What to Buy at Talbots

Inspired by a conversation in our Private Facebook Group, we’re continuing our What to Buy at series with a roundup from Talbots.

Talbots is tricky. It has a very specific look, so the advice holds here as it does for other retailers we feature: avoid mannequin shopping.

Mannequin shopping: walking into a store and buying an entire outfit off the display.

So why is mannequin shopping a no-no? Stores like Talbot’s, Ann Taylor, LOFT, J.Crew, etc. all adhere to a certain look. It’s what makes them popular, and reliable. But you run the risk of looking like the BRAND and not YOURSELF when you wear them head-to-toe. 

Since our goal is to help you create a chic and modern wardrobe, on a regular person budget, these posts are designed to highlight the best options that will add value to your closet. 

Basically, it’s what I would put in your fitting room if we were shopping together. 

Style

A lot of what you’ll see at Talbots online and in stores could be considered frumpy. 

The majority of their prints and color selections lack sophistication, so avoid them. Also, some of their cuts are a bit dated. 

That said, they offer a solid selection of basics, like bottoms, dresses, or button-downs. And, as you’ll see below, a few gems that will elevate your style.

Below are my top picks of Talbots new arrivals, a combination of classic pieces with a little bit of a twist. 

Sizing and Fit

Where Talbots doesn’t get credit is in their long standing commitment to size inclusiveness. They have been offering full size scales for years. So almost every item is available in missy, petite, plus and plus petite. 

Regarding fit, they run full depending on where you typically shop. For example, if you wear an 8 in J.Crew, you are probably a 6 in Talbots. 

What to Buy a Talbots

What to Buy at Talbots

 

Barbour Jacket, $380  |  Leopard Dress, $129  |  Eyelet Top, $109  |  Gingham Top, $70  |  Strap Sandals, $149  |  Plaid Blazer, $189  |  Tweed Jacket, $189  |  Suit Jacket, $239 and Pants, $159  |  Cover Up, $104 

Barbour Jacket

If you have followed me for any length of time you know I love a Barbour. Whether it’s a lightweight barn jacket or a quilted vest they are the epitome of high quality, casual chic outerwear. 

They created a line of jackets exclusively for Talbots and they are gorgeous. This classic trench has a pretty plaid lining, a detachable hood and is waterproof.

Leopard Dress

For leopard print to work in a dress it has to be less in your face and more subtle.  Otherwise, you’ll look like Janice from Friends. 

This dress hits all the right notes. It has an elegant yet modern cut, and perfect pattern. What’s great about it is you can wear it to work with a simple pair of pumps, or pack it for a trip with a flat sandal or a dressed up sneaker. 

Eyelet Top

I bought this white eyelet top for myself to pair with slim navy ankle pants. It’s an ideal occasion top, something you can throw on to grab a drink with friends mid-week, or go to any social event when you don’t want to wear what you wore all day in the office. 

It’s available in missy, petite, plus and plus petite. 

Gingham Top

I follow Reese Witherspoon on Instagram (she’s delightful) and is forever in crisp gingham shirts. If button downs are in your wheel house, Talbots has nice ones for under $100. 

Pair it with your favorite jeans. It looks great with dark denim and provides a preppy contrast with a distressed pair. Of course, it’s perfect with a pair of white jeans too. 

Twist Strap Sandals

Block heel sandals are the best. They are comfortable, and give a casual vibe, which most of us want in the warmer months. They work with everything from shorts to dresses, and the real beauty of them is their comfort. 

I’m featuring them in “rattan” but they are also available in black, pale blue, yellow and a gorgeous navy. 

Plaid Blazer

 


I LOVE this blazer so, so much! Spring usually means pastels and florals, so this navy plaid is a breath of fresh air. The length will be too long for skirts, so stick with pants. Keep it fresh and not frumpy by pairing it with straight or slim fitting bottoms. 

Available in missy, petite, plus and plus petite. 

 

Tweed Jacket

Need a fresh jacket for the office? This blue tweed may be it. Another size inclusive option, that will work with black and navy, or denim, it’s a classic you’ll wear season after season. 

Suit Jacket and Pants

We have a suit guide scheduled in March, but I had to share this gorgeous, designer looking blue suit. It’s modern, slimming and updated.

I just don’t like that the model is wearing it with loafers. I would pair it with a sleeker shoe, whether it’s a high pump or a kitten heel, they would be more elegant options. 

Related: The Most Comfortable Heels for Work 

Cover Up

If you are headed out for spring break or any warm-weather vacation, you might need to freshen up your cover-ups. Maybe it’s me, but all the cover-ups I find show an astonishing amount of skin. Like, what’s the point?

I like one in a pretty pattern, in a tunic style so I can comfortably walk through a hotel lobby or have a quick lunch and feel like I’m appropriate. 

An exception to their dated prints is this fresh pink embroidered option that is perfect for poolside lounging. 

 

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

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What to Buy at Talbots
Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

4 Comments
  1. I love Talbots and I’m so glad you featured this. I do agree that some things ate frumpy so I try to avoid those at so costs. I try to keto it modern classic and I find that they have some excellent basic pieces. Their jeans are also very high quality.

  2. Love, love, love Talbots jeans!! They fit so well, are very flattering and tend to have a slightly higher waistband that works well for our more “mature” figures (no more muffin top!).

  3. I have my own vintage Talbots which is well made and beautiful. Due to classic design and natural fabrics I will keep as long as possible. All I buy now are tanks and Ts, a rare shoe or button-down and sometimes jeans. They used to have beautiful suits and formal wear. I am sad to see it because I am very petite. I did check out the Barbour jacket; alas, not available in petite.

  4. Well I might give Talbots another try after seeing some of these items. Their cuts are very boxy and usually aren’t figure flattering on me at all. I’m 5’9” and a lot of the tops and jackets hit me too high. Thanks for the “round up”!

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