Hi. I'm Mike from L.L.Bean's product development team.
First introduced in 1927 as a leatherette shirt, our founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, noted this shirt felt more like chamois leather the longer it was worn. And he would know. According to L.L., he'd been testing it on hunting and fishing trips for two years before it was introduced in the catalog. That work paid off, and the shirt was an instant classic.
Renamed the Bean Chamois Cloth Shirt in 1931, admirers simply called it "The Bean shirt," a testament to the quality of the shirt and the reputation of Mr. Bean's company. Customers have raved about it in letters, in phone calls and in person at our store in Freeport, Maine for almost nine decades.
But here at L.L.Bean, words like "great" and "perfect" just aren't good enough. Customers have long told us the soft fabric gets more and more comfortable over the years, so we improved the shirt with unbreakable buttons tough enough to stand up to generations of wear. Seams are now double-stitched, not single stitched, for extra durability. The lush 7.5-ounce flannel is heavier than the original and woven by experts in Portugal, where the high-quality fabric is still brushed by hand and still gets better with wear.
We've been very careful about the changes we've made, and the shirt has remained largely the same and as beloved as ever, with nearly 1,000 five-star reviews in the last five years alone. We're committed to improving and making things better than they need to be, but if it isn't broken, well, it probably came from L.L.Bean.