“ Manufacturer: Isabella Oliver / Type: Maternity Pants & Shorts „
I'm now in the last few weeks of pregnancy and had reached that awkward stage where many of the maternity clothes I've been wearing are no longer comfortable and I was getting sick of wearing the same pair of maternity jeans over again. Discovering that 'premium' maternity brand, Isabella Oliver, was holding a one-day 50% discount across their entire range gave me the justification I needed to treat myself to something new.
Isabella Oliver clothing is generally outside of my budget, with maternity jeans costing well over £100 a pair. Their leggings usually cost £35 each, which does seem expensive for an item of clothing with quite a limited period of usage. At £17, I felt that I'd got myself a bit of designer maternity luxury for a bargain price.
This was the first time I'd ordered from Isabella Oliver but each item features a number of consumer reviews for extra reassurance. The vast majority of reviews were incredibly positive about these easy leggings and were raving about just how comfortable they are. In the final trimester, comfort wins over everything so I just had to try these for myself.
Sizing was a little confusing as the site have their own numbering system, based on your pre-pregnancy size. As many reviewers had commented about the excess length of these leggings, I was quite cautious and ordered a size 2. This should equate to a pre-pregnancy size 10. I was around a size 10-12 and, at 5 foot 6, certainly wouldn't have been able to wear the next size up as they are very long!
As it is, the leggings have a tendency to collect at my ankles in a rather unflattering 1980's legwarmer effect! I do try to 'ruche' them across the length of my legs to reduce the effect but the fabric does tend to work its way down my legs, leading me to be hitching up my leggings constantly! Some pregnant women might welcome the extra coverage around the ankle area, particularly if they are suffering with swollen ankles or the dreaded cankles!
Having said that, these are by far and away the most comfortable item of maternity bottoms that I've ever owned throughout three pregnancies. The fabric justs feels so silky and luxurious to the touch, even after several machine washes (at 30 degrees as recommended). I can't help rubbing my hands up and down the fabric as it is so soft and, bizarrely, makes me feel quite slim as the slimline cut feels really flattering. Obviously, being leggings these do reveal a VPL but, despite criticism from my other half, comfort wins over and I'm just not vain enough to wear a thong at this stage in pregnancy.
The stretchy waistband is designed to sit just under the bump and, although I do like the big (if unflattering) trousers that have massive panels over the bump, this is surprisingly comfy, even if sitting or driving for long periods. This is a slightly smaller size than I may have considered otherwise but the waistband hasn't rubbed against my expanding belly at all or caused any irritation or discomfort.
These are expensive leggings but certainly look and feel expensive and wouldn't be mistaken for a £5 pair from the local market. Because of the length (and the fact that these don't look right with my standard comfy shoes) I've been wearing them mainly for lounging about at home, having finally started maternity leave now! They could be dressed up quite easily and would look stunning paired with some decent quality boots or sandals, for example, and could be quite versatile. The leggings are only available in black though.
I'd recommend buying a pair of these leggings during the second trimester to maximise usage and wear as they are just so comfy and can easily be adapted for different occasions throughout pregnancy. Some people have even claimed to continue to wear them post-pregnancy as they are so attached to them but that might be carrying things to extremes somewhat!