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What to Buy at Talbots in May

What to Buy at Talbots in May

In our What to Buy series, I shop our reader’s favorite retailers’ new arrivals and round up the best options to help build out your wardrobe. 

Today, we’re circling back to Talbots at your request. 

Talbots is tricky. It has a distinct look, so the same advice you hear from me applies here: avoid mannequin shopping.

Why is mannequin shopping such a no-no?

Stores like Talbot’s, Ann Taylor, LOFT, J.Crew, etc., all adhere to a particular look. It’s what makes them popular and reliable.

 But you run the risk of looking like the BRAND instead of 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 highlight the best options that will add value to your closet. When making our selections, I consider everything we know about our readership and what you already have in your closet. 

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

Talbot’s Style

Scatter throughout Talbot’s inventory are some real head-scratchers. Every season I wonder what the heck their designers were thinking.

Does anyone over the age of five need a tee shirt with an embroidered bumblebee that reads, “Just Bee You”?

No, they don’t.

Many of their prints and color combinations 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 Talbot’s new arrivals, a combination of classic pieces with a little bit of a twist.

What to Buy a Talbots in May

What to Buy At Talbots

Sizing and Fit

Where Talbots doesn’t get enough credit is in their long-standing commitment to size inclusiveness. They have been offering a full-size range 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. 

Let’s jump in. 

Linen Popover Shirt

Talbots Linen Popover Shirt


Linen Popover Shirt, $89.50

One of the things that makes The Well Dressed Life different is that I know (or at least feel like I know) so many of our readers. So when I start to curate a collection, I have actual people in mind for certain items. I can see this lovely, high-low hem linen shirt working well in many of your wardrobes.

It’s one of those pieces that comes finished. So you don’t have to add much of anything to it complete the look, just paired it with either skinny or straight leg bottoms, in white or navy. 

Available in Missy, Petite, Plus and Plus Petite, $89.50

Linen Straight Leg Crop

Talbots Linen Straight Leg Crop

Linen Straight Leg Crop, $99 

We feature many linen bottom options because they are a nice alternative to shorts and a go-to for our readers in year round warm climates. I’m highlighting these linen straight le crops because they are a dressier version than the very casual, drawstring options you’re seeing everywhere. 

Available in Missy, Plus and Plus Petite, $99.

Twist Back Maxi Dress

Talbots Twist Back Maxi Dress

Twist Back Maxi Dress, $99 

I love a maxi dress. But sometimes, I feel like the less expensive ones fit funny like their cut is for a slimmer, less curvy body. I ordered this one for our trip to Greece this summer, and it’s pretty much perfect. It’s simple, but elegant, the twist in the back is a nice detail and it’s bra friendly.

Available in black and navy in Missy, Petite and Plus, $99.

Fringe Trim Twee Jacket

Talbots Fringe Trim Tweed Jacket

Fringe Trim Tweed Jacket, $189 

Ok, I adore this bright tweed jacket for spring and summer, but I HATE the stupid tee shirt they are showing underneath. No wonder why so many women are baffled at how to wear things. 

Instead, wear this jacket with a pair of dark jeans and a simple white tank or body suit. If you’re brave, go with all white with a pair of white jeans or trousers and a modern sandal. For added edge, pick a bottom with raw hem, or a touch of distressed detail. 

Available in Missy, Petite, Plus and Plus Petite, $189

Relaxed Chino Shorts

Talbots Relaxed Chino Shorts

Relaxed Chino Shorts, $54

Shorts are such a challenge. A good guideline to follow when looking for a good pair that fits well is to make sure they are no longer than fingertip length on your leg.

You can always go shorter, but when you go longer than your fingertips, you’ll run the risk of awkwardly cutting off the line of your body and looking frumpy.

These relaxed chinos are a lovely option if you prefer your shorts on the longer side, available in Missy, Petite, Plus and Plus Petite in several colors including black (above), white, tan and navy. 

Cotton Tie Waist Top 

Talbots Cotton Tie Waist Top

Cotton Tie Waist Top, $79.50

The big trend right now is a puff sleeve. And while I like the look, I don’t remember the last time a trend felt so overwhelming. So when I find something that works for the season and doesn’t have an exaggerated shoulder, I get excited.

This cotton tie waist top works wonderfully with a straight leg ankle pant in tan, white, or denim. Available in Missy, Petite, Plus and Plus Petite, $79.50.

Scallop Edge Skirt

Talbots Scallop Edge Skort

Scallop Edge Skort, $69.50

Skorts are great because they are a little dressier than a short but still sporty. This one has a sweet scallop hem giving it an extra feminine edge. Available in Missy, Petite and Plus in white and black $69.50.

Embroidered Tunic

Talbots Embroidered Tunic

Embroidered Tunic, $109

Coverups are hard to find. Often, they have less coverage than the actual bathing suit you’re wearing. And since I rarely go in the water, opting to sit poolside with a cocktail, these Cabana Life Tunics are my go-to. Aside from being pretty and stylish, they also have SPF 50 protection.

Cabana Life runs smaller than traditional Talbots pieces, so size up here. They also sell out quickly, so if you see a print you like, scoop it up. 

Our Style Content is Inspired by Our Readers

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 in May

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LeeAnn Conlon

Monday 10th of May 2021

Please keep including Talbots in your what to buy series. Since our move to the south, all I have is Talbots, Chicos, Gap and Banana. Ann Taylor closed years ago in my small town and JCrew has even fled the other larger Piedmont community. (Oh how I miss King of Prussia mall!) thank you for sorting through the bumblebees to find the gems! PS. I bought a Talbots white tee on your recommendation, thank you!


Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

Is missy equivalent of a regular/straight size?

Megan Kristel

Tuesday 2nd of March 2021

Yes, Missy and Regular are interchangeable, just depends on the retailer.

Deanna Debrecht

Monday 1st of March 2021

Ooh, that double v-neck terry dress is on it's way to me! I LIVE in dresses in the summer and know it will become a workhorse! I ordered a petite as it looks like it runs long in the waist and the length - fingers crossed it fits! Thanks for finding the good stuff for us!

Kristy Spears

Monday 1st of March 2021

I haven’t thought of Talbots in years! Thanks for reminding me and showing me what to look for! I’m interested in the Tweed jacket and knit jacket in the fun pink color. I agree dark jeans and flats, but what top will you be pairing with them? Particularly the tweed (Chanel looking) jacket? Thanks for getting me on track with my style! Love love love when you feature these what to buy posts. I tend to get overwhelmed looking on sites.


Monday 1st of March 2021

As a petite woman, I live in Talbots pants. There are many to choose from, including yoga pants. When I was working, most of my clothes were Talbots. Now I find occasional pieces. Their stores are beautiful with helpful sales people and nice dressing rooms. I dont always buy, but enjoy going there. I can usually count on consistent sizes. Thanks for this article.

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