extendable cuffs, and a wider range of tall bottoms, will start showing up -- and not in jeans, which is all that many catalogs can bother offering for the medium-tall curvy gal. Oh yes, and that it will occur to someone in ordering that if folks want this kind of thing during their daytime professional lives, there will actually be nighttime clothing that, um, doesn't leave six inches of leg bare in the winter time.

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Peacebang,
Akron, Ohio is a lovely little city! I currently live in Cleveland so it is my neighbor. If you came to visit I could show you. I believe we could have a tasteful time enjoying many tasteful sights, untroubled by unpleasant pinks.

7:03 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Aw, Anon! I KNEW someone would write in from Akron. Sorry, Akron!
It's just something my mom used to say. For some reason Ohio always got picked to represent boonieville. My dad used to refer to "East Overshoe, Ohio." Don't take it poisonally! xoxo PB

7:15 PM  
Blogger Jodelle said...

Hi PB, Just catching up but... I quit wearing Lands' End clothes almost 20 years ago because the cuts were boxy and the colors not fashionable, and I am not a plus size... just didn't want you to think it's just a certain segment that's being targeted! They, and their customers, WANT their clothes that way, I think.

8:18 PM  

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