Much like my beloved LL Bean Signature, Lands’ End Canvas is a classic, New England-y brand’s attempt to shed its boxy, stodgy, anti-sexy image with a line of clothing aimed at a somewhat younger demographic: grown women who value comfort but could never imagine being the kind of person who owns mules, mock turtlenecks, or any of the other usual and unfortunate Lands’ End staples.
The other thing Lands’ End Canvas shares in common with its LL Bean counterpart is that it started with a bang and has since trailed off; for example, its dresses, once responsibly flirty, now just seem confused. This summer linen dress achieves a nice balance of cute and mature (although the adjective used to describe the trim details is a little odd, is there not another sewing word for that?), but this strappy mess looks like something a real housewife would wear to a beach bonfire so she could showcase her new boob job in a “classy” way. There's also a rather prolific use of silk, which certainly isn’t the traditional fabric of your ye olde Lands End practical Patty, so that's a plus, but, as I’ve said before, silk isn’t my favorite, either: it wrinkles, reveals sweat at a moment's notice, and needs to be carefully cleaned. What I would honestly like to see from Lands' End Canvas is a stylish, professional, superpreppy dress made out of wine-stain-resistant sailcloth.
I’ve found a few nice things there in the past, but the brand has started to overlap more and more with regular old Lands’ End. This is an unsettling development, especially if, like me, you’re shopping Canvas specifically because you want the old New England nostalgia of Lands’ End without looking like a person so old that they’re nostalgic for everything including and up to Cokes for a nickel and when Boston was even more overtly racist. This canvas tote, for example, looks like it’s supposed to be modernized for Lands’ End Canvas, and it’s certainly priced like something from Canvas, but no, it’s OG LE. You cannot trick me, Lands' End: those canvas totes hold the secrets of my childhood. Finding yourself considering something from Lands’ End makes you go from feeling Forever 31 to Forever 51 right quick. Like most things you feel when you’re actually old, it does not feel good.
Maybe they've fired their head designer, like Gap seems to constantly be doing. In any case, I still take a seasonal look at their accessories and shirts, where you have the best luck at finding something that’s fun-yet-adult in a good way, not in the -diaper way, like much of their other, regular merchandise.
Final Forever 31 Analysis: Overall, it’s a good place to look if your age is a north of 28 and your expectations are low. Not a good weekly internet browse. Occasional wonderful and durable items available with quarterly checkups.