Talbots has a great variety of sizes and styles with something for everyone!
Apr 4, 2003 (Updated Oct 18, 2005)
Talbots.com and the Talbots brick and mortar stores carry a wide range of traditional,and preppy clothes for women, children and, most recently, men. They have a particularly nice selection of career clothes for women and dressy clothes for kids.
CLOTHING AND LINES OFFERED
For women, the clothing options are endless. I particularly like their career line. Talbots offers lots of suits, dresses, coordinating outfits and business casual clothes for the office. There are lot of matching pieces so you can but only a few items but end up with lots of options. The prices are reasonable, even when not on sale, but the sales are great.
Talbots also offers casual clothes for women that are preppy and traditional. These clothes are a little too conservative and traditional for my taste so I don't make many purchases although I have a few nice t-shirts. The casual clothes tend to be more expensive than other stores such as the Gap, although they are also better quality.
Talbots carries shoes, bags, belts, a small collection of jewelery and other items such as scarves and wallets that all coordinate with the line of clothing that they are currently offering.
Talbots also offers a good selection of children's clothes. Most of the casual clothes are more expensive than the Gap or Gymboree or other mall stores, however the quality is better. The styles are also less trendy and more preppy. There are also lots of basics such as sweats, t-shirts, underwear, pajamas and basic shorts and pants. I usually wait until the clothes are marked down and stock up on the basics for my kids.
The dressy clothes for kids are particularly nice and are actually cheaper than a lot of the dress clothes offered by children's boutiques. The dressy styles are a little more trendy than the casual styles. When we need a party dress or nice chinos, we always check Talbots. There is a particularly good selection of dresses for teen girls.
Talbots just introduced a limited men's line. I haven't bought anything from it yet so I can't really comment.
This is where Talbots shines. They have a variety of clothing to fit almost every size. Since they are, for the most part, a private label company (meaning they only offer clothes that they manufacture), once you find your size, you can be sure that almost everything you order from them will fit. You don't need to fuss through size charts that are offered by retailers that carry multiple manufacturer's lines. Talbots sizing is very reliable.
They carry misses sizes in the regular ranges. Plus, they have petites and women's sizes. Some pants come in long sizes. A lot of their clothes are offered in multiple sizes, so you can order suit pieces from two different lines. This is great for me because I am usually in between the misses and the petites sizes. For suits, I can order petite tops and misses bottoms. That way, the arms on my jackets don't need to be shortened. This variety can sometimes save you some money on tailoring.
The children's sizing is a little more limited although they carry clothes for babies all the way through late teens.
STEALS AND DEALS
If you sign up as a Talbot's customer on line or in the store, you will get a certificate for 10% off all purchases (including on line and on sale items) during the month of your birthday.
There is a Talbot's credit card that provides reward points for a certain amount of dollars purchased. Once you accumulate enough points, they send you a gift certificate for the store. During one promotion about a year ago, I spent $250 in the store and got a $50 gift certificate. Usually, though, you need to spend much more to earn a $50 gift certificate. Terms change and there are frequent promotions - so check with the store for the current deal.
They have sales after the 4th of July and after Christmas. Additionally, there are small sales during other times of the year. If you sign up for e-mail notices, they will give you a few days warning before the sales start.
In the last few years, the sales have been starting a few weeks early. This year, they started to mark down items in early December. They continue to mark down items every 10-14 days until most items are at least half off. Talbots sales, especially after the second markdown - have great deals. I usually stock up for my kids for the next year in turtlenecks, cordoroy pants, sweats and other practical, basic items. In early January, I bought mittens made by Columbia for $5 a pair. Thick cotton long underwear sets (which also make great winter pajamas) were under $10, marked down from $29.
A FANTASTIC GUARANTEE
They stand by their clothes and have an unconditional guarantee. You can return any item for any reason at any time. For this reason, it is a good idea to tuck away your receipts to prove what you paid should you ever have to return it. I own lots of Talbots items and have happily never had to take advantage of this guarantee.
Customer service is great. The web site sends an e-mail notifying you that they have received your order. They do not send an e-mail when the order ships. However, the orders come very fast, usually two-four days after I place the order.
Once, I ordered a lot of merchandise after Christmas. They sent me an e-mail saying that, due to overwhelming response, my items might arrive late. However, my items still arrived within four days so I was completely satisfied.
Items are packed in individual plastic bags. Occasionally, they are on a hanger. The box is sometimes lined with tissue paper. The box itself is very sturdy and sealed with paper tape. I have ordered from Talbots several times and never had a problem with shipping.
Talbots charges a lot for shipping. Here is the breakdown from the web site:
United States Shipping & Handling
Total Merchandise (exclude tax) / shipping cost
0-$30.00 / $6.00
$30.01-$50.00 / $8.00
$50.01-$75.00 / $10.00
$75.01-$100.00 / $12.00
$100.01-$150.00 / $13.00
$150.01-$200.00 / $15.00
$200.01-$300.00 / $16.00
$300.01 and over/ $17.00
They also have express and international shipping for extra cost.
There are pre-printed return labels in the shipping box. They are not stickers so you need to tape them to the box. You have to pay the return shipping. They recommend that you insure the return package. Returns can also be made to the stores which saves shipping costs.
WEB SITE OPERATION
In my experience, the web site can be slow and occasionally I get error messages. The menus are intuitive so it is easy to navigate the site.
Once you have selected an item, you move it into your shopping bag. However, each time you select an item, you have to remember to change a drop down box to indicate that it is being shipped to you (they should make that a default). If you don't make this change, then you get an error message and you have to back up a screen to make the adjustment. It isn't a big flaw, but still, it can be annoying.
The site is up to date on the level of merchandise, so you will see if they are out of a size or color when you order.
There is a chat feature on the web site but I have never used it.
I have ordered clothes for the kids and me from Talbots.com multiple times. Each time the order goes smoothly and the clothing arrives quickly. The web site isn't perfect, but it gets the job done. I have no complaints.
The quality of the clothes is always great and they last a long time. I have been happy with all of my purchases.
web site: www.talbots.com
toll free phone: 1-800-talbots (825-2687)
Talbots is a great store. You can always count on them when you need to find career pieces and basic clothes for kids. The sales have great deals and I usually find something to buy either in the store on on-line. The on-line experience is relatively smooth and the shipping is reliable. I can definately recommend this on line store.
DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP ON THE INTERNET? HERE ARE SOME MORE REVIEWS OF WEB STORES:
Clothing and Accessories: The Gap; CWD Kids; Hanna Andersson; J. Jill; Tote Le Monde ; Blu Pyxie ; Miniboden; One Hanes Place; Nordstrom; Gymboree; Simple Shoes; Sierra Blue; Ebags; Shoe Dawg; Osh Kosh; Backcountry; Figleaves.
Clothing and Home Goods: Lands End; Bluefly; Soft Surroundings; Garnet Hill; Sundance; L.L. Bean.
Home and Garden: Smith & Noble; Restoration Hardware; Gardeners Supply Company; Unicahome; Homeclick; FaucetDirect; Gardens Alive; West Elm; Crate & Barrel; MyKnobs; CB2.
Books and Magazines: Amazon.com; ValueMags; Magazine Values; Dover Publications.
Office Supplies, Furniture and Services: Staples; Officemax; Topdeq; Efax.
Electronics: HP Shopping; Buy.com; ABT Electronics.
Travel: Amtrak; Hotwire; Orbitz; Hotels.com.
Discount: Overstock.com; Target; Smart Bargains.
Photo Developing: Shutterfly; Snapfish.
Baby Stuff: Babystyle; Babys Here Birth Announcements; Baby Universe; SoZo; Baby Center; Baby Age; One Step Ahead.
Miscellaneous: 1-800 contacts; Movie Tickets.com; Drugstore.com.
Rebate Sites: Upromise; Ebates.
Before you start shopping, check out my tips on how to save money by shopping on the internet . I have also included some coupon codes and plan to add more as I find them.
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