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DwellStudio Zebra pillow, babygap floral bear (similar), Gap Kids fur hat (similar for baby)

We went to Gap today with the intent to return, but ended up picking some odds and ends (’tis the season to buy baby presents!). It helps that there is a 50% off almost everything early Black Friday promotion (which a lot of places seem to be doing) and GapCash promotion going on. (This sale ends Sunday night. If you’re not a cardholder, it’s 40% off. You can always wait for next week if you miss it.) I really like teddy bears with no embellishments and babyGap has four styles: floral, plaid, rainbow stripes, and marled. Sadly there are no measurements online (note to Gap, please add measurements!) so I waited for an in-store visit. They are roughly 8 inches high. I also ended up getting this fur hat from the girls’ department. Surprisingly the L/XL size fit.

Old Navy has a 40% off sale online with code BIGDEAL. Some exclusions apply and it also ends today.
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Image source: Brooks Brothers

Image source: Talbots

It’s that time of year again — when spring/summer markdowns are aplenty and I get disillusioned with shopping and return almost everything. I kept these zebra earrings the last go around with Talbots. (I have a thing for zebras at the moment.) Talbots (as I’ve mentioned before) is underrated for the quality/selection of merchandise. If you like the classic or preppy J.Crew or slightly funkier Gap style, have fun digging around their site. Their sale is getting quite good and kudos for adding reviews to their product pages, as their sizing is inconsistent.

Recommendations:

Hint: They restock the website every morning. I’ve found some in-stock items not listed under the sale section nor searchable from the search box but it is in stock, so it’s best to Google or save a link. If something is sold out, try asking customer service to locate it in a store. 

 

Image source: Talbots

Some of Talbots‘ ballet flats are 70% off through November 11. The lowest I’ve seen them are ~$20 but sizes are already starting to dwindle.

If any of the links are dead, try searching on the website. I haven’t tried on any of these styles yet. I am a US 8 and my Talbots size can be 7.5 – 8. Also, their medium width may also run wide. These all look like they have rubber soles, so I’m not sure how their quality compares to the ones I’ve bought in the past that are made in Italy. They are much more durable than Gap. I ordered a few styles and didn’t know there was a birthday discount for award program members, so love the fact that an additional 10% off was automatically applied.

(Left to right, top to bottom)

I previously mentioned how underrated Talbots shoes are. They’ve been having really good sales (as in 80% off) and it’s not final sale yet. I was not going to order anything, but then I saw the Julie Leather Cap-Toe Ballet Flat on a friend and the price dropped to less than $20. Err… it’s too tempting! Especially since these are also rubber soled, meaning no money needs to be spent on re-soling a leather sole! My only wish is that it was a black cap toe, and not navy, but it’s dark enough! There is also a canvas version, which sounds uncomfortable for the style. It was confirmed by another friend in person.

Note on sizing: Unlike other Talbots flats, these run true to size. Don’t size down!

In my neverending quest to find the best nude shoes, some recent reviews:

1) Gap Tie-back Ballet Flats ($49.95) – Not returned. I’m a fan of most Gap flats – they are super low maintenance with a rubber bottom and a leather upper. They are not the best quality, however, they last a while. The leather of these are softer and more distressed than normal. The toe box also needs a lot of stretching. They run TTS. The color is perfect. Refer to picture #1, left side. As with most Gap items, paying retail is insane, but this has sold so well without going on sale!

2) Talbots Jenni Scrunchy Leather Ballet Flats ($29.39) – Returned, but am exploring the black option. If the link goes to nowhere, try searching on the site. Talbots shoes are extremely underrated. They are often made in Italy and of quality leather. Especially lucrative when on sale. Talbots is having additional 40% off sale items right now and most items are not final sale. Their flats run 1/2 size big, so size down. These are scrunchy but don’t have the annoying, blister inducing elastic band that I find on Tory Burch. The color “mauve” is actually more like a light lavender… not nude at all. Refer to picture #1, right side.

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I’ve never shopped at Talbots before in my life, until this past December. The evilness of reading blogs (mine included) is that you find new things to spend money on. Talbots has always had a pretty “old” image. Even older than Ann Taylor, pre-transformation. The lovely Julianne Moore has been heading their ad campaign and I love Julianne, so Talbots, your marketing worked on me.

Talbots quality is good. I would rank it overall above Ann Taylor, but only above J.Crew for leather accessories. I like J.Crew, especially when they source wool from the same factory as Loro Piana, but their shoes have yet to impress me and their calfhair animal belt was too mangly this season.

Some observations about Talbots:

  • Accessories are age-agnostic. If the clothing doesn’t work for you, accessories most likely will. The quality of their shoes is substantial. There is even a pair that looked rather Prada (many seasons ago). Refer to the bottom pic. A word of caution, their flats run wider than usual. I also got an $12 zebra calfhair belt, but after thinking through it for a while, I passed the deal on to my coworker because I already have a leopard one. And it is a dark brown scheme, a color I rarely wear.
  • Pretty good pricing. Sometimes there are codes to make it even more fantastic, so you are looking at 70%+ off. I’m not sure how anybody shops here for full-price. They fulfill orders from online and store, but once in a while, they may cancel something on you. They also like final sale pricing. If you’re lucky, use a % off code right before they go to the final sale pricing.
  • Links break. Don’t bother bookmarking because I don’t think they work. Use the search box. My favorite search words are: leopard, double, silk, leather, lace, seasonless, and feather. (I can’t believe lace is #4 either.)
  • Petite is your best friend. I am 5’3″ the last time I checked and I don’t wear petite all the time, but I definitely need to go petite for 90% of Talbots clothing. I’ve tried on a silk pencil skirt, a double wool top, and two coats so far. The coats ran large and long, even for petites, so size down 1+ sizes. The silk pencil skirt and double wool top ran true to size.
  • Tailor. If something is 75% off and of good quality, I don’t mind spending money at a tailor to make the length perfect.
  • Need a suit? I’ve never tried on their suits, but there are some extensive reviews online if you google. Their seasonless wool collection looks nice. I am curious how it compares to J.Crew’s super 120s line, which is my favorite. I don’t need any more suits, so I will not be looking into this further…
  • Stay away from Talbots outlet stores. I was in an outlet mall and went into a Talbots store… and walked right back out.