Designers

Make L.L. Bean Your Valentine in 2022

Make L.L. Bean Your Valentine in 2022

Wendy Brandes

Put a note in your calendar now, because you're going to want to get L.L. Bean's Valentine's-Day-red boots when the limited run becomes available again early in 2022. I stumbled upon them this year and I was unable to resist. Behold the cuteness!

Unfortunately, the boots are now sold out online; the product page isn't even on the U.S. website anymore. But here's how they appear on the (also sold out) Canadian site, so you know what to look for next year.

Valentine's Day isn't in the product title, so search for "heart" instead.

The absolutely perfect shade of red caught my eye first, but the leather hearts on the laces helped seal the deal.

This is a  “Never Is the Next New Thing™” moment for me because I've had a lifelong aversion to L.L. Bean foul-weather footwear. In my first few months of blogging in 2007, I wrote about how I had hated duck shoes/boots since high school, and how I was pleased to have found a more chic rainboot alternative at Marc Jacobs.

The Marc Jacobs boots in 2012. Click for a 2015 rainboot post.

Of course, as a slow fashion fanatic, I still have the Marc Jacobs boots. But they are so damn hard to take off . They're like Hunter boots that way -- someone else has to be there to pull on them, or claustrophobia and sweaty panic quickly ensue. Therefore, I've been reluctant to wear them lately. Instead, I've been tiptoeing around and through slush puddles in not-entirely-waterproof winter boots, and occasionally searching teh internets for new rainboots. The algorithm took notice and -- in what might be a first -- served me a genuinely helpful ad for the red L.L. Bean Valentine boots. They arrived in time for a snowstorm. Thank you, Al Gore Rhythm!

Click for a highlarious Kimmy Schmidt moment.

This actually isn't the first time I've fallen for a variation on the L.L. Bean duck boot. In 2010, I was fascinated by Tommy Hilfiger's thigh-high, high-heel version. As you can see, I was pretty fucking thrilled to acquire them!

I just happened to be wearing this dress when I bought the boots. This wasn't an outfit of the day!

As awesome as the Hilfigers are, there's no way I can wear them with my everyday baggy jeans, nor do I want to test the heels on an icy sidewalk. The red Beans are more practical, but still more fabulous than the Bean shoes that I snubbed in high school -- which is SUCH a “Never Is the Next New Thing™” attitude. As I’ve said before, my “Never Is the Next New Thing™” fashion rule comes from my observation that the most provocative/grating/startling looks — the ones that make you say, “I would NEVER wear that!” — are the ones most likely to become trends, or at least friends. There's no way I'd enjoy the special duck boots as much as I do if I didn't dislike the originals with equal passion.

For your V-Day boot shopping next year, keep in mind the boots come in whole sizes only and you're advised to size down. I usually take a 7.5 in a snow boot or running shoe (but a 6.5 in heels -- so confusing). I wound with the L.L. Beans in a 7, which is still roomy enough to require thicker socks. If you're wavering between two sizes, I suggest you order both and return the one that doesn't fit, rather than risk the size you need selling out. I try to avoid doing returns, but this time it was worth it.

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