The initial Lands' End Canvas piece I wrote drew a lot of attention and questions about the line's quality and fit were soon raised. I figured that there was a good amount of interest in the what Lands' End was doing so I contacted their public relations department with the hopes of getting my hands on a few sample items to review. If the biggest concerns were regarding fit and quality then somebody had to review the stuff in person, right? Luckily for me, Lands' End was all for me testing out their new stuff and throwing a review up on the blog. I tried to nab some of the more discussed items and ended up getting samples of their oxford shirt, work shirt, shawl collar sweater and cotton coat. Below you will find my review on each of the items sent over in regards to both fit and quality along with parting shots about the line.
The Heritage Oxford Shirt [far right]
Fit: Right off the bat I noticed that Lands' End has taken some inches off the length of their oxford shirt. I really like this move since I do like having the option of wearing my shirt untucked. The arm holes aren't considerable high and I would compare the fit very much to that of the J.Crew oxford. I own a few of the typical Lands' End tailored fit oxfords, but the new Canvas heritage oxford has a much better fit. One of the biggest improvements here is doing away with the non-iron coating Lands' End puts on their oxfords so that you don't need to wash this shirt a bunch of times to break it in.
Quality: One of the first things I noticed with the heritage oxford was the lack of a real "beefy-ness" to the cotton. I'm not sure if this is due to the pre-washed, "lived in style" advertised, but thickness of the fabric was not there. While I like a thick oxford as much as the next guy I'm thinking this could be a positive feature as you won't sweat through the shirt in the coming warmer months. While I never expected the oxford to come with mother of pearl buttons, I did appreciate the quality of Lands' End's plastic buttons. They were about twice the thickness of a normal plastic button and I thought it was a nice touch. The oxford has little details here and there, like a white contrast stripe on the cuff, but nothing that really jumped out at me.
The Heritage Chambray Workshirt [second from right]
Fit: The same forms must be used on all Lands' End Canvas shirts because this fit identical to the heritage oxford. I love the shorter length and less fabric used in the body of the shirt. It's really a perfect relaxed fit for any and all weekend activities.
Quality: Unlike the oxford, the chambray workshirt delivered on the fabric front. The chambray is noticeably hefty, without being cumbersome. The "authentic workwear details" are two non-flap, buttoned front pockets, contrast stitching attaching the collar, cool stitching on the lower 1/4 of the sleeve (have never seen this on another shirt before) and a 7 button placket made to appear as a 6 button placket.
Shawl Collar Sweater [second from right]
Fit: Here is the big winner in my opinion. My biggest gripe with J. Crew is that their sweaters fit absolutely terrible and Lands' End appears poised to take advantage of this. With arm holes just high enough for a slimmer fit, but not to high so that you cant wear this over an oxford, this 1945 GI fatigue sweater inspired option is fantastic.
Quality: The shawl collar sweater is 100% cotton, but still "chunky", which is a great alternative to people who don't like the feel of/don't want to pay for wool. It has ribbed details throughout and while the collar seems a little flimsy, it's a non factor when flipped down, which is how you should be rocking the collar in the first place.
Heritage Cotton Coat [far left]
Fit: This might be my biggest disappointment. Finding well fitting, affordable coats is one of the hardest things to do and I was hoping Lands' End Canvas could fill the void. I got a size medium (38-40) and the coat is a little roomier than I would have liked. I'm not sure if this is the tell-tale sign to size down for future purchases, but I was a tad unhappy with how the medium fit on me.
Quality: All fit aside, the quality on the coat was pretty impressive, especially considering the price point. The pocket detail on the inside of the coat was a pleasant surprise and while it may seem like a given, the back vent was great. Mr. Joe Gannon, who owns one of these peacoats, waxed his jacket and says that it looks even better post-waxing so that's something I may have to try.
Parting Shots: Lands' End Canvas is most surely a bang for your buck type of deal. The shirts and sweater were impressive and the outerwear can be a great option assuming you size down accordingly. With all the arguments about price these days, I am happy Lands' End is taking a positive step forward in offering affordable classics for those looking to enhance their wardrobe. Many thanks to Mr. Adam Sodersten for taking the time to chat and send over the samples for me to review.