Monday, March 23, 2020

More Vintage - Remembering Carroll Reed, Tanner, Talbots and JG Hook

When I was in my teens one of my favorite pastimes was perusing the Talbot's and Carroll Reed catalogs.  This was long before the Internet and I waited for these catalogs to arrive - they came a few times each year.  Here is a story about a Carroll Reed employee reunion which recounts a bit of the storied retailer's history.  You can read an old blog post about these retailers here.  The Talbots we have today is not akin to the one that I once loved. Both were New England-based stores, preppy, WASPish, traditional, but very good quality. J Crew tried to fill this void, and once did.  You can see bits and pieces of Tory Burch filling this niche, albeit at a much higher price point.  I wish we had something similar today, but sadly we do not.

Love this vintage Carroll Reed wool sweater for sale on Poshmark.  The quality of the clothing was far above what we see today.  Everything was wool, linen, silk, cotton and the styles were preppy but timeless.  We did not have a ton of clothes back then and the clothing lasted for years.

Or this vintage wool Carroll Reed sweater, for sale, also on Poshmark.

Remember the JG Hook blouses?  The Tanner shirts with the peter pan collars, that we monogrammed?  I had a great looking white linen sleeveless Tanner dress with a colored neckline and a monogram on the front.  I wore this to my high school graduation. I'd wear it today.

Look at this vintage Tanner dress, also on Poshmark.  Tanner was based in North Carolina and one of my sister's friends married one of the Tanners.  I loved this line too but at the time it was mostly what my mother wore.  I could not find any photos of the Peter Pan collar shirts.  Wish I still had mine.

Another lovely Tanner dress that I would also wear today:

I had a ton of JG Hook blouses in my wardrobe way back when.....all cotton, great quality.  They were expensive but I purchased mine with my employee discount when I worked for a local department store chain.

And I love this vintage JG Hook sweater for sale on Poshmark.

Or this vintage reindeer sweater also from Talbots (the old one for sure).

I loved the old stores and I hate what we have today - cheap, ill-made clothing that won't last beyond two seasons. Hoping that this calamity we are experienced will change us.  I doubt it but one can only hope for change.  Stay safe. Stay home.


  1. Thank you so much for this. My first job out of college was in NYC in the sales/design office of JG Hook. Main headquarters were in Philadelphia. I still have some clothes from back then - the late '80's. The fabrics were just gorgeous and lasted forever. I then went on to work for Eagle's Eye which bought Carroll Reed and off course there is the Lilly Pulitzer and Tory Burch connection to EE. Brings back so many memories!

    1. KMB love this. But what is the connection with LP and Tory Burch to EE?

    2. Tory's ex, Chris Burch, and his brother started Eagle Eye.

    3. Thank you Beverly. I never knew that.

    4. And some former staffers from EE relaunched LP.

  2. Thank you for this post. It brought back fond memories. I visited Poshmark and bought a lovely sweater!

    1. Love Poshmark. I have bought two pairs of brand new Belgian Loafers off Posh for less than $100 each. It's a great secret!


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