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I was watching The Office tonight (we’ll miss you Michael Scott!) and switched channels during commercial break when I saw a flash of familiar tanned leather. It turns out I caught a glimpse of the famous L.L. Bean boots being manufactured at the Freeport, Maine headquarters.

Back in grade school, I thought the brand was uncool, boring, and for old people. Their catalogs were fun to look at when they came in the winter because of the funny sweater alpine designs on the cover that you’d also see at your next Xmas Ugly Sweater Party.

This backpack was about as far as a normal teenager would dare bring to school. Of course I grew up in the south and not in the northeast where L.L Bean is worshiped. The Official Preppy Handbook describes Bean’s significance well and puts them as “nothing short of prep mecca”. Thus as I sit here a few years later typing up this blog post, my trusty Bean boots are off in the corner still with rain beads on the rubber and having kept my feet dry from the downpour earlier today.

There are still some Bean items I would never see myself buy, however this trad company is on the top level of quintessential American brands. They’re great for the basics and now with free shipping, I can see myself ordering from them more often. L.L. Bean and another one of my online retailing favorites, Land’s End, have been pushing towards attracting the next generation of customers with the new Signature and Canvas lines. Along with never ending free shipping with zero minimum, Mr. Bean may have made a strong power play amongst their competitors. They certainly have my attention.