Monday, August 15, 2011

Review: Talula (from Aritzia) Exeter Boyfriend Blazer

Last month I enjoyed an activity-filled trip to NYC (pics to come). While there, I tweeted excitedly about a tiny boyfriend blazer. Shrewd Canadian and West-coast friends immediately recognized it as the Talula Exeter blazer from Aritzia. I've seen this exact blazer on Canadian ladies LaLaLove and Jessy, and knew that it ran small.

Aritzia, a Canadian retailer for juniors/young women, recently expanded its US presence from San Francisco to Chicago, Dallas, NYC, Portland, and Short Hills, NJ. They offer apparel starting in XXS and 00 regular. NYC didn't have a navy 00 blazer in stock, so I paid $10 to have it mailed to my home from another store (which ended up being cheaper than buying there, because my state doesn't have clothing tax nor an Aritzia store). You can call any US store and order over the phone for this $10 fee.
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I was so excited to start assembling outfits with this blazer, but upon carefully assessing it, I decided it wasn't a keeper. While in-store, I was blinded by "tiny fit syndrome" (being oblivious to issues because I'm too amazed by how tiny something is - does this happen to others?) plus I was practically pushed to the cash registers by super clingy SA's. I didn't take proper pics before returning, so I apologize for crappy iphone pics.

Fit: Sz 00 measures about 13.5" across and fit me perfectly in the shoulders, but was pretty narrow in the chest and torso. When buttoned, blazers should lightly graze your body but this one was snug on me and creased. I tried on a 0 but then the shoulders were too big. Sleeves were very long when un-cuffed. This blazer was designed for proportions taller and slimmer than mine. See sz 0 on 5'1" Cher and 00 on 5'2" Sarah.
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I'm drawn to long blazers on others, however I haven't yet found one that doesn't make me feel like an orchestra conductor. I know high heels can be a fix-all, but I often wear flats, so I have to assess the merit of a garment without the enhancement of heels. This one felt too long on me.

(Below: another Talula blazer I tried on in 00 - on sale for $50)
aritzia1Quality / Value: Retails for $125 plus tax (Twitter friends said they got this during 20% off promos or with coupons). I found all of Aritzia to be expensive for the quality, even when on sale. Blazer is a lightweight wool/poly/spandex blend similar in quality to H&M Trend or Zara. Nitpicking complaints of mine were the details: ginorm bottom pockets, cheap-looking material lining the sleeves, and brassy buttons.

Verdict: I'm spoiled by H&M pricing and fit so I didn't keep this jacket, but I know many women who love it. Its super slim cut makes it a top contender in the world of petite-friendly blazers. I recommend Talula jackets for casual wear or dressy nights out, but not as business suiting. Next, I'm looking forward to Kelly's review on the shorter "Exeter Shrunken Blazer" (see on LaLaLove).

Readers - I know many of you have tried on or own Talula blazers. What are your thoughts as to fit, quality and value?

44 comments:

  1. Hmmmm I like the fit on you but the length is a bit awkward and I agree about the price. Which is why I have exactly zero items from Aritzia! I once went in when they were having a sale - short were on "super sale" marked down by $5 :P.

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  2. There is a shorter version of that blazer that you tried one. You might like it better. I'm only 5 feet tall as well and although so many girls love the longer version, the shorter version was definitely more flattering on me. Highly suggest that you give that one a try!

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  3. That first blazer is far too long for you. Good thing you returned, especially because H&M is significantly cheaper and at a comparable quality. Aritzia always seemed like a scam to me

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  4. I just bought the navy BF from AN's forum and now am
    panicked about the length! I paid a whoppin' $80 plus ship- eeks!! I saw on Jessy and some readers suggested I try this but now I'm almost regretting it!!!
    Oh well - of it doesn't work out for me- hopefully I can resell:(

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  5. the fit is very narrow but i agree it's just a smidge too long. i do hope to see some more blazers by H&M this fall when I can hopefully buy myself some too!

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  6. They fit you really well! Looks good.

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  7. Thanks for the review! I agree that the blazer may not be work-appropriate for all occasions, depending on the work place. I'm lucky enough that mine is pretty laissez-faire regarding attire (my boss wears running shoes), so in my work place, this is worn (my co-worker has the same one!).

    I agree about the length and pockets - They're two details I don't love on the blazer. I much prefer the shorter blazer with the smaller pockets and chest pocket for pocket squares. However, the longer boyfriend blazer was released first - If I had seen the shorter blazers before, I probably would not have purchased the boyfriend version. I'm seriously lemming the shorter grey blazer, but I'm worried I'll find it silly having 2 or 3 of the same blazer in a couple years.

    I think this is of a slightly better value for Canadian girls - Here, most clothing is marked up by quite a bit. E.g., the tiny lace H&M pencil skirt was $30 in the states vs. $40 in Canada. (The blazer is still $125 in Canada) In the states, there are more competitive options, particularly if you're a bit bigger. My friends have found great blazers at Mexx or RW & Co, but they are all bigger than me, and at both stores, the smallest options are way too big on me (& at H&M, most styles of blazers are unflattering & too large even in a 2).

    I love the shorter, shrunken blazer - Until there are better options in Canada, this will remain one of my favourite items in my wardrobe. <3

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  8. I'm in Canada, so there's Aritzia's everywhere. But I find that their clothes are mostly not worth the price given the quality, trendiness, etc. Here, all teen girls are wearing head to toe Aritizia.

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  9. I have this Blazer and posted it on AN in Dec. http://forum.alterationsneeded.com/post-your-petite-outfits-t2-200.html I have (purposely!) gained ~12 lbs since then and now find it fits, but only really looks good unbuttoned. I have noticed that the buttons pull on pretty much any woman I have seen wearing it buttoned up.

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  10. CDN girls - holler! :)

    I have 'tiny fit syndrome too - now I know what it's called - thanks for that!

    Once upon a time..I thought Aritzia had the nicest blazer(s) but once I started looking around at local boutiques (my fave thing to do) - I found some pretty amazing pieces!

    Last year, I urgently need a blazer and when it came down to Aritzia or a local label, I opted for the Plenty (www.getplenty.com) one, specifically the Monk and Lou blazer in XXS (just because the label said 'Made in Canada' and not 'Made in China'...personal preference and they were around the same price too!

    Honestly, I do not believe Aritzia pieces are high quality but the price point is definitely reasonable for a piece of high-end, somewhat designer, knock-off.

    Jen

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  11. I'm from Vancouver, where Aritzia was born. I don't think Talula is suitable for girls older than early twenties, and even then it's pushing it, especially if you work in a professional setting. However, you can try their more expensive line, Wilfred, which is pricier but much better quality. I have purchased several Wilfred suits on sale and quite like them. All of mine are made of Italian wool, with real working buttons on the sleeve, and fine lining.

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  12. Sorry that it did not work out for you! I can understand your impulse buy as a result of "tiny fit syndrome"...but mine is "$110+ down to <$20?! syndrome"!!

    The outfit under the blazer is lovely! Especially the necklace!

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  14. I liked the second one!
    I wish we had an H&M where I live. I would love to be spoiled by their fit/pricing!

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  15. Most of the brands Aritzia carries don't really suit those our age and higher, but sometimes, I feel that our youthful looks can pull them off. ;) High school girls ADORE Aritzia and you'll see TNA jackets everywhere during the winter seasons (once you guys get an Aritzia).

    I actually really love this blazer, but I can see the reasons of you not liking it. It's more of a casual piece, but I still think it looks great on you! I think the shrunken version doesn't look very proportional. It literally takes after its name though - the "SHRUNKEN" version. The lapels go too far down and to me, that looks really awkward. Like someone bought the boyfriend version two sizes too small. I've seen my friend try it on in store and we both immediately agreed it was a really, really bad blazer. Have you tried this version on yourself, or was it not available?

    And I totally agree with Elaine in the first comment. Aritzia sales are ridiculous. Boxing Day sales were only $5 off and it wasn't even everything in the store!!! It actually wasn't even HALF the store!!

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    1. The boxing day sale at Aritzia is never good. Ask any of the associates and they will tell you the same. Wait until their "snooze you lose sale", late January for their fall/winter and August for their spring/summer merchandise to go on sale (50-70% off). There are a lot of great pieces you can get such as an Italian wool coat for $199. Carry over items like the TNA parkas, Talula blazers and Talula Babaton wool coats don't go down that much in price because they are proven sellers and people will buy them regardless.

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  16. I never really tried them but they look fine on you. Maybe more for the Fall season and maybe with high heels but you're right.. no point of spending that much if you know you wear flats mroe compare to heels. Got to wear whats comfortable to you!

    Did you do a post on how a blazer should fit? I got one from H&M a couple weeks ago that I adore with dresses. The fit is right everywhere EXCEPT when I button it then it feels a bit tight there 'cause I'm a 34D so... eh =T Its a cropped blazer also so only one button. if I leave it open, its perfectly fine and fit perfectly. Size up is just too lose everywhere and I'm lazy to alter it all by myself if I'm going to be spending the original price.

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  17. I saw this shirt on sale at Talbots and it reminded me a lot of your Ann Taylor ruffle shell: http://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi26299&rootCategory=cat90036&catId=cat80004&sortKey=Default&section=Sale&conceptIdUnderSale=cat90036

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  18. Definitely too long... I was trying to figure out the excitement at first compared to the pictures...

    Me too buy anything that looks small, specially blazers as they are so hard to find, n end up never wearing them...

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  19. I have the exeter shrunken blazer that I bought during the 20% off pre-sale and I'm a bit afraid I bought it because "omg-it-seems-small" syndrome. It works but it's not amazing. The 00 was too tight, while the o fit...but not as well as it should. I am 5'1 and 105-108lbs.

    I agree with another poster that Aritzia is of higher value for petites in Canada since we do not have H&M and other competitive retailers at our disposal. Also, it is very true about the price-hike from almost all US retailers that venture into the Canadian market. I understand import fees but some places hike up their prices by 30 or more %.

    I didn't even dare try on the long exeter since to me it just seems a tad trendy. I don't think the exeter would work for formal work attire but can definitely be switched up with dark jeans or a nice weekend look.

    And I will have to COMPLETELY agree with you about the SA's clingyness. They're ridiculous. Some places are worse than others but I've resorted to being really curt with one manager and she eventually laid off.

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  20. Too bad it didn't fit you but your suit collection is of different caliber than what Aritzia has to offer. As you can tell from other replies, Aritzia is coveted by Canadian teens. Occasionally there is a nice shirt/yoga pants for weekends but I haven't found any blazers worth wearing to work. I'm surprised the blazer didn't fit you well.

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  21. I empathize with your conductor sentiments. I LOVE blazers when I see them on others but every time I try one on it just doesn't look or feel right. I'm really hoping that I'll hit a stroke of luck and snag one before fall roles in.

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  22. I own the blazer in black and another in grey! I love it so much. Looks great with shorts and jeans or over dresses for a more polished looks. I wear them alll the time

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  23. I haven't tried this on but just wanted to say that I have found the jacket length index for my height (4'10") and it's got to be no longer than 23" measured from the shoulder.

    That jacket looks to be about 25" long.

    My theory grey wool boyfriend(but slim shoulder and body) jacket is 24" long and I can just about get away with it if I wear with trousers and knee length dresses.

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  24. I think you're a cat deeley doppelganger! love you're blog and how you're fashion has progressed yet you've stay true to yourself...

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  25. Agree w/ the comments that the Talulah brand is too young for us wise ladies of the 20+ range, but they have a lovely brand called Wilfred. it's AMAZING, yes it's expensive, but the cut and materials used is great. it's also very stylish and often times i find more on or ahead of the trend than a lot of other stores, especially when i go to the states for look for 'variety.' i always end up back at aritzia spending tons of $$. Yes, tons of girls here wear head to toe aritzia, but if you mix it with stylish high and low brow pieces then you look more than just a fit model for aritzia.

    Again, i reccomend their Wilfred brand as well as the high brow of Wilfred, Le Fou.

    I have both the blazers you tried on. I'm 5'2, but a lot bustier on top. Don't think either styles are too long on me and both are very flattering, especially if you have a curvier body. The grey cotton blazer IS a hit/miss, can definitely find something similar for cheaper elsewhere. That navy blazer you tried on, the cut and tailoring is great and i do think the quality of the material is nice. I've found that the Zara and H&M quality clothes can be poor after a few wears and washes.

    Hope this latest Aritzia trip didn't faze you from shopping there again! they are FAB.

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  26. 1 comment: whoa! how do CAN teens afford aritzia? man, putting me to shame.

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  27. love the narrow fit! As a fellow petite, I'm curious as to where you can find sexy, affordable (~$10-$15/each) panties. Victoria secret xs is too large on me.

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  28. I agree that tha Wilfred line is fab - I have a simple dress from there, but it fits SO WELL, even if it is a little low cut. The Talula line is perhaps a bit young, but I am 20 with a very youthful face and figure, but those a little older may not be able to pull it off as well.

    @Aubrey - Aritzia tends to be located in the slightly more well off areas Minimum wage in Ontario is $10.25 iirc, though we do have much higher taxes (both sales and income). Most of my friends worked during the school year and/or summers. I don't have a closet full or Aritzia, but what I do have, I love to death, so I find the items to be worth it for the price. Their items hold up much better than other teen retailers or h&m.

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  29. I actually love that length for a boyfriend blazer. I'm surprised it didn't look this long on Cher, I know she's 5'1" but I would think since she bought the 0 instead of the 00 it might have a tad extra length. Of course I'm always happiest when I get to try on first anyways ;)

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  30. Hi there! Love your blog and as a proud canadian I'm really happy you reviewed this blazer:) I'm petite build and but 5'5" so this blazer fits great! i wear it to work on cas fridays or on the weekends.

    just a note - talula is not the same as talula babaton. TB is dressier, more appropriate for girls in their 20s or women who work, i especially love their wool coats. talula is younger, more for late teens early 20s.

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  31. Hi Jean! :) Sorry to hear about the fit of the Talula blazer... I have a size 2 and it works well for me, although I don't wear it as much as I thought I would. I have no qualms about the quality since I feel the fabric is more resilient than H&M or F21, and Zara is an hour away from me so I don't shop there regularly.

    When I first saw Aritzia I completely fell head over heels in love! Aside from their Talula line (tees, sweats, hoodies) I think their clothes are still appropriate for ladies in their 20s..but only for weekend/casual wear. The Wilfred line is my favorite :) honestly if I had the money I'd shop there for most of my basics!

    Thanks for the review Jean :D

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  32. Great review! I own and do like this blazer but I think you can do better Jean...keep searching :)

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  33. I'm a chicago native and I love aritzia... I hardly ever see people wearing it and the stores have been around for a few years. I'm sure at the north shore high schools it is popular... But I don't know for sure. I'm 24 and they have great stuff at our stores, but they are definitely merchandised differently than the stores I've been to in toronto.

    I have two boyfriend blazers, which I love (I'm 5'6 so the length works for me) and a shrunken navy wool one which also fits great. I love all their xxs/00 stuff and they also carry size 23 jeans (j brand, citizens etc). It's bc of aritzia that I finally have jeans I love! Compared to h&m I've definitely found better cuts & fabric quality as well as more unique fabrics. But then again, it could have to do with the way our stores are merchandised (hardly any tna, lots of Wilfred, Wilfred free, t babaton, etc) - one store is across from a maxmara & Louis vuitton.

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  34. Looks really good! I don't have any boyfriend blazers, but I do have a cotton one that I wear regularly that is similar to a boyfriend blazer, but less sculpted. Aritzia is such a cool brand, I had no idea they had sizes that ran so small! I have a few of their tees and tanks :p

    Could you do a post on work jewelry? I've seen so many bloggers wear bangles and other accessories but I'm not sure how work appropriate they are, but they just seem to add personality and zest to every outfit, esp the more mundane career outfits :p

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  35. Thank you everyone for your feedback, and a special thank you to Canadian friends (and SF, and Chicago) for educating me on the difference between Talula, TNA, T Babaton, Wifred, and Wilfred free - what a mouthful. Like Aubrey, I'm amazed that teens and Canada can afford to wear head to to Aritzia merchandise. I'll definitely keep an eye out for the different lines the next time I go. It's just a shame it's so pricey compared to other brands in the States!

    @Rainy Days and Lattes - for work I stick to pearl necklaces and earrings (super safe) but I've also been wearing all of my Amrita Singh pieces and get many compliments at work. I think some color is perfectly appropriate! I don't know about lots of bangles though...it could be distracting and may not look right with a suit.

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  36. Can you let us know where you got your necklace? It looks gorgeous on you!

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  37. Agree with your decision! Without a heel, I think boyfriend blazers are a bit awkward for petites. (Personally, I feel a little squat and overwhelmed.) At the end of the day, if the fit doesn't do justice to a figure, maybe it's not timeless =P

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  38. I can't take my eye off your necklace!

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  39. Hiii, I was wondering where u got ur necklace? Love!

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  40. @z Thank you! It's actually thrifted from a year ago ... but there are lots of similar chain necklaces in stores right now. I saw some at Nordstrom and I'm sure fast fashion stores and F21 has similar as well.

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  41. @LaLaaLove

    It's so true, we really don't have as many options in Canada, and our prices are so (unfairly!) marked up. Most of the blazers at H&M in Canada are around $60, so paying $125 at Aritzia doesn't seem so bad in comparison.

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