I finally got up the courage to step into a Talbots, thanks mostly to the recent reviews from Gigi of Gigi's Gone Shopping and Rose of 1 More Shopping Blog . I'm in my 20's and while my style is a little more mature, most of my friends would laugh me out of town for wanting to hit up Talbots. But today I was shopping with a friend with a more professional, classic style and she didn't mind that I wanted to head in and check it out.
Overall, the store was quite busy despite the fact that on a weekday morning, the mall itself was quite deserted. I guess the older crowd that seemed to be in Talbots shops weekday mornings. There seemed to only be 2 associates and while they were quite happy to start me a fitting room, they were a little flustered over all. I was particularly looking for this blouse (which now that I look, says is web only...duh), the one pictured at right. I love silk blouses but silk button downs usually don't do it for me due to gaping. This looked like the perfect under suit layer. I'm likely going to order in online now that I have an idea of Talbots sizing too. I'll be ordering a 6 regular, although I would normally get an 8 from most stores.
I did try a few things on in the store that I had been eyeing on the website.
First up, Talbots Ruffled Shirt (here) - Size 6 regular in ivory. US price: $79.50, Canadian price: $109.50 (WTF!)
The only reason I didn't go home with this lovely blouse was its price. $110 (plus an additional 13% sales tax) is a lot of money for a blouse, and especially for the ruffle/button up style that is so popular this year. I know I could get something similar for $50...likely less. I may order it online depending on the duties/taxes/shipping I would have to pay, but $80 American...which with exchange would only be marginally more, is just way more reasonable for this item.
Otherwise, I loved this blouse. The ivory colour was perfect, the ruffles soft and looked like they would stay in good condition. The buttons were nice (cloth-covered if I remember correctly) and the silk was soft and felt quality. It was a bit thin and sheer in the ivory, but nothing a cami wouldn't fix. The size 6 was quite perfect for me, even over the bust (34C), which is a size smaller than my normal size/J. Crew size.
Edited to Add: The more I look at this blouse, the more I want it. It really was perfect. Also, the ruffles at the neck (very J. Crew) were very architectural and nice.
Next, Talbots Kate Fit Boiled Wool Lady Jacket pictured at right (here) - size 6 regular. US Price: $199, Canadian Price...$220???
I wanted to love this. I loved it online and in the lookbook. And I loved it on the hanger. But on me...it does me no favours. Maybe I should have tried an 8...but the fit just felt boxy. The arms felt too loose and the length not quite right. I did LOOOOVE the collar and the pockets and the boiled wool was quite nice. There are some this may work for better than it worked for me. Also $200 is a bit much for me to spend on a blazer...if it had a matching skirt, I would have maybe gotten it as a suit.
Talbots Tweed Sheath (here) - size 8P. US Price: $169. Canadian Price: $209?
This was a bit tight, I would have gone with a 10P - the P length was great for me at 5"6. I didn't try on an 8 regular as there wasn't one in the store. It hit right above the knee. This was a nice dress - would look amazing under a black blazer. It was fully lined and the tweed had a LOT of stretch - it would be very comfortable. There was also nice detailing around the high neck. If I had a good excuse to buy this, I would. And still might. But it's not interview wear...and it is very "day" so I couldn't justify $200 on it.
Talbots Ombre Dot Blouse (here) - size S. US Sale Price: $49.99, Canadian Sale Price: $69.99.
Really have to wonder what's up with the US/Canadian price differences here. I will likely be ordering anything online in the future, since I don't think even with duties, I will pay as much as in store in Canada.
Anyway, this blouse was a disaster. I would have needed an EXTRA SMALL! Ladies, I am in no way an extra small...in anything, anywhere. It was boxy, it hit at the wrong place on my hip and although I loved the pattern/material/cute buttons up the back/cute little collar...I wouldn't have bought this for free. Looking at the picture makes me want to die.
Edited to Add: There was a LOT of denim in the store in general. I didn't try any on...but I'm interested in some of the trouser jeans for sure.