WIB: Talbots Shorts.

Confession time: I would never have thought of Talbots except for Angie's post. But you know what? Ten days ago the zipper on my favourite Mexx white shorts finally broke. They are eleven years old (from my first year at YLF!). I think I can get them fixed, and I will if I can, because believe it or not, apart from the zipper, they are still in fantastic shape. But in the meantime, I've been going crazy without a pair of white lightweight shorts (my denim ones sometimes feel too heavy and because white shorts are a wardrobe essential, with only one pair I end up with laundry bottlenecks). I had already searched (online) in all the usual places and had come up empty handed -- either they didn't have white shorts, or didn't have the style I wanted or the fabrication or my size, or the cost was astronomical, or I wasn't sure about the fit model, etc. etc. 

Another confession: I'm always a bit self-conscious in shorts. I'm verging on petite in height. My legs are on the shorter side even for my shorter height, not always perfectly toned (ahem), and my proportions are a bit off (longer thigh, shorter calf -- which can exaggerate the impression that I am short-legged.) I'm sure a shorter short would be more conventionally flattering to my vertical proportions,  but I feel more comfortable in a longer short because I like the coverage, and I hope these are JFE. 

Despite my self-consciousness in shorts, I wear them all the time in the summer months. With my casual suburban bike riding, gardening, and hiking lifestyle they are quite simply the most practical choice. Yes, I  wear dresses and skirts whenever I can -- even for some bike outings -- and I love them! But most days I wear shorts for at least a few hours even if I later change into something a bit dressier. In summer, shorts are a wardrobe essential, in other words. With white being the most essential, since it works with all my summer tops. 

There's a Talbot's store at the local mall. Without a lot of hope, (because, really, Talbots?) I biked down there this afternoon, and lo and behold, they did indeed have a pair of shorts for me. Two, in fact! 

These are the "Perfect short" which is basically a chino Bermuda with a bit of stretch. I ended up sizing down in regular sizing. I tried petite but (as usual) the rise was not good for me. If they'd had my regular size in petite, that might have worked, and I'd probably have liked the length better, but available sizes were extremely limited and I felt lucky to get what I got. I can always cuff these (as in pic 3). 

If you are looking for something similar, sizing is generous. They call these "waist high" but they are not, on me -- instead they come to just below my navel, which on me is 3 inches below my true waist. :) But this happens to be my favourite mid-rise place for pants -- much more comfy for me that true low rise or high rise.

I got white and sagebrush. I have been wearing for a few hours now -- they stretch a bit but not at all in a bad way. Cotton is soft, substantial, well-finished, and pleasant to the hand. 

Wearing with my new Ecco flip flops. For years I've been a fan of Fit Flops but alas, they stopped making the adjustable straps and the shoe is simply too wide for me now. I have been feeling unstable and "floaty" in them and that's not a good feeling. The Ecco Corksphere thong runs narrow, for Ecco. It would not work at all for a wide foot but would work for a narrower to regular width foot. The footbed has a small ridge all round -- those with longer toes might find that uncomfortable but it does not affect me. I wear this kind of shoe as my "house shoe" in summer. (Indoors and on the deck, with an extra pair for beach wear.) 

At Talbots, I also tried on the jungle friends shell --- lovely lightweight cotton voile and a fun pattern which looked great on me (ivory and charcoal) but alas, the ruffle was a deal-breaker for me so I left it there. 

Two pair of shorts for $50 CAD isn't bad these days. Thank you, Angie! 

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This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.

47 Comments

  • Jenni NZ replied 1 month ago

    Fantastic Suz! I so relate. Luckily Ezibuy which is a mid-brand we have here usually comes through for me at a reasonable price similar to what you just paid. You look great in them, honestly!

  • Star replied 1 month ago

    YLF in these shorts!  White cotton shorts are an essential for me too in high summer.

  • kkards replied 1 month ago

    This is exactly my experience with Talbots, when it’s good it’s very very good, but when it’s not whatever’s off it’s a deal breaker.  

    Yay for finding the shorts. And yay for finding them local.  
    And you  look great in shorts

  • merwoman replied 1 month ago

    Great score and these look amazing on you! 

  • Helena replied 1 month ago

    These are great on you Suz! And a perfect cool-olive-ish tone for your palette too.

  • RobinF replied 1 month ago

    Great looking shorts! They look like fabulous quality. They would be way too long on me, but could always hem. Look great on you though. I wear shorts all summer, they are simply what is most comfortable, so I know what you mean about them being a necessity.

  • Janet replied 1 month ago

    Those look great on you! This is a style of shorts that works for me too, but I’m well-stocked on shorts at the moment. I share your self-consciousness about wearing shorts, but for different reasons (my legs are long but not nicely shaped, rather like tree trunks, LOL). However, you look fab in these!

  • Mirjana replied 1 month ago

    Great shorts ,you look amazing , especially in white. Good purchase.

  • JAileen replied 1 month ago

    Maybe what you said about your legs is true, but they actually look pretty good to me.  The length looks great on you.  I bought similar length shorts from Macy’s this year, and while they aren’t as cool as shorter ones, they feel a little dressier.

  • Angie replied 1 month ago

    I see beautiful shapely legs!

    KILLER shorts, Suz! I love the length! Very flattering. PERFECT tailored fit! And the white is especially crisp and gorgeous with your hair and complexion. 

    #1 is casually Euro chic! Looking Dutch, and ready to climb on your bike. This is how Dutch people bike in the Summer in the Netherlands. Bikes are the no. #1 mode of transport there. 

    You can now put Talbots on your "list of brands".... :)

  • catherine replied 1 month ago

    Suz, your new shorts look really great on you. The length is perfect.

  • lynn replied 1 month ago

    Talbot’s is always good for solid color basics. I know we are our own worst critics but your legs look great to me. I live in a hot climate and “have to” wear shorts on a daily basis.  I have been self conscious of my legs all my life…they are so skinny with knees that stick out on the the inner side.  I decided that they get me around very well so I try not dwell on how they look. Easier said than done!!  I LOVE jeans and winter clothes

  • Suz replied 1 month ago

    Thanks, all. For sure, we are our own worst critics, and often our insecurities result from some chance remark a friend or parent made in childhood. Or perhaps from previous fitting issues with articles of clothing; I used to think I had the fattest calves in the world because of all the eye-rolls I'd get from sales staff whenever I tried on tall boots and could not zip them up — but it turns out it's just because my calves are shorter and so the curve of the boot (cut for a taller person) is in the wrong place for me, LOL. I only. learned that at the age of 50 or so via YLF. When I found a right-height boot I learned my calves are perfectly normal verging on slimmer. Ha! 

    Thanks really to Angie and YLF for teaching us how to dress to highlight what we want to highlight. For instance -- i know if I went lower contrast with my tops, I'd get an even longer line (if that were what I wanted) but I happen to like the contrast, plus, these are the tops I have, so...I'm happy to sacrifice conventional flattery for something that feels authentic to me. 

    Anyway, if you are in need of a well-made short, these are there for you. They also have other styles (shorter, looser fitting, etc.) but these had the combination of crispness and casualness that I was looking for. 

  • slim cat replied 1 month ago

    Great fit - lucky you to find perfect shorts in the end of summer!
    Love both colors on you - sage shorts with darker top is so pretty ( as the white one too - can't pick a favorite  ;)  )!

  • SarahD8 replied 1 month ago

    Oh, fantastic! I am glad you found such a great replacement so quickly for your newly-discovered-to-be-essential shorts! (I do hope you can repair the originals, but what a relief to have something to sub in while you wait for that to be accomplished -- and to reduce the bottleneck once they are back in your active closet.)

    These look fantastic (and very flattering!) on you, and I especially love the version with the cool cloud-print tank.

    I can relate to those issues with fit due to one's height and proportions. I tend to encounter them on my top half, because my torso is short. They can be so demoralizing but how great to have an understanding of what is going wrong and that the problem is the clothes, not the body!

  • Murph11 replied 1 month ago

    My favorite length... and they look GREAT on you! I see they're available at a Talbots near me and my white shorts bit the dust this year (packed them for a roadtrip, wore them once, and immediately thew them in the recycle bin on my return). And, can't beat the sale!

    Thanks for your review with photos, Suz –– so helpful.

  • Laurie replied 1 month ago

    Well, you look just amazing. Great job at Talbots! You know your proportions so well. I never considered length of thigh vs length of shin and the implications for short/pant lengths - but the smallest adjustments always make a huge difference! Thanks for the thorough reviews, including on the Eccos.

    I'm tempted to click on these shorts, but most stop myself because there is a box of summer clothes in the attic. I didn't get any of my non-athletic shorts out this summer. I've been living in bike shorts with pockets - for exercise and office. There was a time I would not have been caught dead in bike shorts, other than on my bike, but now I just throw on a longer top to go to the grocery store.  Phone in the hip pocket. Credit card in the phone pocket. 

  • CarolS replied 1 month ago

    Wow, those shorts are fabulous, Suz -- and the PRICE!!! Nicely done all round I'd say. :-)

  • Roxanna replied 1 month ago

    Just chiming in to say that the shorts look fabulous - And also, I appreciate your detailed descriptions of fit/body specifications. From you, I learned that even though I am also verging on petite (almost 5’4”), I am short waisted but have a long rise, which has been so helpful in helping me understand my fit issues. Abs from this post I just realized that my navel is also indeed 3” lower than my natural waist, and I like things that fit there too!

  • LJP replied 1 month ago

    Well - these are GREAT shorts for you !    I'm with you in wearing them all summer long .  What I like about these is the bulk-free design of the waistband and fly.  I have bermudas in both these colours too and while the white doesn't get much wear (I am resentful of laundry it seems)  I couldn't manage a summer without them.  That silky shell is so pretty - but get rid of that damn ruffle- I agree.  

  • rachylou replied 1 month ago

    You win for a polished shorts look, Suz! Also, hello, you also win for most polished flip flops ever! :D

  • cat2 replied 1 month ago

    Cute pick. I like Talbots for casual pants like cargoes, and for jeans skirts, They are well made, and the fabric drapes well. I don’t buy anything else from them, I find the styling not quite what I want.

  • Cardiff girl replied 1 month ago

    Just goes to show you really shouldn’t rule anywhere out.The shorts look great on you,no need to feel self conscious at all.

  • Suz replied 1 month ago

    Thanks, all. I really wasn't fishing for compliments but I will gladly take them. :) 

    cat2, I really agree about the styling (and colours) on the other items. The colours (in store, at least) and patterns were just too preppy for my taste (especially in the tops and the shorter skirts), the detailing was in some cases overly fussy for me (teeny ruffles, machine embroidered bits) or else the cuts of the tops felt dated, to me, or perhaps just over generous for my own frame.

    Still, I do feel that i will keep an eye on them, not just for staples like these shorts (or, as you say, cargoes or capris) but also for jackets like JAileen's. I also think that anyone who likes preppy colours and who. needs arm or shoulder coverage in summer tops should really keep looking there because they had a lot of beautiful cotton voile tops with sleeves -- just not in colours that work for me, personally. 

  • Aquamarine replied 1 month ago

    Good to know! They look great on you! Never thought of Talbots for shorts.

    I have so many shorts now (a bit of weight loss got me so excited I went a bit overboard this summer :-)) but I will keep Talbots in mind. I do like a Bermuda length as an option, especially for some places/occasions.

  • Irina replied 1 month ago

    So very cute!!! :)

  • Sal replied 1 month ago

    Really looking great here Suz - these are a perfect classic short.  I think both colours will be brilliant for you.

    I wore white shorts for the first time in an age (20 plus years) last year and loved them.  So much so I am considering a second pair as my three pairs of shorts are all a bit worn.  I don't do trendy with shorts- I leave that for my shoes or top or sunnies - I know the length that works and I stick to it.

  • Brooklyn replied 1 month ago

    They look great Suz, and you look great in them. I wonder if you should consider duplicating. When I find either shorts or jeans that I love, I do (because I wear them so often). And that’s a fantastic top in the first outfit.

  • Jaime replied 1 month ago

    Great finds - they really fit you perfectly in every sense. And great discussion about understanding your fit issues and then putting the emphasis on the clothes being wrong not your body. One of the great uber lessons of YLF.

  • Zaeobi replied 1 month ago

    YLF in both shorts - & also your tops too! The first is smoky ethereal, but the second is punchy fun without being overwhelming. The length works great for being practical yet avoiding the dreaded 'chub rub' (or is that just something I struggle with, lol?)

    I have many of the same leg fit challenges as you - down to the thigh VS calf ratio & even the placement of my calves (FitFlop came through with their tall boots, but I'm finding their shoe (sole) sizing more inconsistent these days - you too?) Like @Roxanna, I'm right on the cusp of petite with a short waist but long rise - YLF has been helpful in determining I'm not 'strange' for being shaped like this, but rather I just need to find clothing that fits my proportions.

    It's also been great for finding & following people with similarly shaped bodies, so I can get an idea of how a garment shape would hang on me VS a professional model :)

  • suntiger replied 1 month ago

    Those are great on you, and love your tops too! Shorts are the hardest type of garment to fit, at least for me- so I gave up!

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 1 month ago

    Oh my, these shorts look great on you, Suz. I'm glad you showed them, as this is my favorite look for shorts, too. And I find them very flattering on you; I do not see them as shortening at all. Perhaps the opposite, in fact.

  • Dana replied 1 month ago

    Suz, those shorts are perfect for you! Very cute styling and fit! 

  • Suz replied 1 month ago

    Thanks, all. Nice to know you like these. The quality is great -- I am putting them through their paces (literally, ha ha) and they are doing well for comfort and wrinkles -- they stay nicely crisp without feeling at all uncomfortable. 

    Zaeobi, that's incredible! I, too, have a short waist and a longer rise (and am just about 5'4"). It has been super helpful to me to work out those proportions. 

    Re Fit Flop, I have never been able to do well with their closed shoes apart from one pair of sneakers that did work. But most have been too loose on me. Now the sandals are, too. :( I'm going to look into Vionics to see if those work for me. 

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 1 month ago

    I just ordered them in white and navy. I wish the green had been available in my size, but these two colors will be really useful.
    I have a similar pair of white shorts by JAG, but I don't like the look and fit across the back, so they are for wearing with longer-tailed tops. If the Talbots fit better, I can ditch those JAG shorts and their butt-mocking ways!

  • Runcarla replied 1 month ago

    Hah!  Sharan and I are on the same wave length!

  • Zaeobi replied 1 month ago

    How interesting re: FitFlop because I have the opposite problem - I now need to size up in their shoes (my old pair of closed toe shoes are a UK5 but new ones are a UK6!)

  • UmmLila replied 1 month ago

    The proportions of these shorts are excellent for you.

  • Suz replied 1 month ago

    Sharon I hope you sized down in the shorts -- they will swim on you if you didn't! 

    Zaeobi, I think it's the width of the Fitflops that doesn't work for me -- way too wide. The length is okay to short in the closed shoes and okay in the sandals. 

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 1 month ago

    I didn't, Suz. Looking at the measurement chart, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. We'll see what happens. Maybe I should place another order with the size down. (This is what I hate about online shopping!!)

  • Suz replied 1 month ago

    Sharan, I truly would. My so called regular size would probably have fallen off me. If you were very curvy in the hips I might say otherwise but I know you have moderate curves in that area, so I suspect your regular size will not work. 

  • sarah replied 1 month ago

    Those shorts look like they fit you absolutely perfectly. They look terrific on you. Let's not hear any more negative leg talk! And *high five* to all-shorts-all-the-time. I wear shorts *every* day in summer, but don't have the nice collection of summer tops to go with them that you do (I'm in Loft patterned t-shirts nearly every day. Yawn. Maybe next year, when we're really out of this pandemic thing...).

  • Zaeobi replied 1 month ago

    @Suz that's probably why they work for me - I have a wide forefoot (& high instep) but narrow heel :P Or at least for now they do (when sized up)!

  • Murph11 replied 1 month ago

    Made it to T yesterday and they had one pair of white in my size! I have them washed and ready to wear today. Thanks again for your review.

  • aloha emily replied 1 month ago

    Hi. Suz! Thank you for posting this. Shorts with a 10” inseam are a priority on my shopping list, and I would never have thought of Talbots. I’ll check them out this week!

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 3 weeks ago

    Suz, you were right. My regular size arrived and was too big. I took them back to the store so I could see if I could try the size down in person. And they did fit! (I feared I would be between sizes, so a pleasant surprise!) Also, I lucked out that they had both the white and navy in the correct size! Thanks for the tip on these shorts. I really like them.

  • Suz replied 3 weeks ago

    That's great, Sharan! Glad they worked out. And yep, their sizing is crazy, but whatever, as long as we find what fits! 

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