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Talbots Friends & Family Starts Today!

Talbots Friends and Family 30% off sale - best picks by Wardrobe Oxygen

Talbots’ Friends and Family
starts today with 30% off your entire purchase online (code FRIENDS30) and in stores! You KNOW I am LOVING Talbots this fall; they’ve recently released a lot of their winter and holiday collection so the pickings right now are great. Below I share my picks for what to snag November 5th – November 9th.

Festive Fashion

Talbots has an amazing selection of pieces that will have you ready for every holiday event on your calendar. Even better, many of the pieces will also work for the office or weekend.

  • Um… I NEED THIS DRESS IN MY LIFE! A sparkly silver wrap dress? DROOL! The review says it’s as stretchy, comfortable, and flattering as I imagined. Misses, Petites, and Woman sizes available.
  • A sparkly cardigan is a wonderful addition to any wardrobe, no matter the time of year. The Sparkly Charming Dress Cardigan has a feminine fit and jewel buttons to make it the perfect topper for dresses (a nice alternative to wraps and shawls) but would also look lovely paired with trousers. Misses, Petites, Woman, and Woman Petites available.
  • The Rose Jacquard Fit-And-Flare Dress is uber flattering and that perfect dress that can look festive for the holidays but be wearable any time of the year. Not only that, it has POCKETS! Misses, Petites, and Woman sizes available.
  • I love a velvet blazer; it’s a great way to add luxury and style to a wardrobe. Pair this velvet blazer with jeans for a casual party at a friend’s house or style with a sheath dress or cigarette pants for a more elegant situation. Then come the workweek style with a crisp white shirt and pencil skirt or trousers. Six great colors available, and in sizes for Misses, Petites, Woman, and Woman Petites.
  • I think this Buffalo Check Midi Full Skirt is absolutely adorable. Talbots has it styled with a white button-front shirt which is classic and elegant, but imagine it with a black turtleneck, a red twinset, a brought green scoop neck tee in a refined knit or silk blend, with a chambray shirt or a denim jacket. This is also a fabric and print that works year round, though it could look pretty festive for the holidays! And yet again, pockets! Misses, Petites, Woman, and Woman Petites available.
  • The Sequin-Dot Party Blouse is the perfect way to add some shine to your look without going overboard. Sheer sleeves and sparkly dots make this a top that will look great under a jacket for the office or a work-related happy hour, paired with jeans for a house party or night out with the girls, or can get more glam paired with ankle pants or a pencil skirt in a dressy fabric. Two color choices, and available in Misses, Petites, Woman, and Woman Petites.
  • Even a merino sweater looks festive when paired with these Doupioni Side-Zip Ankle Pants. In four colors, this elegant pant will make every piece in your wardrobe look more formal. Style with a crisp white shirt and kitten heels, a cashmere twinset and sparkly statement necklace, a sequined blouse to celebrate the ball dropping at midnight, or pair with their Doupioni Jacket for a sophisticated suit that will look chic for years to come.
  • An easy way to make any outfit in your closet holiday-ready is with a festive brooch. This sparkly snowflake brooch has the trim plated in 12K gold and would look great pinned to a dress, a blazer, or even worn over the collar with a button-front shirt or blouse. Also how great to hold a scarf in place with this snowflake!
  • The Dot Mesh and Ponte Sheath Dress is a way to be comfortable yet be festive. A ponte knit body but with a sheer dotted neck and sleeves, this is elegant and versatile. Two colors available, in Misses, Petites, and Women sizes.
  • Plaid is hot this season, and a quick way to feel festive. The Tartan Twill Fabric Belt comes in two different plaids that will look adorable for the holiday season but great for other times of the year. Imagine it with a chambray shirt and cropped pants and a pencil skirt for spring or fall, or replace the self-belt in a shirtdress.
  • I am loving the Glitter Party Clutch. Small enough to look dressy, but the measurements show it will still be able to hold your larger SmartPhone as well as purse essentials. Carry as a clutch or use the chain strap. Gold and silver available.


Accessories complete your look, and I have always found Talbots’ accessories to be of great quality (just wore this tassel necklace from them yesterday!).

  • The Metallic Round Buckle Belt (also available in Woman) is brilliant… literally! Ad shine to any look. While the site says pair with jeans, I would totally wear this with one of those dresses with a seam at the waist or one that’s tailored to give it a completely different look. This belt would also be fantastic to take a big scarf or ruana and cinch it at the waist.
  • A Buffalo Plaid clutch purse? Yes please! Oh gosh I think this is adorable; wear with a simple dress to look festive, style with jeans, imagine it with a blazer and Breton tee… the options are endless!
  • I own this Double-Pocket Crossbody Bag in yellow (Autumn Gold) and it’s excellent. It’s small but in it I can fit my large wallet, sunglasses case, iPhone 6s, lipstick, compact, and a couple other purse essentials. Two front pockets and an internal zip pocket makes it easy to stay organized. The strap is not only adjustable but removable so it can be a clutch. This is the perfect travel purse. Eight colors to choose from.


Talbots has great quality shoes that fit well, have style but won’t make you look like a fashion victim in a season. I have pairs that are years old that still look fantastic.

  • The easiest way to make your LBD (or not-so little black dress) look festive is with a sparkly pair of shoes. The Skylar Glitter Pump has a reasonable 2.5” heel, leather lining and sole, and memory foam footbed to keep you on the dancefloor all night. Available in gold and silver glitter.
  • Not a heels kind of person? The Edison Glittery Pointy-Toe Flats are a wonderful alternative and just as festive. Narrow, Medium, and Wide widths available as well as the silver and gold glitter options.
  • The Edison Flat also comes in suede; I tried it on in store and it’s gorgeous and well made. Also available in three widths but six rich colors to complement any wardrobe.
  • Buffalo Check Taffeta Pumps? I think I am in love. No seriously. Imagine them with a red dress for the holidays, with black ankle pants and a crisp white shirt, with cuffed jeans and a black blazer, a black silk midi dress, even a hot pink sundress this spring. This is the kind of statement shoe that you’ll be wearing more often than you would have ever considered.
  • Talbots’ Skylar D’Orsay Suede Pumps are a classic. The heel height and style works with skirts and dresses of any length as well as everything from slim cropped pants to full drapey trousers. Six colors available; many customer reviews state the owners liked them so much they bought them in more than one color!
  • The Eve Pump is utter perfection. A chunky heel that provides style and stability and a sophisticated silhouette. Available in a couple suede colors; I’m also partial to their haircalf version.
  • If the Eve is too high, the Porsha Wedge is a chic alternative. 1 ¾” wedge heel is comfortable, but style is not sacrificed. Available in patent leather, suede, and haircalf and a variety of widths.
  • I love the Raine Rain Boot. Classic Chelsea boot style but waterproof with a removable tricot sock lining. Two colors available; this is a boot you’ll wear and love for years.
  • When all the reviews are positive on a tall boot, you take notice. The Tonie Bit-Trim Boot is a classic riding boot in three classic colors and will be a wardrobe workhorse. Style over leggings and slim jeans or wear under skirts and dresses.


Talbots makes fantastic outerwear that marries style and function. I also find the fit is far more flattering than with many department store brands.

  • How gorgeous is this metallic gold hooded puffer? Two-way zip closure, detachable hood, and machine washable. I love a metallic coat; as versatile as black but far more cheery! This coat comes in Misses, Petites, Woman, and Woman Petites so you can find the perfect size for you.
  • I am sooo tempted to get this metallic puffer vest. I saw Talbots’ puffer vests in person and they’re a perfect weight to be warm for fall (or layered) but not so thick you’ll look like a marshmallow. Also the strategic stitching flatters the figure. Available in Misses, Petites, and Woman.
  • For those in warmer areas, Talbots’ Faux Fur Trimmed Parka may be perfect for your more mild winters. Detachable faux fur trimmed hood, Thinsulate lining, and machine washable. Available in two classic colors, Misses, and Petites.
  • Talbots’ Solid Hooded Puffer Coat is a classic that comes in four utterly gorgeous colors. The faux fur trim on the hood is detachable, the coat is machine washable, and it has great details like two-way zippers, zipper pockets, and 90% down fill. Misses, Petites, and Woman sizes available.
  • I adore the Grammercy Short Coat. Luxe wool blend with a concealed button placket and a detachable faux fur collar so you can control your level of glam. Comes in three colors, Misses, Petites, and Woman sizes.

Holiday Gifts

Who wouldathunkit that Talbots is a gift destination? They have some really cute accessories and knickknacks that would be great gifts for ladies in your life (or yourself!).

  • Talbots has a bunch of adorable holiday-themed socks. While you may find such socks at other retailers, with Talbots you know they’re better quality and fit. My favorites are the Merry & Bright Trouser socks, Mistletoe Trouser Socks, and the Fair Isle Snowflake Trouser Socks (available in two colors).
  • I wouldn’t mind having the Quinn Metallic Slipper Slides under the tree for me! Silver and shearling is so my jam! Memory foam footbed and a rubber sole, you can stay cozy with a bit of a glam touch!
  • For the new professional on your gift list, consider the Metallic Pebbled Leather Card Case. On trend and fun, yet sophisticated enough to slip out at a networking event. Also, what a great way to present a gift card to a recipient?
  • The silver mirror compact is an adorable gift for the fashionista on your list. Zip closure to keep it clean, and a size perfect to tuck into a clutch yet be big enough to see to fix a stray hair or reapply lipstick.
  • The Faux Fur Neck Warmer is a great gift; it’s an unexpected luxury that is also warm and practical. Available in three colors.
  • The blanket scarf is still a hot trend and a great gift to give to a woman most any age. In two Buffalo Check prints, this 100% wool scarf will keep someone cozy all winter long and stylish to boot!
  • I have a tassel necklace from Talbots and love it; big fan of this Glitter Tassel version. Mixing metals makes it extremely versatile and stand out in a crowd. Make it a set with the matching Glitter Tassel Earrings.

Fall and Winter Fashion

Of course we can’t forget the rest of the store and the rest of the season!  There’s a lot to choose from too!

  • Every time I visit Talbots online or in person I am drawn to this ribbed poncho. Problem is, my sister owns it. We already own so many similar pieces and often show up at events looking like twins… I just can’t get this. So get it and wear it because I can’t! Misses and Women sizes available.
  • After seeing this faux fur vest in person, I’m even more of a fan. You know how many vests can make you look bigger? This one is soft and pliable with a rib to the fur that makes it so flattering. Two colors available, it’s also available in Womens.
  • I own the A-Line Pocket Skirt, I’ve worn it twice on the blog and more in person, and I think it’s pretty swell. While I have the yellow, there’s three other great colors available and it comes in Misses, Petites, Woman, and Woman Petite sizes.
  • I love the Elegant Paisley Pencil Skirt. When I last visited Talbots, I saw it in the Woman department and it made me gasp, it’s even prettier in person. Then I saw a customer try it on and I swooned. Misses, Petites, and Woman sizes and enough colors that you can find something great already in your wardrobe to pair with it and a fabric that can work even when the temps rise.
  • Another great skirt is this Ocelot-Print Pencil Skirt. I mentioned this skirt in my newsletter that I tried it in store and loved it but couldn’t find a single thing in-store to style with it. However, the colors in it are pretty easily found elsewhere and it would look smashing with white, black, and denim. Misses and Petites available.
  • Talbots’ blazers in my opinion have improved in fit. I really like their Herringbone Shetland Blazer; it’s classic yet cool. I’d roll the sleeves up and pair with jeans but it looks lovely as-is and styled for work or in more classic of ways. Nine amazing colors to choose from; don’t be afraid to consider a pastel this winter as it looks fresh styled with gray or denim. Misses, Petites, Woman, and Woman Petites available.
  • Another great blazer is their Italian Flannel. Luxe and elegant, it comes in two soft colors that are sophisticated and on trend. Style with other soft shades, wear over a navy and white striped Breton tee, or make them pop with a black turtleneck. There’s plenty of separates in this material so you can make it into an elegant suit.
  • Sweater dresses are hot this season; this one has a cozy classic turtleneck style with a Fair Isle print. I almost put this with the festive holiday fashion, but I think this is classic enough that it can be worn from fall to spring with style. Misses and Petites.
  • I have this Cashmere Watercolor Floral Sweater and adore it. It’s so soft, so pretty, and looks so nice with so many different things! Misses, Petites, Woman, and Woman Petite sizes.
  • Fair Isle sweaters are a classic, but they’re especially popular this season. This is a pretty version that will maintain its style for years to come. Misses, Petites, Woman, and Woman Petites.

That’s not to say these are the only great pieces available during Talbots’ Friends and Family event. Seriously, the selection this season is phenomenal and so far I have had great success with them. Happy shopping and be sure to comment with what pieces you either already own or buy during this sale!

Talbots Fall 2014 Preview

Talbots sent me their Fall 2014 look book and it was so yummy I just had to share it with you! Fall collections can often look too collegiate or too dreary for my tastes, so when something comes down the pike that is fresh yet still classic and wearable, colorful yet tasteful it catches my eye. And when it’s available in regular, womens, petite, and tall? Autumnal heaven!

talbots 2014 lookbook animal jacquard

I love an animal print, and Talbots Brushed Animal Jacquard Jacket and Pencil Skirt do not disappoint. The texture of the material makes the leopard luxe instead of flashy. Partnering with red and black is another classic move that makes these pieces chic now and wearable for seasons to come.

talbots 2014 lookbook blue peacock

Hello blue! It’s refreshing to see cerulean and teal on the scene after so many seasons of chambray and navy and I love seeing a cool tone featured in autumn. Talbots’ Boiled Wool Coat in Blue Topaz makes a statement and would be a delight during the gray days of winter. I love a feather print almost as much as a leopard and am going gaga over this Peacock Feather Pencil Skirt and Feathers Talbot Cashmere Sweater. While both are styled here with other shades of blue, I can see them easily work with black, navy, and camel staples already in my closet.

talbots fall 2014 lookbook crimson jacket

Red is a fall standard, but the intensity of this crimson makes it stand out. A collarless jacket is quite flattering, and I love that this Double-Faced version reverses to a mulberry hue. And the Printed Tree Silhouette Dress is one of those prints that I wouldn’t tire of quickly; I could see it worn over a white collared shirt, with black tights and tall boots, or even worn come spring with nude heels.

talbots fall 2014 lookbook blush pink

Pastel hues are hot for fall this year, and Talbots has embraced this trend with classic style. I love how they paired their Canyon Pink Double-Faced Coat with graphic black and white; I think this is the type of jacket that could dress up nicely over a cocktail dress or dress down with a Breton tee and cuffed jeans. Speaking of cuffed jeans, how adorable is this weekend look? I love the Pink Blush Marianne Jacket dressed down like this, but can also envision it for the office with gray, camel, black, or ivory.

talbots fall 2014 lookbook sweaters

But what made me drool the most in this look book were the sweaters. The Cabled Dolman Sweater seen here in Almond has such a flattering silhouette and also comes in seven other shades. The Drawstring Shoulder Bag is a cheaper alternative to the leather buckets that have been seen everywhere this season and the tassel detail keeps it from looking to utilitarian. And let’s have a collective gasp for the Cabled Curved-Hem Sweater in Green Spruce (also comes in four other shades); this is the first item I’ve seen all summer that makes me look forward to fall! While it’s styled here with plaid trousers and pumps, I’d be wearing this baby with skinny jeans and ankle boots all winter long!

What do you think of this collection from Talbots? What looks or trends are you looking forward to wearing this fall?

Talbots Fall 2015 Lookbook Sneak Peek

Talbots Fall 2015 PreviewThis summer underwhelmed me when it came to Talbots – too nautical, too matronly yet also too cutesy for my tastes. However, checking out Talbots’ Fall Look Book got me excited.  One of the benefits of being a blogger is getting to see some of the collections early.  I scrolled through the online display and kept saying YAAAASSSSSS! THIS is the Talbots I love – classic, simple, understated, yet feminine and elegant and carefully incorporating current trends. Talbots is a favorite for me to share on the blog because they have Misses, Petite, Women, and Women Petite sizes and the quality equals the pricepoint and I know many of you are Talbots fans.   Below I share some of my favorite looks from Talbots’ Fall 2015 collection, I’d love your thoughts!

Talbots Fall 2015 Look Book Camel Brown and White
Together, this look is classic.  Separately, each piece is awesome and so versatile.  Wear the Cashmere Cable Cowlneck Sweater with a gray wool pencil skirt, the Dalton Knit Riding Pant with a denim shirt or black silky top, the brown Quilted Leather Vest with most everything in your wardrobe (oh how it would glam up a simple pair of jeans and plaid flannel or Breton tee!).  The Tonie Boot is a classic in a rich chocolate brown that blends nicely with cognac, camel, and other shades of brown.  Speaking of rich browns, the Kelsey Tassel Hobo in Chestnut is delicious shade that would look fantastic with everything from black and denim to rich jewel tones like garnet, emerald, and amethyst.

Talbots Fall 2015 Look Book Preview Featuring Ruana

White at first glance this may look like a poncho or ruana, this is in fact a coat with proper sleeves and closing at the front.  While this would be a great piece of outerwear for fall, I also think it would look great as part of a winter ensemble; imagine with leather-front leggings and a black turtleneck or slim jeans and a gray merino crewneck.  Again, the separates of this look are fantastic; the Mixed Stitch Air Spun Turtleneck looks snuggly without being itchy and would be a weekend staple, the Flannel Tailored Ankle Pant looks incredibly flattering and would be a great way to transition summer and fall jackets and blouses into cooler temps.  As for the accessories, I want them all: the Wool Felt Fedora (more functional than a floppy brim hat), the Colorblock Cashmere Wrap, the Long Goldtone Pendant (love seeing long necklaces back on trend!), and the Phillipa Boot in Luggage is that perfect color that goes with everything in your wardrobe and plays nice with black and various shades of brown.

Talbots Fall 2015 Look Book Preview Featuring Orange Collarless Jacket

Last fall, Talbots had a leopard collarless coat and I found it extremely versatile and it made quite a statement (see me wear it here and here).  I can see this Jewelneck Basketweave Coat in Harvest Pumpkin doing the same.  The color is gorgeous; I love how it works with denim and neutrals but imagine it with plum, teal, mustard, dark red, or even magenta!  Wrap a pashmina at the throat when the temps drop.

Talbots Fall 2015 Look Book Preview featuring Annie Hall Inspired Denim Look

Now THIS is grown-up pattern mixing!  I love all the textures and prints in here, so much to look at yet it’s not overwhelming.  Again, on their own each piece is fantastic.  The Paisley Soft Top would look lovely with trousers or a skirt for the office, the Highland Glen Plaid Jacket could be styled as easily with a gray sheath dress or sweater and wool trousers as with a band tee and pair of distressed denim.  The jeans are called “Flawless Five-Pocket Bootcut” and the rise and leg opening makes me think they truly deserve the name (they come in two cuts – curvy and classic).  The hat is crushable, making it perfect for travel (or being shoved in your commuter bag), and the Luxe Brushed Coat is one of those pieces you’ll wear for years to come.

Talbots Fall 2015 Look Book Preview Feautring Varsity Stripe Blazer

This outfit feels the most “me;” I could see myself wearing this exactly as-is.  The Varsity Stripe Blazer is fantastic; pair with a crisp white shirt and a different pattern pencil skirt  or ankle pant (paisley, glen plaid, tweed) for a funky yet polished work look or slip over a band tee (or the Crest Sweater pictured) and your favorite pair of jeans for a cool weekend outfit.  Again, the Flawless Five-Pocket Bootcut Jeans and the Phillipa Boot showing how versatile the two pieces are.

Talbots Fall 2015 Look Book Preview Featuring Blue Fair Isle Sweater with Yellow Skirt

While I likely wouldn’t wear this look, I would totally admire it on another woman.  It’s not my personal style, but I adore every piece.  The Buffalo Check Sweater looks so cool with the chambray shirt underneath it, and I love how the Casual Wool A-Line skirt in Citrine picks up the gold tones.  That skirt would look fantastic with neutrals, but also paired with bold colors like teal, berry, and indigo.  The Coated Toggle Coat’s Almond color and fur trim gives a feminine vibe without having it loose its classic feel.

Talbots Fall 2015 Look Book Preview Featuring Camel, Green, and Denim with Plaid

I know I love this look because of the colors.  Also it just screams fall.  Camel, Cypress gree, and denim and a big color combo fave of mine.  This is casual elegance; you could switch out the Doubleface Button Front Jacket for one that is longer or with a different silhouette; I love the cropped casual feel of the Boyfriend Jean but you could also do this look with a straight or bootcut; and the oxfords keep the look comfortable while having a bit of collegiate prep that is always in style come fall.

Talbots Fall 2015 Look Book Green Poncho Sweater

And my favorite… the Mixed Stitch Rounded Poncho in Forest.  That color is so delicious!  It would definitely upgrade any weekend look while maintaining comfort and warmth.  I love it with the chambray/paisley mix, but it would also look great with denim over a striped long-sleeve tee, a crisp white shirt, or a navy or black ribbed turtleneck.  As for the Hampshire Ankle Pant in Blue/Mallard Paisley, I want to wear those with a crisp white shirt and pair of my leopard calfhair pumps to work and a blazer and band tee for the weekend!

I perused Talbots’ New Arrivals and while most of these pieces aren’t yet available they do have some utterly fantastic pieces that will help transition your wardrobe to fall and work from now until Spring.  I’m partial to their Pebbled Leather Clutch (that simple yet not boring bag that goes with EVERYTHING), Chatham Ankle Pant in Glen Plaid (subtle pattern that will work with everything), Leopard Haircalf Clutch (leopard is a neutral! My leopard clutch gets used more than any other bag in my closet), Abstract Hourglass Wrap Dress (figure-flattering one-step dressing for work, Date Night, or a daytime wedding), and the highly rated Classic Denim Jacket (you all know I am now a denim jacket fan!).  My picks:

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.

Talbots Spring 2015 Collection: A Second Glance

The other day I was talking to a coworker about how some brands have really dropped in quality and where we go for wardrobe staples. She’s younger than I, stylish with a classic nod but a great use of color and accessories (and a leopard fan like me). She admitted than not only does she shop a lot at Talbots, but the pants she was wearing, a trim well-fitting ankle length pant in navy, were from the store. She reminded me that right now Talbots is having 25% off everything (sale ends March 8th) so I went and took a second look at their spring selection. Talbots sent me their spring lookbook back in January but nothing really wowed me enough to share here on the blog (unlike their fall collection which knocked my socks off). A second look made me realize it wasn’t that I didn’t love the collection, I just didn’t love how the pieces were styled together. Seeing the line in the stores and online separated makes me realize how great their spring line is. My favorites:

talbots spring 2015 stripes

Seeing Stripes

I always love a good striped top or dress; it’s a classic pattern that looks so crisp and fresh. The Talbots Striped Envelope-Shoulders Shift is a perfect dress to transition from now to spring. The interlock knit can pair now with tights, boots, and an infinity scarf for cozy style; come spring pair with chunky-heel sandals for Casual Friday or wear on the weekend with tennis shoes. The gold zipper detail make it look luxe. The ivory/indigo combo is a classic, but I actually think the green/indigo combo would get more wear. Imagine it paired with yellow, turquoise, orange, or hot pink!

The Colorblock & Stripes Dress is a more casual style that would look great with a denim jacket and brown boots or canvas sneakers. I’d wear it with a chambray shirt tied around the waist for interest and to highlight the smallest part of my torso.

I noticed the Pima Cotton Boatneck Tee when researching for my recent capsule wardrobe post and it has still caught my eye. I like that it’s a bright blue instead of the classic navy or black stripe; it would look great paired with white jeans or shorts, but also with khaki, green, and navy. The neckline is begging to showcase a fabulous necklace!

The Blocked Stripes Tee is a fun alternative to the classic Breton tee. With three buttons down the back and the switch in stripe color, this knit top makes a statement all by itself and is a great upgrade to stretched out and faded tees and jersey tops from last year and would look great with a navy blazer and white or denim jeans.

talbots spring 2015 peach ivory blush

Pastel Power

It’s funny, I’m not a big pastels gal… until I see them paired with black and/and white. We’re so used to black and white with jewel tones and primaries so the unexpected combination really looks fresh and modern. Peach is not a color I usually wear, but Talbots’ use of that color, blush, and coral with crisp white and bold black is something I would confidently wear.

The Shadow Box Pleated Skirt alone is… fine. On their site it’s styled with a black short-sleeved sweater that is nice, but nothing to write home about. I saw it and imagined it with their denim shirt or a black and white striped top and a shoe in an unexpected color like the  ‘Camilla’ in Murano Glass. Then I saw the combination above in the PDF supplement to their lookbook and was thinking with a switch of shoes I’d rock it in a heartbeat. Oh the power of a crisp white shirt!

I love pale ivory and white suiting, it’s so elegant and timeless. I’m also a fan of a longer jacket, as evidenced by this post and this post. I completely bypassed this look at first glance because of the styling; while I like it with the pale peach, I think the choice of scarf, bag, and shoes makes it look matronly. Switch out the shoes for a pointed flat in nude patent, the bag for one with more structure, and get rid of the scarf to let the graphic shape of the jacket shine. For those who aren’t feeling the pastels, imagine switching out the top for dove gray, navy, black, or even tan. The jacket would look great over a dress or paired with pants of a different color; the trousers are a length and cut that would look amazing with everything from a simple knit or twinset to a tunic or untucked blouse.

talbots spring 2015 black and white

Black and White and Fab All Over

Talbots’ Long Colorblocked Sweater Jacket is calling my name! So simple, so chic, so versatile. But again, the styling had me miss its beauty first go-round. The round-neck top underneath and the choice of short statement necklace kills the pretty neckline; paired with a lower V- or round-neck or even a collared cotton shirt would better showcase this detail. I’d like to see this paired with a black skirt or an ivory dress which I think would give a modern feel. However, I think this sweater would look equally as nice with a pair of jeans and a black and ivory or red/papaya and ivory striped tee.

These striped pants are not yet available on the Talbots site. Styled with a white tank, v-neck tunic, and oblong scarf the outfit looks like a costume someone would have worn a couple decades ago on a cruise ship. But take those pants and pair them with a black shell and blazer, a sleeveless black silk tank and bold silver statement necklace, a jade green cashmere tee and gold bracelets, a blush pink wrap sweater and a pearl necklace, a crisp white shirt and statement shoes in a bold color or print… the pants are suddenly awesome. I’d rock the heck out of them now with a black cashmere turtleneck and ankle boots.

talbots spring 2015 florals

Groundbreaking Florals for Spring

Can’t help it, every time I think of florals I remember that quote from The Devil Wears Prada! And while floral dresses for spring aren’t anything new, they are always lovely and quite versatile. From baby showers to Easter parades, to brunch with your in-laws, a floral frock is a great piece to have in your wardrobe. I’m not much into flowers but I have to admit Talbots’ florals this season have a bit of edge and style to them to keep them from looking Minnie Pearl.

The Gladiola-Print Sateen Dress was styled in the lookbook with gold heels, a pale blush clutch, a sparkly gold and crystal statement necklace and an updo that was just too much of everything. I found this photo on Talbots’ Pinterest board and it made me realize how lovely this dress truly is. Personally, I’d forego a necklace and have a simpler bracelet to let the dress truly shine. While the coral-colored shoes do match, again I’d let the dress steal the show and pair it with nude or black patent heels; maybe highlight the coral with your lipstick or flushed cheeks. Sometimes, less is more.

I normally wouldn’t like the Sunflower Lace Sheath. I didn’t love it on the site, but when I was able to find a high-res photo and examine it more closely, I saw the details which make this a very pretty and flattering dress. The hem and sleeves are scalloped, not hemmed. The neckline isn’t a high jewel, but has a lower scoop that elongates the neck. The lace is truly lacey and not eyelet, giving a delicate and more timeless feel. I think the Misty Sage may be a hard color for many to wear (though could be a great option for a Mother of the Bride who is looking for such a color), the blue and pink are quite pretty and could work with nude or soft metallic shoes and a bit of jewelry to add a personal touch.

This blue floral dress is utterly amazing. At time of posting it is not yet available on the Talbots website, but as soon as it is I will be trying it. The flowers are at the perfect place to create an hourglass shape, the neckline is a flattering depth, and this is a dress that could be worn to work with a cardigan and pumps or a weekend affair with a change to dressier shoes and a little sparkle on the wrist. I bet it would also look great with a skinny black patent belt.

talbots spring 2015 dresses

The Not-so Little Not-black Dress

After a long winter, it’s refreshing to be able to bare the legs (or almost bare them with very sheer hose) and don a cheery spring color. Talbots has some spectacular dresses that flatter and are in colors that scream spring.

The Wrap Bodice Dress is ah-may-zing. I noticed it first when researching for that capsule wardrobe post, but I think I need it in my life. I love how it whittles the waist without being tight, and how it is so versatile. I’m usually a navy or black dress gal, but this Delphinium Blue is making me smile; I’d likely wear it with my nude pointy-heel pumps and some gold at the wrist but this dress could easily carry a statement necklace, printed scarf, or shoe in a bold hue.

The Crepe Fit and Flare Dress is that perfect versatile dress. Wear with a skinny belt and flats to the office, then switch out for a sparkly necklace and heels for an after-work event. The picture above is in the Geranium color which is pretty, but may not be as versatile; the dress also comes in cobalt and black.

Hello pockets! I love the classic feminine shape of the Cotton Sateen Fit-and-Flare Dress. This could be worn to work with a cardigan, to brunch with flats, or could be dressed up with soft metallic heels and a clutch. Don’t be afraid to switch out the self-belt for one in a contrast color, print, or even use an oblong scarf. While black is a safe bet, the other tropical colors in this material could be quite versatile and a breath of fresh spring air. This dress is classic enough that it would become a staple in your wardrobe for many years to come.

I saw the Ponte Fit and Flare Dress online and thought it was a bit frumptastic. Then I saw the picture above and it seemed to better show the shape of the dress. Also, on this model the dress doesn’t seem to end at a bad point on the leg. A classic shape with pockets (!!!) and a fabric that can be worn year-round, this is a great wardrobe staple. Wear now with a cardigan, tights, and boots; come spring pair with chunky-heel sandals, pointed-toe slingbacks, or pumps and the accessory of your choice.


Talbots’ fashions are available in regular, petite, women, and women petite sizes. As a reminder, Talbots has 25% off their entire collection through March 8th. No code needed, it will be automatically deducted in your shopping cart. If you shop in-store, Talbots has partnered with Dress for Success and are accepting donations of gently-worn office-appropriate clothing. Your clothing donation will be used to benefit women who aspire to transition into the workforce and pursue economic independence.  What a wonderful way to help fellow women while updating your closet!

What I Wore: Adoring ADORA in Marsala for the Holidays

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a blazer and jeans from Talbots with ADORA Bags tote in Limited Edition Marsala Leather Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a blazer and jeans from Talbots with ADORA Bags tote in Limited Edition Marsala Leather Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a blazer and jeans from Talbots with ADORA Bags tote in Limited Edition Marsala LeatherBlazer: c/o Talbots (on sale!) | Tee: Old Navy | Watch: c/o Larsson & Jennings | Rose Gold Skull Ring: c/o Jeulia | Jeans: c/o Talbots | Shoes: VANELi c/o Marmi Shoes | Bag: c/o ADORA Bags

I love my black ADORA Bags tote and have been using it regularly since I received it last year (most recently seen here). It’s a great commuter bag; the 100% Italian full grain leather is soft enough to handle awkward contents like my work shoes and my lunch bag, but durable enough to survive heavy loads and lots of use. The pouch on the removable strap is great to hold smaller purse contents and also become a clutch for after-work events. But it’s also a fave for weekends as I can stow small purchases when running errands, carry Em’s jacket, and use it as my purse.  I love the hook inside that transforms it from a wide-mouth tote to a slimmer style that has a more secure closure.  I also use the hook to keep my keys easily accessible.

ADORA Bags are handcrafted by sixth-generation leather craftsman Piero Di Ienno of Vinci, Italy. Piero has been crafting leather goods for over 40 years ; before choosing to work for ADORA he worked for brands famous for quality leather like Prada, Gucci, and Armani. ADORA will never outsource production overseas, desiring quality control as well as the prosperity of the craftspeople of Tuscany. ADORA’s founders Matteo Gamberale and Matteo Gemignani grew up in Tuscany and were inspired to create a luxury bag line that celebrates the Italian passion for style combined with the quality of Tuscan craftsmanship. Bags of this quality usually cost far more, but because they bypass retailers and middlemen, ADORA bypasses the associated marked up prices.

ADORA Bags Tote in Limited Editon Marsala leather in time for the holidays, only at Wardrobe OxygenADORA Bags reached out and asked if I’d like to offer a limited edition color just to Wardrobe Oxygen readers in time for the holidays. This color is not available on their site and is not currently being offered by any other blogger.  I chose Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2015, Marsala. A rich wine red color, this tote is the perfect accent to an ensemble in most any color and my signature accent shade this fall with my nails and lips. For fall, pair with olive, pumpkin, mustard, and warm neutrals. This color would look crisp with denim, black, or winter white in winter. Come spring, pair with blush and chambray for a rich combination. Each bag is handcrafted with care for each individual order. This is the type of bag that has the quality and style that will have you loving it for many years to come.

ADORA Bags Tote in Limited Editon Marsala leather in time for the holidays, only at Wardrobe OxygenIf you would like to purchase this limited edition Marsala ADORA Bags tote for you or a loved one, send an email to me at Orders will be taken today through December 7, 2015 to ensure delivery by Christmas. This limited edition tote is $280 USD and will ship free to customers in the United States (international shipping is available, email me for the specific rate to your location).

Note: Since I spoke so much about transparency in my last post, please know this post was not sponsored by ADORA.  I received the bag, and I will receive a commission on each of these limited-edition Marsala bags that are sold but agreed to this post because I truly adore these bags, use them a lot, and think they’re made by a pretty fantastic company.

Talbots – My Recent Purchases

A few years ago, some of my friends from my retail days made the switch from their current companies to work for Talbots. Talbots was known as being good to their store management, understood there needed to be a balance between work and life, and had shops outside of malls (those who have worked retail know a boutique shop is great to have normal hours and be easier to manage in regard to payroll, staffing, merchandising, etc.). They came back raving not just about their work environment, but the stylish and quality fashion that Talbots carried.

So I came to visit them at their home away from home, and check out this great Talbots fashion. I left feeling underwhelmed. I still felt several decades too young for the fashion, and even if I was of the right age, I surely wasn’t of the right personal style. I like modern, I like clean, I like a bit of edge to my classic style. I couldn’t find this between the embroidered pink twill capris and pointelle-knit sweater tees.

Years later, right after I had Emerson I had a devil of a time finding retailers who had stylish work clothing that would fit a plus sized petite woman. You readers suggested I visit Talbots. There was a Talbots right near my job so I decided to visit, not expecting much.

Wow, Talbots had changed over the years. I walked it skeptical, and left with bags full of new fashion. Their pants were the only ones I could find ANYWHERE that fit and even flattered my postpartum body. They had gorgeous wrap dresses that made me feel svelte and even sexy. Far less frou-frou and more classic, simple pieces that I could make more “Allie” with bold accessories and shoes.

Of course, just as I was getting my Talbots stride, they closed their location near me. To actually visit a Talbots, it would be substantial car drive to a megamall (and malls give me hives). Talbots fell off my radar until last Fall when it seemed every blogger was raving about Talbots’ great new style. Recently I even wrote about how impressed I was with the new Talbots collection, but I never got around to experiencing it first-hand. Last week Sally at Already Pretty let me know that Talbots denim was on sale. I saw it as a sign to try some pieces from Talbots and placed an order that same day. My review of what I purchased:

I have a trench from LOFT that I adore and have tailored to fit me perfectly.  It’s a gorgeous raspberry sorbet color and it makes every rainy day seem brighter.  However, I do not own a non-rainy day spring coat.  I saw this topcoat from Talbots and though it may be the perfect choice.  I love the stand collar, the oversized buttons, and the Nectarine shade looked to be an unexpected neutral like my raspberry raincoat.  I ordered a 12 Petite.

The color is more lovely in person than on the Web – it is the color of a ripe peach or apricot, but not pastel or delicate.  The buttons are polished wood and very unique.  The fabric has a great weight, the piece is fully lined and looks far more expensive than the current sale price of $113.99.

That being said, it is being returned.  The 12 Petite is too large for me – it hung over my shoulders, it was a bit boxy in the torso, the sleeves were about an inch too long, and the coat itself would need an inch or two taken off the bottom to make it flattering.  A 10 Petite would be too tight in the bust and upper arms.  If I were a taller person with more proportional arms and bust, I may have kept this jacket because it is quite gorgeous.  It could be worn like the model with a simple tee and jeans, would be a great dress coat with a simple frock, or even make a modern suit jacket.

Well based upon my outfit on Friday, I like this skirt!  I am not usually one to wear such a “girly” silhouette, but after wearing a fuller longer skirt the other week and liking the look, I thought I would try this skirt from Talbots.  I chose the Garden Print Full Skirt because the color looked as though it could be a neutral – I could pair it with white, black, brown, navy, denim, and cheery colors like pink and red.  I ordered it in a 12 Petite.

Winner!  This skirt runs a tad large, but fits like a petite – the waist hung at the right place, the hips at the right place, the length of the skirt pretty much in line with the model on the Website.  The pleats are perfectly placed, not adding bulk to my curves, just offering a ladylike silhouette.

The color is true to the picture on the site – though it is called “Green Multi” the color is more like flax, or even more like brass on a white background.  As expected, this color looks great with basics like white and black, but also shines with chambray and denim, and colors like leaf green and candy pink.

The skirt has a hint of spandex which helps with fit and also preventing wrinkles.  For such a lightweight cotton skirt, I was highly impressed that I wasn’t a wrinkled mess by the end of the work day.  I could have easily gone straight to a happy hour or dinner date in the skirt and not felt frumpy. 

Gosh I wanted to love this necklace.  I was thinking of wearing it with the Garden Print full skirt, a simple scoop tee and sandals.  I imagined it with a ribbed tank and beat up jeans and flat sandals, or with a shift dress in orange or pink.

I have to say, this is a quality piece of costume jewelry.  Great weight, great construction, beautiful color.  But it’s not a winner for me.  The chain looked a bit like Mr. T, the beading got caught between my breasts and lost its impact.  It looked okay… just okay.  Far better piece for someone with small breasts, slim figure, where the piece will really be a statement and won’t get lost in the curves.

I came to Talbots because of the denim, and I wanted dark saturated denim, and a classic yet flattering style.  I thought the trouser jean would be a good choice that could be worn for play, but also for work.  Based upon the inseams, I chose 12 Regular.

These don’t fit me.  The rise was too high, I definitely needed a petite.  However the petite inseam would be too short for even flats.  The pockets bulged, the denim was too soft and let everything hang out.  Just not my style at all.  However this weekend my mom came by and tried them on and they were quite flattering on her.  I think a petite would be a perfect fit on her, quite elegant.  I hope she gets a pair, I think she will find them to be a much-loved piece in her wardrobe.

For these, I ordered 12 Petite.  I figured in the summer I would be more likely to pair jeans with flat sandals, and wanted some dark straight denim to pair with them and breezy tops.  Again, I was looking for dark saturated indigo and these looked to fit the bill.

I liked the denim better on these jeans – a bit heavier, a tad less stretch.  The jeans looked very classic and crisp in the plastic.  On me, another story.  I could hardly get them over my hips, they fit like jeggings on my curvy legs, and I couldn’t button them they were so tight.  Far too low of a rise and I can’t believe it but too petite of a cut.

I ordered these in 12 Regular.  Another fail.  They were a big sloppy mess and looked like Mom Jeans in two sizes too large.  They were pooling at my feet even in heels, gaping at the waist, drooping at the crotch, and the denim was so soft and spongy it didn’t keep any shape at all. 

Do know many people like soft denim – it’s comfortable, it gives and moves with you.  This is why Pajama Jeans are so popular.  However I don’t like soft denim.  I will wear it for Not Your Daughter’s Jeans because those jeans suck in my mama pooch and don’t “look” like soft denim.  But otherwise, I don’t find it figure flattering and would prefer a heavier weight, more rigid denim.  So if you like your soft comfy denim, Talbots may be for you.  Just go to the store and try on in person to ensure you get the right cut and right size.

So all in all, not a successful shopping experience with Talbots.  But I am not deterred, I know that Talbots makes classic, quality fashion and I do adore my new skirt.  I just think that until I know how Talbots fits my body, I will need to take the trek to a brick and mortar store, spend an hour or two in their fitting room and figure out what works.  And I do believe Talbots is a brand worthy of such an endeavor.

Have you purchased from Talbots lately?  What do you like a dislike?  How do you find it fits you?

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Color Me Impressed – Talbots

Right after I had Emerson, I was having a devil of a time trying to fit this transitional body. A reader had suggested I check out Talbots, who had petites in plus sizes, and generous cuts. My mental image of Talbots was a shop full of clothes for elegant older women and ladies my age who liked embroidered palm trees on their capri pants. Not my scene. However there was a Talbots near my office so I took a gander.

I ended up finding many dresses that flattered my new curves, and hid the ones that weren’t so lovely. I also was able to find elegant work-appropriate trousers in a 16 petite. Soon after I started finding love for Talbots, they closed the shop near me. Being a busy woman, I never had the time to find another location and sort of forgot about Talbots.

Today I received a Talbots catalog in the mail, and color me impressed! I started circling items I wanted to check out online or in person; next thing I knew I had circled more than a dozen items! I haven’t done this with a catalog in forever! I remember when the J. Crew catalog used to get me so hyped up for the upcoming season, but in the past few seasons I have found the line to be inappropriate for my age, figure, or personal style. Companies like Boden and Ann Taylor always provide me with apparel I like, but not an entire collection that gets me excited, makes me feel as though it was made for me.

Talbots’ Spring 2011 makes me feel as though it was made for me. Here’s some items from the line I can’t wait to check out and add to my wardrobe:

Cotton/Viscose nylon blend means it will have a nice finish, keep its shape, and really be machine washable without stretching out or fading. The shaping makes it a beautiful hybrid between a classic cardigan and soft-structured jacket. It would look great on a lot of different body types. I can imagine it with a simple tee or tank and jeans, over a tailored shirt and pencil skirt, or a topper to a structured sheath dress. The color selection is fantastic – my favorites for spring are Daffodil Yellow, Chartreuse, and Geranium, though it is the style that would make it worthwhile to also invest in a classic Black or the lovely neutral Legion Green.

By now I think we all know about my love affair with the fabric Ponte de Roma – it a poly/rayon/spandex blend that is a heavyweight refined knit that feels as comfy as a tee shirt, but can dress up for work or even a day wedding. This dress has ¾ sleeves which I find to be very flattering (and comfortable on warmer spring days), a boatneck which adds interest, and a simple pull-on style that can be worn as a loose shift, or jazzed up with a belt. I of course love it in Black, but imagine the Haricot Vert with a yellow or tangerine belt, maybe with a navy and white striped scarf looped at the throat, or simple with some nude colored suede peeptoes and a strand of pearls.

Just last week I was thinking how I really want a longer statement necklace – something that will hit mid-torso, but have a soft look and not be too extreme for work. Something that can really glam up a simple solid dress, but also could be worn with a tee or tank and jeans and leather sandals. I felt turquoise was too cliché, clear crystals too glam, black too harsh. Then I opened the Talbots catalog and saw this necklace and it was perfection. On page 17 of the catalog they have it paired with a breezy white shirt and geranium-colored cropped pants and the look is so effortless yet oh so chic.

I am loving all the denim and chambray this spring, and especially love it when it’s used in a really feminine, girly silhouette. Page 5 of the catalog has the always-lovely Julianne Moore wearing this dress, a sweet ponytail, and bow-front kitten heels. So demure, so adorable, yet striking with the denim-looking linen fabric. Online, Talbots toughens up this dress with a wide black leather belt and pointy pumps. I can also imagine it with a wide beige leather belt, or worn sans belt with the funkiest, most unique printed heels in your closet. I also think this silhouette would look cute if a classic white shirt was worn over it, tied at the waist, collar popped, sleeves rolled.

It’s hard to find a summer shoe that can be as versatile as a pair of black booties (like my Cole Haan Air Talia booties). Something that looks great with a suit, with a sundress, with cropped as well as full-length trousers, jeans, and most everything else in the closet. These shoes from Talbots are a great choice. Sweet Almond will disappear into many women’s skintone, elongating the leg while looking great with every color in your closet. Olive is an unexpected neutral that will compliment the bright as well as softer hues of spring. However I am really digging Golden Haze – a pair of yellow shoes always brings a smile to my face and it’s color that looks amazing with navy, black, brown, tan, denim, and all shades of purple and green.

There are many more pieces I covet, but I’ll start sounding as though I was paid by Talbots to write this post. Nope, Talbots doesn’t even know about this – I was just so inspired I had to write, even on my day off work! Check out the new line from Talbots and let me know – are you as inspired as I?

What I Wore: Autumn Brights

Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Talbots Skirt and carrying a Dagne Dover tote Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Talbots Skirt with Dagne Dover tote and Hermes scarf Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Dagne Dover tote with Hermes scarf and Talbots skirt Wardrobe Oxygen in Talbots and Dagne DoverSweater: Halogen (plus option) (XL) | Skirt: c/o Talbots (14) | Tights: Commando | Boots: Jessica Simpson (on sale!) | Scarf: Hermès via MYHABIT (similar concept) | Bag: 13″ Tote c/o Dagne Dover

I’m a bit of a MYHABIT addict.  I find the most amazing pieces at the most amazing prices.  Not only that, when someone uses your referral link, they receive a $20 store credit and you do too!  I collected store credit for a year and treated myself to a Hermès scarf on clearance. How else would I ever be able to afford an Hermès? And it’s all my favorite colors too!  When putting away the scarf in my closet, I saw the color of the skirt was in the scarf and had to pair the two.

This cashmere sweater from Halogen is a mega bargain.  It’s a quality weight, a classic style (straight, a tad longer than usual with slits on the sides to look cute untucked with slim pants or jeans), and reasonable price.  Halogen cashmere sweaters can vary from year to year; I have bought some that are transparent and pill, and some that are thick, lofty, and soft.  This year has been a good one for Halogen cashmere, it’s tempting to get another one in a fun color.

Shop the Look:

What I Wore: Primary Colors

wardrobe oxygen featuring a talbots skirt with a Breton top wardrobe oxygen featuring the Talbots pocket a-line skirt wardrobe oxygen featuring a dagne dover tote and talbots a-line skirt wardrobe oxygen wearing a Lands End Breton top Talbots Skirt and Dagne Dover toteTee: Lands’ End (similar which is available in plus and petite) (Medium) | Skirt: c/o Talbots (14) | Bandana: Had since I was a kid (similar) | Watch: c/o Larsson & Jennings | Shoes: Nine West (similar, lower heel option) | Bag: c/o Dagne Dover

I wore this skirt with a denim shirt and these leopard shoes to a Talbots event at Tyson’s Corner Center that I hosted earlier this month. This skirt is pretty fabulous; it looks vintage, has a great fit, fully lined, pockets and keeps its shape all day; it survived a work day at the desk then several hours at the mall running around the store and fitting room.  I wore this look last week to the office and loved the mix of primary colors. I know I’ll be wearing this skirt this winter with thick tights and a cashmere or merino turtleneck. This citron color looks great with neutrals, but imagine it with forest green, burgundy, or purple.  The skirt also comes in many other colors, it was hard to decide which one to get but I chose this one because it’s a color I love but doesn’t look good near my face.  Gotta love shoes and skirts for incorporating fun colors without looking like I have the flu!

Shop the Look:

What I Wore: Shades of Blue

Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a Talbots floral sweater Jag Jeans and a Dagne Dover tote Wardrobe Featuring the New Dagne Dover 13 Inch Tote Wardrobe Oxygen featuring the Jag Jeans Foster Bootcut - Back View Wardrobe Oxygen featuring the Jag Jeans Foster Bootcut with a Talbots sweaterSweater: c/o Talbots (X) | Jeans: Foster Bootcut c/o Jag Jeans (14 regular) | Bracelet: Gorjana | Necklace: c/o Talbots | Shoes: VANELi c/o Marmi Shoes | Bag: 13″ Tote c/o Dagne Dover

Oh my gawwwd don’t you hate it when bloggers have outfits that are all c/o? The whole outfit is a gift, there’s no way they can have any personal style. Ugh, might as well read a catalog with everything given from the brand, there’s no personality. Amirite?

Oh. This whole outfit is c/o. Wow.

I didn’t even realize this until I was crafting the text for this post. That’s because while this outfit is 99% gifted merchandise, it’s all merchandise that I really love, wear regularly, and chose on my own. I specifically picked out each piece, the color, the style, the everything to not be worn for an outfit post, but to be worn for a life. You can see I wore this very outfit to work the other week for Casual Friday.

I like Talbots – they have a broad range of sizes, good quality, reasonable prices, and this season I have found a ton of things I really really like.  It’s clear from what links are clicked and what items are purchased from this blog that you too like Talbots.  Earlier this month I hosted an event at the Tyson’s Corner Talbots; they recently renovated the store and welcomed back the Womens and Womens Plus department (didn’t exist when in their smaller space during the reno). I spent a couple hours at the store helping customers at the fitting room and really became familiar with their current collection.  Talbots was kind enough to gift me some of the line including this gorgeous sweater (I found the X fits my curves far better than the XL) and coordinating necklace.

Jag Jeans is my JAM.  The prices are great and the jeans really fit my body.  The Foster Bootcut is the perfect length for me in regular – I often hover between regular and petite, I have my Paleys from JAG in petite but the regular on these is great with heels.  Not only that… this is like the fifth time I have worn these jeans without washing.  I had to share a backview because so many jeans get all saggy in the bum after a wear… not JAG!

Dagne Dover… I think it’s clear I’ve had a crush on this brand since reader Missy introduced us.  The people behind the brand are awesome, the quality is awesome, and I’ve never before experienced such a SMART bag.  I now own every single style of bag they carry and love them all.  The full size tote I carry to work any time I need to have my laptop; I love that it’s still a gorgeous bag without the computer inside and I love how it organizes everything for easy access.  This new 13″ size is a new favorite for when I don’t need to bring my laptop but still want to tote my lunch and other office essentials.  A few asked if the straps fit over my shoulder and you can see from this photo they can (inside was a wallet, cell phone, two glasses cases, a pouch with makeup and such, a paper planner, and a composition notebook).

Marmi Shoes‘ goal is to, “Provide women with quality footwear that looks great, feels great and fits great-and put customer satisfaction above all else.” They have a really extensive size and width range and a good variety of styles. I didn’t know about Marmi Shoes before they reached out but it seemed like a smart fit for the blog since so many of you ask me for recommendations of stylish brands that come in extended sizes, a variety of widths, or help with foot problems. They’ve been a pleasure to work with and I’ve been wearing the heck out of these booties with jeans as well as dress pants to the office.

So yes, some bloggers out there will accept any free clothing, whether or not it fits their personal style and wear it on their blog.  But just because a piece is gifted or noted as c/o doesn’t mean it’s not chosen with thought, love, and consideration of the rest of her closet.  I work hard on Wardrobe Oxygen and quite often payment comes in the form of clothing or gift cards instead of dollars.  When it comes to items like the ones I am wearing here, I feel good about such payment because any way you look at it, these items would end up in my closet!

What I Wore: Laid Back Leopard

Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a J. Crew Factory denim jacket with a Talbots leopard ponte dress and Vionic Chelsea boots Wardrobe Oxygen featuring Vionic Chelsea boots and a tote from Adora Bags Wardrobe Oxygen featuring a Talbots leopard ponte dress Wardrobe Oxygen wearing a Talbots leopard ponte dress and J. Crew Factory denim jacketDress: c/o Talbots (14 petite) | Jacket: J. Crew Factory (XL) | Tights: Hue | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Earrings: Etsy | Bag: c/o Adora Bags | Shoes: Nadelle Chelsea Boot c/o Vionic

I regularly take my ponte and knit workday frocks and dress them down for the weekend. They’re stretchy, comfortable, machine washable (gentle cycle and line dry), and when paired with tights and flat shoes it makes a great look for dashing around town and still be pulled together enough for going straight to dinner at a restaurant or brunch with friends.  I couldn’t resist this dress from Talbots; love the blue hint in the print and the exposed back zipper!

Vionic offered to send me their Nadelle Chelsea Boot and I was excited. I’ve featured Chelsea boots in so many capsules and advice posts but didn’t have a pair myself to style and show on me what I was talking about. This pair was recently featured in O Magazine.  A Chelsea boot is a wardrobe workhorse; while it clearly works with jeans and pants, this look shows how you can also wear them with dresses and skirts. When you’re petite and/or curvy, having a shorter hemline balances a sturdier shoe and a low heel. Having your shoe match your legs also elongates your figure. The Nadelle Chelsea boot is extremely comfortable as well as a classic; recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, the shoe features Orthaheel Technology, a biomechanic orthotic footbed that naturally aligns your feet and may help to relieve heel pain by reducing over-pronation. Vionic feels these shoes run big; I ordered my regular 8 and think they are perfect because the arch support is in the right place and the footbed cradles properly.

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What I Wore: Stripes and Shine

Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen wearing Talbots Varisty Stripe Blazer, Gap Real Straight Jeans, and shiny silver Bass oxfords Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen wearing Talbots Varisty Stripe Blazer, Gap Real Straight Jeans, and shiny silver Bass oxfords Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen wearing Talbots Varisty Stripe Blazer, Gap Real Straight Jeans, and shiny silver Bass oxfords Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen wearing Talbots Varisty Stripe Blazer, Gap Real Straight Jeans, and shiny silver Bass oxfords Blazer: c/o Talbots | Tee: Etsy | Necklace: Etsy | Watch: c/o Larsson & Jennings | Jeans: Gap | Shoes: Bass (similar, similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

I love how a blazer can upgrade a basic weekend look of tee shirt and jeans. When I went to Talbots Annapolis Towne Center to exchange my jeans, I tried on this blazer, which I featured in this post. Just as I thought, while this blazer can look boardroom-ready with a crisp white shirt and trousers, it looks just at home dressed down. I think it would look fantastic come winter with a turtleneck sweater.  Thank you Talbots Annapolis for the gift, it’s always a pleasure to shop with you!

I bought these oxfords a couple years ago (last worn here) and while they don’t get regular wear, they often are just the thing I need to complete a look (and it doesn’t hurt that they’re pretty comfy!). It’s funny, whenever I wear them men are the ones to compliment me on my choice of footwear!

Ask Allie: How to Style the Talbots Shetland Check Jacket

Hi Allie, your suggestions for the orange pants were spot-on and I was hoping you could assist me with a similar situation. This weekend I purchased this blazer from Talbots (in orange) and while I love it I realize I am not sure how to style it. I wish to wear it for work as well as weekends, I tried it with a white blouse or t underneath and it looked sloppy. Any suggestions?

Wow, you’re really pushing my creative side with this blazer! I totally understand why you bought it – it’s adorable, unique, takes on the current equestrian trend, and I bet is terribly flattering to the figure. This is the type of jacket that could look incredibly chic… or terribly frumpy. It’s all in how you style it. I agree that white may ruin the print, making it look dated or dingy. This is easily the kind of blazer that one purchases, wears once, and then it gathers dust in the closet. Here’s some ideas on how to make it look fresh for work and for the weekend that are hopefully unexpected yet quite wearable:


Equestrian Chic
The check of this blazer is orange, hot pink, and brown on an ivory ground. Technically you could use any of the three print colors as a base (I received a mailer from Talbots that had this jacket styled with a pink shirt and brown pants). I chose brown as the connecting color to give the jacket a more traditional feel. I took advantage of the classic riding jacket silhouette and added riding boots. The denim shirt won’t compete with the print of the jacket, and a silk scarf at the throat continues the equestrian feel. Don’t worry about the scarf matching exactly – as long as it pulls one of the colors from the jacket and isn’t too loud or bright it will coordinate – look for scarves with classic prints (floral, paisley, horse bits and other riding images) to complete the equestrian chic look.


Classic Eccentric
When I saw this jacket, I thought of eccentric British society at their country house. I could imagine the jacket with a foofy skirt, Wellington boots, and a crazy hat and decided to take that concept and make it more street-appropriate. A brown leather pencil skirt is a great purchase for this season, and makes the jacket look luxe. Up the luxe factor with a lacy, ruffly cream blouse and some ridiculous booties that will stop people in their tracks. This is the kind of ensemble where more could be more – big hair or a messy updo, some crazy gold pendant necklace or cluster of brooches, maroon lips, a ring on every finger.


Pattern Mixing Master
Sometimes the best way to wear a bold print is with another print – the two balance each other. In this ensemble, I chose a printed blouse that had similar warm tones as the jacket, brown tweed pants, and croco-embossed booties. All pieces are in the same color story so it looks cohesive and purposeful. A bold yet simple gold necklace makes the look polished and complete.


Simple Yet Chic Weekend
This is a fabulous jacket to dress down. It would look great with a version of a Texas Tuxedo (a chambray or denim shirt and jeans), but also with a knit. With this look, I chose a simple brown turtleneck sweater as a base, darker wash skinny jeans, and brown flats with texture to balance the printed jacket. A charm bracelet continues the classic collegiate feel of the ensemble.

The longer I played with this jacket on Polyvore, the more I saw it as pretty neutral and versatile. I could totally see this with an ivory and navy Breton-striped tee and dark narrow jeans, I think it would look pretty fabulous with a band tee shirt with the neck cut up and vintage jeans or the brown leather pencil skirt, and I’d like to see this jacket buttoned up with a pleated skirt peeking out below and finished with ankle booties. This jacket looks great with textures – pair with suede, tweed, leather, lace, and cable-knit with ease. And don’t forget about the versatility of denim – be it polished denim trousers or your favorite well-worn dungarees, jeans will complement this print perfectly.

I hope some of these ensembles will get your creative sartorial juices flowing and I can’t wait to hear how you ended up styling your jacket!

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What I Wore: Leopard with Stripes

wardrobe oxygen what i wore talbots leopard coat wardrobe oxygen what i wore stripes and leopard wardrobe oxygen what i wore leopard coat talbots alison gary wardrobe oxygen
Coat: c/o Talbots | Tee: Armor-Lux | Jeans: NYDJ | Booties: Cole Haan (similar style, same brand) | Bag: c/o Fossil | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

I shared this Talbots coat in my Talbots Fall Look Book post and was so excited when they sent me one as a gift! This is more of a coat than an indoor jacket; it’s the perfect choice over dresses, blouses and trousers, but I love how it glams up a classic weekend look. I’ve always been a fan of mixing leopard with stripes (see here and here), and this coat’s fuzzy texture adds an additional layer of interest. This coat is a 12 Petite, lined and cozy enough for a brisk fall day; add a pashmina at the throat and leather gloves and it will be just enough until the weather gets frigid!

Current favorite red lip is actually two colors – I start with Revlon Matte Lipstick in ‘Really Red’ and top with Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in ‘Enticing.’ I find if I start with the Pixi lip primer/liner first, pat it in my finger, apply the lipstick and let it dry/set a bit, I keep the color all day and the Lacquer Balm refreshes it and adds shine.

What I Wore: Party Time, Excellent

What I Wore: Party Time, Excellent featuring a Dobbin Clothing lace dress, Dagne Dover clutch, and Talbots leopard coat What I Wore: Party Time, Excellent featuring a Dobbin Clothing lace dress, Dagne Dover clutch, and Talbots leopard coat What I Wore: Party Time, Excellent featuring a Dobbin Clothing lace dress, Dagne Dover clutch, and Talbots leopard coat

Dress: c/o Dobbin Clothing | Coat: c/o Talbots (similar) | Shoes: Nine West | Bag: c/o Dagne Dover | Bracelet: Nordstrom | Lipstick: Revlon ‘Really Red’

I took a break from the blog over the winter holidays and ended up not capturing some of the great outfits I wore for holiday parties. I wore this dress Christmas Eve and love how it looks so dressy but is so easy and comfortable to wear. Like everything else I have from Dobbin Clothing, this dress fits and flatters my curves so nicely straight out of the box. This is the kind of dress that can be worn all four seasons of the year and all levels of formality with a quick change of accessories.

Review of the Dagne Dover Clutch

I featured this clutch from Dagne Dover in a previous outfit post; this time I added one of the two straps available for the bag. The included short strap makes it easy to slip on the wrist to hold a cocktail or plate of hors d’ourves; there’s also a longer strap available to turn it into a shoulder bag. I had to show the interior of this little clutch, it holds so much! Inside the pockets I have more cards, change for the meter, blotting papers, key, and a couple pieces of gum; everything you need for a night out on the town. Plus, the portion with the cards is held on with a magnet so you can easily remove it, use it like a wallet and switch it to a different bag. Brilliant!

What I Wore: Date Night

wardrobe oxygen what I wore leopard talbots dobbin dress wide calf boots wardrobe oxygen what I wore dobbin clothing ponte dress wide calf boots wardrobe oxygen wide calf boot fashion blog wardrobe oxygen what I wore dobbin clothing ponte dress
Dress: Belle Stretch Ponte Twist Dress c/o Dobbin Clothing | Jacket: c/o Talbots (similar) | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff (similar) | Boots: Ros Hommerson ‘Maryland’ | Lipstick: Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain in Romantic

This outfit makes me realize my closet is really heading in the right direction for my lifestyle, my personal style, and my desire to have more style with fewer pieces.  Dobbin Clothing sent me this dress in 2012 (see it on me in January 2013) and it remains the most versatile dress in my closet.  Worn to a wedding, a funeral, many times to work, and several date nights I love how I can dress it up or down with a switch of accessories.  The boots I purchased almost a decade ago; while some winters I don’t wear them as much and some years I adore them.  This is one of those love years; I’ve been wearing them weekly with skirts and dresses but also over skinny jeans (as seen here).   This bag was super trendy when I purchased it in 2013 (first seen here) and while many bloggers have moved on from the Mini M.A.C. to other bags, I continue to love it because it encompasses everything I love (leather, leopard, calfhair, tough silver hardware) with a perfect size and great craftmanship.  I’ve removed the strap to carry it like a clutch, and the length makes it a good shoulder or crossbody bag.  The coat only joined the wardrobe this past fall, but I wear so often.  Back in my sorority days it was considered a faux pas to “double letter” and wear your Greek letters on more than one garment at a time; I guess I “double leoparded” with this look but I don’t care.  I love me some leopard, it’s who I am.


Saturday night Karl took me to Republic for my birthday.  Karl is the master of getting somewhere at the right time; we only had one quarter in the car and that’s all we needed for the meter until meters weren’t needed any longer.  We decided to sit at the bar and arrived just as another couple got up to leave.  We had an amazing bartender who totally geeked out on mixology and we learned so much from here about cocktails and oysters.  Soon after settling in the place got packed so we’re glad we got there when we did.  We felt like we were on vacation; we usually find a place that has oysters when we travel so we continued the vaca-feel by getting two burgers to go, heading home, putting on bathrobes and watching a movie and enjoying our favorite “room service” dinner.  Couldn’t think of a better way to ring in my 40th!

What I Wore: SSDD

Wardrobe Oxygen Size 14 fashion blog Talbots Flawless Five Pocket Bootcut Review Wardrobe Oxygen Wardrobe Oxygen featuring Talbots Flawless Five Pocket Jeans in BootcutBlazer: Vince Camuto (plus size version) | Tee: Anthropologie (plus size option) | Jeans: c/o Talbots | Shoes: Nine West (lower heel version) | Bag: Hobo (similar) | Bracelet: Had forever (similar) | Necklace: Etsy | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

SSDD: Same Style, Different Day!  You know me, blazer, tee, jeans, and pumps are my go-to.  Talbots sent me their Flawless Five Pocket Jeans to check out; I chose a 14 regular of the Straight Leg and they were way too big (I am a 14 with Gap and LOFT).  I visited the Annapolis Talbots to exchange them where the staff was amazingly helpful. I tried several different cuts and sizes of the Flawless Five Pocket collection.  My favorite was the Ankle in Oyster; I usually shy away from ankle jeans because they’re usually too slim in the thigh and calf but these were amazing… except they didn’t have my right size in stock (the 12 regular would have been best).  The stores are still getting in Fall stock, so if you stop by and they don’t have your size yet come back a week later!  I went with the Bootcut in Deep Oyster; these are a 14 Petite in the non-curvy cut.

Wardrobe Oxygen featuring Talbots Flawless Five Pocket Jeans in Bootcut
At my size, I usually go in Anthro and only look at the housewares.  At my budget, I just look and don’t shop.  Twice in my retail days I interviewed for Anthro and received an offer to be a visual merchandiser and both times I declined and stayed with my current company.  I justified it by saying I’d spend my entire paycheck there, but honestly I think I was scared to try something new.  That pretty summed up me back then, I’d regularly pass on great opportunities for fear of change or failure.  One thing I love about blogging is almost daily I am forced out of my comfort zone.  I push through writer’s block, I believe in myself even when I receive criticism, I’ve become comfortable with public speaking, social engagements where I know not a soul, and pitching myself to brands.  And when I walked into Anthro the day I bought this tee I didn’t think about how I can’t afford or fit in most of the store and just enjoyed exploring.  And through that exploration I found a few things I felt would fit, and this tee (this is an XL) was one of them.  While $68 may seem cray for a tee, it’s a linen blend with metallic threads that shimmers in an elegant way, drapes in an elegant way, and is that thing that works with a pair of jeans (or denim shorts like I did for the Lenny Kravitz concert last week) to make that “not trying too hard” look for a concert, movie, or a couple drinks with friends at the local bar.  I like that it looks equally good untucked (or half tucked) with denim as it does fully tucked into a pencil skirt.  I’ve wanted something like this tee for a long time but have never been able to find out that fits right; sometimes it’s better to spend a bit more for  the right thing.  And sometimes… well more often than not, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone.

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Thursday: The Kitchen Sink

Tee – Lands’ End Canvas (similar) | Skirt – Talbots (similar) | Necklace – eBay (similar) | Shoes – Payless (similar) | LipstickNARS Heat Wave

Today I felt like throwing it all on. If it wasn’t so hot on, I would have also added a scarf and leopard shoes. Today I just felt like being the crazy lady with too much going on.

Tonight my sister and I are going to see The Chris Robinson Brotherhood at The Birchmere. My sister has adored Chris Robinson for eons, and it will awesome to see him perform in such a small venue. I’ve seen the Black Crowes in concert, and am looking forward to checking out his new group and sound!

How was your 4th of July?  The first part of the day for us was pretty chill – slept in (with a toddler that means 7am), did some cleaning and organizing around the house, finally got around to hanging up a painting by Karl’s grandfather – we originally decided to put it in our bedroom, but it was just too freaky to wake up and see him staring at us from his boat.  Far better in the living room, and it really opens up the space.  Later in the day, three of our friends came over – Karl grilled ribs, corn, and salmon and we had a salad and my friend Nicole’s phenomenal rosemary bread.  We then walked down to the town lake for a drum circle and fireworks.

Emerson survived maybe a minute of fireworks and even with her Peltor headphones found them too loud and scary so my husband took her home.  These were the first fireworks I had seen in person for YEARS and they were phenomenal – my town really knows how to celebrate the holiday!

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The Best of 2014, Swag Edition

I have often written about the difficult parts of blogging, but there’s some pretty sweet parts too. The friends that have been made with fellow bloggers, readers, and even some brands. The ability to get paid for a hobby or passion. And yeah… swag. We bloggers can get a lot of free stuff. Granted, that free stuff isn’t without strings – we get with the expectation that we will share with you folks (with stipulations on number of photos, links, social media touts, first born…). Because of this, I have become pickier with what swag I’ll actually accept. In the past I’ve been stuck trying to be tactful in a mention of a subpar something and I don’t want to have to do that again.

PicMonkey Collage

But not all swag is wack, and through blogging I have learned of some awesome companies and many pieces I have received for free have become some of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe. Since it can be hard to tell in posts which C/Os are truly adored, I’m going to share the best items I have received this year and why.

DUO ‘Santana’ Boots

I did a little squeal of joy when DUO finally contacted me. I’ve been writing about this high quality footwear brand for almost a decade and have purchased two pairs of their custom width calf boots with my own money. So this fall when they asked me to pick a pair of boots to feature on the blog, it wasn’t hard to say yes. I chose the ‘Santana’ boot in brown leather and they have become a weekly wear. In fact, I am wearing them right now as I type this post! The quality of leather is fantastic, and it’s nice to get stylish yet classic boots that fit my very large (44cm) calves and thick shins. These are especially flattering because they’re a bit shorter than knee-high, hitting at a better place on my petite frame. The color and subtle distressing rival Frye boots and I find them to be comfortable enough to walk and stand in them all day. A bit of a backstory – since I tore my left calf muscle last year my calf is even BIGGER than before so when I ordered my normal size in DUO they were too tight. DUO was amazing about the exchange, I spoke to them on the phone, we discussed how it fit to determine the correct replacement size, and they were so super nice and helpful. It’s so great to work with a company that you can feel cares about their customers.

Adora Bags Leather Tote

Guess this one is a bit unfair because it hasn’t yet been featured on the blog (yet!), but it’s darn awesome. I’ve loved the looks of the unfinished edge simple leather totes that have been in style, but couldn’t justify buying once since I already own totes that work as well (even if they don’t look as nice). So when Adora Bags contacted me and offered to send me a tote I was psyched. They come in black, a gorgeous blue, and a rusty orangey natural color; I chose black thinking it would be the most practical and timeless. The leather is insanely delicious – tumbled but soft. The straps sturdy and fit over my shoulder while wearing my parka yet short enough to carry in my hand. The shape isn’t too structured, but not a lumpy sack. It comes with a removable pouch on a strap so it can be an easy-access pocket for essentials, or pulled out to be a clutch. Mine also came with a little empty book/agenda in the same leather which was a lovely touch. This is a true tote, it wouldn’t really make for a great handbag, but it’s a good size for an overnight trip, a carryon bag, or for running errands. It’s handmade in Italy, smells divine, feels luxurious, and makes me carting 250 flyers for the Girl Scouts or returns to Ann Taylor feel a bit more posh. And speaking of customer service, they followed up with me to ensure the bag came in perfect condition and have been so lovely to work with. A super nice company.

Karen Kane Jersey Pants

Before my arm broke, Karen Kane contacted me and asked if I’d like some pieces from their Spring collection. I got a pair of wide-leg drapey pants from them they year prior and wore the heck out of them so when I saw their blue paisley jersey pants I knew I had to have them. I envisioned them with a drapey jersey top in white, lots of silver jewelry, flat sandals and a hint of a tan come Summer, but I ended up wearing them quite a lot while convalescing. They were one of the few bottoms I owned that weren’t pilled and faded yoga pants that I could get on and off with my left hand, were comfortable enough to rest in them, but felt sassy enough in them if a friend came to see how I was doing. Even better, since I lived in them they went in the washer and dryer dozens of times yet are still as rich in color, no pills, no shrinkage, and looked cute enough that when I was healed I did pair them with a drapey top and silver jewelry! Obviously the pants they sent me are no longer available, but these look to be the same pants in a different print. And we all know I love Karen Kane, in fact it was hard to pick one item from them to feature. I love the black drapey jersey dress they sent me and the lace overlay dress from them was not only a fave of mine, but I loaned it to a friend to wear to a wedding! Karen Kane continues to have my heart and a place in my closet.

SOREL Joan of Artic Wedge Boot

In my sponsored post I stated I was a fan of SOREL boots and I have been, but I’ll be honest – they never fit over my calves. So when they asked me to do a sponsored post with their boots I was excited… and terrified. Last year I did a footwear post with a brand and the boots they sent did NOT fit my legs and I had to cobble together a wonky outfit to make it work. But after last winter and my broken arm, I couldn’t pass on a pair of quality boots that are made to handle inclement weather. So I chose this style of boot, figuring it laced up and was softer leather higher up so it could possibly flex over my ankles and shins. I also ordered a half size bigger than usual to give a bit more space. And well, I’m glad I took the risk. In the post I wore the boots folded down because they did look a bit goofy laced up on my legs, but I have been wearing them both ways. I wear them folded down, cuff my jeans, and have rag socks slouched between the two for warmth and a bit of a ‘90s vibe. But I also wear them laced up which may look weird but feels comfortable and wear my pants over them to hide the tops. However when it snowed the other week, I laced them up over a pair of jeggings and had my wool socks peek out over the tops of them and while no one would give me an award for figure flattery, it looked casual cute. The boots are super grippy, super comfortable, waterproof, and warmer than my other boots. They stay at the front door because I wear them so often now that the temps have dropped and I know once it gets icy they may not leave my feet.

Dobbin Clothing Sophie Silk Crepe de Chine Blouse in Leopard Print

We all know I love me some Dobbin Clothing, but I’ve mainly stuck to their dresses. This year I tried their tops and I am a mega fan. While the green silk tunic they sent is lovely, this leopard blouse has become a closet favorite and I wear it almost weekly. I tuck it in and wear it with black or ivory trousers, I wear it untucked with skinny jeans or black ponte skinny pants and boots. It’s a top that works when I’ve gained a bit, but also looks lovely when I’ve lost a bit. It says dry clean only, but I have put it in a lingerie bag on the gentle cycle and it has come out quite nicely. I like the gold buttons, the mate crepe finish, and how the leopard is elegant, not cheesy. As with all the other Dobbin Clothing I own, the quality is stellar and it’s a piece that’s stylish now and likely will be stylish for many years to come. And from a blogger standpoint, they are one of my favorite companies to work with!

Talbots Leopard Coat

Talbots sent me their fall look book and it impressed me so much I shared it on the blog with all of you. You all reacted so positively (and I’ll be honest, clicked those affiliate links in the post and bought a lot of Talbots merchandise) that I let Talbots know how successful a post it was. And they asked me what size I wore and sent me this coat in thanks. I wore it in this post, but if you follow me on Instagram you know I wear it quite often. It looks great with jeans, is chic with workwear, and has become one of the coats I wear with dresses for evenings out. I got a 12 Petite and it fits as though it was tailored to my frame; the fuzzy texture gives an almost vintage feel but is a classic piece.

Dagne Dover

I don’t usually reach out to brands, call me a “Rules Girl” but I like to be approached by brands instead of cold pitching (I mentioned this before). But when you guys ask me about a brand unknown to me, I do my homework. And I did my homework with Dagne Dover, reading reviews online and being bold enough to email them. They were awesome, replied in less than a day with a super sweet email and the offer to choose the bag of my choice. We’ve stayed in communication and I look forward to sharing more from the brand in the future. They’re a small brand, but one with heart and one that makes well-made and cleverly designed bags. I’ve had really demoralizing experiences reaching out to brands, but my experience with Dagne Dover has given me confidence to keep doing it with companies that seem like a good fit for this blog.


I spent about 25 weeks this year in a cast. If you’ve ever worn a cast, you know how utterly disgusting they can be. While my second doctor replaced them bi-weekly for me, they still got sweaty and dirty and stinky and grubby. My sister told me about CastCoverz! and I bought two long-arm covers to make my broken arm a bit more stylish – I got leopard print (naturally), and a sparkly disco gold one. I featured them in a post , CastCoverz! saw it and offered to send me covers for when I graduated to a short arm cast. That short arm cast came in the middle of the summer when there was no way to keep my cast looking halfway decent after a day or two. The cast covers didn’t make the cast any hotter, but they covered the grubbiness with fun patterns and color while keeping my cast from scratching me and wearing against my knit tops. When Karl broke his foot at the end of the summer, CastCoverz! was sweet enough to send him two boot covers. While their cast covers (and other supplies for those in casts or wearing crutches) are awesome and high quality, what won me over was CastCoverz! customer service and kindness. Everyone I interacted with, from the person on the phone to Annette the owner were so genuinely kind and cared for me be it when I was any old customer, or when I was a blogger promoting their products. Amazing company run by amazing people.

Boden Ravello Silk Top

I had a partnership where I was provided a specific amount of money to spend at Boden and I was PSYCHED. However it was when I had my cast and when I had gained a lot of weight and I worried I wouldn’t be able to find anything to fit properly. But it’s Boden, and Boden is awesome. I had to call them to place my order and chatted with the sweetest person on the phone. We discussed everything from my arm to my bust size to my weight gain and she helped me pick this top (and a basic striped tank because I love stripes and I couldn’t afford at the time to spend more than the store credit). And well, I freaking LOVE THIS TOP. I wear it ALL THE TIME. And every time I wear it someone raves about it. The colors are amazing, the fit is great, and it’s one of those tops that looks cute tucked in or left out, that shows I go in under the chest, and doesn’t make my arms look like hamhocks. The post where I featured it doesn’t do it justice; I had JUST gotten off my cast a day or two prior and was feeling pretty darn awful and was just glad to fulfil an obligation. But if you follow me on Instagram you know how often I’ve worn this top and I likely will wear it to death again this coming spring.

Reebok Skyscape Sneakers

This is another post that took place right after my cast came off and I was in a very dark place emotionally and uncomfortable place physically. But I signed contracts and had to comply. So Karl rolled out his white backdrop, took pauses between my cryfests and makeup reapplications, and we got it done. Another behind the scenes being a blogger – one ad network contacted me the year prior about partnering with “an athletic footwear company” and had me fill out a form to be considered. Then a couple months later, a different ad network contacted me and asked if I’d like to be considered for a campaign with Reebok. Well I said yes to both, and come to find out both were for Reebok Skyscape and set to take place the same week. So the second company who contacted me to confirm my participation, I declined explaining the situation. They’re a great company and understood, and told me to let them know when the shoes arrived so they could mail me a return shipping label. They arrived, I contacted them, two weeks later they finally got back and said don’t worry about it, I could keep them. Well what the heck am I going to do with two pairs of black Reebok Skyscapes with pink soles? At the time, I didn’t know if I’d even wear the pair I wore in the post. And now it’s December and you couldn’t pry BOTH pairs of Skyscapes from my dead cold hands. These things weight nothing and fold easily making them the best commuter shoes. They are uber cushy and cozy, flexible, but have grip on slick sidewalks. One pair I keep at home, one pair is at the office, and these are the sneakers I take with me when I travel because of size and weight and comfort level. I’ll admit I don’t love the pink details; both pairs came with pink and black laces so I switched them to black. Not only that, one pair I took a Sharpie to the pink grommets and exposed sole. I did this so I could wear them with my outfit for Halloween, but it does make them less athletic-shoe looking and have become the ones I slip in my bag (like I did last night) to put on after a long day in heels. They are utterly awesome shoes and while I didn’t get the hype when I wrote my post, I totally get it now.


Please don’t think that because I didn’t mention an item or brand here I think it’s bunk. Far from it. I think I’ve gotten better and better over the years in picking the appropriate brands to partner with so I can provide completely honest and positive reviews. I feel truly honored to partner with such amazing companies, and proud that I can introduce them to you. The older I get, the more I experience ageism and sizeism as a blogger when connecting with brands. When I feature a brand, it’s usually after establishing a relationship with them and making sure they understand you all, Wardrobe Oxygen’s audience. While swag is pretty cool, what’s cooler is the relationship I have built with all of you. I want to maintain your trust, I want to continue our honesty, and I want to be able to continue to introduce you to the companies who respect the Wardrobe Oxygen reader and deserve your attention.