Chances are your grandparents, heck, maybe even your great-grandparents were down with L.L. Bean. This mega-company has been around forever. Originally known for creating outdoor gear, L.L. Bean has expanded over the decades to include clothing for men, women and kids along with footwear and home decor.
L.L. Bean got its start all the way back in the Dark Ages, when, in 1911, Granddaddy Bean got the idea to sew himself some rubber boots to keep his feet dry when he was hunting in the rain. A century later, the brand is still going strong. Headquartered in Maine, the L.L. Bean company now employs more than 4,600 people and sells more than $1.4 billion worth of clothes annually. Yes, that's billion with a "B." Now don't you wish Mr. Bean was your great-grandfather?
With a background in creating camping gear, it's not surprising that a bunch of L.L. Bean's clothing is suited to spending time outdoors. But you can find more fashionable basics for sale from the company, too. L.L. Bean sells ladies' activewear, which includes swimwear and athletic shoes. The company's website also offers comfortable, if boring, basics such as pants, shorts, dresses and tops in a range of sizes including petite and plus-size. You may want to check out L.L. Bean if you're looking to pick up some protective outerwear or long underwear to keep you warm in winter weather.
L.L. Bean began with a single store in Maine but quickly turned into a mega seller with its catalog sales. Today the company has 14 stores outside of Maine, although all of them are still in the northeastern U.S. If you want to check out some authentic L.L. Bean goods today, your best bet is to hit up the company's website, the modern-day equivalent of its paper catalog, and place an order.
The execs at L.L. are doing a good job so far of keeping up with the times. The company has transitioned from mostly catalog-based sales to mostly online sales. It may be a shock, but you can find L.L. Bean on Twitter and Facebook, just like some of your favorite trendier designers. The company headquarters focuses on environmental efforts such as recycling and using biodiesel in its fleet vehicles. What's not changing as much, however, is the classic L.L. Bean style. While the company does update its look in an attempt to stay fresh, don't expect to find recent fashions like skinny jeans in the L.L. Bean catalog.