I love this time of year. The air getting crisper, the nights drawing in. There’s a definite place in my heart for summer, but I also secretly love it when the clocks go back and we have gorgeous golden afternoons and long dark cosy winter evenings. (I can take or leave January through to April though).
This week leading up to Halloween and then in the period leading up to Christmas, I always somehow think of American brands. In the novels I used to read as a teenager Halloween and Thanksgiving were both big holidays – and because we lived in California for a couple of years when I was growing up and celebrated them both – I am quite fond of the festivities of this time of year too. Add in the British bonfire night and there’s any number of reasons (well, 3, at least) for getting together as a family for a cosy festive night.
I guess the American bit of the celebration makes me crave that wholesome American look – plaid shirts, boots, jeans, proper outerwear and good knitwear and hats/gloves/scarves. I waited *ages* for some American brands to be available easily in the UK (J.Crew, West Elm etc) but what I hadn’t realised was we already had one; a genuine, designed in the US but available for UK money, right here, since the 1990s. I knew the brand, I just didn’t realise it was American; Lands’ End.
That’s right. Lands’ End is an authentic American brand, established in the US in 1963, specialising in outerwear, knitwear and with a real focus on customer centricity, selling all-American casual and heritage influenced clothing, right here in the UK, and I didn’t realise. (Yes, that’s me with the crap hair-do below admiring the amazing plaid shirts. I am so getting one for the Christmas period). I was invited with some other bloggers to visit their HQ and ask their design and marketing teams questions about the brand and product, as well as eat cake.
I also rather liked this faux-fur snood as you can see below (this plaid scarf would fit the bill too) and I have been very much enjoying wearing on my commute to work the leather gloves with cashmere lining that I was gifted by Lands’ End. I also really want to get a proper American heritage tote bag, perfect for avoiding that new 5p bag charge.
The other thing I was rather taken with was the outerwear, particularly the children’s outerwear. High spec, incredibly so, but also really good value for money. (The childrenswear in general is great – perhaps this is where all the American families get their matching shirts and pyjamas from?! but the outerwear stood out particularly).
We were shown all the features of the various jackets, which include fleece linings, snow cuffs and “grow-a-long” extendable sleeves which can give an extra 3.5cm to extend the wear of the jacket, as well as catering for a variety of cold sounding temperatures. These coats are not just designed for UK weather – they are designed for kids that live in Wisconsin, where it gets pretty damn chilly (have you read Laura Ingalls Wilder?) so these aren’t just nice looking coats, they are the real deal, but not at the price point I expected. The squall jacket, for example, is designed for temperatures down to -20C, so more than sufficient for a UK winter, but is only £60. You can see me above, asking questions, including about the boy/girl differences (colours only, fit is the same) and why the iron knee jeans are only marketed to boys (they had them for girls too originally, but they didn’t sell).
Lands’ End have kindly offered me and my readers a 30% discount until midnight on 31 October 2015. Just enter LESTYLE at the checkout (full T&C’s below). I am sorry this only gives you a week left to shop – there is a reason for my lack of posts recently. All will be revealed very soon… 🙂
Thanks to Lands’ End who invited Pip, Marto and me to their UK HQ in Oakham for cakes, a chat and then a lovely boat ride on Rutland Water, which those that follow me on Instagram will have seen back in September. I wasn’t paid for this post but were given a generous gift from Lands’ End which included a Squall Jacket for Pip, and gloves and a throw for me.
T&C: 30% discount applies to Lands’ End products only. Orders must be placed before 23:59 on Saturday 31st October 2015. Discount will be applied where the code LESTYLE is entered correctly. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Cannot be exchanged for cash, used to purchase Gift Vouchers, concession items or other Lands’ End services such as monogramming or gift boxing. Cannot be redeemed against any items previously ordered or purchased from Lands’ End. Will be applied pro-rata across all discounted items in your basket (for example, if you buy 3 items worth £10, you will be discounted £3.33 on each item)