I’m ashamed to admit it, because I feel like I’ve been missing out, but this is my first experience with Emily and Fin. I’ve been following the brand for a while, loving, coveting, swooning. I always make a bit of a show out of buying my first piece from a brand, believing it will set the tone for our potentially loving future pretty-things-on-my-body relationship. So with Emily and Fin, I made a habit out of regularly visiting their New Items page and scrolling and scrolling, umm’ing and ahh’ing, putting this dress in my cart, then that skirt, then another dress, paralyzing myself with indecision as if I was deciding on something much more important and difficult than Which Pretty Thing Am I Going To Treat Myself To First?
Every time I decided I’d finally chosen my First Piece (yes, capitals, because we’ve established how important that is) I would excitedly go to purchase and–boom! It was sold out in my size. Because of course it was, their pieces are classic and lovely, and there were plenty of other women admiring their clothing who were being much less sentimental about hitting the checkout now button.
Considering all that, I’ve really been looking forward to seeing what their AW16 line has to offer, determined E&F and I would finally have our meet cute. If you’re an Emily and Fin fan, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that their AW offerings will bring lots more of the beautiful prints they’re known for.
Isobel is one of the dress styles that I almost bought up a couple times in some of their SS prints, missing out when my size sold out. It’s one of those classically cut dresses that works well for simple, comfortable wear in summer and easy transitions through the colder months with a bit of clever layering. I especially love that the colours of this Poppies a Plenty print specifically will transition beautifully through all seasons and provide so much flexibility for accessory choices and potential colour combinations. Autumn may be coming, but for now this particular print has me feeling like summer might just be here to stay.
The vibrant floral print on this dress is what most caught my eye. I’m always a lover of green and I’ve developed a recent obsession with blues, so the combination of the two in this print is magical to me. It’s the kind of print that feels authentically true vintage to me, to the extent that wearing this outfit made me feel wonderfully Mad Men all day. I’ll never turn my nose up at a dress that accomplishes that.
This dress is made of soft cotton poplin and fully lined in 100% cotton, making it breathable and machine washable, joy of joys. It’s got a high rounded neckline and a lower rounded back, which closes with a hidden centered zipper. The waist sits an inch or so higher on me than my natural waist, but there’s curved piping detailing in the waist that’s pretty and flattering.
One of the reasons I hesitated in buying any of the summer Isobel dresses I loved was because I felt the skirt wasn’t going to be quite as full as I like my skirts to be. I’m so pleased to discover that I was wrong on that front. The skirt on the Isobel dress certainly isn’t as full as a full circle skirt would be, but the wide pleats fall from the waistband into a skirt that has a beautiful amount of volume. There’s pockets in it too, something that delights me anew every time I find a skirt or dress that offers them. Proper pockets, as well, that fit my iPhone 6 in its chunky extra battery case with nary a threat it might slip out as I move about.
I’d heard Emily and Fin sizes run a little large but I still opted for the size 16 since the size chart lists that as 33.5 inches in the waist. The waist measures 36 inches flat, so it’s true the sizing is generous, but since the fabric is cotton poplin there’s only an inch in give, max. The size chart states 41 inches for the bust, which I found that to be accurate, so take that and the limited amount of give in the fabric into consideration if you’re thinking of sizing down. The skirt is 27.5 inches long and takes a medium volume petticoat well, should you wish to wear one.
The quality of this dress is wonderful and I’m delighted that the Isobel cut turned out to be just as lovely as I sensed it was every time I almost-but-not-quite managed to buy one this summer. In future, I’ll now know to buy up a piece I love quickly rather than expecting it to still be in stock for a purchase later on. If you love any Emily and Fin pieces I’d encourage you to do the same, especially as I’ve seen the full AW16 line and it has some incredible offerings in it that you’ll be seeing soon. Prepare your purse, that’s all I’m saying.
The Poppies a Plenty Isobel dress is available in sizes 6 (XXS) to 18 (XXL) and costs £85, available for international delivery. If you love this print but would prefer a different silhouette, the Poppies a Plenty print is available on a skirt and two other dress styles. If you love the Isobel dress shape but this print isn’t for you, it’s available in 6 other fun prints.