I'll let you in on a little secret about all the wonderful high street maternity ranges that are supposedly out there at the moment - they're not all out there and they're not all that wonderful. Take Dundrum shopping centre, for example. That place is constantly full of pregnant women, yet Marks & Spencer have got rid of the small maternity section they had, Zara has one rail containing a few pairs of jeans and a few shirts, H&M has a number of depressingly plain acrylic pieces and Mamas and Papas, where one would expect to find a good range of stock, has mostly ugly and unflattering styles (apologies to anyone who has shopped there recently and found something they like - I just didn't see anything that suited me). Oh and don't get me started on Gap maternity.
So thank goodness for Isabella Oliver. While you won't find any trend-led pieces or interesting prints and colours here, you will find a good range of the basic items which will take you through your pregnancy and which can be accessorised to add your own personal style. I've tried a couple of their pieces and now that there's a 20% off code (TREAT09) valid until December 1st, I'm sure I'll find a few more things I need.
Two of the pieces I have and love are the Scoop Top (long sleeves) in black and the Cap Scoop Top (short sleeves) in grey. These both fit beautifully (I'm a UK10 and wear a size 2 from Isabella Oliver) and have a nice amount of stretch to them, making them very comfortable to wear. They are nice and long in the body, so I'm not constantly tugging them down. The ruching in the front also gives a really nice shape and plenty of growing room for an expanding bump and they work very well under my ever-growing collection of cardigans. One thing I'd note is that the extra panel of fabric inside the front of these only comes down to the top of the bump and it's quite visible through the fabric in the white colour if you're not wearing anything underneath, so I returned the one I'd ordered in white. In grey and black it isn't noticeable at all, however.
Prices are a little steep here, but so far I think you get what you pay for with them - the clothes wash well and hold their shape, so they will last. There is also free shipping for orders over €65 and when you buy multiples of the tops, there is usually a discount. Exchanges are also very easy if you find something doesn't fit and you won't be charged for shipping on exchanged items with your first exchange.