While one might think we’ve covered a good chunk of the market for onesies / rompers/ sleepers/ care suits or whatever they are being called where you live, there’s still enough room left to dig up more products from sometimes rather obscure sources. Since for the one we are talking about today I could never figure out which company is actually producing it I’m going to do my best Chancelor Palpatine impression (you know, the one from Star Wars) and say “Forthwith you shall be known as Darth…” erm, no, Unlabeled Chinese Onesie. This product can be found in a variety of flavors in different places, but some more thoughts on this later.
Please note in advance that due to my limited ability to make sense of Chinese websites and a few other things like the images one can find being terrible some of the information may not be 100% accurate and a bit speculative, so feel free to chime in via the comments or contact me directly if you can provide better facts.
Colors and Patterns
Personally I’ve seen this particular product in about six variants, though due to the difficulty in verifying the origins some of that may be entirely different products. That being said, I can vouch for the two print patterns in my own photos (obviously) and two uniformly colored variants in light blue/ baby blue and light pink/ baby pink from reliable acquaintances.
As can be seen, the printed versions are essentially plain white versions with really just the pattern contributing color. In contrast to that, the colored versions also have colored rims with their color matching the base color, but being slightly more intense, i.e. a slightly darker blue and equally darker pink being used.
While I’m usually not friends with small patterns, in this case I find them actually quite acceptable. The primary reason for this is the selection of colors. Strange as it may sound, even my graphics artist taste buds don’t go on alert due to the well-balanced color choices. The pattern tiling and repetitions may be visible, but they never get to the point of being in-your-face offensive or annoying. This deserves some accolade, regardless of what else is yet to come. The stylized animals with their square-ish heads perhaps even more so than the variant with the cars on it.
Beyond that I seem to vaguely recall another print with small cherries and light green leaves as well as something that was rather prominently yellow, but as I said, this is rather foggy and I may be totally mistaken about it. I would also go so far as to say that without any doubt there is the inevitable plain white version somewhere and several other variants, but my investigations are clearly hindered by my linguistic inaptitude with Asian languages.
Size and Fit
As long-time followers of this blog already know, I wrote quite a mouthful about this product when I had it fresh. While I encourage everyone to read my old hubbub I’m still going to add some more thoughts in the interest of keeping this series complete and provide the info in a format fitting it.
Essentially what I wrote in my previous article on this particular onesie still sticks – this is some sort of weird concoction where someone must have woke up in the middle in the night and thought he might have found a new way to market his T-shirts from his backyard garage factory. There’s nothing wrong with that per se as I’m sure a lot of things we import from Asian countries are produced in such “factories” under terrible working conditions, but of course these things become particularly relevant in a rather cynical sense when things don’t work out.
The images already partially convey this info. If this ever was based on those tees, then they were dang short to begin with. Even if you give credit to the fact that proportions may be overall different for Asian people, the onesies look quite, quite square-ish. Had I paid better attention to this when I bought them I could and should have known that this would be calling for trouble. I didn’t and I was inexperienced and that’s how I got stuck with these plus a whole lot of extra steps had to be taken to make them usable.
In addition to the general shape there’s the one with the absolute sizes. Having to buy a XXL version after a XL turned out to be too short is something I never had to do before despite being fully aware of my shortcomings in terms of physique with my tummy and all. The only way to rationalize this is that these are indeed specific Asian sizes that at best translate to European children’s sizes, with the XXL already being something like a 176 and all other sizes below that representing even smaller ones such as the XL being a size 164. The obvious conclusion therefore has to be that – if at all – this product caters more to small people.
The design intent, to put it poetically, clearly seems to have been to provide good bum coverage, only too bad these diaper suits never actually reach that far down. So without meaning this to be in any way insulting, unless you have a very compact stature with a short upper body this is most definitely not going to work. I therefore would consider those extension pieces I had made absolutely critical and something you can’t do without. It’s simply impossible to bridge those missing centimeters otherwise and without beating this to death, the photos are even flattering and misleading. The curvatures of what are supposed to be the front and back flaps are really flat as a sand beach.
If you can accept having to hack things with those button-on attachments, things work okay. Understandably the fit is still rather snug, but at least vertical tension can be controlled by how long or short those extended sections are. The horizontally broad/ wide nature of the product even plays out favorably with my chubby figure and makes it possible to move my arms freely without putting too much stress on the material and making it rip.
As you would expect from the previous paragraph, the capability of this product to hold up your diaper is totally not dependent on quantifiable intrinsic properties of the product (Does that sound scientific?). That being the case, you are pretty much left to your own devices when it comes to making it work for you.
Since I consider the extender pieces I spoke about really merely a means of being able to close the onesie at all, I wouldn’t trust them exclusively with being able to carry the weight of a thick full diaper. That’s why I’d strongly recommend wearing extra protective/ fixation pants. This would be even more necessary should you intend to wear this onesie under your daily clothes. You know, those undesirable awkward revelations when you lift your arms for a welcome hug and everything underneath might show…
Assuming you figured out all the finer points, the actual strength of the connection is probably the least of your worries. There’s buttons galore ranging anywhere from four to six in number and they are very – erm – snappy and taut to the point of being fingernail-breaking difficult to get them to open again. Of course, continuing the theme of this product making things difficult, the placement of the buttons is so all over the place that they are in different locations on each example. You really are going to need separate tailor-made extensions for each of them because they are not interchangeable.
Materials and Manufacturing Quality
As an odd contrast to the many, many issues we already have covered the overall quality is pretty acceptable. The cloth unlike many other products made from 100% cotton feels nice and smooth on your skin and is reasonably dense, so it retains the overall shape well enough. There appear to be slight variations in the degree of “whiteness”, but at least in my case it matches the color of the prints – the animals print with its brown and orange tone being on a slightly yellow-ish “natural” cotton tissue is perfectly acceptable whereas the cars print is indeed almost perfectly white.
The sewing isn’t half bad, either, with most seams being straight enough and/ or parallel to the contours. It’s not sophisticated stuff with areas bulking up quite a bit where multiple seams converge, but nothing terrible beyond something you would do when crafting at home. The placement of the buttons is funky as I already mentioned and doesn’t really contribute to a better impression. With a little more care this could have been rectified easily, though arguably it wouldn’t matter much. The biggest downfall remains the wrong shape. It’s like someone intentionally screwed up and designed the product on wrong premises and assumptions that just don’t work on a real human physique.
Pricing and Availability
Availability of this product is something riddled with uncertainty. You could stumble across it by accident with your next random web search using specific keywords and then again you could spent hours looking for it on eBay and never find it. It’s all circumstantial and depends on factors like whether someone is offering it currently and if, whether this (potentially Chinese) person has managed to come up with a comprehensible English translation that matches your search.
Likewise, if you were to expand your search on to Alibaba and other sites it would hinge on how you browse and navigate your way there. I wouldn’t call it a needle in a haystack since once you get to it the products pop up quite often, but it still requires a dedicated effort once you set your mind to it. Once you have found the product, contacting the dealer is another matter. Honing some Asian language skills isn’t a bad idea in many cases.
Luckily I didn’t have to put up with any of that as I got my onesies from German eBay. Someone had imported larger quantities of them, hoping to make a buck or two and since at the time not too many other products were on the market and I wanted to treat myself, I made a swift purchase with all the consequences that ensued. At around 25 Euros a piece it wasn’t a steal, but it wasn’t overpriced, either, with import taxes and other charges already having been taken care of. I’m reasonably sure if you are clever and know your way around Asian web pages you can get it for half the money.
No doubt this is a somewhat strange product that with its colors and patterns could easily appeal to your inner child, but completely renders itself useless for a large part of the population by messing up the fit. That is – without any extra measures to make it work. It’s making me even feel sad on some level for having to write so much negative stuff. It seems so trivial and yet ridiculous to get it wrong. To me it’s once more a case of “Why did they even bother?” and I can’t even hate it because the colors and patterns are actually not bad. So I can really only take a deep breath and make a sigh of frustration…