Evan Elliot WriterslashEvan Elliot WriterslashEvan Elliot EditorslashEvan Elliot TeacherslashAbout Evan Elliot


When Talbots sought to give their brand a facelift and recover a distinctive voice in the marketplace, they hired me as a copy consultant. My mission: work with their copy director to identify copy strengths and weaknesses, and then propose changes that the top executives could support, that the copy team would embrace, and that the designers could fit into shrinking space both in the catalog and on the web. After a deep dive into Talbots copy, I created a new writers’ guide that showed the past and the future of the Talbots voice.

Here’s an example of the old Talbots. Note the many adjectives and the absence of any benefit:

Poplin Dress
Harkening to a bygone era of heady romance and capturing the spirit of the season, our stunningly appointed floral print dress is both sumptuous and useful. In finely crafted premium cotton poplin that positively radiates sophistication. The dark background is a breathtaking example of fine design and beautiful detail work. Shell buttons. Imported.

Here’s an example of the new direction. It’s meant for a woman who knows that beauty is power, and who senses that beauty can be purchased at Talbots.

Polka Poplin Dress
Turn heads in this summery shift. The dark background slims, the trim fit flatters, and the long-staple cotton is so finely woven that it rustles like taffeta. Shell buttons. Imported.