Talbots Spring 2015 Collection: A Second Glance

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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!

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  1. There is a store near my house so I always go there after I hit up Ann Taylor. Ann Taylor has gotten so dark… seriously, everything in there is black. It’s nice to see the colors in Talbot. I haven’t bought anything in awhile but do have some things in mind and will definitely check back since I need things for spring!
    By the way, Allie… our family is headed your way for spring break! Wish the weather was going to be a bit warmer, but at least it doesn’t look like snow and ice while we’re there.

      1. We had a wonderful time, Allie. The trees weren’t in bloom yet and we had cold, rainy sightseeing on one of our days, but it was the trip of a lifetime for us! It was good for our family to get away from work and responsibilities for a bit.

  2. Oh boy, that gladiola print dress is calling my name. Pretty sure I’d have to get it altered but if it could become a dress that I wear for years, it’s worth it. I’m in the same boat with everyone else, thinking Talbots is for “older” people. When I think about it, I realize that I got that impression because my friend’s mom shopped there when I was in high school. Ummm, yeah…I’m now about the age her mom was then. Thanks for bringing them to my attention!

    1. Age is relative, isn’t it? When I was 14-15, 21 was “older”, sophisticated, and of legal booze buying age!


  3. This almost makes me want to buy things for spring (I’m on a huge let’s-not-buy-things-right-now kick). Love that pleated skirt. So elegant and just a little different. So versatile. And I 100% agree about the blue flowered dress. If I weren’t worried about all the other moms also scooping it up as their Easter dress, that’s exactly what I’d do. It’s too good.

  4. I just got the catalog in the mail – in New Zealand – and was similarly impressed with the spring collection, especially when everyone else seems to be presenting tastefully dull white-blue-black-Breton-stripes. Not only are Talbots knits superb, but I am finding that their knit garments wear/last very well. Do you have any feedback on the Nantucket polyester shirts? That brushstroke print one tempts me, and I can’t just run into Talbots in person from New Zealand!

  5. Oh, I like that green dress? Does it have pockets??? I really wish more brands would give us girls real pockets. I’ve not been in Talbots in quite a while but may have to visit soon. I’ve purchased from them in the past but kind of got that “old lady vibe” from them in the past few years. Some of these pieces may get me back. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Talbots has been on my radar since the mid-90s. Back then, there clothing was very preppy/classic and no doubt frumpy except for carefully selected items. But the quality was excellent and it was all made in the USA. I’m still wearing the few pieces I bought twenty years later. While I’m happy with the way they updated their styles, I wish they hadn’t done so at the expense of quality. It’s just not as nice as their clothing used to be.

    1. I don’t have any Talbots clothing over a decade old (scratch that, I have thrifted/eBayed some older pieces but not sure how far back they go), but I can imagine considering how I’ve seen the quality go down with pretty much every retailer. Gosh I have clothing from Express from the ’90s that is better made than Brooks Brothers, Talbots, and Theory pieces I’ve bought in the past couple of years. 🙁

    2. I truly agree. It’s been harder and harder to find good quality, and a little frustrating when you really want to have investment pieces.

      1. The only upside is that it makes it easy to keep the closet under control since most of what’s out there is not worth the money.

  7. I really like Talbots. In addition to regular and plus sizing, they offer petite and the extremely elusive petite plus size! And although they’ve had the reputation of being “old lady” it is definitely not true. My 18 year old daughter found some cute linen t-shirts there a few months ago and they’ve gotten quite a bit of use. And will continue to this spring and summer.

    I don’t like pastels much either, but agree that pairing them with black and white brings them up to a more sophisticated level.

  8. I’d like to see the sunflower dress in cream. With the intricate detail, the color takes away from it. A light, neutral would better show it off.

    Allie, so many of their rayon and ponte garments list ‘dry clean only’. I’ve had good results with washing rayon and ponte, from other retailers, in the washing machine with cold water, gentle cycle. What do you think? Truly needing to dry clean makes the difference between me purchasing a garment or not. If the item is an expensive formal evening gown or something along those lines, OK. But with basics for work and business travel, needing to dry clean makes the items unaffordable.


      1. Yes, those all sound good! The colors they now offer, with that lace, remind me too much of a fancy kid’s birthday cake.

  9. i’ve moved away form pastels as i’ve gotten older, but i love the idea of styling with black and white!!

  10. That white/cream collarless jacket is really nice. You can switch scarves around at the neckline, put it over pants, a skirt, dresses. If I were going to pick an item that I could wear a couple of days a week or put in a travel wardrobe, even though it’s light colored, that would be it.

  11. I have a love/hate relationship with Talbots. I think so much of the stuff looks so cute, but then I put it on, and I find that it looks very dated on me. Something about the way it sits on me just doesn’t work. I will say though that I find they have the best customer service. My mom and I can go in there and I swear, they treat us like queens. So this post makes me want to go try on the super cute dresses at the top. Most of my troubles are with pants, so here’s hoping!

    1. I always assumed Talbots was “older lady fashion” until a little less than a decade ago. A very stylish woman who worked at the same apparel brand as I left to work for Talbots. I found it such a strange career choice, but then went to one of their stores and ended up dropping $300 on some fabulous fashion! After I had Emerson, Talbots was my go-to because they had 16 petite when no one else did. I had several of their knit dresses and plenty of jackets to keep me looking professional during those months where my body was all over the place. And my leopard collarless coat is from there and I always get compliments and people are always shocked it’s Talbots!

    1. It’s not sponsored. I wrote about it because Talbots is a brand that has quality, clothes that fit the lifestyles of my readers, and a nice range of sizes. I’m on their mailing list, but I am also on the mailing list of dozens of other brands. I chose to feature them because if it took me a second glance to realize their spring collection wasn’t ho-hum maybe sharing it with you all would help you also see the pieces in a different light. It’s amazing how the styling of a piece can make it look amazing or really frumpy!

      1. I actually have this weird relationship with Talbots where I never remember they exist (or I find myself thinking they’re an “older” brand) and then suddenly a catalog comes to me or I happen to find a post like this and I remember hey make a LOT of quality basics.

        1. I do this too, and to be honest I do posts like this which do remind me. I get in a rut with retailers, get annoyed when they change or have a bad season, and then think… hey what about X brand? DUH, there’s other fish in the sea! Talbots is one of those brands, and each time I look back I find good staples or fun statement pieces!

  12. I have very few Talbots pieces, but they are of good quality, great fabric and fit.
    I love the fact that their skirts cover my knees, which means I can adjust as required. Most brands are making extremely short skirts.

  13. I have never thought of Talbots, it just made me think of my grandma, but it is ADORABLE! This can’t be good for my wallet! Thankfully I’m still in maternity clothes – 7 weeks to go! – so I am not as tempted, but once I’m back to real clothes I’m definitely going there.

    1. I mentioned it below, but Talbots was my go-to after having Emerson. There was one near my office, their staff was so helpful and I found a ton of wrap and jersey dresses on their clearance rack that were nursing/pumping friendly and made my transitioning body look awesome. Best wishes with your pregnancy and future family addition! <3

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