I’ve known about Talbots for years. I never gave them a real chance when I was in my early 20s (currently in my 30s). Even back then they carried basics and American classics; however, I believed they were for the more mature woman (nothing wrong with this but it didn’t appeal to me at the time). Like JCrew and Banana Republic, over the years they have really revamped their designs in certain ways, so much it seems that I can sense a more inclusionary younger vibe.
My sister-in-law placed a teal Talbots tote two years ago on her wishlist which kind of planted a seed in my mind to look them up online. Shortly after, my husband received a catalog from them and I browsed through it, falling madly in love with a fitted button down denim shirt (something I’ve always wanted to own). I was quickly impressed by their quality, cut, and sizing (which fit me like a glove more than any other brand whether I was looking for a top, sweater, blazer, or pants). As for sizing, they have something for everyone unlike other brands which cater to select populations. My husband usually hates Christmas shopping especially at the mall, so I encouraged him to give our nearby Talbots a try. Also, their customer service whether in-store or over-the-phone is impeccable. Have you ever seen the way they package things too? Always with great care and professionalism. They get an A+++ from me! I just bought their Gallery Cable Flyaway Cardi in frost grey heather and had to also order one in black! Like any other girl who knows what’s good for her, anything which flatters your figure (picture you smiling at yourself in front of the mirror) is priceless =). Even better, both my sweaters were purchased at drumroll please… 40% off (it’s a steal)! I love my new cardis because they are beautifully made, thick, and soft to the touch. I’m planning to wear this to my upcoming Christmas gatherings with a festive Anthro top and dressier Talbot jeans (the Curvy Fit black rinse trouser jeans to be precise). I know you might find it odd that I mentioned Anthropologie and Talbots in the same sentence but they both have an important role to play in my closet. Anthro offers whimsical retro silhouettes while Talbots offers sophisticated refined beauty. That to me, when paired correctly creates a good fashion balance.
Give Talbots a chance; I guarantee you’ll want to become a new convert =)! For those who are long time Talbot lovers… I know you’re out there so comment below and tell me about your cherished finds ;)!
P.S. I’m nuts for their handbags, pearl necklaces, and shoes too! Below are several of my favorites from this season…
I’ve been loving crossbody bags recently for the obvious reasons (hands-free option and when a big heavy bag isn’t preferable). They are great for date nights (especially theater nights) and when you need to carry only necessities for classes or on errands. Here are two favorites of mine:
Rebecca Minkoff Classics MAC Crossbody Clutch:
“Oversized clip-lock boldly details the front flap pocket of a lightly textured leather clutch designed with an optional chain strap for versatility.
Top zip closure.
Exterior zip pocket under flap.
Protective metal feet.
Interior zip, wall and cell phone pockets; key clip.
Lanvin Metallic Chain Crossbody Bag:
“Signature ribbon-detailed chain strap completes the utterly feminine look of this metallic lambskin bag.
Bronze quilted lambskin and self piped trim.
Chain shoulder strap with black leather top and ribbon detail on side.
I’m lusting over Onna Ehrlich’s Francoise Croco Bowler and Dawn Croco handbags! They are so gorgeous, roomy, and look well-made! Simple design- I love that because some handbags are wayyy overly designed… ugh… I’ve only seen these two particular bag styles offered no more than once or twice in sample sales. Both times I missed out =(. Drat!
Do you remember the Kate Spade Sam? The “it” bag of 2000? It was a classic minimalistic (I mean this in a good way) handbag which was quite cute. I bought it in black and a deep silvery-grey (eventually we parted ways via eBay). My qualm about the Sam was that it was too bulky as a good shoulder bag. I was sad that I had to sell it but it was the right thing to do. I’ve always been in love with Kate Spade’s 7″x5″organizers and re-fills- cute, cute! Kate Spade has caught my attention again with her lovely Maryanne, Billie, and Kennywood. Such beautiful shoppers and totes! May I say, I adore the gold metallic dot-jacquard lining! The Maryanne has the timeless elegance of a Chanel without the outrageous price tag. I suggest you save up for this one! Worth every penny!!!
Stephanie Dawn is another brand I have uncovered with my new-found love for Vera Bradley’s quilted accessories. I believe that there is a place for every brand in the fashion and accessories world because everyone has something unique to offer to an audience of equally varying likes and dislikes. I do favor Vera Bradley’s products slightly more; however, from Stephanie Dawn, I adore their Bloom Dance print! Just tugs at my heartstrings- I’m a color, pattern, texture fiend! Stephanie Dawn currently has plans to sell from their online website however this plan is still under construction. You may find Stephanie Dawn at the time of this post at CCJC. As an aside, I’ve been overall pleased with the customer service I’ve received from CCJC. They are easy to reach by phone and are very willing to provide assistance.
*Addendum: December 28, 2012
Something made me think of them today so I checked the .net site and they have officially launched! Yayyy!
I’ve finally changed my mind about Vera Bradley. I didn’t like the brand when there was a craze several+ years ago. I’m normally a big fan of leather designer bags and definitely still am. Recently I spotted the pattern called “Sittin’ in a Tree” and I think it’s cute and has a younger vibe to it. I also like the retired pattern, Americana very much. I bought my mom, as one of her Christmas presents this year, a Poppy Fields Villager (I considered the Pleated tote too but liked the interior pockets of the Villager slightly more). It’s good to finally have a bag that I’m not afraid to use and it’s machine washable (colors have not faded on my totes yet post-wash). I feel a little more connected to my past (to the hot pink, down-to-earth bag which was my first love- the one with generous compartments)… I like the Villager, Pleated, Bowler, Carried Away (this one is humongous) styles. My MIL bought me a Gabby for Christmas and I’m glad she did because I most likely would not have considered this particular style on my own; consequently nor would I have discovered how wonderful it is. My current favorite patterns are Americana, Apple Green, Imperial Toile, Sittin’ in a Tree, Folkloric, Make Me Blush, and Poppy Fields. What are your favorites? I have to know!
I’ve admired Celine handbags for as long as I can remember and I’m disappointed they have not received as much attention as they deserve. The brand had a small boutique across from Fendi’s in Bloomingdale’s flag ship store on Lexington Avenue; I wouldn’t at all be surprised if it’s still there. I love that though some of their accessories are logoed, they are done so in a manner which doesn’t sacrifice good taste and sophistication. I’ve also noticed that their logo has undergone some major transformation over the years; beautifully so too, that in 2010 it is both elegantly refined and to me slightly reminiscent of the fleur-de-lys.
For a while, I stayed away from this brand because it seemed like it was becoming an all too overly popular sensation with their Planetes signature style tote; which I happened to dislike at the time for whatever reason. A couple years later I noticed their Cosmos bowler at a local handbag boutique and fell in love with it- the sparkly leather exterior and star strewn lining couldn’t be denied =). I decided to give Longchamp another chance. They also offer great men’s leather wallets- classic and gorgeous. Below I have selected my top Longchamp styles. The Roseau in ebony and the Rival in indigo blue patent makes me purrrr…
One of my biggest peeves regarding buying handbags from a website is that the company doesn’t offer enough product details to help the consumer make an educated decision about their purchase. Consumers have a right to know what they are putting their money towards and companies benefit by potentially decreasing their number of returns. I love the pictures that companies like Zappos, Endless, and eBags provide their consumer. Doesn’t leave much to the imagination in that what you see is basically what you get, though computer monitor variations may cause slight coloration differences. Zappos has actually taken it a step further to include video descriptions on some of their products such as the ones below so kudos to them =)
Totally irresistible accessories by Sara and Amiee Berman. You know that I’m a sucker for studded belts and boots but this love also translates to handbags and cosmetic pouches. Wow, hehe… an actual studded makeup bag and with leopard print satin lining too- how cool is that?