25 November 2008

"Japanese magazines, Michael Bastian and LL Bean"

I'm reading this magazine over the summer ^ and I see this...

An article on Michael Bastian. There he is ^ on the fire place mantel. Nice tortoise shell in the fireplace. As an ex-National Park Ranger, I can only hope that was acquired pre-1973. I'm sure it was. I like Bastian's line. Good looking, normal clothes with Trad centered in the cross hairs. Cool shoes as well and they're L.L. Bean Camp Moccasins. Wow! A big time fashion designer wearing $69 shoes. Gotta love that.

I like 'em a lot so I finally get around to placing an order. They arrived last week and they were a good half size too big. Call up the 24/7 toll free number. Bing-Bang. 8.5 's are on the way. I will say that Bean is and always has been one of the best customer service companies I've ever done business with. They really do make it easy. I get the 8.5 moc today and they fit perfectly. So, I'm putting the 9's back in the box to return when I see it. Do you see it? Those 9's are only a week old. Compared to the 8.5's, they look like they were distressed.

There's a HUGE (like the magazine-get it?) difference between the color, grain, finish and shape of toe. The 8.5 is a much better looking shoe than the 9. I check out the box thinking maybe I ordered different colors - - Nope, same color, vendor, country of origin and stock number. Bean paid for the shipping on the new shoes although I will get dinged for $6 to return the old ones. Free shipping both ways if you sign on for their credit card but that's the last thing I need. I'd have more Bean stuff than a lesbian phys ed teacher in Wisconsin.


Lately, there's been a lot of quotes citing Bastian's love of the Bean Camp Moc along with Randolph sunglasses (wore them in the Army - American Optical is better) . He said, "There are things that are perfection in their generic-ness." Just like that line. Pure perfection, buddy. Now, where did you get that shell?

21 comments:

Ben said...

Love the bean camp moc. Only ever owned one pair though, because they're so durable. 10 1/2 for me.

By the way, there's a way to make those laces into tassels. Those are fun, but you'll never be able to lace-tie them again.

Anonymous said...

El Salvador ?! TinTin, say it aint so!

tintin said...

Ben-I was always a Blucher man. Ordered a pr and they looked so bad. Very cheap looking leather. Made in El Salvador as well. Although, they make look better a half size down.

Anon- Tell me about it. Heart breaking but I refuse to cough up $160 for the Quoddy's.

trip said...

I'm glad the sizing worked out for you. I got a pair of Camp Mocs last year and found they were too big. I exchanged them for a half size down and found them to be too small. I ended up giving up on them and ordered some Blucher Mocs this year. Have been much more pleased.

Giuseppe said...

Lands End is pretty good with customer sevice too. Last week, while waiting for a pair of 'cranberry' cords to arrive, I noticed that UPS tracking says they were left at my back door, only I don't have the pants.

So after searching the back yard and around the house, I call up UPS, who bluntly and rather rudely tell me to contact the retailer.

I call Lands End, and a woman with a very midwest accent says, 'Oh dear, that darn UPS' and sends a new pair to the hemming department the following Monday, should be here at the end of the week. No questions, no charge, no hassle.

If we could find a way to combine that kind of service with American manufacturing, we'd be on the right track again.

Oops. political.

Ben said...

sorry to clog the comments but yeah, I preferred the early blucher, before they "upgraded" the soles. They wore forever.

Anonymous said...

Turning Japanese? (Vapors, 1980)

Cayman Turtle Farm

Rolf makes some "nice" crocodile.

Manton

heavy tweed jacket said...

Tintin, if you liked that issue of Huge, then take a look at the new/current December issue of Men's EX. Hint: an article on some NY heavy hitters.

Dustin Deed said...

i saw a pair of the bass bluchers the other day and thought the leather was much nicer than the current bean bluchers. however, from what i could tell, the bass model isn't moccasin construction.

tintin said...

Trip-
Check these out. Except for the heel, very similar to the Blucher of 20 odd years ago. I saw a pr in Atlanta but haven't seem them anywhere else. Sperry knows their market.

http://www.sperrytopsider.com/shopping/product/detailmain.jsp?itemID=1210&itemType=PRODUCT&iMainCat=143&iSubCat=171&iProductID=1210&sColor=164

tintin said...

Giuseppe- UPS is so bad. How is the quality at LE? I rememeber not being too impressed with their display in the Sear on State St in Chicago but they didn't have the Hyde Park button down which I used to love.

Ben- Cog up all you want! Check out the Speery I posted to Trip. It looks very good--except for the heel.

tintin said...

Manton-
Was always a fan of Tom Monroe's, Turning Japanese.

HTJ
Happy TGiving. Am down in Hooterville but will check out the mag when I get back north. Man, oysters are cheap down here.

Dustin- Thanks for stopping by. Gotta check out your stuff this weekend. Looks interesting. I'll have to check out the Bass but that Sperry does look good.

heavy tweed jacket said...

Tintin, Many returns for a Happy Thanksgiving. You'd like Japan - most stores actually stock your shoe size. However, get much above a 9 and sizing is hit or miss. Enjoy those oysters. Oysters are a warm weather thing...unless it's oyster soup or oyster stuffing in the turkey. Cheers, HTJ

Anonymous said...

Hey Man-- nice blog! The tortoise shell was actually my grandfathers-- so it was acquired much much earlier than '73. :-) Happy Thanksgiving-- Michael Bastian

Peter said...

Used to wear both bluchers and camp mocs. I found the leather stretched out and the soles wore quickly. Obviously, Bean's quality is a shell of what it was even 15 years ago. I just don't understand their move downmarket. I've got some vintage Bean (wool shirt, chamois shirts) and it's night and day.

we could grow up together said...

HUGE is one of those things that I look forward to every month!

tintin said...

Michael- Thank you for stopping by and clearing up that situation with the shell. I knew it was pre-73. I'm no one in the fashion world but would appreciate it if I could send you some questions via email about your thoughts on Trad, Ivy, whatever you want to call it and post the answers here...

Peter- I just found my old Bean boots and I agree with you. Made in the US and an amazing quality about 'em. That and they're 20 years old and look almost new.

we could grow up- I hear this months issue is amazing. Thanks for stopping by.

Jay Baxter said...

There was an interview in GQ a few months ago with a designer. He stated that he loved the Camp Moccasins from LL Bean. He buys several pairs each year, however he specifies which COUNTRY he wants them imported from. (He said that one country made them better than another.)

Anyone remember this article? I ordered two different pairs last month and was disappointed.

AFM said...

Do you recall what country the designer specified? I have tried searching the GQ site and was unable to find the reference.

tintin said...

I'm gonna ask Bean and email Bastian.

jhn said...

Based on recs like this I took the plunge and got a pair. They're nice enough, but they run way, way wide, even in the medium size. That gave me enough reason to at least exchange them. Slip-on shoes have to be really snug or they just fall off. Weejuns and slip-on Vans (in the same size) fit really well, but the Bean shoes move around like flip-flops.

So that's kind of dumb.

But I decided to return them and not exchange them. For one, despite the difference in nomenclature, they're basically the same shoe as my Sperry Boat Shoes. It's beyond me why people have always talked about "boat shoes" and then camp mocs like they're different categories of shoe. The defining characteristic of a boat shoe should be a no-slip sole, which is irrelevant to me. "Camp mocs" are essentially the same exact design as boat shoes, and I don't need multiple representatives from each kind of shoe. We need more precision in shoe talk!