He also thought of 1960s and 1970s touchstones like Ali MacGraw, "Peyton Place," and "those really cool '70s moms."
After successfully launching the higher-end Signature line this spring, Carleton amplified its tailored, yet still getaway-weekend-casual, style.
The women's line takes a bigger step away from the traditional L.L. Bean look. Trimmer silhouettes, lush fabrics and thoughtful embellishments make most items better suited to a café than a canoe.
Carleton deftly mixed-and-matched his way through the racks, pairing separates in dusky purple, teal, deep yellow, navy, and forest green.
The demure offerings also include a striped shirtdress and a puffed-sleeve blouse in a filmy silk. There are plenty of classics you can't argue with, like fine-wale cords, a midnight tweed jacket and MacGraw-worthy plaid pants (fully lined, hallelujah!).
The expanded accessories line helps it all coalesce. The shoes bring all eyes to the floor: moccasin wedges, perfectly matte tall boots, forest green pumps, even sexy-secretary high-heeled brogues in glossy patent leather.
Another standout is the new "picnic tote," a narrower version of the trademark canvas bag.
There's even a heap of jewelry, with chunky bracelets, chain necklaces and strands of olive and peacock pearls.
The men's collection stays closer to the L.L. Bean archives. The plaid shirts, shawl-collar sweaters and the replica vintage duck-hunting jacket could have sprung right from a mid-century catalog.
Even among the menswear, though, you'll see some surprises, like a safety-orange felt fedora. That's the sharpest way we've seen to usher in hunting season!
See what other mass retailer is stepping up their style game for fall.