Monday, November 3, 2008

A Letter To Lands' End

Updated with reply.

Perch are beautiful fish.

Kelly A. Ritchie
Lands’ End, Inc.
1 Lands’ End Lane
Dodgeville, WI 53595

Dear Ms. Ritchie,

Let me tell you a story. When I was a little boy, oh, maybe ten years old, my old man took me fishing down at Potato Creek State Park in Indiana, which was interesting because it was actually a lake. But if you went to the head of the lake there was a wide creek, which sometimes held perch. Perch, coincidentally, was always the only fish I could stand eating. Everything else I’d throw up on the spot. It really bugged my Dad that we could never take home any of the fish we caught – bluegill, crappie, bass – it didn’t matter. Ironically enough, we fished with flies and poppers on the top of the water, so we were never going to catch perch anyway (they stay deep at about 15-20 feet). Upon recollection, maybe I just said I liked perch because I knew we were never going to catch any of them. Incidentally, this story has very little to do with Lands’ End.

Anyway, my Dad always loved the Lands’ End catalog and he taught me to do the same. If he was here today (he lives in Indianapolis), he’d be sad to see me write a letter of complaint to the top lady at his favorite clothier, but alas, that’s what I have to do. You see, my Dad may have given me his love of excellent value for a soft, fashionable Oxford dress shirt, but he also gave me his high metabolism and Fred Astaire body frame.

Dressing myself, especially in business attire, has always been a challenge. I always end up looking like a little kid who got in his Dad’s closet to play dress-up. Also, this kid’s really skinny and his Dad is really fat. So when I found out that Lands’ End had started a line of trim fit shirts, I nearly jumped out of my size 30 waist jeans!

Unfortunately, Ms. Ritchie, the shirt I ordered is anything but trim fit. Perhaps if you made clothes for a race of giants and ogres, and a few smaller giants asked for a trim fit label, then you could call this “trim fit.” But let’s take the collar for instance. I ordered a 14 ½ inch neck, and sure enough it fits just fine. But you didn’t bring in the width of the sleeves at all. I measured, and the top of the sleeves are 21 inches around. 21 inches! Who is modeling for you that has arms bigger than his neck?! He needs to see either a neck or an arm doctor immediately! Maybe even both!

Also, the chest of the shirt is 36 inches. Well, I’m not a 36 inch chest! To tell you the truth, I’ve been working out, but I’m just not seeing the results I’d expect. Isn’t the bench press supposed to work your pecs? It feels like I’m just bending my arms, so I don’t really see how that’s supposed to make my chest bigger. It’s the same thing with push-ups. I just don’t feel like I’m targeting the right muscle systems. Should I just lay face down on the floor and try to raise myself up with my bust? Please advise.

Ms. Ritchie, I want you to know that I think Lands’ End still has great clothes. I have a black sweater of yours that I wear often and I feel like it fits ok. Your ties are superb. Your shirts, though, just don’t fit. I don’t expect you to make me custom clothes. But if somebody could just admit to me that they’ve been changing all the sizes to reflect how fat America has gotten, at least I wouldn’t feel like such an outcast. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter, along with any workout tips you might have.

In Modesty,

The Correspondent



Tom said...

You have got to be kidding me . This is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

I've had the same problem, and instead of fixing it in response to your complaint, Lands End has pretty much gotten rid of "trim fit" and substituted "tailored fit," which is bigger. My Brooks Brothers trim fit shirts aren't very trim fit, either. If you are looking for that style of clothing (conservative), try the new LL Bean trim fit items - they seem to be closer to a real trim fit. Otherwise, it's custom, Calvin Klein, Italian shirtmakers, or Banana Republic...

CyberMage said...

And as of today, all the "Trim Fit" products are gone from the site. I actually like the two trim fit shirts I ordered last month, but on my return visit they, and the trim fit khaki pants are gone.

CyberMage said...

Whoops - Yeah, sorry. I guess the name is tailored fit and they're still there. Personally I like the fit though I agree it's still loose.