The Lands’ End “Drifter” sweater has been an old faithful for years. An inexpensive beater sweater that looks better as it fades, but is also easily replaced if ruined in an overly aggressive touch football match.
But the sweater’s most redeeming virtue was its saddle shoulder, a defining trad detail and what seperated the Drifter from the countless other cheap crewnecks from department stores and low-end retailers.
But have the Drifter and its saddle shoulder drifted apart?
Above is a sweater from this page at Lands’ End; note that it is specifically called a “Rugged Drifter” and that it is no longer in stock. That, as I recall, is what the sweater has always looked like.
Below, looking quite different at the neck and shoulder, is the current Drifter model:
And just to further confuse things, there is a third model called the “Cotton Drifter,” whose description points out its raglan sleeves, which are close to saddle shoulders, though not exactly the same thing:
Has anyone else noticed this change and when it may have happened? Is it simply a design update, or has LE changed factories (in China, presumably), and the new one can’t make saddle shoulders, and LE approved it anyway?
We’ll try reaching out for comment Monday. — CC