Thursday, February 4, 2010

perhaps getting old looks alright?

Nope, this isn't a missive to Heidi Montag... Its just time for a little Fashion Story Hour.  Shall we?

Last weekend, after a delayed flight and some really bad airplane merlot, my parents, Evs and I parked ourselves in my childhood kitchen to drink real wine and catch-up.  The menfolk immediately began discussing sports and I absentmindedly flipped through a catalog as my mom poured the vino.  "Hmmmmmm," I thought to myself, as each page revealed another cute spring staple, "I didn't realize Ann Taylor Loft had a catalog.  Why aren't I on that mailing list?  The pants are a little on the dowdy side, but OOOO a cheap(er) J.Crew knock-off, Superb!"   

Having received my wineglass, I went to push the catalog aside, when The Revelation occurred.  "What the hell?!" I screeched.  "This is a TALBOTS CATALOG????"  

Yes, dear readers, Talbots.  Land of Itchy Houdstooth and Support Hose.  The Original Little Shop of Middle-Aged Fashion Horrors.  I know, I know... I'm still aghast as well.  {Although I shouldn't be too surprised as my mom bought her oh-so-pretty "MOB" dress there}  But let me tell you, just like Ms. Montag, Talbot's has gotten a major face lift! 


Not the most fashion-forward apparel, but I dare you to tell me that this stuff isn't pretty! Half of the new arrivals are practically begging me to get a job with a business-casual employer so that they may come home with me.  {And, yeah, the other half of their stuff is heinous but seriously, people, again, its TALBOTS - we can't expect miracles.}  Plus, their stylists get major bonus-points in my book for photographing models (1) with pleasant expressions on their mugs, (2) in non-ridiculous / supportive-of-good-posture poses, and (3) sans fluorescent ankle socks.  

Perhaps, as the very astute Victoria suggested at brunch, I'm merely getting old.  :)   Well knock me over with a wet noodle, 'cause if this is what old looks like now, then sign me up for some Bingo (I hear they serve cocktails)! 

32 comments:

  1. I read or heard about the NEW Talbots was coming soon.... Hello, Talbots!! I'm impressed. I *need* the purple cardy combo close to the bottom & the ruffle oxford. Great post, Kate!

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  2. NO WAY! I would have never guessed that was Talbots! I am impressed, Talbots marketing people. You scored a point in my book.

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  3. Oh gosh... forgive me, Miss Kate... I can't believe I'm now infamous on your blog for calling you old. Kill me now! For what it's worth you were totally right about Talbots. I'm officially eating my words.

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  4. I had the same exact reaction! This is probably not unrelated to the fact that the founder of Talbots passed away last year. Looks like the young blood on the board is finally able to have a say.
    It's great that they've updated their look, but the true test will be making the clothes actually fit! Talbots is notorious for looking fine on the rack, but hanging a sack on anyone under 60 (yes, I'm a little bitter).

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  5. Sometimes I would venture into a Talbots for a nice conservative twin set or nicely made dress, but these are really cute. I think I need some new blouses.

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  6. Ahh! I want everything, but I really want that fabulous black and white coat. Everything just seems really classic, and some of it has a trendy twist.

    I'm not surprised though, in the what to wear for your age segments – I repeatedly pick the 40 and up and always love the 70+ look. Haha. I am an fabulous old woman trapped in a young woman's body! I'm told that doesn't make me old, it makes me a fan of my classic looks. Which I think is really true! Nothing wrong with that!

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  7. I just discovered this in the fall! I couldn't believe it either.. I think it is the new jcrew for grown ups. Plus the quality is impeccable, can't say that about some items from jcrew.

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  8. I got the most fethching gold peacoat from there a month or so ago. I get so so many compliments on it. You know how I feel about the damn ankle socks, and brogues J. Crew has been sporting. Along with sequin vests paired with Gap shorts from 1993, ten thousand sparkling necklaces and a toboggan, or some such nonsense.

    oh, gawd. I'am 78 years old.

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  9. SUPER cute stuff :) I gotta go there soon!
    i love that purple combo!!
    this post makes me feel better about getting old :) ha

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  10. This reminds me of when a female classmate of mine remarked many years ago that Ann Taylor was for "grandmas". I kept my mouth shut because I shopped there for work staples at the time. I wonder if she's since changed her mind?

    There's a Talbots outlet near me and I've picked up some cute pieces there. Surprisingly, they use some good materials and don't have the same QC issues like J.Crew!

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  11. My grandmother will be heart broken at the new direction Talbots is headed. I think I shared this at brunch, but she recently gave me her catalog because all the clothes were "too flashy" for her tastes. That is, too flasy for the woman whose favorite shirt involves pink zebra print and sequins.

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  12. Obsessed with Talbots for about 2 months now - they have a great social media strategy going on too. I just bought a cute pencil skirt and some cardis... I think a store card may be in order.

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  13. I know, right? They have some pretty fantastic stuff now.

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  14. I went into a Talbots last summer and there was a gorgeous maxi dress that I wanted so bad. I couldn't believe it! I mean my grandmother frequents that store.... But they definitely have stepped up their game and have some really cute stuff!

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  15. wow, I am shocked! AND they have plus size (or "woman" or whatever they want to call it). it is soooo hard to find cut plus sized clothes! lucky me, we are business casual, so this is perfect! thanks for sharing!

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  16. I was looking though my MIL's catalog the other day and thought the EXACT.SAME.THING!

    My mom loves her some Talbots, but I've never been one for the overly hippy, tapered pants look, but kudos to Talbots for taking a step in the right direction!

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  17. They had some surprisingly adorable coats this winter too.

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  18. My mom swears by Talbot's and J. Jill and I've always thought that they had the most dowdy, middle-aged, mom clothes but EVERY SINGLE TIME she comes home from either store she has the most adorable things! So I think you might be right about Talbot's and it's major facelift because there wasn't one thing I saw in this post that I thought was ugly! I'm 28 going on 45!

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  19. So glad to see this post - even though sadly I am probably in the age demographic that they cater to, I've always been able to find great staples at Talbots. Not everything is great, as you said, but there are a few awesome finds. I just bought this number:

    http://www1.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi23818&rootCategory=cat70010&catId=cat110060&sortKey=Default&section=Regular&conceptIdUnderSale=cat70010

    and it arrived today. I love it, but the white I selected is a tad see-through. Think I'll exchange it for the purple.

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  20. Love it! Talbot's is soooo Business Casual... and since I wear business casual 4 out of 7 days, I'M IN!

    ::off to scour their website::

    They do have a website, don't they?? ;)

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  21. My jaw dropped when I saw this post. The only problem is, if I actually buy one of these cute items, I'll never live down the years of harassment I gave my mother for shopping at Talbots.

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  22. Absolutely fantastic finds! I want... NEED several of these ASAP.

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  23. i love all the cardigans...."cardigans" just sounds like bridge club, but much like bingo, i know they serve drinks, could be worse!

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  24. i think i read last summer that talbots was getting a face lift...and wanted to appeal to younger women. i think i also read in the same article that one of the persons responsible for ann taylor was now with talbots. i guess that would explain the new look

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  25. Oh wow, go Talbots!! I have to admit, I bust out laughing when I read that you actually had a Talbots catalog, but then I saw the photos...and wow!! Ok, not bad! Maybe I will check it out! Thx for sharing. :)

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  26. Both Anne Klein & Chicos have been sucking me in lately, too. BITCHES! GAH!

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  27. I have never heard of Talbots, but headed there now.

    I also didn't know AT had a catalog.

    Thanks for keeping us middle agers in mind.

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  28. Oh. my. goodness. Who knew? Either we are getting older, or they are getting cuter. Based on those photos - sold!

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  30. WHAAAT?! Whenever I think of Talbots I think of certain elementary school teachers from when I was a kid. And even though I am en elementary teacher now, I would never have dressed my self in Talbots...until now! Now I must go make a stop by my local Talbots! This stuff is adorable nice find, Kate :)

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  31. Saw this and thought of you:

    http://www.jhilldesign.com/products/e-is-for-elephant

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happy little comments!