Where to buy – Wardrobe Essentials from Isabella Oliver

When I find an essential wardrobe piece I’m one of those people who will stick faithfully to the brand and buy the same piece in several colours (you only need look in my camisole drawer and you will find about 12 in a variety of colours from Phase Eight, sadly they don’t seem to do them any more!) so discovering Isabella Oliver has been like finding a new and valued friend.

My first experience of the brand was with their Perfect T-shirts which I can confirm do exactly what a T-shirt should and none of what it shouldn’t i.e  shrink and twist at the seams. So I was absolutely delighted when they asked if I wanted to review one of their popular wrap dresses. A wrap dress is a perfect wardrobe basic which suits pretty much every figure shape and can be dressed up with strappy heels and sparkly jewellery for a party, formally with courts and a feminine briefcase for work or casually with flipflops on holiday.

This season Isabella Oliver have produced their Classic Wrap Dress in practical black, Azure Blue (a lovely bright) and Pink Rose. My first choice was the blue but as it wasn’t available in my size I chose the Pink instead and I am so glad I did. It’s a really stunning warm pink which is perfect for my colouring.

But the whole experience starts with the ordering process, which of course I didn’t do this time, but did with the T-shirts previously. I love the way they email you “from the Girls” when your order is dispatched, like you really are a friend. Then your goodies arrive perfectly packaged.

Whilst I am reviewing the wrap dress here I also wanted to mention some of the other pieces I have been lusting after, and if you are regular reader you will know that I frequently pick pieces from Isabella Oliver 365 collection for my capsule posts.

The reason I love the 365 collection so much is that they do classic pieces with a twist that will fit so well into your existing wardrobe but without being boring. I love the use of colour – this season orange, the rose pink of my dress and the bright blue are mixed in with ever practical neutrals of khaki, dove grey, french navy and of course black. Other basics include breton tops and cardigans but with added details like zip pockets, or a leather trim on a trench coat that give a modern feel. These are clothes for women who want a practical but stylish wardrobe with a nod to the season’s trends. No fashion victims here! The pieces stand alone but are also perfect for layering – something we currently need with our changeable weather. Oh and for those of us who need a bit of sparkle that’s there too, this season in a stunning sequin jacket that can be dressed down with jeans or up with a little black dress, or go to town with the gorgeous sequin shift dress.

So to my dress. I’ve already mentioned how much I love the colour. It’s a great weight too, not at all flimsy or see through, made of easy care jersey – 90% viscose and 10% elastane – which drapes beautifully and machine washes at 30 degrees. As with the T-shirts I ordered the sizing is good too – not at all skimped so go for your normal size or even one down, the great thing about a wrap dress is that you can loosen or tighten it if your weight changes. Being on the busty side the cross over sits lower on me than in the pictures on the site, but I like that because it means I can wear one of my camis underneath to add variety, I tried black, navy, purple and cream and they all looked good.

As far as prices for the dress and other items are concerned, they fall at the upper high street range. This dress is £99 which is comparable to brands like Hobbs but I think the quality is really good for the price. The T-shirts range from £29 for the essential tank to £49 for the extra long T. Again I would far rather buy these and have them last than have to buy a new black T-shirt every season for £15.

Unfortunately my faithful friend and I got a fit of the giggles as we dashed in and out between rain showers so this was the best picture we got. I did contemplate stretching it in Photoshop so I looked like the models on the website, but I can confirm no retouching has taken place! (Obviously)

Here are some professional images of the pink and blue options:













Finally a few more of this season’s pieces that I am lusting after incorporating into my wardrobe:

Leopard Clutch & Zip Ponte Jacket

Asymetric Jumper

Cowl Neck Top

Sequin Dress

Halter Top

Parka & Relaxed Trousers




































I’d love to know what you think.

Full disclosure – the wrap dress was provided free of charge for me to review. However, I would happily pay for this dress and would not recommend any company or brand that I wouldn’t purchase from myself.


  1. May 18, 2012 / 9:07 am

    WOW it’s fabulous! You look great in it! I’ve heard so much about ‘the dress’ that it’s great to see it on a real person – really really really great!

    • admin
      May 18, 2012 / 9:26 am

      Thank you so much for the lovely comments Fiona! I am really pleased with the dress, it’s got such a lovely weight to it and the folds at the front cover a multitude of sins! I also absolutely love the T-shirts they are nice and long and wash beautifully. I’m tempted with trying the jeans now as I always have difficulty buying jeans.