Talbots Fall 2010 lookbook

Talbots gets a hip new look for Fall 2010. Photos courtesy of Talbots

Talbots has long been synonymous with classic and conservative clothes your mom would wear.

Or rather, your mom used to wear, but even she's evolved. And the good news is that Talbots recently woke up and realized that it too needed to evolve.

The company, that just closed an ambitious warrant exchange offer which will allow it to emerge in a much better financial position, is in year two of a three-year turnaround plan.

And this phase includes a repositioning to a place of style, and, dare we say, fashion?

However, the company is by no means alienating older shoppers. "Not everybody wants to dress younger," Michael Smaldone, Talbots chief creative officer told StyleList. "We want to embrace all body types and ages."

"We discovered that our consumer wants fashion," added chief marketing officer Lori Wagner, and that, as its customer was aging, her "style stayed the same but her body changed."

After a lot of listening to customers, "We're fitting for the right body types," Wagner says, and attracting loads of new customers, young and old.

This is evident in the company's amazingly successful pants promotion last fall. Talbots was offering customers $5 to try on pants from its new fit program. The promotion lasted for a month and the company sold an astounding 600,000 pairs of pants.

"It took a year to get it right," Smaldone explained.

But, Wagner added, "Once they're in pants that fit, these women buy tons of stuff."

The Talbots customer also buys when she sees something she likes, like First Lady Michelle Obama wearing one of its floral dresses on the cover of Essence magazine and then again on her trip to Moscow.

The company sold 2,700 of that dress in just two and a half weeks, and the demand was so great, fights even broke out in the store.

"There was one woman who dislocated her shoulder and had to be taken out of the store on a stretcher," Smaldone shared. "She wouldn't let the paramedics take the dress off her."

For fall, the Talbots collection is modern, stylish and almost, well, trendy. The early offerings are brightly colored and seem to be built around two things: the launch of Talbots Denim, with a myriad of fits and washes, and great coats -- short, long, trench, leopard print and so on.

Late fall deliveries are more serious -- great blazers that are stylish without being costume-y, skirts, dresses, and a really impressive array of accessories including handbags, to-die-for shoes, and jewelry you'll want to pile on everyday.

It'll make you want to borrow from your mother's closet again.

Meanwhile, see which other brand recently revamped its look.