There are a lot of very relaxed people, here at Frugi today. Big smiles all round, as Fiona Lockhart has popped in to give everyone a massage. All of our aches and pains have disappeared although Lucy says that she still has a pain in the neck – I don’t know what she means!
After spending the first three months of his life in rompers and dungarees, I tried to put my sixteen week old son in his first pair of trousers (not from Frugi) three weeks ago. What a performance! We spent the day with tears at every nappy change as I tried to squeeze his cloth nappied bottom into the elasticated waist trousers. By the evening I picked him up and his trousers fell to his ankles, the elastic had gone. Over the next week this was repeated with three other pairs of ‘high street’ trousers, all lasting no longer than one day and I was beginning to loose hope that we would ever find a pair of trousers that would go easily over the cloth nappy and fit snugly around my son’s slim waist. Why on earth do so many retailers sew a pretend drawstring onto the front of elasticated trousers for babies?
I’ve certainly learnt to look much closer at trousers before buying! And then, thank goodness, his Easy Rider Roll-Ups arrived and he’s lived in them ever since. I got 6-12 months having resorted to the fact that the only way he’d be getting trousers over his nappy was by ordering a bigger size and rolling up the legs! He would actually have been fine with 3-6 months, but the trousers adjust so well that they even fit his slim waist snugly. (My friend tried the same pair on her 13 month old son who is long and not so slim, and they fitted him fine.) The button and zip opening make it easy to get the trousers on and off quickly without any tears and the elasticated adjusters ensure a snug fit for even the slimmest of waists. After being continuously worn and washed they still look like new and fit as perfectly as they did the first time he wore them. Horray!
For now the trousers are being worn rolled up, and at the moment they are just the right length for him as trousers, but come the spring/summer he’ll be wearing them rolled up as shorts and down as trousers. The fact that the waist is so adjustable and they roll up means they can last for much longer! I can tell he’ll get a good nine months wear out of them which makes them excellent value. They are going to be so versatile if we ever get a summer and great for coping with our ever changing, unpredictable weather!
The lower legs of the trousers are lined with super soft pale blue cotton and I can tell the navy cotton canvas is going to be tough enough to cope when he’s on the move and the slightly padded knees are going to be very useful when he starts crawling around! My husband thinks the five pockets (two of which have popper fastenings) are what every little boy needs for keeping his treasures safe but I’ve got a feeling it may be a while yet before he is using them!
This has been my first experience of Frugi trousers and I am SO impressed. I just wish I’d bought Frugi trousers from the start. The money I spent on cheaper ‘high street trousers’ that lasted a day would have already bought the rascal roll-ups and too blue towelling shorties. Oh well, I’ve learnt from my mistakes and my son is definitely going to be a Frugi trousers boy from now on!
I find it hard to be critical of Frugi clothes, but the honest truth is that when I first saw the Bloomin’ Lovely Dungarees, I wasn’t very taken with them. I found the lilac colour off-putting… too sickly sweet for my taste. And there are several design details that in combination I felt were rather twee. I’m delighted to have a baby girl, but I’d rather dress her quirkily than prettily.
I also struggled with the practicality of the dungarees on their first outing. It probably didn’t help that this very summery outfit arrived for review amid snow and ice and so I needed to find some suitable extra layers to keep Hebe warm. The dungarees do not open flat and need to be pulled over the head or up from the legs. I found this pretty fiddly, as either way requires un-buttoning and buttoning the front panel of buttons and these were very tight. However, I’ve been persevering and have discovered that this all gets significantly easier after the dungarees have been through the wash. The cotton is now much softer and I guess the buttons must have loosened a little on their thread. Perhaps my hands are also less cold and stiff! This is much less of a hassle than it seemed at first and I’ve got the knack of pulling the dungarees over the head. There are only three poppers between the legs, so, once the dungarees are on, nappy changes are actually very quick and easy.
It has become obvious to me that dungarees have advantages over dresses for young baby girls, as they don’t get bunched up around the ears every time the baby is picked up, and they also work neatly when strapping your child into a bouncy chair or car seat. These ones are definitely well cut for wearing over cloth nappies and the 0-3 month size are currently a good fit for Hebe who is 12 weeks old, of average weight, but rather long in the body.
Much to my surprise, although my first impressions weren’t that good, I’ve found myself growing more and more attached to these dungarees. Hebe is dressed in them again today, looking, to my eyes, both quirky and pretty in one. I’d be proud to watch her crawl around on a lawn in this outfit at a summer wedding and I’m beginning to feel a little sad that it looks like she’ll be too long for them by the time the weather warms up. So, if a doubter like me can be converted, I’m sure that, if you’ve seen these dungarees on-line or in the catalogue and picked them out as something you like, you won’t be disappointed.
There’s something about this season’s collection that makes me all wistful and nostalgic, nowhere more so than with this wonderfully original Crabber T-Shirt. The design pays homage to the fishing expeditions of our fondest imagination: wading through reedy rivers with jam jar for minnows in hand, or slithering over seaweed-draped rocks, net ready for starfish, sea-urchins and – the prize catch – a crab! The magnificently pincered red crab on this T-shirt seems very appropriate to this age group: its scuttling bravado and its tenaciousness are a fit emblem for all those young boys who grab onto an idea and won’t let go.
They won’t let go of this T-shirt once they’ve tried it on, that’s for sure. The cotton is velvety cool and soft and the cut is generous – none of that tightness over the shoulder-blades or pinching under the arms characteristic of skimpier tops. Frugi T-shirts are great for long hot car journeys and any sultry, clammy weather that is likely to make your child itchy and rashy: the organic cotton is wonderful against over-heated, sensitive skin. These T-shirts wash well, keeping their colour and shape, and they don’t go bobbly and rough either. I was pleased to see, too, that unlike last year’s dino T-shirt, the crabber tee doesn’t come with neck poppers: older children accustomed to undressing themselves tend to get frustrated by these and end up hopping around at bathtime with the T-shirt stuck over their head, crashing into toilets and tripping over baby brothers.
Dress your boy in this and he won’t have to fish for compliments.
I’m a big fan of long-sleeved simply styled envelope tops and dress Harry in them as often as I can. I really love the look of envelope necks and they are so easy to get on and off. This is one of the common styles of children’s clothes that I wish could be found more often in adult sizes as I’d definitely buy them for myself. Harry has not quite mastered the art of dressing and un-dressing himself as yet, but he is trying hard and this is a brilliant top for practising those skills as there are no frustrating fasteners and little risk of getting uncomfortably stuck with a tight neck-line trapped around your nose.
As you’d expect from any piece of Frugi clothing, this top is made from sumptuous, thick, organic cotton which comes out of the wash as good as (or perhaps even better than) new. I know it will keep its shape for as long as it lasts – and it is bound to have many other loving owners after Harry. Has anyone, anywhere ever worn out a piece of Frugi clothing, I wonder?
Initially I must admit I wasn’t sure about the colour combination of the retro stripe top – I probably would have gone for the ‘Too Blue’ one if I’d been making the choice myself (clothing is perhaps one of the few areas in which I tend towards conservatism!) – but I’ve quickly come to like it and it is definitely set-off perfectly by the Rascal Roll-Ups. Otherwise – the only drawback is that Harry is convinced the picture in the catalogue is of him, and gets rather upset when I try to disillusion him.
I must admit that I’m not a pink person. I avoid dressing Lucia in pink on principle, but since the Patsy Prawn Top arrived it has been worn straight from the airer each time and hasn’t yet made it to the cupboard. This is partly because it looks so good with the Bo-Peep Roll-ups, which I love, but also because the prawn on the front has such character. Lucia treats it like one of her teddies and offers it drinks and food, which is a problem because she objects to me covering it with a bib at mealtimes. So far all of the stains have washed out fine, but the chocolate did need some persuasion.
The variety of colours in the patchwork-style applique makes it easy to coordinate with other clothes, and the fantastic Frugi organic cotton doesn’t loose it’s shape or softness. So hurrah for the only pink top Lucia owns!
The first thing that struck me about the Dotty Spotty Romper (after the purple spots – I love purple spots) was the quality of the appliqué. Lovely, durable, brightly coloured flower patches with embroidered overstitch in beautiful complimentary colours. Then we put it to use and I fell in love even more.
By far the best thing about rompers is that they are so, so practical. They may not be considered the most trendy outfits, especially past about 3 months, but when your little one is really discovering movement and testing the limits of what her body will do, a romper is perfect. Lily is 8 months old and trying to progress to a proper crawl (as opposed to her belly on the floor commando crawling), attempting to pull herself up, continuing to roll around at astonishing speed and gets into any mischief she can find. Being in a romper means there is nothing around her waist to restrict her movement, no separate top to get bunched up around her chest.
However, this is not just any romper, it’s a Frugi romper, so it is made from the softest, most beautiful organic cotton which washes and wears wonderfully. Plus, of course, it is generously cut to fit over a cloth nappy, but looks equally adorable over a disposable. The long sleeves and legs mean that it is versatile season-wise and as it gets warmer, we will just remove socks and reduce bodysuit sleeve length. I think it would take an unusually warm British summer day to make it completely un-wearable. This is the perfect outfit for playtime – around the house, out in the garden (when it warms up) – this romper is even stylish enough to venture out to playdates and the park.
Although I am totally convinced that breastfeeding has many benefits, I found it much more difficult than I had anticipated first time around. Harry was slow to put on weight and seemed to need feeding non-stop throughout the night. It also took me a while to feel comfortable feeding him in certain public places. There was, for example, more than one ride on crowded public transport when I considered asking the other passengers to vote on which they found least offensive – me half-undressed and feeding, or Harry wailing from hunger. I’m glad to say that, second time around, it all seems so much easier. But, oh, what I would have given for one of the Frugi breastfeeding tops when Harry was small(er).
The design of the scoop neck kaftan is ingeniously simple – an underlayer with deep cut gaps at the side through which you can comfortably pop your breast out, without flashing too much flesh. You could probably do it without flashing any flesh at all if you really wanted to avoid it, and once your baby is happily attached there is plenty of fabric from top and bottom layers, to snuggle them up comfortably. I haven’t got to the stage yet where my baby daughter is distractable during feeding, but if that is a problem then I reckon you could hide your little one under the top layer and let them get on with it undisturbed.
So – as breastfeeding tops go – this one really fits the bill. But the main reason I can barely bring myself to take the scoop neck kaftan off, is that I think it looks great and it is extremely comfortable to wear. It is pretty rare to find an item of clothing that looks special when you put it on but doesn’t require any special care. I tend to throw things off at night and throw them on again in the morning, and then when I really must, throw them in the wash. No problem – this is a real advantage of Frugi clothes , they seem to hold up to anything.
I have the black kaftan to review – which suits me very well as I’m quite particular about what prints I like and more often than not tend to stick to plain colours or stripes. But the one disadvantage of the black is that there is no disguising the fact that you’ve been holding a dribbly, burpy baby over your shoulder – and so, sadly, you do sometimes have to put it in the wash and find something else to wear.
This is a classic and essential piece of clothing for a new (or re-newed) mother, so I hope Frugi keep it in their future collections.
Oh – and if you are still waiting for your baby to arrive, breastfeeding isn’t for you, or if your baby isn’t a baby anymore, don’t let any of these be reasons to put your off. This top is so versatile that the breastfeeding element is just an added bonus. I’m convinced I’ll be wearing it for years to come.
These Rascal Roll-Up Trousers follow a classic Frugi design, with an elasticated waistband and stitched in drawstring, and button-up roll bottoms. Although, at first sight, the 18-24 month size looked like they would take some growing into by my 20-month old, slim build but pot-bellied rascal, appearances can be deceptive. In fact they are a very good fit both with disposable and cloth nappies. The elasticated waistband is snug enough that they don’t fall down (unlike many non-Frugi trousers of the same size) but is also wide enough that there is no danger of it digging in uncomfortably as his pot-belly swells. The drawstring can be tied for added security in the early days if the trousers are on the loose side.
Meanwhile the roll-up feature is not just a good look… they are great to prevent the trouser bottoms from getting soaked in puddles or stepped on by clambering feet. And, of course, they give the trousers an extended life-time on growing legs. The thick cotton jersey that these trousers are made from is not only extremely comfortable but I’m pretty sure it is going to be hard-wearing too (I’ll let you know if this proves untrue).
The khaki colour of these trousers is very forgiving of all the scrapes and adventures that you would expect of a 20-month old (although I admit the neon-coloured paints Harry had been using at nursery did show up!), and I love the blue details which mean they can be mixed and matched with other clothes in the Frugi collection for guaranteed style.
Harry likes the pockets – great for storing contraband items (snacks/pens) and beloved treasures (plastic farm animals mainly).
The only minor draw-back: the elastic in the waistband can get twisted under the cotton outer, but it doesn’t take much effort to correct this.
All-in-all, a puddle-stomping rascal or a castle-climbing king would be equally well equipped in these!
I know the appeal for most people of kimono-style clothing for little ones is that you don’t have to pull it over the baby’s head. For me, this definitely would’ve been the case 6 months ago, but now it actually seems to make it harder to get things on my 8 month old – she is such a little wriggler that having something pulled over her head means she can’t squirm out of it while I try and get each arm in the appropriate place. Why then, do I love Frugi’s Kimono bodies so much?
First, the wrap style means that the fabric sits nice and close to her neck at the front, back and sides, as opposed to some envelope necks we’ve tried. This, along with the double layer on her chest that results from the crossover, is very reassuring to me, as an Australian trying to keep her baby warm through a cold English winter, that I am starting out with a good first layer.
Instead of poppers under each arm, there are little ties. I clearly didn’t pay enough attention to the pictures before I ordered, and was surprised by this, as well as a little dubious that ties would be as effective as poppers – surely they’d come undone. Admittedly, after a full-days wear, the ties are often a bit looser, but they have never come completely un-tied, at least not of their own accord (leave Lily alone for a moment with nothing over the body, though, and you’ll probably find one of the ties in her mouth :D).Finally, I haven’t been able to test this theory yet, but I do believe that having ties instead of poppers will allow a bit of flexibility in chest size when your little one is getting to the bigger end of the size, since the ties are long enough that the layers would not need to be pulled right up against each other in order to get a decent knot.
Most importantly for us, like all of Frugi’s baby-wear, they are cut for cloth and fairly generously sized, so they’re actually roomy over Lily’s cloth nappies and we can buy the size for her age and height, not the size required by her butt. And, of course, they are made from Frugi’s thick, beautifully soft organic cotton that washes and wears beautifully. The two-pack means you can have one on and one in the wash. Ours have been on high rotation for about a month now and look just as good as when they were new.
Reviewed By Kate F – Frugi Customer & Crusader
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