Monday, January 14, 2013

LL Bean for the Winter

L.L. Bean Freeport Maine Boot

Have you ever been to L.L. Bean? The magical store in Freeport, Maine houses five (yes, five) stores for all your outdoor and home needs. If you’ve ever met someone from Maine, chances are they may have filled you in on how wicked awesome Beans is. Not only are they a staple in just about every New England home, but they’ll rave about how well their products are made and about their 100% guarantee. Since I’ve married into a Maine family, I am fully aware of how fantastic L.L. Beans is and am just about guaranteed to get a gift or two from Beans for Christmas. I have a growing collection of warm wool socks which are great for winter as well as gift cards. I’ve decided to save my L.L. Bean gift cards so that I can buy myself something ridiculously large like a kayak or canoe.

L.L.Bean MooseOn our most recent visit to L.L. Bean what really caught my eye was a one piece wool pajama with buttons in the back. They were lavender, soft and looked really comfortable. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want to sport one piece PJs all winter? 

I’m a big fan of the pet department and love checking out all of the dog gear that Sophie would need if she became a country dog one day. They have these great hiking boots for dogs that would match Jeremy’s Merrells almost perfectly. She’d need those so her little paws wouldn’t freeze! Spending time in the book section is great fun too. The most interesting books are the ones for children. They talk about moose and deer, fishing and the wilderness and have stuffed animals to match the stories.  They are just too cute.
Aside from the shopping, the best part about visiting the Freeport stores is the learning experience. Roaming the store is just like visiting a Maine outdoors museum with stuffed animals and history on display. There are fish, moose, a trout pond in the middle of the store and lots of other wildlife for show. Our favorite is the locked moose antlers.
L.L. Bean Covers

We visited Beans just in time to see their 100th year celebration display featuring reproductions of many of their vintage covers, displays of their vintage gear and historical background. Here’s a little something of what I learned.

L.L. Bean display

LL Bean has been offering their Maine Hunting Boot via catalog since 1912. The boot was designed in 1910 by Leon Leonwood Bean, better known as LL Bean. A hunting coat was added to the line in 1917 and by 1924 LL Bean had 25 employees. The state of Maine started the Vacationland campaign in 1936 which was perfect for the direction LL Bean was heading.
With the start of World War II, LL Bean outfitted soldiers with boots and outerwear and gave cold weather apparel recommendations to the army. After the war, the LL Bean store in Freeport began offering 24 hour service, 7 days a week which they still offer now. Since then they’ve added casual wear, dog beds and kids wear.

I love that L.L. Bean has so well preserved their history with artifacts throughout their years and display them at the store. It was a wonderful place to visit for the holidays too.  

Speaking of L.L. Bean, have you heard of this little gem called Your L.L. Bean Boyfriend? If not, you really need to check it out. I bagged an L.L. Bean boyfriend turned husband and there’s plenty of encouragement for you to find your own. May I suggest Silas or Sebastian?

History source:

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