LL Bean Norwegian Sweaters Back for Fall/Winter '10

Yesterday via Twitter, I sent the comments from my post about two LL Bean Norwegian Goodwill finds to Laurie Brooks and Mary Rose MacKinnon at LL Bean. Much to my surprise, Laurie quickly replied with a DM Tweet informing me LL Bean will resurrect the classic sweater for F/W ‘10. It will reappear in its original, 80% wool, 20% rayon, and, like the original, it will be made in Norway. Check out this photo from the F/W '10 look book.

They’re offering two versions of the Norwegian sweater: the Classic Norwegian Sweater (pictured here) available online, in the catalog, and in LL Bean retail locations across the country, and a three-quarter zip available exclusively in-store.
Brilliant move on LL Bean's part. These photos of my friend Edge do a good job of displaying the modern preppy appeal of the sweater and how its easily incorporated into contemporary outfits. Head to toe: Moscot Glasses, Vintage LL Bean Norwegian Sweater, Tom Brown Button Down, RRL Khakis, JCrew Wool Socks, and Common Projects Desert Boots.

Many thanks to Mary Rose MacKinnon and Laurie Brooks (AKA the twitter account LLBeanPR) at LL Bean for giving me the heads up about these sweaters and being loyal followers of A.R.T.

Update 5-15-09: The Norwegian Sweater will be made in the same exact vendor as the original. Advances in wool technology since the sweaters origins in the 70s allow the sweater to be made entirely out of wool, with no addition of Rayon.

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LL Bean Norwegian Sweaters


On a 75° afternoon this weekend I was perusing the sweater rack at my local Goodwill and stumbled across two LL Bean Norwegian Sweaters from the 1980's. I first spotted the classic LL Bean Norwegian Sweater in navy and white, made famous during the 1980's as preppy staple and immortalized in the Official Preppy Hand Book. The sweater was next to a Champion Waterville High crew sweatshirt. I grabbed it like a fat kid taking candy from a "Take One" bowl on Halloween.

These sweaters were made in Norway with a blend of 80% Wool and 20% Rayon, a synthetic material usually produced from cellulose derived from wood.

For decades this classic weave identified college students with the LL Bean brand. However, LL Bean discontinued the sweater in the late 90's. Today these sweaters are delegated to eBay, vintage stores and flea markets in Williamsburg for around $40 a pop. Not to brag, but these were just $9 a piece.

Where I come from, Goodwills and other thrift stores are as picked over for vintage clothes as thoroughly as garbage heaps in Bangladesh are for food scraps. Central Maine is hundreds of miles away from savvy vintage shoppers and has no shortage of quality clothes.

Farther down the rack, the thick sleeve of a wool sweater stood out from the cheap fleece and cotton weaves and much to my surprise I pulled out another, less known LL Bean Norwegian sweater.

The Goodwills in Maine put X's on LL Bean labels to avoid potential abuses of Bean's rock solid customer service. I love these buttons, very Sun Valley Idaho circa 1965.

The Classic Norwegian sweater is already spoken for by a friend and loyal blog reader. I plan to wear the other for decades to come. I hope that someday LL Bean resurrects these once great sweaters. Without a doubt, LL Bean fans old and new would buy them. If this resonates with you, leave a comment and I will forward it along to my friends at LL Bean.

Here are some more links,
LL Bean Norwegian Sweaters (Picasa),
Askaboutclothes.com forum discussion,

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Brian and His Yale Sweater

Behind Brian Kupke's preppy and seemingly conservative appearance lies one of the most dynamic and interesting people I have ever met. A close friend first introduced me to Brian in the fall of my freshmen year as the boyfriend of her older sister, Austin Philips, a tenacious, All-American Rower two years his senior. Brian's origins in Leesburg Florida, and rumors of an NRA card in his wallet, a rarity at Colby, only added to his mystique. Over the last three years Brian and I have grown close and I thought it would only be fitting to write about this interesting character before he graduates next month.

Although not visible through his vintage Yale sweater and the case of 12 gauge rounds, both of Brian's nipples are scarred from two years of housing stainless steal studs and a brass chain.

Upon arriving at Colby in the Fall of 2005, Brian switched from playing Defensive End to rowing four seat on Colby's Varsity Crew Team. However, Brian's extensive resume of athletic feats fails to translate into mano y mano ability, and yours truly trouncedhim in a spandex wrestling match last week despite his thirty pound weight advantage, 2-0.

Some of you may know Brian as Kuppykakes, a level 80 fury warrior on the Alexstrasza Server. Brian sacrificed many a cold Maine Night to achieve this prowess, and has recently retired from his account, ending a two year love affair with the World of Warcraft. Over winter break, Austin's next door neighbor, a Yale Alum, gave Brian this Whalerknits Yale Sweater from the mid 80's. Made in the USA, damn right!

I love the details of this sweater, like the length of the cuff.

Brian being Brian.

After Graduating in May, Brian wants to apply his quirky creativeness to a career in interior design. I am sure Brian and his Yale Sweater will have an interesting and fruitful journey. I look forward to hearing about his exploits and am ready for a wrestling rematch whenever.
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