Talbots petites: A New England classic not just for Mom

talbots cardigan 4

Talbots cardigan (in Petite P) c/o, vintage skirt, Coach crossbody bag, J.Crew heels

Over the years, I’ve amassed a small but well-loved collection of finds from Talbots, including colorful cashmere, pretty baubles, and quality leather shoes. These pieces have earned plenty of compliments, usually followed by surprised exclamations of “really, Talbots?” Although the brand’s core demographic is on the more mature side, there are gems to be found by classic style-loving shoppers of all ages. I was excited to learn that Talbots is based just outside of Boston, and asked if they’d be interested in a little feature. For this post, I’ve picked out pieces for both a work and a casual look, to share against backdrops of my favorite areas around town.
talbots cardigan 2
Each season, I enjoy poking around the rainbow array of colors that Talbots sweaters and cashmere come in. I love the chain-link pattern and gorgeous lapis blue color (some other options that come in solid lapis blue) of this cardigan. Nautical-themed items often lend a summery feel, so to make this suitable for a warm fall day, I added texture with a wool mini and suede pumps.
Talbots tweed dress

For my work ensemble, I chose this tweed sheath dress updated with wool trim and sleeves. It’s perfect as-is for a conservative office, so I kept accessories simple. Talbots makes some of my favorite costume jewelry (none of which have tarnished or turned icky green to date) and this glass bead necklace does not disappoint (update 11/19 – I cannot recommend this necklace as the strings on mine frayed and the beads fell out).

Talbots tweed dress1

Unlike their sweaters which come in letter sizing (Petite P = Petite XS) and generally fit me as shown, this dress is made in numerical sizing starting only in 2P+. I knew this size would need some alterations, but picked it nevertheless after seeing the quality in-person at my local store. The thicker tweed is soft and warm, there’s an invisible back zip, and the inside is double-lined with nicely finished seams. The weave up close is comprised of grey, beige, and cream with a slight hint of metallic silver, and the wool trim has a cozy flannel-like feel.
The above left shows the dress in 2P before alterations. For reference, at other American retailers I usually take 00P (plus I’m admittedly on the shorter end of the petite spectrum). I find Talbots to run true to size and imagine this would fit well off the rack on an actual 2P figure. The above right shows the dress pinned up higher at the hem, in a looser and shorter shift dress style for a more casual vibe. This look was tempting, but I wanted to maintain the original classic style of this dress, thus slimmed the torso and raised the length about 2 inches. I love the results and hope Talbots can consider extending their Petites sizing in the future!
Talbots tweed dress2The casual pairing photos were taken in Beacon Hill, a historic neighborhood of Boston where we were visiting one of my friends. I can never get enough of the charming lampposts and colorful doors. My favorite time to come mosey around is during the holiday season, when it’s not uncommon to spot merry carolers or horse and carriages making their way down the main street. If you find yourself in Boston around early December, keep an eye out for the Beacon Hill holiday stroll : )talbots cardigan 3 resized

talbots cardigan 1 Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Talbots. All opinions are my own.

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  1. Linda N. wrote:

    beautiful pieces and I was admittedly in the 'oh that's Talbot's' camp!

    Posted 11.10.13 Reply
  2. Mady T. wrote:

    love the outfit! it is amazing!



    Posted 11.9.13 Reply
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    I love how you paired your blue top with that Coach Legacy mustard purse. I have the same purse and just love it! Check out my blue and yellow hand made Kblossoms jewelry! http://www.kblossoms.etsy.com

    Posted 11.8.13 Reply
  4. Jean wrote:

    Yep, for sure. I plan on bringing my Equipment Brett to the tailor soon! I know Equipment is very popular with fashion-lovers, but I don't think silk blouses in petite sizes from some retailers like Ann Taylor are that far off in quality. The silk is a little thinner, but the better-proportioned fit saves a lot of tailoring trouble.

    Posted 11.7.13 Reply
  5. Jean wrote:

    Thanks! It's MAC "Charismatic"

    Posted 11.7.13 Reply
  6. Jean wrote:

    Aw thank you! You have such an adorable blog yourself. I did alter the dress myself because the lining and outer were separate, making it easy to do at home. I took it on via both the sides and the seams : )

    Posted 11.7.13 Reply
  7. Jean wrote:

    Those are some of my favorite sales! But 90% off? Almost unheard of, that's amazing!

    Posted 11.7.13 Reply
  8. Wow! I totally would not have thought to check Talbots out for shoes, baubles, cashmere! Totally looks like I'm going to have get over the "mature-ness" of the store and just go in and check it out. Thanks for convincing me otherwise!

    Understated Classics

    Posted 11.7.13 Reply
  9. Hi Jean, for your buttons downs (like the blue one here), or silk tops (like Equipment), do you ever find that you have to take them in for a smaller frame, and for it not to look "boxy"? I ask because recently I bought a few Equipment tops and while they feel FANTASTIC against the skin, I still always feel like it looks boxy. Can silk shirt even be tailored?

    As always, you look beautiful in the pictures, and great post!


    Posted 11.7.13 Reply
  10. Anonymous wrote:

    I adore Talbots. They have more contemporary pieces mixed in with their classic look. Talbots has great pieces for work and casual wear, not to mention their quality, I find that Talbots has far superior quality than Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, or even JCrew. I've grown up around a seamstress and can spot quality finished seams and quality fabric. I believe that quality overall has gone down in clothes, but my Talbots pieces last for a long time, and I always get compliments when I wear Talbots.

    Posted 11.7.13 Reply
  11. Anonymous wrote:

    Love the first outfit, the proportions are perfect and the pop of blue is so refreshing! : )

    Posted 11.6.13 Reply
  12. Briony wrote:

    I really like the blue cardigan/beige skirt outfit. I'm 5ft and built like a12-year-old girl even though I'm 20 and it sometimes doesn't help my confidence very much. I feel that there isn't enough advice for petite ladies out there but this has given me some ideas. I'll just have to look out for some similar pieces in British shops, but this has been great inspiration, thank you xx

    Posted 11.6.13 Reply
  13. Dice wrote:

    Love the looks! I always thought Talbots was more for the more mature side, but you proved me wrong.

    Posted 11.5.13 Reply
  14. Great classic looks!! I'll definitely check it out as I'm petite as well!!!
    I wouldn't normally think of shopping Talbots!




    Posted 11.5.13 Reply
  15. Talbots carried 0P online but not in the store when I worked there, and it seems they've removed it from their sizes which is a shame, lots of women requested 0P. Their 0P was always too big on me though, although I do have a great pair of linen shorts from them. You're right about the cashmere and shoes! I will be stalking their sale to pick up some new cashmere this year!


    Posted 11.5.13 Reply
  16. Carol Li wrote:

    Talbots used to be in the UK but sadly that are no longer there. I used to love shopping there.


    Posted 11.5.13 Reply
  17. Suzie Q wrote:

    Love both these outfits, especially the shift dress! That's wonderful that you did a review for Talbots. I agree, I typically consider them more of a mature style so I'm glad you're able to showcase some pieces that can still be appropriate for a professional workplace, but still stylish enough for younger women.

    Suzie Q

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  18. Love these outfits! The shift dress style is adorable too!

    Choo Choo

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  19. Anonymous wrote:

    i love the lipstick you have on in the pictures with the tweed dress! could you tell me what it is? thanks!

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  20. These are lovely ensembles! We adore the pop of color!



    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  21. Hi Jean! Love, love, love your blog! The post-alteration dress looks so polished. Did you alter the dress yourself, or did you take it to your tailor's? Did you slim it at the princess seams, the sides, or both?

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  22. Laura wrote:

    Hah, that would have been my reaction upon learning you were wearing pieces from Talbots, too. But, I really like these looks – especially the blue cardigan; it's gorgeous!

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  23. Janki wrote:

    yeah!! I'm glad that you spotlighted Talbots. I wonder if I'm getting older, but I too find myself liking the Talbot's collection. I've started a capsule wardrobe and find that many of the pieces from Talbots span seasons and are classic (very helpful here in Texas where it's warm 9 months of the year).
    Don't even get me started on the steals you can get twice a year when they have their big sales! I've got some fantastic shoes at 90% off!

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  24. love the first one pictures! amazing looks

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  25. You look always chic and beautiful 🙂

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  26. Not only nice, the blue cardigan looks fantastic! I´m really in love with it, because I like it to wear tops with big patterns. But after watching this wonderful post I fear I´m not still satisfy with my top with big patterns

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena


    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  27. Cute outfits!

    LOL, I also got so many "really, Talbots?" when I wear some tops from Talbots. I shop at Talbots too. I love the quality of their products and the bright colors they have. They also have very good sales. The petite line is nice.

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  28. Maya M wrote:

    I love Talbot's petite collection! I find such classic pieces, and I'm only 22! I've amassed a number of my dressier items from there. Lovely post.

    Maya| Petite & Unique

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  29. Talbot's offers such classic clothing. Both of these ensembles are simply beautiful and beautiful is always classic.

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  30. That dress is quite lovely and I'm surprised it is from Talbots. Usually I find their dresses boxy, but this looks wonderfully tailored on you. The gray contrasting sleeves really bumps up this dress and makes it more unique than normal sheath dresses. You look fantastic in it!


    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  31. Jennifer wrote:

    I'm in my younger twenties and agree that there are certain tabolt pieces that are wearable even for younger adults. I especially love their office wear collection and chain prints (think it's been going on for awhile because I bought a chain print scarf last year as well and love it to bits). The quality is not bad especially for its price. However, I haven't shopped in tabolt for a very long time and don't intent to neither for the very reason that I was not happy with their delivery service. I live in the UK and somehow overestimated my body size for a dress shirt by a lot and so decided to exchange it for a smaller one. However, after having paid for delivery of return, nothing ever happened. No refund was given and no exchange was ever received. Wasted a good £44 on the shirt and fees for both my deliveries, which resulted in a loss of more than £50. Might consider shopping in tabolts if there was a shop of its own in the uk, but don't think i'll be shopping with it if it's only option is mail delivery.

    You look great in your pictures as always though =)

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  32. Anonymous wrote:

    Beautiful locations! Outfits are nice too. I like Talbots because I can always find a special classic piece that is not too "mature" looking. And I appreciate they have petitie sizing. I love wearing a blazer of the rack without having to alter. 🙂 Thanks for your blog. Always very nice.

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  33. Zoe Rivera wrote:

    I have been following your blog for a while now and even though I am not petite, I like your style and how you put pairings together, I also like Talbots for their classic clothes and I own a few pieces my self, of course I'm not as young as you are (48 ) and I can't pull through some of your outfits but I get a lot of ideas from your style which is beautiful and I enjoy very much reading your blog.

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  34. Sooo cute. Love the look.

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply
  35. sal ♥ wrote:

    the blue cardigan looks nice 🙂

    Posted 11.4.13 Reply

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