Ingrid & Isabel is best known for its maternity basics, most notably the ubiquitous Bellaband. For Autumn/Winter 2012, the California line has wisely expanded into knitwear and suiting, imbuing a collection of maternity sweaters and trousers with I&I’s practical, but elegant designs. During my recent summer tour of the new fall lines, I&I’s neutral pieces stood out among the racks and racks of louder maternity samples, not only for their superior quality, but also for their simple, effortless chic. There simply aren’t enough American maternity lines choosing the “less is more” approach to fashion that I&I has down pat.
In fact, I spotted the line’s new white Long Sleeve Scoopneck Tee from across the room. Despite being a plain white tee, it looked just that appealing hanging on a crowded garment rack. And I was thrilled when I actually handled the blended cotton/jersey material, as it was thick enough to be worn on its own. No need for a camisole under this basic top, which also comes in brown, black and grey. This tee is one of the new pieces in I&I’s expanded collection of blouses and tops.
I&I’s new line of maternity sweaters inspired similar excitement, especially the Maternity Cowl Tunic Sweater. This fitted, long-sleeved black sweater reminds me of my all-time favorite maternity sweater from Isabella Oliver, the Ruched Cowl Neck Sweater, which I blogged about in 2007, but IO has since unfortunately discontinued (hint, hint to the ladies over at IO).
The new range also includes a set of “Wear to Work” pieces, including a basic pencil skirt, trousers and blazer, all available in jet black or charcoal grey and equipped with the Bella Band attached to the clothing. For the next week, the I&I Wear to Work collection is 15% off at Figure 8 Maternity with promotional code “NewArrivals15.”
I&I’s expanded line is slowly appearing in boutiques, but for now the line’s own online store is the best place to browse the new pieces. PF likes I&I’s quiet entry into the broader maternity market (take note, Jessica Simpson)…it’s tasteful and subtle, just like the clothing…