Winter Casual: Talbots cashmere (& review) + spotted pants


Talbots cable turtleneck in Petite P (similar starts in XXS), H+M pants (last seen here) and gloves
Burberry coat, Chanel WOC, YSL wood heel pumps (similar), 10mm pearl earrings from eBay

Just a quick post today of a recent weekend outfit – I wore this to a triple date brunch in the South End on one of our windiest afternoons. No hair tie resulted in constant spatting hair out of my mouth and mostly photos like this: yellow_spots4
This winter I’ve been in dire need of warm sweaters, but have been patiently waiting for quality ones at a good price. I’ve been wearing my lone cable crewneck from 2011 to pieces, even though the material is quite itchy and requires a layer. After trying a few similarly itchy or pilling-prone options from H&M;, I swore off fast fashion brands for a staple that I’d ideally want wear for years to come.

I don’t remember how I ended up on the Talbots site (it rarely happens), but I stumbled across this cable turtleneck that looked remarkably similar to a J.Crew option I’ve been admiring for months. The J.Crew had sold out in my preferred size/color early on, even at $60+ for viscose/nylon/wool blend – and this one was similar in price for 100% cashmere. I was late to the sale and may have grabbed the last one, but in case it comes back the style # is 252490 in “English Mustard.”
I would say that Talbots in general is for the more mature woman, around ages 40-60+ (although public perception is apparently even older). Despite this, the quality of the brand has been consistently good in my experience, and there are gems and bargains to be found. On the accessory front, I have spoken highly of their shoes starting in sz 5 and non-tarnishing costume jewelry (worn here, here, and here).
Their apparel, however, is a little harder for the younger demographic to pull off. Talbots has an extensive petite line that goes down to a size Petite P (XS) or 0 (the P0 is online only), but unfortunately most things I’ve tried on were cut very generously. This sweater was the first item I’ve found that fits fairly slim, like between an XXS-XS from other stores, but even Nick’s first comment was “looks old person-ish.” I love the soft cashmere quality and the casual fit, and will just be sure not to pair it with my velcro SAS shoes.

Talbots wrap blouse, before alterations (“after” not yet ready…), Ann Taylor skirt from last season

talbots2The second item I picked up (which also disappeared online in Petite) is this jersey faux-wrap top. I initially put it in my “returns” pile, but later decided to keep and DIY alter after seeing how versatile it was with items in my closet. I’ve had many outfits that could use a wine-colored top, and this wrap style adds a nice, feminine look.

For Talbots sizing reference, this jersey blouse in Petite P measured 15″ shoulder to shoulder, 24″ sleeve length, 22″ total length, 17.75″ armpit to armpit, and 16″ across the waist. I slimmed both sleeves and down the sides of the torso, and will need to add more ruching to the shoulders to make them narrower. As such, I would recommend Talbots clothing mostly to those who are at least one size up from me and a little taller. It’s too bad about the sizing, as I really do like their quality and colorful yet conservative options for work.

Readers – Have you had luck with Talbots clothing? I’d love to hear your experiences with their sizing, quality and styles.
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  1. Perfect colours and nice design.

    Posted 3.13.14 Reply
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    I'm another Talbots fan. While I'm now 35, I have been shopping there since college. I often get asked about my clothes, so I don't think I'm frumpy/old-ladyish.

    Posted 2.10.13 Reply
  3. I love mustard and printed pants ! This looks is flawless and you really look gorgeous ! 🙂

    Posted 2.6.13 Reply
  4. Love the mustard sweater!!!!! The pants also work well with it.

    -Jasmine Punia

    Posted 2.5.13 Reply
  5. Anonymous wrote:

    I am 30, and an attorney. I have been practicing 5 years. With that said, I've bought many clothes from Talbots, and still do. When I was younger, the looks were tailored, fitted, and helped me gain confidence– i.e. looking the part without easily looking like I was shopping at Forever 21 suit section. Now, I have a number of pieces from them, and I buy staples there. Recently a paid of grey trousers/wool for $20 at the outlet store, a pair of ivory trousers/wool for $20 at the outlet store, $6 for blouses (cotton, and simple with basic embellishments). These are staples for me and easy to mix and match with my wardrobe. I also have one of my interview suits from Talbots and I get compliments on it all the time. It's hit and miss there, and I think that the best is to get some basics there, and mix and match with more trendy pieces

    Posted 2.5.13 Reply
  6. chiara wrote:

    I generally don't like printed pants, but those are gorgeous. I also love how you styled them: the yellow sweater is really an unexpected touch.

    Posted 2.5.13 Reply
  7. I couldn't love this outfit any more! I want to go and buy the sweater, pants and gloves ASAP, and we're still in summer in New Zealand!
    – I did tell you

    Posted 2.5.13 Reply
  8. Just lovely! =)
    personal style and fashion musings of a LA fashion lawyer living life in the fab lane!

    Posted 2.4.13 Reply
  9. Jenni Lee wrote:

    Talbots is hit or miss. I usually have good luck with shoes and short boots. Many times I find the cut is too generous in the upper arms, crotch and thighs. Overall their quality is very good and prices reflect good value. I'm very petite too, age 36.

    Posted 2.4.13 Reply
  10. aliami wrote:

    I've only been into Talbots once or twice with my mom. Generally, I'm not sure what kind of audience that store is supposed to cater to because almost all the sizes were too large for me (I'm petite; 5 ft 93 lbs) and the styles were actually too mature for my mom (late 50's) as she tends to prefer more modern cuts and patterns. I think that Talbots needs to realize that just because women might be more mature it doesn't mean that want to dress in a way the screams 'older lady.' That said, I do think your mustard sweater is very nice. I was actually surprised to hear you got it from Talbots, a great find indeed!!!

    Posted 2.4.13 Reply
  11. Emily wrote:

    Wow, nice saving on the mustard cashmere sweater, over $200 off!

    Posted 2.4.13 Reply
  12. Jessica wrote:

    i just love this! xx

    Posted 2.4.13 Reply
  13. Joy wrote:

    I love your coat! I've never purchased anything from Talbots, because it does look like a store for more mature women, but perhaps I'll give it a try one day.

    Posted 2.2.13 Reply
  14. As a 24 year old young professional, I adore Talbots. The majority of my work wardrobe comes from Talbots. The quality is far superior to Ann Taylor and Banana Republic. I love classic pieces and get loads of compliments on my Talbots pieces. No one thinks I look old ladyish, most people are surprised I shop at that store. Even Michelle Obama has been spotted wearing Talbots! I sincerely urge you guys to give Talbots a try instead of thinking of it as stuffy and dated.

    Posted 2.2.13 Reply
  15. Love your pants!

    Posted 2.1.13 Reply
  16. newpetite wrote:

    Love the outfit on you!

    Posted 2.1.13 Reply

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