• Bean’s Norwegian Sweater

    Prep Essentials  

    Immortalized in The Official Preppy Handbook as the sweater for the prep set in the 80’s—dropped in the early 1990’s by the Maine-based outfitter—L.L. Bean reissues their Norwegian Sweater this fall to the delight of East Hampton locals and Princeton Ivy Leaguers alike. It’s popularity among the prep set was so eminent it was similar to trying to nab a copy of Take Ivy on eBay. All too often a clothier’s attempt to improve upon the classics is lackadaisical. L.L. Bean nails it though. Still expertly knit in Norway, the wide, rounded neck and signature birds-eye weave remain unchanged; however, the 80/20 poly blend of generations past has been swapped for 100-percent water-repellent wool.

    It’s worth noting that although the fit seems slightly updated, if you want a slim fit that sits closer to your body, order one size down. I typically wear a medium in most of the clothiers listed on the right, but Laurie in P.R. advised me the Norwegian still runs big. The small fits perfectly in the shoulders with just enough room for my extra-slim fit Brooks Brothers oxford underneath.

    Dec 11, 2009 | Permalink (6) Total Comments

    Derek left a comment on 1/7/2014 at 8:45 PM:

    I had one in college that I wore weekly in Fall/Winter. It totally rocked with jeans or khakis, a thick pink oxford buttondown and Bean boots or tan bucks. My loser, rat bastard brother was also keen on it and kept it after I mistakenly let him borrow it once…never could get it back. Anyway, I pine for that sweater all the time.

    I’ve read that since they came back to LL Bean the quality had gone down and the price gone up, both quite a bit. Anyone else care to elaborate? I’d love to get another to put into rotation along with my real Irish Aran Islands Fishing Sweater.

    Roger C. Russell II left a comment on 11/25/2013 at 6:58 PM:

    I have not been without the Norwegian sweater in my wardrobe for the past 32 years. I am 46 years old one of these sweaters will last your entire life. I am often in weather in the teens and always survive it well do to this sweater. If Bean ever changes it we will know then that there is no hope for us anymore. Single best piece of clothing I have ever purchased.

    Nigel left a comment on 2/18/2011 at 12:27 AM:

    +1 on a picture. I’d like to see you wearing it so I can gauge the fit. Thanks.

    Ian T.A. Whitson IV left a comment on 8/22/2010 at 2:46 PM:

    I picked up one at a local thrift shop after seeing it in the window. Mint condition, my size, five dollars.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 12/14/2009 at 12:05 PM:

    The Boss—I’d be glad to. Let me get to work on this.

    The Boss left a comment on 12/13/2009 at 1:04 PM:

    Mr. Castleberry—Do you mind posting a photo of yourself wearing it? It is a nice sweater, but perhaps you can enlighten all of us with an actual photo that showcases it’s true fit.