With a bit of delay due to some annoying things having interfered with my schedule and last week’s heat wave turning me into a lazy sloth I opted for a product this week that allows for a slightly simplified and trimmed down review (You know, not too many pictures to prep) by ways of the DryLife onesies. I got mine via Nappies’R’Us, but in the end you can just as well order them directly from DryLife. Both sites belong to the same company, after all.
Colors and Patterns
I must admit that the colors were what attracted me in the first place. I confess my obsession about pink-ish colors is getting weird, but actually I had my eyes mostly on the blue one. A reasonably “pure” cobalt blue/ light ultramarine is hard to find and next to all shades of dark slate greys, blue tones happen to be my second favorite color. As a third color there is a white one, too.
If you head over to their website and compare the colors to my tweaked versions you will realize, though, that they are not as bright and intense in color as the overcranked photos on those store pages. The less aggressive coloring makes them much more suitable for everyday use and you don’t have to be anxious about looking like a crazed flamingo even with the pink diaper suit. ;-)
Size and Fit
As a product proudly made in the UK (at least that’s what they claim on the website) the sizes should match standard measurements pretty closely and that is indeed the case here. It comes in S, M, L and XL variants. I ordered my examples in size L based on the measurements tables and they do fit okay. If in the future I might get replacements I would go with an XL, however. Why? As with most of these products there is always an “if” or “but” attached and this is no exception.
While the measurements themselves are okay, they unfortunately opted for a less than ideal cut pattern/ shape. The bottom section is as flat as a sand beach. In fact the photos paint a better picture than it actually is. The front and rear panels are almost identical, which also has other repercussions. More on that later on. Anyway, pretty clearly the design is more meant to reach further down your butt and legs rather than being a more triangular tight fit, hence an XL would be required in my case to actually make it work this way – at the cost of losing functionality.
Despite being seemingly undersized (again, as possibly intended by the designer/ vendor, not in the practical sense) the dimensions fit my body nicely and it was less critical than I thought at first. There’s enough cloth to provide sufficient freedom of movement even around the arms, which ironically makes this even more puzzling and frustrating. It would be perfect “if only…” and that brings us to the real source of trouble in the next paragraph.
Yupp, you read it already, the fit is actually reasonably good and would function perfectly to even hold up a relatively thick diaper on my body, yet the designer(s) lost sight of some fundamental things. First I’d have to rehash that size thing of course. If I were to use an XL, I’d be getting better coverage, but almost no anti-gravity support. See the problem? Naturally this will even out for people who are taller, so I suppose things would then probably be okay if I was 1.85 meters in height and a little more slender.
The other glaring oversight – if you can’t even call it genuine ignorance and neglect – is the placement of the buttons. With the front and rear being nearly identical in shape, there can only be one place where those snaps might end up and that is the most undesirable and inconvenient place in the world – right between the thighs and, if you allow me to use that word, near your poop hole.
I couldn’t think of a more awkward location especially when you are in a rush and need to do a diaper change in a public toilet. You literally have to bend forward to see the buttons and be able to close them up again. The one good thing that comes out of this is that the mere three buttons will suffice and even don’t tend to leave visible cracks too much, being that they only need to cover a short distance, but that seems little consolation.
I feel that for this kind of special needs apparel more thought needs to be given to those details, especially if you are dressing yourself. I wouldn’t even want to imagine how a person with motor disabilities like tremors, spasms or partial palsy would deal with this without having someone at hand to assist.
As a last thing I take issue with I need to mention the placement of the buttons themselves which, to put it mildly, is strategically not so smart. The snaps are placed at the innermost edge of the seams which greatly increases the risk of one of the claws of the fixation rings ending up on the thin cloth itself instead of the double-layered edge.
On my pink specimen it also happens that one of the claw holes has ended up very near a stitching hole, resulting in a mess with a noticeable hole and the yarn becoming frizzled, quite likely ripping out soon-ish and then I’ll have to pull out the sewing kit. Granted, with most onesies there is never a good way to get those buttons on the small ribbons (unless you add extra broad rim liners), but I wish a bit more attention would be used on this.
Materials and Manufacturing Quality
The quality of the textile is okay. It’s mostly your standard 100% cotton stretch cloth, but of a slightly higher quality level that will withstand a couple of washes without immediately showing lumps and rough areas. The colors will equally stay fresh nicely and barely fade. It seems they used a hot dye process so little color comes off during washing. I use those color absorbent tissues on the first washes just to be on the safe side, but it barely had any coloration, so at least you can be sure about that part.
The sewing is okay in that it doesn’t show any flaws in the threading, however the diaper suits themselves appear to have a lot of variability built-in with regards to the shape. The blue one was perfectly straight, the pink one has a noticeable crookedness/ twist. Go, figure! What also rubs me the wrong way is that the wrong kind of needles seem to have been used. I don’t know much about this stuff, but when under tension the stitching holes blow up to visible punctures something must be wrong.
Pricing and Availability
Pricing starts at 16.95 British Pound (GBP) for the white version if you take advantage of the tax exempt status for handicapped/ disabled people and the regular price with taxes clocks in at 20.34 GBP. The colored onesies cost one pound extra. While that’s an okay price and probably even cheap-ish for UK residents, it will turn out more costly for people from elsewhere due to the exchange rates. On average you will end up paying around 25 Euros in most cases. Availability should be okay, but I have to admit that I don’t nearly as often check this as I do for other products, so this is more of a guess.
As you may have gathered from my use of conditional phrases here and there this product doesn’t make it easy. It gets some things right, but at the same time botches up other critical factors. It’s like it can’t decide whether it wants to be a cheap “me too” or a full complement to your daily incontinence needs. Most annoyingly it’s simply convoluted to actually put on due to the placement of the snap buttons, which feels like someone just scaled up a pattern for a baby onesie with no regard to practicality for adults. Strangely enough I would be more than willing to buy more of these products because of the fit and the nice blue color, but those quality issues need to be straightened out with a redesign for a v2. Until that happens it will really be a case of “YMMV” (Your mileage may vary.) and by a huge margin at that.