Camp’s Over: LL Bean Discontinues Iconic Camp Moc — Updated

 

 

Update: Well that wasn’t much of an absence. The camp moc is back already, and looks pretty much the same, which could be good or bad. It could have been reintroduced with great fanfare, made in the US, and triple the price.

* * *

After being alerted by an Ivy Style reader, I’ve received confirmation from LL Bean via Twitter that the iconic camp moccasin is to be discontinued:

It’s possible the shoe had suffered from lackluster sales as no one wants to look like JFK anymore. To wit, the death of the classic white canvas sneaker, as reported by Racked yesterday:

Over time, interest waned not just in the shoes themselves but in the entire aspirational vision of wealthy, Northeastern whiteness they conjure. Great masses of people — even rich white people — don’t want to look like JFK on a yacht anymore. They’d much rather look like Travis Scott on the red carpet. For maybe the first time, the face of success in America isn’t preppy and white, at least in the realm of footwear.

Despite the murmurings of a Neo-Prep revival, you might want to start stockpiling the classics. — CC

64 Comments on "Camp’s Over: LL Bean Discontinues Iconic Camp Moc — Updated"

  1. Poor quality could be a contributing factor to their end.

  2. Bradley Baldwin | August 31, 2018 at 8:13 am |

    Fortunately, very similar mocs are still available from other manufacturers.
    I’m neither wealthy, Northeastern, nor white, but I’d certainly rather dress like JFK than–God forbid–Travis Scott.

  3. I agree with Michael. I’m sure many recall (and wore daily) the 70s and 80s incarnation of this (once great) shoe.

    Buy the Russell Moccasin version. Perfect fit and they’ll last for decades. Send them back for resoling, and you’re all set for another decade. Sub par manufacturing (read: penny pinching) actually does make a difference.

  4. While it’s sad to see such a classic go, they are still widely available from other manufactures who even still manufacture them in the USA, albeit at a higher cost.
    No wonder the product performed poorly if it’s generally a niche product and one hallmark of the customers of said niche ist that they value quality – and not too many good things were said about the current, now former, LL Camp moc.

  5. Sad news, but I hope it will shine some attention on those makers who are still producing moccasins in Maine. Rancourt’s camp mocs are currently on sale:

    https://www.rancourtandcompany.com/men-s/sale/gilman-camp-moc.html

    I just placed an order for their camp mocs in pull-up leather.

    https://www.rancourtandcompany.com/men-s/sale/gilman-camp-moc-dark-brown-buckarro.html

  6. Jonathan Sanders | August 31, 2018 at 9:28 am |

    I got my first pair in 1981 I think. Having grown up in California, I was ignorant of LL Beans place in the Northeastern aesthetic. I liked some of their gear for myself but for whatever reason I LOVED those camp mocs. (As a side note, my Mom loved the Bean chamois shirts for working in the garden. Always in the chamois color and fully threadbare by the time she was through with them.) Really strange they are discontinuing them. I can’t believe sales are so down that they can’t find some room in the warehouse to keep them. Sperry doesn’t seem to have a problem selling boat mocs. Go figure.

  7. Evan Everhart | August 31, 2018 at 9:48 am |

    I’ve never been a fan of this shoe, just as I don’t care for or own a pair of Top Siders (I was compelled to wear those as a child), but despite my disdain for them, the curmudgeonly fuddy duddy within me that hates to see things change or cease which have been serviceable even if only to others, grouses and mournes this end to an “era” in the production line of staples at Bean. But as long as their Hunting Shoes are still available I think everyone will get along fine, and those things are typically back-ordered.

    Personally, I prefer white Keds lace ups. I’ve currently got the same from Vans that the ex foisted upon me, but it doesn’t really matter.

    Here we go again upon the merry-go-round of the discontinuation of more of our Traditional American culture.

    Grouse-Grumble-Kvetch.

  8. But we still have Sperries et al though. Please excuse the blatant and filty-dirty aspiration.

    Best Regards,

  9. Evan Everhart | August 31, 2018 at 9:52 am |

    The above also reminded me of this:

    “I don’t know what it is, but I don’t like it, and don’t like that its changing!”

    -My old neighbor “Ken”

  10. This is very disappointing news. I know there are still a number of other manufacturers producing these moccasins, many of them US made at a premium price, but it was nice to buy this economy model to wear for anything and everything. I don’t necessarily want my casual camp mocs to be so precious that I’m afraid to wear them out in inclement weather, but if I were paying Rancourt or Quoddy prices, that’s exactly what would happen. To boot, it’s rainy here in Wilmington today, and I’m wearing my Bean camp mocs to work because I don’t really care if I get caught in a storm with them.

    I think there’s an argument to be made that it’s beneficial to have widely available entry level pieces which serve as a sort of “gateway” item to entice more buyers into this genre of clothing. Bean’s camp moc filled that bracket nicely. I think their absence in the category will be a detriment.

  11. Charlottesville | August 31, 2018 at 10:24 am |

    I agree with Michael and S.E. regarding the declining quality at LL Bean. After 20 years or so, my camp mocs were ready for a replacement. I consigned the old pair to yard-work duty and ordered a new pair from LLB. The new ones were completely different, stiff and uncomfortable, and I sent them back the same day. I now have a decent pair from Allen Edmonds, but it looks like they too have changed or discontinued the style since then. Fortunately, the pebble grain version from Rancourt that Eric linked to looks great. Thank God for Mr. Baldwin and the rest of us who do not want to look like Travis Scott, Johnny Depp or the rest of the current red carpet crowd.

    And, just a reminder that these are the last few days to wear your seersucker suits, white bucks, cream linen pants and madras sport coats, at least for those who observe the traditional Labor Day cutoff. I wish a great long weekend to all, however you may choose to dress.

  12. I bought my first pair of these several years ago based on recommendations from style blogs such as this one. These shoes look great for lying around the house and the backyard, but are too uncomfortable to be worn outside for long.

  13. I can’t speak to the quality of the discontinued Camp Moc, I never owned a pair due to the synthetic lining. When I’m going sock-less I prefer a leather lining for comfort. I have a pair of Sperry Gold Cup Moc’s that are great.

  14. Wore these EVERY day in prep school and continue to wear them to walk the dog and as my beach shoe rather than flip=flops 🙂

    RIP LL Bean camp moc

  15. So who makes the correct white canvas sneakers? Thanks.

  16. this. (great).

    “…and the rest of us who do not want to look like Travis Scott, Johnny Depp or the rest of the current red carpet crowd.”

  17. I still want to look like JFK, thought I haven’t seen a picture of him wearing camp mocs.

  18. Though it is true there are now many companies that carry camp mocs, Bean’s were the original. It’s like with Brooks Brothers’ OCBD. It’s offered by many other brands now so, to compete, Brooks stepped up the quality (and price) of theirs while being able to tout it as the original. Bean should have fixed the shoe, as it had been cheapened greatly, and re-offered it so that people could still buy the true original camp moc. This is a crime.

  19. Vern Trotter | August 31, 2018 at 1:31 pm |

    I think it is good advice to stock up on the classics you use in your life no matter what. Many, many times I have wished I had.

  20. Old School Tie | August 31, 2018 at 1:43 pm |

    Bashed a pair of GH Bass camp mocs into submission this year and the quality is awesome. Favourite shoe of 2018 for me, and I got the chukka boot version too for the autumn.

  21. I have an old pair of the Camp Moc in the back of my closet. Time to shed some light on them. Maybe a trip to the cobbler.

    REI outfitters here in Portland, Oregon had my favorite Tretorn tennis shoes on their clearance rack last summer. I bought the entire stock of my size for fear of their going extinct. Alas, no:

    http://us.tretorn.com/store/coveted-classics/men.html?p=1

    Cheers.

  22. Spencer Marshall | August 31, 2018 at 3:26 pm |

    @Vern Trotter:
    If more readers of/commenters on this blog had thought the same wsy as you, they wouldn’t be moaning about how they can’t find proper chinos/khakıs.

  23. Mitchell S. | August 31, 2018 at 3:44 pm |

    The Racked article points out that Keds were once status symbols as rubber was expensive and owning two pairs meant you were rich. Today, however, the opposite is true. Cotton shoes with rubber shoes are inexpensive and cost much less than Air Jordans. It comes as no surprise that with rise of athleisure so many stores like J. Press and The Andover Shop are closing stores. If it weren’t for Japanese and European tourists, classic clothing stores would all be out business.

  24. Mitchell S. | August 31, 2018 at 3:46 pm |

    I meant to say rubber soles. My apologies.

  25. Charlottesville | August 31, 2018 at 4:04 pm |

    Spencer Marshall — “… they wouldn’t be moaning about how they can’t find proper chinos/khakıs.”

    So true. I am down to my last pair of Bill’s M2s and need to find a new supplier of proper pants.

  26. john carlos | August 31, 2018 at 4:25 pm |

    Charlottesville- I have worn Bill’s M2 plain fronts for years. Recently, I tried O’Connell’s khakis. I like theirs better.

  27. EVAN EVERHART | August 31, 2018 at 4:58 pm |

    @ Charlottesville & John Carlos:

    Did something happen to Bill’s? Have they decreased in quality or changed in cut? Please inform!?

    As far as Bill’s VS. O’Connell’s. I would say that it’s a toss up, depending upon what you’re looking for. I prefer the fresher (read not as heavy) fabrics from O’Connell’s, but love the durability of the Bill’s khakis. I also like the fact that I got a free upgrade on my O’Connell’s British Khaki poplins and the fit and quality is about the same (though a slightly thinner/less sturdy weave) as my Brooks Brothers’ poplins from the 1960s – so Kudos to them! The fit is Exquisite!

    Next up, is a new pair of O’Connell’s 8.5 oz. twill khakis to replace my old Polo Khakis from the 90s that have already had their pocket welting reinforced with over-stitching.

    @ John Carlos:

    Which O’Connell’s khaki model did you try out?

    Have a Great Labor Day weekend all! May the Lord Bless you and keep you!

  28. A Trad Confused | August 31, 2018 at 5:39 pm |

    I moved on from Bean Camp Mocs about 4 years ago. I prefer the Oak Street Bootmakers version myself. Horween, made in Maine, age wonderfully.

  29. john carlos | August 31, 2018 at 6:32 pm |

    Evan Everhart- Bill’s was bought a couple of years back. The quality of their khakis seems to be the same as before. Their sport shirts not so much. Collar is short and goofy looking. I purchased the plain front 8.5 oz. khakis from O’Connell’s. I believe they go for $125 a pair, about $20 less than Bill’s.

  30. Bean is like the wife that keeps betraying. One keeps forgiving, and yet the betrayals become worse and worse.

  31. john carlos | August 31, 2018 at 8:39 pm |

    Rancourt makes a much superior camp moc.

  32. NaturalShoulder | August 31, 2018 at 8:58 pm |

    I first became aware of LL Bean Camp Mocs in 1988 when I noticed one of my fraternity brothers sporting a pair and he gave me a Bean catalogue. I wore that pair almost daily for 12+ years and they survived rain, snow, 2 oceans, beer, and many other other substances. A bit of saddle soap and mink oil and they were good to go. I finally had to get replace them when the sole wore through. I ordered a pair from Bean about 6 or 7 years ago and returned them because of poor quality and plastic like feel. I am sporting a pair of Rancourt Cam Mocs as I type this post. I have been very pleased with the Rancourt quality, but nothing will measure up to my first pair of Beans.

  33. john carlos | August 31, 2018 at 9:47 pm |

    Natural Shoulder- I agree with you about LLB. I wore them for many years and then I purchased a pair a few years back. Plastic feel and cheaply made. No more LLB for me.

  34. Michael Brady | August 31, 2018 at 11:35 pm |

    This is an interesting time for observation of L.L. Bean as it is re-jiggered for the post-traditional era. If Bean is jettisoning much of what got it to where it is today, what lies in the future? The company is building another new store here in the Chicago area, so they are bullish; but, what does that future look like without camp mocs and barn coats and Norwegian sweaters? Hopefully, not just another Land’s End.

  35. Richard Meyer | September 1, 2018 at 6:02 am |

    Sperry Topsiders. Period.

  36. “Hopefully, not just another Land’s End…”

    Or, more likely, precisely this. Their market nowadays is the guy in the 9-5 cubicle: no jacket or tie required. Non-iron shirts and “chinos.” And shoes like this or worse:

    https://www.colehaan.com/mens-originalgrand-wingtip-oxford-woodbury-ivory/190595356115.html?lsft=adtype:pla,channel:online&gclid=CjwKCAjw8ajcBRBSEiwAsSky_WWDl6u5wt4WGQQPwxickSqRFD2hjqk66P-ddH3iZDnTihxK4Z5WVxoC-LoQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Welcome to the 21st century. The good news is that this state of affairs renders Classic Ivy sophisticated–as it was deemed before the Heyday. Relative to other styles, a tweed jacket-OCBD-flannels-repp tie-cordovan loafers combo is elegant and even sophisticated.

  37. Sad to see the Camp Moc (a personal favorite) discontinued. However,as we’ve seen before, things in the L.L.Bean universe rarely go away forever.

  38. Walter Denton | September 1, 2018 at 11:25 am |

    I am happy to dress like JFK but who is this Travis Scott person?

  39. Charlottesville | September 1, 2018 at 12:42 pm |

    Thanks, John Carlos. I will check out the khakis from O’Connells, although I’ll miss the heavier fabric. I also plan to check out Eljo’s locally to see what they have in stock to replace the Bill’s khakis they used to carry.

    Evan — The recent Bill’s M2s I have seen include a bit of spandex or something that makes them stretchy, which is a deal-breaker for me. If they still make the old version in heavy cotton twill, I have not seen them.

    Walter — I had never heard of Mr. Scott either, and after googling his name, I do not think that I am likely to become a fan of either his music or manner of dress. However, I fear that his influence on the clothing worn by men under 30 is probably greater than yours, mine and JFK’s put together.

    S.E. So very true. I live in what is thought of (and used to be in fact) a very traditional southern town, and work in a traditionally conservative profession, and yet the look you described is exactly what I see 90% of the time among those who even try to look professional. Most of the others who make an effort go for the short, skinny stuff they find at Banana Republic and Suit Supply. For what they spend, they could do better, but they really don’t want to.

  40. Charlottesville- Thanks for the tip about the new Bill’s M2. I’ve not purchased any recently. Anything with stretch is a deal breaker for me also. I seem to remember you are an attorney as am I.

  41. Here’s an ad I think I’ll post repeatedly–if only for my own benefit. It’s worth remembering that natural shoulder (Ivy) clothing was, pre-Heyday, not the majority report. This Southwick ad speaks truth: “For the small minority who prefer a natural shoulder suit, we believe the Southwick Suit is a rare find…”

    http://theivyleaguelook.blogspot.com/2009/05/rare-find-1955.html

    It’s amazing that any of the Heyday goods still matter to anyone. A small minority preferred (and went out of their way to buy) natural shoulder clothing before the Heyday. Ditto post-Heyday.

    No surprise that a lot of the good stuff has disappeared.

  42. Parker Jordan | September 2, 2018 at 12:15 am |

    I too had never heard of Mr. Travis Scott, but googling revealed a new fashion idol for those readers who think that the disappearance of LL Bean’s camp mocs is the end of the world:
    https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/keepingupwiththekardashians/images/4/4a/TravisScott.jpeg/revision/latest?cb=20180205142135

  43. Never wore them, as I have a very high instep, and they provide no support. Seems that most younger people these days pick a pair of “trainers” for their one shoe, and geezers like me wear Rockport/Mephisto type walkers, so the campmoc market is pretty minimal.

  44. Minimalist Trad | September 2, 2018 at 5:05 am |

    @Simplex Munditiis,

    Interesting quote from that post:

    “the Trad-Prep-Ivy style ethos should be a result, not an objective”

  45. I am Commenting | September 2, 2018 at 8:43 am |

    I agree that sadly, LL Bean’s quality has gone wayyyyyyy downhill in the last decade or so. They did have a good quality jackets and pants in their ‘signature’ series – I got a blue and gray flannel blazer and they are as well made (the cuff buttons were even functional) they discontinued this line.

    LL Bean and other traditional stores are struggling to find a way because ‘whiteness’ is under assault and has become a political identity. Anything that even remotely hints of pride in the West, of ‘elitism’ is suspect. We’re experiencing a low key cultural revolution Mao style.

    Wall Street banks don’t want to look like bankers, they want to look ‘multicultural’ – this is not dissimilar to Lenin wearing his worker’s cap the came irony applies though!

    As for the labor day seeersucker rule.. sorry, the east coast has become way too hot and uncomfortable for weeks after labor day, No way am I going back to dark suits just yet.

  46. Charlottesville | September 2, 2018 at 10:29 am |

    John Carlos – I am guilty as charged.

  47. Carmelo Pugliatti | September 2, 2018 at 10:54 am |

    “even rich white people — don’t want to look like JFK on a yacht anymore”.

    Right.
    Is very better look like a rapper from the ghetto or a pimp.

  48. Bradley Baldwin | September 3, 2018 at 5:45 am |

    @Carmelo Pugliatti:
    Unfortunately, you are right:
    Some men really do prefer to look like a rapper from the ghetto or a pimp.

  49. Reggie Darling | September 7, 2018 at 3:38 pm |

    I have worn LLB’s Camp Mocks for my entire life, from when I was a wee boy in the 1960s until today. I have a pair of them sitting on the floor in my bedroom in my “WASP-aspirational” country house where I wear them on weekends. I, like many, have been dismayed by the decline in quality at LLB for the last couple decades as it slips into a mall store mentality and increasingly favors cheap made in China over quality made in America. As a result I haven’t bought anything from LLB in years. BTW, I also wear white canvas lace up sneakers, favorite being Jack Purcells as the Sperry ones have been ruined, too, in my humble opinion. I’d rather dress like JFK than an indy rocker any day…

  50. Forget the Jackman Camp Mocs. They arrived and they completely underwhelmed. Bad color and the medium width could fit a EEE. I take back everything I said about the old ones. Easland or Sebago, here I come.

  51. Late to the funeral, amd I am shocked they discontinued the classic camp moc. For me, they were the perfect shoe. I may have started with the Blucher in college in the late 70s, but switched to the camp moc soon thereafter and usually kept a rotation of tone pair otal beaters, a pair worn but decent and a pair nearly new. I picked up a pair from the Allen Edmonds Shoebank site summer of ‘17 which I just rotated in last spring… problem is I measure 7.5 EEE. The Allen Edmonds were perfect, the LLBean 7.5 EE I’d break in barefoot and gradually they’d loosen. Rancourt starts EE at size 8.

  52. Matthew McMichael | December 27, 2018 at 4:01 pm |

    NOOOO!!!! I noticed them missing from the current Bean catalog and was afraid this might happen. I’m glad I bought a pair last year, my third pair. I bought my first pair in 1987 and lasted ten years of hard labor. If I recall the second pair I picked up in 2000. They had Goodyear rubber soles. I also destroyed them because I often worked in the yard wearing them. This current pair gets comments all the time. People have never seen them or are confused because they ARE NOT Sperrys. I wish I had know they were going away so I could have bought a pair for the future.

  53. A dick move by LL Bean with no fair warning. Jerks!

  54. elder prep | April 12, 2019 at 6:46 pm |

    To summarize most of the disappointment noted above with the end of the LLB camp moc, surely Bean must have realized the loss of customer purchasing as well as customer loyalty. It would have been far easier to restore the product to its former quality, charge a fair price for it and continue selling what is an obvious winner.

  55. Glad to save they’ve been reincarnated to live another day! I just ordered a pair. I’m curious to see how much the same they are.

  56. I’m quite content being preppy and White and feel it’s a compliment when people tell me I look like JFK. I’m also a fan of white canvas sneakers. At 70, I have no desire to be any other cokor, dress like D. Trump, or wear red running shoes.

  57. Michael Brady | September 11, 2019 at 6:45 pm |

    If you are reading this column after Sept. 10, 2019, take comfort in L.L.Bean’s reinstatement of the Camp Moc. Apparently the market has spoken and LLB was listening. Available now.

  58. Charlottesville | September 12, 2019 at 12:45 pm |

    Michael Brady – Good to hear. Have you bought a pair, and are they similar to the old version. In recent years before being discontinued, the leather used was thick and stiff, unlike the former supple leather. Hope the new ones reverted to the old style.

  59. So, as I reported above, I ordered a new pair. They arrived today. They are not as good, is my overall assessment. Nevertheless, I’m happy with them. The leather is different, almost fake looking, not as natural in feel or look as with the camp mocs of old. The leather is also a little too dark (I bought the dark brown) verging almost on black. However, the overall look, shape, and fit is nearly identical, as far as I can tell. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and keep them, wear the hell out of them, and hope they gain some character as they break in.

  60. Charlottesville | September 13, 2019 at 10:28 am |

    Thanks for the report, Chipper. Good to know.

  61. Sardonic Misantrope | September 18, 2019 at 1:32 pm |

    For those who perpetually disparage “racism” and “inequality,” the same mop possesses an inexplicably ubiquitous aversion to “whiteness.” Leftists should, at the very least, apply their chimerical delusions consistently.

  62. Bring Back | June 7, 2020 at 2:20 pm |

    Why would LL Bean discontinue the iconic Camp Moc yet keep (by my account, at least, 4 ugly variants like the bluchers, boat shoes, etc.

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