Talbots Fall 2015 Plus Size Collection and Style Guide

Talbots Fall 2015 Woman Collection Style Guide

I know I just shared Talbots last week, but I was pretty psyched to see that they’re recognizing their plus size/Woman collection with its very own style guide.  Talbots invited the stylish Tanesha Awasthi from the blog Girl With Curves to share her insights and style tips. While I see style guides on a pretty regular basis in my inbox, it’s rare to see one so polished and featuring nothing but plus size fashion and models. I’ve recommended Talbots for years as a destination for extended sizes (and hello to the rare to find Woman Petite sizing!) but this is the first time I’ve seen them really embrace this line and put so much effort into styling and promoting it.

Talbots’ Woman Collection isn’t just the same pieces as their regular line but made bigger; thought is put into the shape, the location of pockets, the length of sleeves.  As a 5’3″ woman I find it thrilling to be able to find larger sizes that aren’t also made for a taller person.  I mean, the average American woman IS 5’3 and a size 12!  Anyway, I think I am preaching to the choir because so many of you love this brand already; below are some of my faves from the style guide and collection (they sent me a few hi-res images of pieces not shown in the PDF). BTW, they’re all in stock on the Talbots site AND they’re having 25% off regularly-priced items through September 7, 2015 (discount in shopping cart).

talbots 2015 fall plus size collection

I shared the Mixed Stitch Poncho in Forest in my last Talbots post and am thrilled to not only see it in plus size, but see it modeled in this size and in a very similar fashion to the straight size model.  It’s styled with the Denim Shirt in Marina Wash,  Ponte Zip Ankle Legging in Indigo, and Easton Driving Mocs. Gosh that green is gorgeous!

Talbots Fall 2015 Woman Collection Style Guide

I live in sweaters like this Ribbed Poncho Cardigan all winter long.  I usually style them over striped tees but love how it’s layered over the Basket Weave Yoke Sweater in the same oatmeal color – warmer and more elegant.  It’s styled here with the Dalton Riding Pant, Geometric Link Necklace, and Tonie Bit Trim Boots.  On the right, the Paisley Scarf that is utterly delicious and will brighten every winter neutral in a closet.

Talbots Fall 2015 Woman Collection Style Guide

I remember when I shared Talbots’ Fall 2014 Look Book some of you asked in email and comments about their quilted jackets and flattering vests.  Not to fear, Talbots has kept them this year as well.  I love the look on the left because it truly shows the power of accessories.  Very simple look (their Poplin Shirt with their Flawless Five Pocket Straight Leg Jeans), but elevated with the Faux Fur Vest, the Geo Link Necklace, Kelsey Doctor’s Bag (which looks better on their site and in person), and those yummy Porsha Wedges in Leopard Haircalf (which come in medium and wide widths).  I’d love to see that vest with a turtleneck sweater, or even belted over a long-sleeve ponte dress.  On the right, a very realistic weekend or workout look featuring the Quilted Brush Back Jacket, Liberty Hoodie, Fresh Jersey Stripe Tee, Athletic Ponte Leggings, and Preston Sneakers (not so good for working out but would be adorable with boyfriend or cuffed jeans!).  Can I also just take a moment to say Hallelujah to a brand featuring plus size athletic gear?!? Yes, all sizes of women like to work out and look good while doing it!

talbots fall 2015 plus size lookb womens

Some more realistic casual looks, hooray! I love the mixing of grays in this first look – the Ribbed Shawl Cardigan is another piece I could see myself wearing all winter long (jeans on the weekends but with trousers for the office when I don’t meet with clients). While the gray is nice, the Black Current option they have online is calling my name. While I like the Audrey Donegal Cashmere Sweater, I don’t love it with this look and would likely switch for a soft knit in steel or maybe even a stripe (you know I love stripes!). The Talbots Windsor Pants comes in five colors and is a perfect wardrobe staple for fall and winter and comes in classic and curvy cuts and long lengths in a few sizes.

For the weekend, I love this look. It’s super wearable and like Tanesha says in the style guide, thinner layers give you warmth without adding bulk. The mix of subtle patterns and neutrals and the pop of color with the bag is awesome and again, realistic style for real lives. Featured is the Quilted Dot Vest, Space Dyed Pullover, Flawless Five Pocket Ankle Jean in Vanilla, Double Pocket Crossbody (which comes in eight different colors and is perfect for travel), and again the Preston Sneaker.

Talbots Fall 2015 Woman Collection Style Guide

Some great dresses and career wear, Talbots is always a great place for that not-so little black (or blue or plum or red or…) dress that goes from desk to drinks with the switch of accessories.  The Double Knit Sweater Dress has a touch of camel piping that keeps it from looking too ho-hum and also makes a gorgeous ensemble when paired with the coordinating Topper.  The Ponte Fit and Flare Dress in the middle comes in four delicious colors and is that perfect go-to dress for most any occasion.  Wear as seen for the office, style with a cardigan or soft blazer, pair with a sparkly necklace and nude shoes for a day wedding, come winter pair with tights and tall boots or wedge ankle booties.  The last look is great together, but each separate is so perfect and versatile.  The Milano Sweater Jacket comes in six colors and has the weight and weave to skim, not cling and would look great unbelted with everything from jeans to work trousers or a sheath dress.  The black and white pattern of the Pleated Crepe Skirt works so great with most any color and won’t look odd come winter when paired with tights and/or boots.  Also, this is an extremely flattering skirt that would look adorable with a tucked in top.  The Eve Pumps (which have a nice sturdy thick heel in a good height) and Mixed Bead Necklace give necessary personality and color to this look but are both versatile pieces that will get a lot of wear all fall and winter long.

talbots 2015 womens plus size

These looks would be great for a casual office or a stylish weekend.  Like the Leopard coat I have from Talbots, these are toppers that can be for warmth or for fashion.  On the left we have the Bold Plaid Wrap, Merino Ballet Sweater, and Vanilla-colored Ankle Jeans styled with the Frannie Spectator Slip Ons and Kelsey Doctor Bag.  On the right, I would wear this entire look in an instant: the Fancy Tweed Jacket, Flawless Five Pocket Jegging, the Porsha Wedges in Leopard Haircalf, and the Double Tassel Necklace.

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Fashion Undressed | Eyes Wide Open: The Reality of a Fashion Spread

alison santighian for wardrobe oxygen

Growing up, I devoured Seventeen, Young Miss/YM, and dabbled in the occasional Vogue. I trusted them to show me – a middle schooler in southeastern Pennsylvania, where, even 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia, we still had 2 days off of school for the Unionville Community Fair and its Harvest Queen Pageant – what was “in,” and what was Fashion, with a capital “F.”

In high school, I doted on magazines showing stars like Khrystyne Haje from “Head of the Class” in breezy poses and ensembles I just had to copy for the new school year. (It wasn’t until later in high school that I relished my dad’s college football jersey, painting jeans, and old green tweed jacket.)

80s teenager magazines ym teen seventeen

Before the advent of Lucky Magazine’s built-in “must have” sticky flags, I circled skirts with a pen, and I dog-eared pages I wanted to copy. “The editors must know what they’re doing,” I must’ve thought, “picking this star Just Like Me and showing what she wears every day.”

What I didn’t know then – and, frankly, naively only figured out recently – is that those layouts are not only carefully constructed and styled (but they look so natural!), but that the pieces included, down to the tiniest bauble, are arranged via corporate relationships between publisher, editors, and manufacturers and designers. Most of the time, stylists and photo shoot producers get the clothes the day of the shoot, and, well, they have to make the best of it.

When a veteran producer and stylist friend hands me a major German magazine she saved for me because she knows of my interest in German and in fashion, turns to the piece she styled, sniffs in disgust, and says, “The clothes were so ugly, but I had to make the best of it. This is the best I could do,” the relationship between the “trends” and reality is shattered. True story.

Devil Wears Prada

Pull back the curtain a little farther, and there’s even more of a business angle to the trends we see showing with apparent serendipity on runways and then in stores. Those plaid blanket scarves that were everywhere last year (love them, by the way, and did before they were a trend)? Somewhere in the world, there was a textile manufacturer – or set of them – that decided plaid would be the way to go for Fall 2015. There are certainly designers and clothing companies with the sway – financial or otherwise – to work with textile producers ahead of the game and have them design and offer exactly what they envision. But the reality is that there’s a massive textile market months before designers start their creative process for the upcoming runway season. Creative teams have those textiles at the show available to them. The influence that market has on the next runway designs is immense, if quiet.

To think that a fashion editor considers only the art and beauty (and practicality, if you look at those “best of” articles) in selecting what they include in their aspirational print is short sighted. Magazine pages may have that “ADVERTISEMENT” stamp on them to clarify the paid sponsors just like your favorite blogger shows “#sponsored” or “C/O” under a photo, but the business behind the fashion is always that: a business. From selecting the materials from which they’re constructed to pitching the designs themselves for inclusion in the next big glossy spread, there is a strategic exchange to raise the end game: sales.

Alison SantighianBy day, Alison Santighian is a contractor for the federal government, using her super powers to serve our country, but by night (after bedtime for her “Beans” now 7 and almost 5), she pines after the “it” factor. Alison and “H” (better known as #besthusbandever) don’t believe badass has an expiration date, so they hit concerts, shows, restaurants, and openings across the globe. Alison also writes for Glass Magazine, adding a business woman’s eye to fashion week reviews and style features. Follow her on Twitter.

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Creating a Calm Center

The cyclone derives its powers from a calm center. So does a person. Quote by Norman Vincent Peale

I’m feeling frayed at the edges. Sometimes life gets so busy that I feel like a car in neutral careening down a hill. Not fully connected to the road, enjoying the wind whipping through my hair but fearing when I hit a bend in the road or hit a hill. I feel like life is flying by and I need to slow down, feel the ground, and see more than a blur of trees. Get into drive, and use the brake every so often.

Friday night I went to yoga for the first time in a couple weeks. With my schedule, I only get to yoga once a week, and every time I go I not only feel better, but my brain feels better. I come to some amazing realizations and think some of my best thoughts during class. And this class, I suddenly came to the thought, “Stop Outlander, start spirituality.”

On my commute to and from work, I have been listening to the Outlander series of books via Audible. I’m on A Breath of Snow and Ashes, the sixth book in the series. I’ve taken two breaks with other audiobooks and went through a stint where I was into podcasts about blogging and being an entrepreneur, but in general, it’s been the lives of Claire and Jamie for a year.

Claire and Jamie do not have relaxing lives. While the story is fascinating and fast paced, and I adore the historical references and all I am learning about the medicinal properties of plants, it’s pretty stressful to drive in the city while listening to descriptions of rapes, duels, illnesses, injuries, and war. I’m more than halfway through this book, but it’s time to stop, or at least take a long vacation from the Frasers.

The next day I had to run errands and on my drive I instead listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s new podcast, Magic Lessons. And this week I have continued with her podcast and can’t believe the difference in just a couple of days. I still feel as though I’m a bit disconnected, but it seems either my car is slowing down or I have at least been able to shift into drive.

It’s easy to unfollow your uncle who won’t stop ranting about politics on Facebook, or step away from the snarky gossip sites or message boards. But sometimes we absorb negativity, stress, a frantic feeling from seemingly benign sources. What we watch on TV, what we listen to on our work commute, what types of books we read, a gym buddy, Sunday brunch with mom, or just multitasking and not allowing the mind any time to calm down.

This simple switch made me more mindful of the anxiety, stress, and anger I may be absorbing by my supposedly relaxing pastimes. Life is short, and it can be hectic. There’s no point in adding undue stress to it!

What small ways do you de-stress and center your life?

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