Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hands On: Lands' End Canvas

About a month ago Lands' End launched their Canvas line with what appeared to be little to no marketing whatsoever.  When word about the new line spread interest was extremely high.  For the first time in a long time all the heritage and Americana pieces we covet so highly were available in prices that actually made sense.  Lands' End Canvas had directly taken a page out of the J. Crew handbook, but had one upped them in terms of lower pricing.

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.

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.

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.



  1. definitely a comprehensive and insightful review. being proactive for the people haha. good stuff, as is typical.

  2. Oh the benefits of capitalism! JCrew needs a competitor to make them step up their fit game. Only in America can you get decent clothes for cheap. American closets are certainly not sparse (may or may not be a bad thing, depending on your philosophy). Great review btw... You've been doing a fantastic job filling the 'strapped for cash but not enough time to scour thrift store' blog void.

  3. First: Thanks! This is incredibly helpful.

    Second: Fit Pics! Do a little show for us.

    Third: Waxed Canvas Peacoat! Persuade Mr. Gannon to show us this fantastic sounding customization.

    That is all.

  4. Good review, but I've got to disagree on the white chambray. I got one too and was really disappointed in the fabric (feels like an oxford), the contrast stitching on the collar (looks cheap), though the fit is decent. I also got the striped chambray and the gingham poplin and like those a lot. Waxed cotton peacoat sounds like a fun project though...

  5. Can't take credit for the idea of waxing that pea coat....that was Max's thought. I just did it...

    Honestly, it's just a matter of time and detail. The wax is straight from Filson's. Took me about 1-1.5 hours of total time for the jacket (and 2 tins of wax per jacket). Used small circles, working it into the fabric...concentrating on the seams and underneath the collar. It's also important to take your time and work your way across and down the coat...making sure you are not missing any spots. The Filson's wax has a great smell...and it makes the jacket take on a whole new look.
    As far as fit goes...I'm happy with it...I've been wearing it as a top coat (especially in the rain--as the water beads up beautifully)...I have the Medium and I'm 6'2" and 185lbs, I wear a 42/43 jacket and have a 32 inch waist.

    I'll try and get up a post...although, I don't have a really good before shot...I was just too excited to get moving with the wax, that I just went for it when UPS walked in with the box from Lands End. Wishing I would have done some good before shots...If anyone gets one and wants it waxed, I'd be happy to make it happen...for one reader of Sart Inc.

    Thanks for the nod L.

  6. Paul/Enthusiast- Thanks for the kind words you guys leave as per usual.

    Schorsch- My goal was to help out so that's good to hear. Fit pics aren't really my thing, but maybe I can throw something together next week and throw it up as a redux. No promises haha.

    Manifold- Thanks for leaving your own opinions and dropping some knowledge. Debate = the best thing on this blog.

    Joe- Mr. Gannon, you are the man. What about one author of Sart Inc? My mac raincoat is looking a little thirsty now that I think of it.

  7. Wow, this is rapidly becoming my favorite blog. These reviews are wonderful, I've been wondering what the new line was like thanks for the insight and perspective. As far as the wax coat deal, I'm also quite curious to see how this will look. Keep it up!!!!

  8. Yeah...I meant 1 Sart reader (in addition to you)....I just assumed you were sending something my way.

  9. Startwithtypewriters- Haha, awesome man. I'm a big fan of your blog, so that is flattering to hear.

    Joe- Interesting...could make a good before and after post. I will get in touch with you about this shortly.

  10. Thanks for the review. And the DIY waxing has me thinking.. (self-waxed tote bag?)

  11. I bought the Heritage Oxford as well and feel the same way about the thickness of the fabric. Hopefully I'll be able to wear it during the warm California summers, whereas my beefier J. Crew oxford is usually in the closet for 7 months.

  12. I am sort of between a 40 and 42 chest size and sometimes wear a medium and sometimes a large in J Crew and Steven Alan shirts. I am 6'1" and about 175 lbs. Which size would work for me in the Canvas shirts?