A Talbots Try-On Session

Let me start by saying that I’ve never shopped at Talbots before. However, I was recently talking to someone who was raving about the store and she told me that I just had to check them out. According to her, they were positioning themselves for a younger market and she always had luck finding work clothes there.

Okay, challenge accepted!

Before I entered the store, here were my preconceptions of Talbot’s aesthetic: Super preppy, expensive, kind of dowdy with modest necklines, and appropriate for the 60+ group.

So, did they prove me wrong?
Well, not really.

When I walked in the store, the first thing I noticed was that I was easily at least 25 years younger than every other customer. AT LEAST. Undeterred – even though I was kind of concerned someone would pinch my cheek – I looked around and saw… a LOT of color. I mean, everywhere. There were brightly colored prints everywhere.

Other than that, it just looked kind of familiar.

Most of the clothes looked like a cross of Loft + Ann Taylor + more preppy. Maybe throw some Lilly Pulitzer in there for the bright prints and SUPER amount of preppy vibes going on. There were a ton of patterned (and solid) button up shirts and various colored trousers. There were dozens of cardigans, which I usually love… but nothing that really made them seem ‘special’ to me. I did see this fabulous necklace, but I can’t justify paying $50 for it.

I walked around the store twice and then took a third loop to determine if there was anything that felt like ‘my’ style. I saw a couple cute tops, but at 100% cotton I knew they would immediately wrinkle and I don’t have time for that nonsense. I browsed past the blazers, but they were all either solid black or some form of chambray/seersucker. Sigh.

Finally, I grabbed a few items to try. Oh, and this was directly after my Red Door Spa hair treatment, which is why my hair is looking super straight and shiny.

Outfit #1: Peach blouse ($59.50) and Chevron skirt ($69.50)

Trying on Talbots - outfit 1

For reference, I tried this top in a medium and the skirt in a large. For some reason I can’t find either the blouse or the skirt online, so maybe they are kind of new? The blouse seemed to be made really well but I wasn’t totally loving the fit on me. The skirt, however, was a disappointment. It honestly looked and fit like something from Old Navy, but was almost $70! I did like that the skirt length was to my knees, which is something nice about a brand that skews a little more mature.

Outfit #2: Serene Stripe Dress ($79.50), online here

Trying on Talbots - outfit 2

This casual little dress was made out of a lightweight cotton and had a drawstring waist that I cinched as far as I could to give it some shape. It’s okay… not great. It has pockets, which make the sides stick out a bit in an unflattering way. I also can NOT get over the price. While I will happily pay $80 for a well-fitting dress, that price is insanity for something like this!

Outfit #3: Peach blouse again ($59.50) and Woodblock Flowers Skirt ($109.00), online here

Trying on Talbots - outfit 3

I knew when I picked up this skirt that it was going to be a winner. First off, I love the pattern. The background is a creamy white and the brown design really pops. Best of all, the fabric is a linen/cotton/spandex blend that holds it shape stiffly and doesn’t show wrinkles. The length is perfect and it even has some fantastic pockets! While this is obviously a summer skirt, I feel like it would look really cute in the fall with a sweater and some knee-boots.

Pet Peeve #1:
I don’t know if this is specific to the location I visited, but OH MY GOSH were the salesladies over-attentive. The one stationed by the fitting room harassed me until I’d come out to show her what I had on and then ooooh and ahhhh as if I were Emma Stone trying on a wedding gown. Look lady, I KNOW everything doesn’t look good on me and I’m okay with it, leave me alone!

Pet Peeve #2:
This is a biggie. Once I decided I was going to purchase an item, the first sales lady in the dressing rooms started going into her script on getting a Talbots Credit Card. I politely listened to her for a minute and then told her I wasn’t interested and left the fitting room. She followed me out and kept telling me that I really NEEDED to sign up for the credit card today. I literally told her at least 5 times that I wasn’t interested, but she kept interrupting me to tell me more. Then, a second sales lady joined us, agreed that I needed a credit card and then they BOTH berated me about it.

I’m not even kidding when I say I came super close to setting the item down and LEAVING the store.

It must have shown on my face, because they both finally shut up and let me purchase my item in peace. Well, partial peace… the cashier talked me into getting their loyalty card (free and not a credit card) so that she could give me an additional 10% off. So now I’ll probably be receiving Talbots catalogues until I’m in their typical customer’s age range.

Anyway, now for the fun part… I bought one item. What do you think I bought?

Yup, it was the flowered skirt! I was a bit hesitant on buying it because of the price, but it turned out to be 30% off + 10% off for signing up for their promo program… totaling $72.00. Since I decided against the peach colored blouse, I wasn’t quite sure what I’d end up wearing with it… but today I put it on with my new Stitch Fix blouse and I’m kind of loving the way they look together!

As for whether I’d shop at Talbots again, I think I’ll pass. Most of the clothes were just not my style and way too expensive for what they were. Also, the pushy salesladies made for a really uncomfortable atmosphere. I love my skirt, but unless I see something in a catalog that really calls to me, I think I’ll stick to Nordstrom Rack and Anthropologie!

Do you have a pushy saleslady story to share? What would you have done in my situation?


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