Launched in 1963 as a mail-order operation for yachting gear‚ the business filled about 15 orders on a good day. Now they carry a huge variety of clothing for women, men and kids. Lands' End runs the range from casual to dressier wear, plus active and swimwear, in addition to uniform pieces for students...and the list goes on! Plus, they are famous for their unconditional return policy (customer satisfaction is a big deal to them). And yes, my Canuck friends...they do ship to Canada!
I came across Lands' End when I started paying close attention to the Replikate movement...women who like to follow and copy the fashion of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge. While it can be fun (if one can afford it) to own the exact same items as the Duchess, most often Replikaters hunt for similar yet more cost-effective fashions, and Lands' End certainly fits the bill!
I was excited when Lands' End sent me two items to try out (shipping was very fast, btw), so I could see the quality for myself.
First, I was looking for a navy pleated skirt, similar to Kate's Orla Kiely shown below (approx. $256 Canadian).
Lands' End sent me this great Replikate, the Girls Solid Pleated Skirt, which is actually from the school uniform collection (shopping trick: if something isn't available in an adult size, try a larger size from the children's section - the adjustable waistband is helpful, too!) The price? Under 40 bucks!
I look forward to wearing it to school in a traditional outfit (maybe with a button-up and nice navy blazer) but it can also be worn in more unexpected ways, like with a graphic tee or print sweater.
(Tip: if your pleated skirt gets wrinkled, just use the bathroom-shower-steam trick. 15 minutes of hot steam and my pleats fell perfectly.)
If you need to purchase neutral school uniform pieces for your child (sometimes I wish that was the case for my girls!), definitely check out Lands' End.
Next on my back-to-school shopping list was a pair of low-heeled black boots. I love wearing boots in the fall and winter, especially with skirts and dresses, and since I'm going to be teaching Kindergarten, a super high heel was off the list. I turned to Kate's Middleton style and loved the Stuart Weitzman HalfNHalf stretch riders she has been seen wearing...but didn't love the $400 price.
But guess what? Lands' End carries a super-similar pair called the School Uniform Women's Stretch Suede Tall Boots: suede at the front, stretch panel at the back, block heel...at a regular price of $162! (Watch for sales - I've seen the price even lower than that!)
These boots are soooo comfortable, and I know they will be my go-tos for ages...at least until it's time to pull out the sandals again!
Now, I don't usually get much sympathy for the following problem I have, but I trust you to be kind, so here goes: I have skinny calves, and therefore tall boots don't fit snugly enough for me. The stretch panel on these boots is really forgiving for those with fuller calves, but since I'm planning to wear them over tights, I want them to be really snug. My local cobbler nipped them in for me, at a total cost of $25, which is fantastic, considering how often I'm going to be sporting them...black goes with everything, right?
Next on my Lands' End list is stocking up on swimsuits for the girls. They wore theirs out this summer (several each - which is a reflection on what a great pool summer it was), and since there are huge discounts on the website, now's a great time to buy!
Thanks to Lands' End for letting me try out their products. I will definitely be turning to this site again, if not for more Replikates then for the vast array of other attractive, quality clothing they have to offer. Thank goodness they moved past yachting gear! (Though if Kate and I do become best friends, I may need some of that, too...)
Disclosure: The above items were provided for review purposes. Opinions are, as always, my own.