Talbots classic merchandise is traditionally aimed at an older target market, but that’s about to change. Starting this season, Talbots is repositioning it’s brand to reflect younger, more modern fashion. Their Fall 2009 look book launched the start of their efforts to send out the new message and it was already met with great approval in the YLF forum.

As many of you guessed, Talbots is also the brand behind the Red Chair Confessions teaser campaign. And as part of this campaign, they gave me the opportunity to check out their new collection. Fabulous! My task as a fashion stylist was to shop at Talbots for myself, and bring along one of my  clients who would shop too. With our $750 gift voucher in hand, Phoebe and I set about our shopping spree in the Seattle downtown store.


Talbots items are known to be beautifully made. I’m a sucker for rich fabrications and superb workmanship and this was the first thing that struck me about their collection. Impeccable quality. Their fabrics have weight and drape so well. The finish on their tailored pieces is amazing. A good first impression.


The colours of the first Fall inputs are lovely. The usual black, grey, white and cream with earth tones, burnt orange, red, olive green and chartreuse. Phoebe and I were excited as we carefully perused both the petites and misses collections, touching and trying on as we moved through the store. We also selected an assortment of tops, bottoms, dresses, jackets and accessories to try on in the fitting room.

The look of this season’s merchandise definitely reflects a younger vibe than it did before. It’s not what I would call trendy, edgy and hip, but certainly modernly classic, stylish, tasteful and absolutely well worth a look. Also, remember that a modern classic item has the potential to look hip in the right ensemble. How you wear an item makes all the difference.

Stylist Action

Phoebe liked their dresses and necklaces best, and could have come home with at least four of each. But she stuck to two dresses, one necklace and opted to add a striking black and cream jacket instead (my favourite item in the store). Fashion forward Phoebe wouldn’t have thought to shop at Talbots if she hadn’t accompanied me on the shopping spree. It just goes to show that you can’t leave a retail stone unturned. Each season, retailers earn the chance to impress us with their collections all over again, and this is precisely what Talbots plans to do.

Fitting Room

I ran into a size challenge when their smallest size did not fit in either the petites or missus collections. Their fit usually runs big and still does. But I did manage to come home with a few unconstructed pieces that were fine to fit on the roomy side. I’m 5ft 6 and cannot shop in petites because items are too short on the length, rise and torso. But by pushing the sleeves up on petite knitwear and sticking to a shorter top to wear with skirts, I managed to come home with three tops that I adore. I’ve also been after a very plain red, non-patent, structured satchel with subtle gold hardware for ages and came home with one of those too. I’ll enjoy contrasting the classic look of the bag with an edgy outfit.

The promotional activities continue and you can also participate. Talbots has launched the Red Chair Confessions blog, and there is a competition running where you can win your own $250 Talbots gift voucher by making a comment on one of several other participating blogs (contest rules).


A big thank you to Susan and Sandy from Talbots in downtown Seattle for making us feel like princesses as we shopped the store. We wish you every success with your new look collection.