Bean There, Worn That

Well, the L.L. Bean Signature line has finally arrived. And it certainly has designer Alex Carleton's signature all over it. Carleton, who lives in Cape Elizabeth, heads up the Rogues Gallery line and previously worked for Abercrombie & Fitch and Ralph Lauren. All three of these (with the possible exception of Neversleep, the Rogues spinoff sold at Urban Outfitters) have a distinctly traditional vibe with slim, modern lines that keep things from feeling too stuffy or preppy.

Overall, we're pretty impressed with L.L. Bean Signature. It's a smart departure for Bean, and because many of the styles are inspired by clothing from the retailer's archive, it has an authentic vintage feel without the vintage moth holes or mildew smell. That being said, many of the pieces remind us of clothes we already own or have considered buying at thrift shops. And though we'll have to wait to try on the pants, we can tell by looking at them that the waistlines are a little too high for our taste.

But that's really the worst we can say. The dresses, slim skirts and fine-gauge sweaters remind us of Jackie O on the Cape, and the jaunty little scarves are adorable. Portland jeweler Portia Clark also gets a nod — check out her pearls in the accessories section. The wrap dress, poplin skirt, white sateen pencil skirt and dobby stripe Oxford are on our short list.

For men, The Maven would be happy to see Jason in any of these clothes — they're more stylish than what you'd normally find at L.L. Bean, but not quite hipster, which works for us. There are combinations that remind us of Abercrombie for grownups, but that's not a bad thing.

If you haven't seen it yet, check out the whole line at and let us know what you think.


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