I have been purchasing staples such as OCBDs, chinos, and cords from Lands’ End for years, but it seems that times are changing. No longer can I turn to Lands’ End for OCBDs, or any button-down shirt for that matter that isn’t destined for weekend wear, because of their small collars (Not like the collar roll pictured above which is from Lands’ End.). Now I have to add chinos to this list of items that I cannot depend on them for. These changes didn’t happen overnight, but I have finally realized that a lot of what I loved about Lands’ End is gone and it isn’t coming back anytime soon.
The first change that caught me by surprise is when they discontinued the Lands’ End Original Oxford (See label below.). This was my go to shirt. This change happened back in 2012. At first I thought that they were just out of stock. No big deal. However, a Lands’ End employees commented on my blog confirming that the the shirts were gone and that they had no plans to bring them back. They also said that the no-iron version would remain available, but you and I both know that just won’t do.
Luckily, they still produced the Hyde Park OCBD in the must-iron variety. I purchased a few Hyde Park OCBDs (See packaged below) and was pleased with them. The material was stiffer than the material they used for the Original Oxfords and they cost about $20 more, but it was still a good value when I compared them to my other options (Brooks Brothers, J.Press, Mercer, etc.). Then things took a turn for the worse.
A couple months later I picked up a few more Hyde Park OCBDs. It was not the same shirt. The collar length was now extremely short (from 3 1/4” to 2 3/4”). So short that the wonderful collar roll that I had once been able to obtain with their shirts like the one in the top picture was no more. This impact of this change was huge. Much bigger than just discontinuing the shirt I preferred (Which I am still very upset about.). They had now officially removed themselves from the you-can-buy-OCBDS-from-these-stores list and ended up on the avoid-these-OCBDs list. You can read some of the discontent in my comments section here:Lands’ End: The Original OCBD & The Hyde Park OCBD
If you don’t follow my blog regularly you may not know that I have been searching for a pair of collegiate fit chinos. The important part to know is that I need chinos that are readily available so that I can easily repeat the alteration process. Lands’ Ends tailored fit plain front chinos fit the bill…or so I thought, but a few weeks ago they decided to discontinue these and replace them with Lighthouse Chinos. Are these the same pants with a different name? Who could know? It is this type of disregard for their customer base that liked that model that concerns me the most.
The writing has been on the wall for a few years, but what it says is now coming true. What is says, is that Lands’ End is not a company that values tradition, reliability, and consistency. They will change fit, proportions, color names, or simply discontinue a product with no notice. If they currently carry an item that you like I encourage you to stock up before it is too late. You can always make a return. At least their customer service is still excellent.