Great American Sportswear Triumphs
Fashion Article Posted October 2, 2007

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The constant whir of fashion trends has left many women feeling like spectators at a NASCAR race.  The trends circle so fast, a blink may obscure a noteworthy collision.  Talbots offers a different perspective, saying fall's trends are not focused on past influences or future design directions but women's here and now needs.  A 35+ woman needs a foundation of wearable separates she can adapt to suit any sudden change of plan, punctuated by distinct finds that reflect her personality and spark conversation, says Betsy Thompson, Talbots fashion spokesperson.  This season's look is all about giving her true options clean, effortless sportswear with an underlying emphasis on menswear, the color grey as a canvas, easy layers and an eye-catching mix of proportions.


The menswear influence is no stranger to women's fashion with its knack for clean lines and impeccable tailoring reinforced by a fondness for orderly, no-nonsense patterns usually of the stripe and check variety.  Menswear touches are everywhere, often marked by a singular feminine flourish or pop of girlish color to add a sense of pretty to an otherwise serious mix.  For work, the choices have a polished edge softened by a romantic flourish e.g., pinstripe vest, matching trousers and a delicate blouse with voluminous sleeves, or a sharp houndstooth pantsuit offset by a ruffled blouse and well-heeled platform pumps.  More casual finds include a herringbone blazer in ladylike shades of peacock blue, cinnamon or pomegranate, study hall sweater vests and crisp shirts that are pressed, never starched. 


The infinite possibilities of grey make it the color of the season.  Grey is a canvas that looks rich and lustrous worn in varying shades from head-to-toe.  From platinum to charcoal, grey blends with ready ease - leathered neutrals, spicy brights and subdued jewel tones.   For women accustomed to wearing lots of black, a shift to grey does not require a leap of faith.  Talbots is showing grey throughout its assortment in tweedy separates, chic belted dresses, classic cable cardigans and plaid walking shorts.  Not to be missed in sophisticated grey suede ankle boots, tailored satchel, metallic envelope clutch, spectator pumps, kilt-pinned houndstooth wrap, cabled tights, leggings and more.    


Layering continues with good reason women dress for varying temperatures indoors, outdoors and within.  The ability to add and subtract a layer is a practical plus; the fact that you can look great in the process is a bonus. The look is all about providing a glimpse of other layers, not covering them up like old wallpaper.   Tops in light fabrics with varying necklines are essential components.  It's best to wear smooth knits closest to the body, adding texture and dimension for outer layers.  Key pieces include camis (ultimate underlayer), tailed shirts and menswear-esque vests plus simple tees, sweaters and cardigans in differing necklines and lengths.  New this season - a short cape or knit capelet as a jacket alternative.    


Many of fall's looks reveal a sense of architecture a calculated mix of shapes, proportions and end uses.  Swingy jackets add dimension and drama to lean sheaths, wide leg pants and cuffed, cropped jeans.  Also this season, a long fluid cardigan adds a modern touch to slim ankle pants, while a cropped pea coat looks fresh with trim bootlegs in comfy corduroy.  Related to layering, this trend is focused on the juxtaposition of shape and length against a three-dimensional form.  This sounds complicated but it's really about bringing visual balance to a woman's figure e.g., accentuating the positive, offsetting any spots earning less than positive praise.   


For the 35+ woman, the who are you wearing? question at cocktail parties and PTA meetings has been replaced by where did you get that? pleas.  She wants distinctive finds  that reflect her sense of style and ignite a hint of shopper's envy.  Fall's noteworthy nuances include texture (lush chunky knits, cabled tights, colorful quilted vests and belted jackets), unexpected sheen (patent satchel or shoes or a metallic envelope clutch) and a lady's touch (a bow here, a ruffle there).  Other talked about updates include:  platform boots and platform loafers, heeled booties, wraparound belts, long gloves, quilted bags, tweedy newsboy caps and unleashed animal prints.


With 60 years of experience dressing women 35 and older, Talbots is the leading specialty retailer of classic apparel, shoes and accessories.  The Company offers an extensive assortment of clothing in four different size ranges, including:

         Misses 2-20 (with select styles in long sizes)

         Petite 0-16P

         Woman's or Plus 12W-24W

         Woman's Petite 12WP-24WP   

Talbots private-label fashions are available in Talbots stores, catalog and online at  To find a store, call 1-800-tALBOTS (1-800-825-2687), or click on the store locator link at the Talbots website.


Talbots Fall 07 Forecast

Great American Sportswear Triumphs Backed by Menswear, Grey, Easy Layers, Mixed Proportions


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