The Best Maternity Top – Period. (Will Fit Over the Hugest of Bellies)


IMG_0628  This pic cracks me up.  Of course I would be sporting heels and fishnet tights despite the fact that I had to help carry my huge belly around with my arm.  Of course.  Heels and fishnets make perfect sense when one can only waddle around one-armed. 

My one-armed waddling began at only 7 months (additional 7 month pic here).  And yes – the belly continued to grow.  And grow.  At the end (and I thankfully delivered 3 weeks early) my belly had reached frightening proportions.  I was scary huge.  And by scary, I mean for others.

I suppose it didn't help matters that I barely looked pregnant from behind.  People would see me from behind, think nothing of it, and then I'd turn around: BAM!  People would jump, many recoiling in horror.  I went Christmas shopping a few days after this pic was taken.  I'd get in line to checkout, and the line would part like the red sea — I'd hear whispered rumors of "past her due date" as I one-arm waddled to the front.  Some people would actually venture a guess:  "You must be due any day?"  I'd smile and lie: "Yes, tomorrow!" 

NOTE:  I made the mistake once of replying to this well-meaning comment with my actual due date.  They were so horrified/embarrassed that it was awkward for all of us. 

The huge belly was a problem at work.  I'm a big believer in looking professional, and one of the easiest ways to scream "HUSSY" at work is to bare some midriff.   When pregnant, avoiding this flash of belly becomes harder.  You don't have to worry about the "HUSSY" label, but bare belly skin (pregnant or not) is a workplace faux-pas fo' sho'. 

I was having a hard time finding maternity shirts that I could rely on to cover the whole belly – until I discovered the Isabella Oliver camis and tees.

Isabella Oliver Ruched Cami Isabella Oliver Scoop Top 

In addition to the Cap Scoop Top (shown at the top of this post on the very pregnant me), Isabella Oliver also has a long sleeve version, the Scoop Top (pictured above right), and a cami, the Ruched Cami (pictured above left).

If I had it to do all over again, these tops would be the only ones I would buy.  Why?  Because my belly simply grew out of all other tops.  I ended up layering the Ruched Cami under ALL of my other pregnancy tops for belly coverage in those final months.  Because of the genius ruching, this top actually stays down under your belly – and won't need to be pulled down into place every time you move around. 

The only tops I could wear without having to layer the Ruched Cami underneath were Isabella Oliver's Cap Scoop Tops.  Both the Scoop Tops and Ruched Cami come with enough fabric to cover a house, but still manage to make you look sleek.  Or, as sleek as possible, anyway.  The necklines flatter huge pregnancy boobs, the fabric is breathable, comfortable, and sturdy (will help with the whole back-fat problem), and will withstand many, many, MANY washings.  Trust me – I should know.  I literally wore one of these tops every day for months. 

A word of caution:  these tops run small.  Isabella Oliver's website encourages you to buy items in your pre-pregancy size for a proper fit, and for many of the items, that proved to be true.  However, for the Scoop tops and Ruched Cami I did have to go up a size.  I was, however, very impressed with Isabella Oliver's shipping speed, return handling and customer service.  If you are concerned about fit, give them a call – they are immensely helpful.  

The tops are pricey, but certainly worth more than the numerous other tops I bought and rarely wore.  In these basic tops, Isabella Oliver also offers a discount if you buy two (which I highly recommend).  The Ruched Camis are $55 each or $95 for two.  The Cap Scoop Top is $69 each or $119 for two, and the Scoop Top (the long sleeve version) is $89 each or $148 for two.

I could go on and on about all of the other fabulous Isabella Oliver items, but the Scoop Tops and Camis are my very first, can't-live-without pick for maternity tops.