Talbots? Talbots. Huh.

Somehow I managed to get on the catalog mailing list and this shirtdress caught my eye. LOVE this color green:

I can't tell if it has pockets or not, but it really does look nice. The whole catalog seems full of surprises, including some great in one kajillion colors and some .

I haven't shopped at Talbot's in ages — it was always a bit off in a way I think our friends in the UK would call "mumsy." So either they have gotten better, or I have now aged into their target demo. Or both. Both is always possible.

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32 thoughts on “Talbots? Talbots. Huh.

  1. Im a Talbots fan, but some seasons I do find the designs particularly mumsy (love that!) and avoid it entirely. I do have a few pairs of Talbots shoes and the fit is great, theyre comfortable, and very well made.

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  2. Ooh, I love that rose print cardigan. Would be just the thing over a shirtdress. However, its $89 and will only be joining my wardrobe if I somehow manage to find one at Goodwill…

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  3. Ooh, yes. When I visit my mother I always have a look in the nearby Talbots and sometimes there are lovely things that are just the vintage side of mumsy if that makes any sense. I think they are trying to compete with Banana Republic and Ann Taylor. When they depart from frumpy, they touch on a Lilly Pulitzer-but-more-elegant kind of vibe that I quite like.

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  4. Dont know Talbots.Green, I know green and that is a fabulous shade of green. Buy it and put the pockets in your self if necessary!(And if you are getting old, I am getting old. Hmm, some days I feel 97, maybe I am old!)Cheers,AJ

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  5. Wow! I rarely step in Talbots, but looking at this dress, and looking at their Spring line, maybe I should. Its definitely not you–theyve changed.

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  6. I buy tons at Talbots (mostly at the outlet, though). Youd be surprised at the wacky, floral pants Ive come home with, as well as a rack full of really great skirts (and my sexy jeans). They clear out seasonally so the sales are good, too.

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  7. I dont usually like shirt dresses, but this one has a nice skirt. I do quite a bit of shopping through the Chadwicks catlog. They have a cute dress right now, the Crisp Cotton Wrap Dress, I have my eye on.

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  8. Talbots is kind of the libertarian of older-demographic-clothing; sometimes their stuff goes so far to the right that it turns out to be radically left. Designwise, theyve made an effort to join the 21st century recently. Which is a good thing, because their clothes fit me very well!

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  9. I believe they got a new CEO whos mission was to bring the company up to date. I agree, very cute dress – akin to one I saw in the Saks window in Union Square the other day. Is that a trend?

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  10. I believe they got a new CEO whos mission was to bring the company up to date. I agree, very cute dress – akin to one I saw in the Saks window in Union Square the other day. Is that a trend?

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  11. My mother-in-law is a great fan of Talbots, and Im glad she is, or Id never have acquired several cute items, because my impression was the same as yours.

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  12. Theyve definitely become a mix of matronly and hip. Watch out for sizing though! I have to go down a size in Talbots clothes — they definitely run large.

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  13. Theyre targeting a broader demographic these days. I say this because I no longer cringe when my mom wants to go in there and shop for cardigans, and I know my tastes havent strayed too much from when I was 18. In the ten years since, Talbots has gone from high-waisted narrow-wale corduroy pants and folksy embroidered, high-necked cardigans to a whole range of clothing including flirty dresses, bold florals and some more flattering cuts for people from petite to plus-size. My mom still chooses the most un-appealing clothes, from my point of view, but the fact that we can both find things to look at and try on in that store is a testament to their changing sales approach.I am addicted to that colour of green, and have been craving shirtdresses lately. This does not bode well for my budget!

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  14. Sometimes the mumsy companies trick you by getting new models, posing them cleverly and updating the accessories. *nods*I really like that, but its too short for me. juuuust another inch and a half (see! I can do stupid US measurements despite being metric at heart) wouldnt hurt.

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  15. I was quite distressed when I was looking for (green) pants a few months ago, and the only ones that fit and were the right color were in Talbots. But I did buy them anyway.

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  16. Yes, Talbots used to be very buttoned-up and frequently veered into mumsy territory, but they have–as others have noted–made a concerted effort lately to liven up their line. My mom and I used to shop there when I was in college and was looking for some professional gear for starting out in the working world, but then it got REAAAALLLY frumpy for several years, as well as using cheaper materials and charging the same price as more expensive materials, and I abandoned the store. But now that Ive matured some more, and that theyre targeting the younger set, so many of their items strike me as surprisingly relevant and beautiful. Ive bought scads from Talbots in just the last two months, including at the Outlet store. LOVE! They always have great sales, they always have enough in my size, AND offer almost everything in petites. AND womens petites! For very reasonable prices. Again, LOVE!

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  17. Would it be to OT to ask how their sizing works? I dont understand this apparrel/woman difference. Petite I get, I dont look at that because Im not. But the rest?

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  18. Ive actually been shopping there with my mom for years (somebody has to teach that woman how to dress!), and occasionally find things for myself too. Typically work clothes, not exactly weekend wear for a 20-something, but my girlfriends and I all appreciate how well cut their clothes are for real womanly body types. Their trouser jeans are wonderful, button downs actually fit over my boobs, and sometimes they have super sweet dresses like the one above. You just have to keep checking back! Love their semi annual sale. 🙂

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  19. Ha! Thats funny! I know exactly what you mean, Erin. I heard somewhere that most store buyers are put out to pasture over the age of 35 because their eye is deemed to have over-matured by then (you could say that their judgement is all mumsified). Either way, Im in blissful ignorance. That IS a lovely shade of green! 😉

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  20. By VERY CAREFUL if you purchase an item at a Talbots store. They will not take returns unless they decide it is a quality issue. So if you wear an item and decide it actually does NOT fit or, in my case, I do not like the way the zipper works, they will not refund your purchase. You are stuck!

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  21. Talbots has revamped their line. I really like some of their stuff, some of the prints are really great. Nicely made jackets, good quality. Read 2007 line in link-Former design director at Ann Taylor has been with Talbots a couple years. former

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  22. Back to the return issue… Note their policy says unworn. I wore the pants into the store to show how the zipper would stick. They said they would not take them back since (1) I had worn them (duh!) and (2) it was a function of the pant style – not a quality issue. I later called Customer Service and was told the same thing. I guess I should have lied.

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