Confessions of a Style Editor

Confession: Yesterday when I received a holiday look book from Talbots,  I didn’t even bother to pull the red, spiral-bound book of images from its fed-ex envelope. I just tossed the whole thing straight into the trash.

Now, this may seem like a very biased, un-journalistic approach, but this is Talbots I’m talking about. You know, gold-buttoned boiled-woil cardigan sweaters; pleated plaid trousers; short-sleeved tea-length dresses (make it stop!); and loafers—with the penny.  All of these are just dandy for my granny, but not exactly stuff for the style pages.

However, something (my conscience? a psychic flash?) made me yank the thing out of the trash. What I found inside was shocking. Vintage-inspired accessories. Chic patterned cardigans. Classic button-front shirts. Glamorous trench coats. It’s J. Crew meets Tory Burch—at Talbots prices. Still classic, but defintely more stylish and sophisticate. With a little research I learned that the fall/holiday 2008 collections are part of a brand relaunch. Even the Talbots font, now in all-caps, block lettering, has been modernized.

Here’s a sneak peek, but you’ll have to wait until November when this collection hits stores to decide if it’s as good as it looks. I’m keeping an open mind.