With two expecting editors on staff, we thought it was a perfect time to test out some maternity clothes on the market and report back to the P&N readership just how we thought they stacked up. Isabella Oliver was our first stop—we’ve always been fans of their simple-yet-classy wear that seems to flatter the pregnant body in all the right ways. Associate Editors Rachel and Tracy sampled some of the best basics from their line, and here’s what they had to say:
I am obsessed with wrap dresses. They are so flattering on every figure at every stage of life. Before my baby shower, I dreamed up the perfect dress. I wanted something that I could be comfy in yet still look phenomenal. I found my dream come true with the The Wrap Dress.
I can say that I walked into my baby shower feeling absolutely gorgeous. Everyone was able to comment on how beautiful the dress looked. Though the material wears like a chic, fun summer dress, the material is actually quite thick and sturdy, making it the perfect dress for all year long. I am lucky to be pregnant during the winter months so I have been pairing the dress with tights for a functional look. The best part? I was super comfy and stylish while opening all of those baby presents.
The dress is completely adjustable. You actually put it on like a robe and then adjust with the belt to wrap it around your pregnancy curves. This means that you can wear this dress when you just start to show, through the later months of your pregnancy and (are you ready for this?) after you deliver. It’s not like the other dresses that you will just throw into storage after your baby comes. This dress is an investment that you can wear at all stages in your life.
The color choices are fabulous. One of the best colors on me is a rich blue and their cobalt one hit the spot. It also comes in cavalier black, slate and lagoon.
You really must get this dress today! It’s remarkable.
A staple for your wardrobe, the Seamed Pencil Skirt should be the first item that you add to your pregnancy wish list. This skirt can be worn in so many different ways. It’s perfect for the office but sexy enough to take you out on your Friday night date after. And who would have guessed that something so chic would be so comfortable? There’s actually hidden waist adjusters and a back slit for complete comfort. Aside from the stunning design that helps accentuate the good parts, this skirt has the power to give you your prepregnancy swagger back. You’ve never been so happy to show off your bump. I am in love with this skirt.
Do you know what the hardest thing is for me to buy in normal life? Jeans. You know what makes the process a million times harder? A bump. That is until I found the Marilyn Jeans. They are honestly, I kid you not, as comfortable as my favorite pair of pajamas. These jeans are amazing and so chic. I can hardly believe they are blue jeans. They slide right up over my achy calves and a comfy padded waistband allows your belly to rest with ease. The even better part? They completely fit your bum. There is no sagginess to be had and honestly, you can’t even tell they are maternity jeans. They also have a great bootleg cut that flatters the belly and they match anything. I’ve worn them with heels, flats and boots and with each different accessory, you get a different look. It’s like having three pairs of pants in one. You can dress them up or dress them down. I love that Isabella Oliver has such a detailed size range. I am fairly tall and was super excited to see that they offer a “Long” length choice for the jeans. If you are tall too then you definitely understand what it’s like to put on a great pair of jeans only to find your ankles sticking out from the bottom. Thankfully, there is no need to worry about that with these pants. They also come in two colors. I have the darkwash denim but they also come in a trendy slate color. And I will let you in on a little secret: I’m going to wear these after my pregnancy as well! They are that stunning.
It’s pretty ridiculous that I have been through two previous pregnancies and have never put maternity hose on my body. Because they are the best things EVER. No, but ever. I always thought I could just get by with regular hose before, rolling the top band down just under my bump, but man, was that not ideal. The second I slid these tights on my body I could have slapped my forehead at my ignorance. I want to wear them always. Oh, maternity tights, how I love thee.
But enough fawning, let’s get down to the deets about these particular tights. I know that if I saw a pair of tights for $39, I would think twice about the high price, but the truth is, buying high-quality staples during pregnancy makes a whole lot of sense—something I am seeing the wisdom in this go-around. I probably wear these tights at least twice a week, if not more, with boots, heels, flats—you name it—and have had nary a run. Not even close. In fact, even wearing them with boots hasn’t caused them to pill on the side. They hold up well and stay silky smooth. Worth every penny, I’d say. If you’re likely to be wearing tights during your pregnancy, you won’t be disappointed with these.
I am a huge fan of maternity tops that incorporate ruching on the sides. They flatter in just the right ways, and take away that “I’m a human circus tent” feeling that some shirts can cause. This layering scoop top is incredibly versatile—again, a great staple to have in your wardrobe, because of all the different ways you can wear it without it being obvious that you’ve donned the same shirt three times in one week. I’ve worn it under sleeveless dresses, with jeans, with leggings and a cardigan, the list goes on. The sleeves are not too short (which annoyingly, seems to be an issue with most maternity tops) and the shirt itself is incredibly long—it extends well below my tush and onto my thighs, which makes it the perfect over-leggings, under cardigan top.
The belly hugging fit of the shirt does mean it is fairly snug, and I wonder if I’ll be able to wear it until the bitter end (I am fairly short-torsoed, so my baby bumps are more like baby torpedo bellies during month 9) or if it may feel like a bit of a squeeze. Regardless, I’m getting plenty of wear out of it now, and consider it a great piece to have on hand for building lots of different looks.
Many people are in the “leggings are not pants”camp, but I have never ascribed to that philosophy (and in fact, embrace leggings wholeheartedly and unabashedly as legitimate leg coverings during pregnancy). These leggings are clearly of high-quality caliber—something that is apparent immediately upon feeling the fabric. Again, like I mentioned with the tights, I might have balked at a $59 price tag for leggings, but when I’m not wearing my tights, you better believe I’ve got these on, and they have not pilled or shrunk or been altered in any way, even after multiple wearings and washings. Good leggings are a must during pregnancy—they’re even more versatile than a good pair of tights (because, as comfortable as they are, tights really aren’t pants, ladies, and should not be worn as such) and you’ll find yourself reaching for them multiple times a week. You can dress them up (heels, dress) or down (Uggs, sweatshirt) as much as you like and they’ll serve you well. I really recommend getting a high-quality pair like these that will hold up for all 40 weeks (they’re not over-the-belly, so you can wear them even before you show) and beyond. Do be aware that they are very long—I’m barely 5’3” and they extend well past the tips of my toes when I pull them out straight, but it hasn’t been a huge issue for me (and clearly has not stopped me from wearing them three—or four—times a week). Highly recommended.
Want to check out more of Isabella Oliver’s line? Visit their online store at isabellaoliver.com.