A History Worth Repeating – The L.L.Bean Classic Ragg Wool Sweater
This year, L.L.Bean celebrates its 110th anniversary. The world has changed significantly since our company got its start in 1912: more than a century of technological advances, momentous world events and generations come and gone. Yet little has changed in the DNA of L.L.Bean. Our commitment to quality, durability and comfort is built into everything we do, and that has remained the same for 110 years.
Don’t take our word for it. Just ask our customers.
We often hear stories about how L.L.Bean has played a role in people’s lives – from reflecting the spirit and identity of Maine to enabling outdoor activities.
One such customer, George Beaver, wrote a letter to L.L.Bean when he stumbled upon a photo from 1981 featuring him and his wife, both wearing L.L.Bean Ragg Wool Sweaters. It’s taken outside of the Henry VIII Restaurant while on vacation. Beaver wears a grin. His wife looks up at him adoringly. It’s no wonder he’d want to recreate the photo – and almost 40 years later, he was able to because those same L.L.Bean sweaters are still in use. It isn’t uncommon for L.L.Bean pieces like the Ragg Wool Sweater to stand the test of time for many decades, shared among couples or siblings, or passed down from parent to child.
For the Beavers, their sweaters have proven their worth.
The Beavers, enjoying their ragg wool sweaters nearly 40 years later
“We lived and worked in New York, and our sweaters worked as hard as we did,” writes Beaver. “During the energy crisis of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, my wife wore hers every day; her company had lowered its thermostats and her office was cold.”
The couple is now retired and living in South Carolina, but Beaver reports that they still wear the sweaters when the temperature dips.
He writes: “We wanted you to know how truly fine our L.L.Bean sweaters are. We have enjoyed them all these years and thought you might like to know.”
Though that line was the end of Beaver’s letter, it isn’t the end of the story for the L.L.Bean Ragg Wool Sweater.
We have always found value and inspiration in nostalgia – in 2021, L.L.Bean launched our first-ever Pre-Loved Collection, opening the doors to our vintage closet and launching an online sale of vintage apparel. It’s part of L.L.Bean’s continued quest to find and revitalize the pieces beloved by customers. Our styles continue to shine as trends come and go, with sustainable endurance that means pieces last – and can find new life.
That is the case with the Classic Ragg Wool Sweater. Taking inspiration from the original, our L.L.Bean designers have recreated the look with 100% lambswool yarns and timeless Fair Isle patterns. And thanks to the love story shared by George, our design team was sure to include matching patterns for men and women and updated the line with henley and sherpa-lined styles.
Stock up on a matching set for you and a loved one – it might just be the start of a 40-year journey.
Editor’s Note: We are deeply saddened to share the news of Mrs. Beaver’s passing following the time of this interview. We are honored and humbled to have played even a minor part in George and Margaret’s 55-year love story, and as a company, we will continue to strive to embody the commitment and joy that were ever-present in their lives.