Tag Archives: talbots

cheap thrills: fall coat bargains

My weakness for a good coat is a poorly-kept secret in these parts – you’ve all seen me covet one pricey version after another over the years. While I often advocate investment-quality outerwear, I’m a big believer in finding room in your closet for a few great bargain finds too.

In general, my advice is to scrimp on trendier styles, and save your splurge for something classic – a camel overcoat or a black trench, for example. But none of us can survive an entire season without a little variety – after all, for at least 5 months of the year, all anyone sees of me is a coat, a pair of jeans, and my shoes. So that coat has to count! And that means having options. I wish I could splurge on each and every one, but until that lottery win happens, here are a few of my favorite bargain finds for the season.

1. Talbots has some gorgeous fall coats this season, and they’re all on sale right now (up to 50% off full price styles through the end of today, in fact!). I fell hard for this blue tweed overcoat when I first spotted it – the cut and that rich fabric make this look infinitely more luxe than it’s $220 pricetag.

2. Le Train Bleu is one of my favorite under-the-radar spots for trendy pieces at bargain prices. Owner Bria has a knack for tracking down pieces that look and feel one-of-a-kind, at prices that never fail to shock me. This bold plaid double-breasted style is one of my favorites of the season, and it’s only $113!

3. I almost can’t believe this chic leopard print coat is only $55, but it’s true. The darker animal print is infinitely more wearable than some of its flashier counterparts, and the cut makes this perfect for day or evening (I’m a big believer in pairing dressy coats with casual ensembles).

4. Red is such a great color for cold weather – all that black and grey can be depressing, but it’s impossible not to be happy when you’re wearing red. The tailoring of this classic military-style wool topper is what makes it stand out from the crowd. No one would ever believe you spent under $100 for this beauty.

5. In general, I’m skeptical of J.Crew’s “online factory outlet”. The prices never seem that outstanding, and I hate stores that have pieces that are especially made for their outlet. But my personal griping aside, this hip little peacoat offers an awful lot of style for $146 (with code MUSTHAVE) – I love the faux fur collar, and the army green hue is a perfect weekend neutral. {Update: Looks like MUSTHAVE isn’t valid today, but in my experience, if you call and ask, J.Crew will extend it for you as a courtesy.}

Any bargain fall coats on your radar? Share them in the comments – I love a good cheap thrill!

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surprising style: talbots

i’m not sure if i’m getting older (gasp!) or if talbots is actually getting more chic (i’m pretty sure it’s the latter), but i’ve been noticing some seriously stylish pieces in their windows and on their website of late.  sure, they still have the twinsets and sensible heels, but they’ve started mixing in a few pieces each season that are surprisingly hip and full of style.  in fact, a lot of their styles remind me of a grown-up version of j.crew…minus the sequins and ruffles, which, frankly, i’m ready to do without.  ever the investigator, i dropped talbots a line, and they suggested i confirm my suspicions by testing out some of their styles.  how could i resist?

without blinking, i knew my first pick had to be this black military jacket, and it turned out to be the perfect choice.  the fit and styling was right on – a sleek, trim cut (that ran very true to size), great details, and beautiful fabric.

(my only complaint is that it could use a second button closure at the base of the lapel, but since i almost never button it, the point hardly seems worth bothering about.  besides, it’s nothing $15 and a trip to my favorite tailor couldn’t change.)

i’ve been dressing it down with denim and tees, but i could definitely see this styled for work with the right wide-leg pant, maybe in a plaid or a dark camel hue – though you’d want to leave the blazer buttoned-up for that look.  plus, it’s on sale now for $119…a steal for any blazer, but especially one this well made.  sizing’s a bit limited online, but who doesn’t have a talbots in their nearest mega-mall?

and as long as you’re shopping jackets, i have to show you this one too:

gorgeous, isn’t it?  also on sale ($149) – those leather buckle closures are just too perfect.  this one’s just calling out for skinny jeans and riding boots, but i’d love to see it with a slim black trouser too.

last but not least, i couldn’t resist testing out their cashmere, as my snobbery in this department is well-documented. i tried out the cashmere striped boyfriend cardigan, and was thoroughly impressed.  it also happens to be on super sale now (don’t you just love after-christmas sales?)…at $78, this is a serious no-brainer.

i’d definitely suggest sizing down in this piece – i ordered true to size, and wish i’d ordered down.  also, you might have sleeve-length issues if you’re over 5’8″ (as i am).  but the style is right on trend, i love the olive/oatmeal color combo, and the cashmere is simply wonderful.  it’s that thick-knit, low pile cashmere that never pills, never mats, and never causes a moment of stress…the perfect workhorse cardi.  and it’s exceptionally cute layered under a tweed blazer…trust me.

now that i’ve gotten started, i feel like talbots is my new secret spot to find style in a place i least expected it.  next on my wish list?  why, i’m so glad you asked…

sure, the ostrich thongs can wait until the weather warms, but those camel trousers are exactly the piece i’ve been looking for all season.  plus, i’m dying to try their pants!  i’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

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splurge vs. steal: the camel coat

i’ve decided my big splurge this fall/winter will be a new camel coat.  it’s a classic that’s never, ever out of style, and since it’s particularly on-trend this year, i should have dozens of options to choose from.  the trouble, of course, is finding “the one”…that perfect choice that’s sufficiently timeless, on-trend and with that little something extra that makes them really special.

i’m trying my best to track down a stylish, less-pricey option, and have come up with a few choices, but none that i’m head-over-heels in love with.

on paper, this version from j.crew ($325) is exactly what i thought i wanted: a wool-cashmere camel trench.  and the price is definitely right.  but it’s lacking that luxe factor i was hoping to find.  it’s just a little more all-purpose “utilitarian” chic than i wanted.

for a similar price point, i could pick up this version from talbots ($329).  i love that it feels a bit more dressed up, but i’m not sure it’s love.

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the color on this version from theory ($645) isn’t quite right (it’s a little dark), nor is the style (i like a belted waist).  but i do like the sharp tailoring, and for some reason, camel under $800 is a hard find this season.

or, for a considerably larger investment, i could get the one i really love.  color’s perfect, styling is divine, and it’s actual camel hair, which explains the price tag.  this one is $1195 from burberry.

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it’s a worthy splurge, to be sure – a camel coat really is forever.  but i couldn’t help weighing whether the splurgiest version (burberry, naturally) is, you know, proportionately more wonderful than the others.  and then there’s always the potential that something even more wonderful could come along later, and i’ll wish i had waited.  agh, the agony of the splurge!

this little exercise has helped…i think i’ve made up my mind.  but before i confess, i’m curious to know what you think.  be honest!

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deal of the day: chic graphic skirt

today’s deal is courtesy of the always lovely, always instyle, who showed off this gorgeous graphic skirt on her site this morning.  when i clicked over, i could hardly believe my eyes.  it was from talbots, of all places – a store i normally cringe and avert my eyes when passing – and it’s only $35.  

probably unbeknownst to them, it’s as chic as they come.  this a great in-between seasons piece, and will work perfectly for that august-october and march-may time of year when nothing you own seems right.  that bold print is perfect for fall, but the white color keeps it fresh and cool.  

i’d probably steer clear of tights with this one, but it’s definitely cardigan-worthy, especially if you top it off with a skinny belt.  pick it up at talbots, but don’t go clicking around looking for other finds:  the buck stops here.

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