To kick off our series on onesies, I will be using a classic (here in Germany, anyway) to establish a standard structure for the articles and provide a base reference. I chose the Kiwisto onesies in particular because they are made regionally and thus reasonably adhere to established standard clothing sizes, which later on should make it easier to figure out how other products relate to them.
In order to make it quicker to find the relevant points and incidentally also perhaps create a consistent experience in this series, I’ve divided everything into paragraphs/ sub-sections with matching headlines. This also helps me to lay out my thoughts without having to worry too much about getting all too lyric. ;-)
Colors and Patterns
The Kiwisto onesies come only in a handful of colors, those being white, black, rose/ light pink, light blue and ultramarine blue plus two print patterns – the triangle one as seen in the image and one with some cute turtles, whose seam linings are in blue.
These colors have been around for ages and while I understand that the logistics can become complicated when you want to stock up more colors in all sizes, I wish they would add some more to choose from. This year would have offered a fine opportunity to do just that, because it’s their 10th anniversary. Some nice lime green “special edition” sounds like a good idea to me and of course having a red onesie in your standard portfolio might not be bad, either.
The colors themselves are a bit over the place as far as I can judge them. The light blue isn’t really light and more of an intermediate white-ish blue with a hint of grey, while at the same time the rose/ light pink at times appears almost completely white. In all the time I haven’t managed to get my hands on the darker blue tone, since whenever I visited their online store, it was out of stock in my size. Black is of course black and white is white.
The good thing about these onesies is that their colors barely fade if you follow washing instructions and that’s true for the solid colors as well as the prints. This is something you can’t take for granted on many products.
Size and Fit
These onesies are made to European children/ adolescents clothing sizes as they are meant for handicapped children and youths primarily, so the measurements are pretty straightforward. Since at 1.80 m height and a weight of around 90-ish kilos I’m a bit of a chubby boy, I’m using size 188, which is also the biggest one they have on offer. If you are larger, then unfortunately you are out of luck, but sizes go down to 110 in some cases, so they can be an option even if you are midget-sized.
This product is more of a tight fit, which is why I’m using the size I’m using. One might even say that despite following standard children’s sizes it is a bit on the small-ish side. This doesn’t only extend to the fit on your abdomen, chest and butt, but also includes snug arm tunnels. If you do not like this, you would have to buy one size larger (if possible in relation to your body size) or look into products from other companies. If you are impaired, the small neck hole might also be a bit difficult, though on the other hand it makes the thing look almost like a normal T-shirt when you have it on.
In the crotch & bum department these onesies are rather triangular and have high-cut leg holes, which gives you a lot of freedom of movement and allows enough air to get in. The downside to this is that despite wearing a onesie your diaper may peek out, especially should you be wearing some low-hanging jeans. If you mind you have to be mindful of it and either wear different pants or use another onesie, if you get my meaning.
Being made of 100% pure cotton, Kiwisto‘s products offer good strength to not give in to the weight of your diaper under the influence of gravity. The material is a bit stretchy, but not so much that you’d have to worry about a saggy piece of cloth flopping around between your legs.
The cut pattern is such that the actual flap is a considerable extension of the back piece, making it easy to put on the onesie yourself. You can easily grab it, tug it through your legs and button it up in an accessible region of your lower abdomen. If the flap for whatever reason is too short, Kiwisto are also offering inserts/ extensions to make it longer in colors matching the onesies themselves (for the monochromatic ones at least). I wrote about that in this article and I actually own two such extensions in light pink, but stupid little me forgot to take a photo and I only now realize that it would have spiced up this article while I’m writing it. Too late now! :-\
As you can see in the images, there are three buttons. They are strong enough to hold things together well enough, but you can’t defeat physics altogether, so there’s a slight issue here: Under tension you get a “mouth” crack between the buttons, which can look slightly odd. That’s why I prefer models with four or more buttons, actually.
Materials and Manufacturing Quality
As I already wrote, the products are produced in-country (or nearby like Poland or the Czech Republic) which with our rather strict standards ensures that the materials are free of critical substances because it would already be impossible to buy the raw cloth if it had some toxic dye for instance – it would be impounded and burned. Of course Kiwisto themselves also take care to ensure maximum quality. It’s a marketing point, after all.
The sewing is good with rarely ever a loose thread hanging out somewhere and the seams are regular and even. I usually take this as a sign of the sewing machines not running at those insane turbo speeds like in Chinese factories, which is the cause of so many quality issues.
One of those is also the products being pressed and ironed into shape afterwards to cover up their contortions introduced by too taut stitching fired out too rapidly. This is not the case here and since I’m not ironing my onesies (I’m simply too lazy to waste my time with something that seems redundant), the pictures should speak for themselves and confirm my point.
Pricing and Availability
At Kiwisto‘s prices for these onesies start at 17.99 something Euros for the small sizes and in my size they typically are 24.99 Euros. There are also long sleeve versions that cost a tad more. Overall that’s an okay price and really not much more than some imported products from Asia (unless you have a way of avoiding duty fees and import taxes) while at the same time you get good quality.
Availability is a bit spotty, as my little issue with obtaining an ultramarine blue version shows. I’m sure I might be able to get it one day, but you never know when this day may come as it will really be just a lucky coincidence. It’s really like they ever only have three or four of them fabricated in size 188 and then you have to wait for two or three weeks to try your luck again when they may resupply. This is also true for other colors, but in fairness it really comes down to which size you want to order. Smaller sizes seem to be readily available almost always and in larger quantities.
If all else fails, one might try to contact their customer support and reserve/ custom order your desired items. They are usually very forthcoming, so one day I might do just that if I don’t have a lucky catch directly in the online store.
While I wouldn’t call them my number one choice these days, I have several of these onesies and they do their job just fine. Most notably I have the black and light blue ones to wear with my regular clothing since they look like normal tees. All things considered, there aren’t that many uniformly colored products on the market that would qualify to begin with (not to make it sound like choosing the lesser evil in a bad situation). I also appreciate the quality since even after quite some time of wearing them they don’t show any signs of damage like on some other products.
On the slightly questionable side for me it’s really about the fit, regardless of the fact that I’m always willing to blame it on my not so stellar figure. ;-) In addition, somehow I’m at odds with the three buttons for similar reasons. The whole thing just explodes when I’m wearing too thick a diaper. Naturally none of that may apply to you, so if you are in the market for something that passes as “normal”, this might be just the ticket. If you’re looking for something a bit more exotic, colorful and flamboyant, hang in there and wait for some later articles in this series….