Crazy Legs Leggings

Reviewed by Natasha R, Frugi Customer & Crusader

There’s something about leggings that kids just love. I guess because they are comfortable, easy to put on and take off, and very versatile. My daughter might start the day wearing them with a T-shirt, then change her mind and put a dress on top.

My daughter is 3 and 3 months, average sized for her age, and out of nappies. We tried the Crazy Legs Leggings in 3-4 year old size and I was thrilled to find them a perfect fit. Slim fitting enough to be worn under a dress as an alternative to tights, but nevertheless with a little bit of growing room so we are sure to get a fair bit of wear out of them. They have a wide, fully elasticized waist and comfort is at a maximum, with even the tag at the back being made from a soft cotton material so that it is not scratchy. A perfect cut, in a very pretty shade of pink, these are a comfortable, casual and easy addition to any girls wardrobe.

Undercover Bug Top

Reviewed by Natasha R, Frugi Customer & Crusader

We have this top in the teal stripe version and I love it for the colours. The bright red neck and wrist trim makes this a stand-out favourite in my sons wardrobe, while the more conservative navy and kaki stripes mean that it can be worn with pretty much any of his existing clothes. The high point of this top is the little embroidered bug logo on the bottom front corner of the top. It is actually quite intricate with the same material as the top being used as an applique and embroidered on at a slight angle so that the stripes don’t quite match up. The end result is of an insect that has cleverly camouflaged itself to match the material of the top.

My son has just discovered “boy stuff” and is at that age where kids are desperate to express their gender in everything they do and with everything they wear. Sadly, all to often “boy stuff” ends up being some stereotyped violent or just plain ugly image that I don’t like my little boy wearing. The undercover bug pleases us both: him because a bug has enough of that “icky” factor to make it a “boy thing”; me because I can use it to talk about nature and how insects use camouflage – it actually ended up being quite educational with us looking on the internet for examples of creatures that change colour to match their environment.

A very classic design, the discreet bug should please boys of all ages. It is made from soft, thick organic cotton and is generously sized. This is a top that can take a bit of wear and tear, washes up well, and can definitely be worn without ironing!  Although my son has no trouble getting it on and off, the addition of a button or two on the shoulder would have been a plus. Nevertheless, a sure wardrobe staple, warm and comfortable, smart and fashionable.

Bong Tree Top

Review by Natasha R, Frugi Customer & Crusader

This was our first try of Frugi’s new clothes in older sizes, and this top was tested by my nearly seven year old daughter. Lovely thick organic cotton makes it hardwearing and warm for winter. It resists washing well as well as a tumble in the dryer. Glad to see that there are still buttons on the shoulders for getting over larger heads (or girls with big elaborate hairstyles) as so many brands tend to leave these out in older sizes.

The “bong tree” is very stylish and quite sophisticated, certainly not too babyish for an older child, but at the same time pretty enough to please those children still insisting on “girly” looking clothes. The tree design is applique and embroidery, not printed on, which means less wear or fading in the wash. There is a lovely pattern of embroidered silvery leaves that makes a very classy alternative to more commonplace sparkles. Matching neck and wrist lines in a patterned paler pink also add to the “prettiness” factor and mean that this top would be an easy match with many other pieces in the Frugi winter collection. “The Owl and the Pussycat” has always been a special poem in our house as I often recite it to my children at bedtime. We never knew what a bong tree might look like and this top provides us with a lovely, magical image that evokes the poem beautifully.

Sizing is generous, quality is excellent and my daughter and I both love it. A very special top.

Funky Mushroom Top and Kneepatch Pull-ups

Reviewed by Natasha R, Frugi Customer & Crusader
When I put these items on my daughter I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the people behind Frugi are mothers. There are so many thoughtful little details in this outfit that could only have been included by someone who knows.

I found these clothes to be a very generous size, even after a couple of washes and a go in the dryer they still seem to be very roomy. Marked 12 to 18 months, I would say that my twin daughters will get wear out of this outfit well beyond the 18 month mark. Curious, I tried the outfit on my average sized (out of nappies) three year old and the pants fit very comfortably around the waist, with the big knee-patches ending up still somewhere around the knee area and all up a very jaunty three-quarter length shorts look. The top also fitted well, passing easily over her head (thanks to shoulder buttons) and not being tight around the tummy – it was just the sleeves that gave the game away, definitely tending towards the three quarter-length here.  Although a little oversized for my admittedly small (turning 1 next week) twins, I think this outfit is great value as I can see them getting well over six months wear out of it. While the drawstring waist means that it would fit an average one year old without looking ridiculous, I’d guess my girls will still be in it (at least the pants part) at two and a half. Now that’s definitely value for money!

We have the pants and top in dusty pink, which alternates with a purple stripe and bright pink neck line. It is a very smart design. The mushroom on the front is not printed onto the fabric, but actually an applique design with embroidered stars on it. I find these kinds of pictures last better than print-on designs which can peel or wear quite quickly in the wash. They also look a bit more special. Only one negative here and that is that after a few washes the pointy corners of the mushroom applique curl up and need to be ironed flat. Shoulder buttons make sure that the top doesn’t get stuck on the way on or off.

I have always found Frugi’s pants to be very well designed and these are no exception. They have a large, comfortable elastic band around the waist which is combined with a drawstring. The drawstring is sewn to the pants at the back so that your child can’t pull it out and harm themselves with it, or just generally make your life difficult getting it back in again. The genius of this system is that if the pants are a bit loose on your little one (and remember – no need to upsize with this outfit!) then you can just tighten the drawstring to hold them in place ensuring a perfect fit. However if your child is toilet  training, or just likes to dress themselves, then you can leave it with just the elastic and let the drawstring hang open so your child can pull them up and down on their own. The kneepatches are generously sized so that they will be around knee height for the whole time you are wearing the outfit. Cleverly they are in the darker of the two colors to hide any dirt. As the pants material is lovely and thick this extra layer really would provide extra padding for babies that crawl as well as protecting against dirt and wear and tear.

Another thing that I like about this outfit is it’s comfort. It is made from super-soft, thick organic cotton that feels warm and snuggly. There are no fiddly sticky out buttons, bows or buckles that would stop your child from lying down in it for a nice long afternoon sleep. Too many baby and toddler outfits look great in pictures, until you get them home and find that there is no way your child is going to have a decent nap in them because they are all stiff or spikey. This is an outfit that is perfect for everything from crawling to toilet training to a long winter snooze. Smart looking, with room to grow it is definitely made by people who know.

Pretty and Practical – Girls Explorer Bootcuts

Product Review by Natasha R – Frugi Customer & Crusader
Romany Stripe Top >

I want my two year old to be able to run, jump and climb. To be able to garden, fingerpaint, and roll down hills without clothing that restricts her or gets in the way. My two year old, however, wants to look like a princess. Generally this involves some form of pink. Frills have (thankfully) been found not necessary (probably because they can get a bit itchy) but floral emblems or something else “pretty” are essential. Despite the lack of pink (or in my case, maybe because of it) the Explorer Bootcuts satisfy both of us.

An extreamly versatile item of clothing, you can button up the cuffs for summer to make them three-quarter length or leave them long for colder days. They have an elasticised waist that also has a drawstring. This means you can adjust the size of the waist to fit your child and tie it up, but then your child can slip the pants on and off without undoing or doing up the drawstring like they would track suit pants. Easy access that is essential during toilet training. No difficult zips or buttons means that your little one will be able to feel proud of dressing herself. Lots of pockets for storing treasures, generous sizing. They are made from a soft but strong canvas that washes well in a delicate pale green that teams well with pink and they have that all important flower motif.

One detail I love is the buttons on the cuffs which are made from wood rather than plastic. A very classy touch, and better for the environment. The green colour itself is also quite elegant. Understated and neutral it comes across as stylish and quite chic without uncessary sophistication. Oh, and did I mention, it goes well with pink?

We teamed these pants with the girls reversible hat which is made from the same canvas material with a dusty pink lining. You can also wear it with the Romany Stripe top in pink which obligingly has pale green trimmings on the cuffs and neck that tie the whole outfit together.

All up, a fantastic addition to the wardrobe, practical and comfortable, pretty and elegant. In fact, so nice that I can’t quite bring myslelf to let her fingerpaint in them just yet, but they’ve been great for rolling down hills in!

Romany Stripe Top – A Summer Favourite!

Product Review by Natasha R – Frugi Customer & Crusader

Romany Stripe Top 

There’s something so jolly and summery about wide horizontal stripes on a T-shirt. The straight neck also gives an air of summer, reminding me somehow of little French nautical tops. I see this top and suddenly I am thinking of the seaside. The designers of this top were probably also thinking of the seaside when they made it, but in a more practical way. Three-quarter length sleeves protect from the sun without getting in the way of hands splashing in rock-pools; thick, soft material perfect for wrapping you up in after a swim. Difficult to crumple, no need to iron, it would come up quite nicely after a morning bundled up in the bottom of a beach bag; and it would match with practically anything you happened to be wearing when you pulled it out.

My daughter loves this top, I love this top. Pink stripes mean that it is guaranteed to please most little girls. Pale green trimmings on the cuffs and neck add a touch of distinction to it and make it the perfect top to wear with the Explorer Bootcuts or Romany Skirt in Frugi’s summer catalogue. I like it that it matches these pieces without being overdone, the end result is a rather classy “effortlessly coordinated” look rather than of “trying too hard” that can happen when each item of clothing displays an identical motif.

At first I didn’t like the embroidered flower in the bottom corner (although my daughter did) but when I put the top on with the Explorer Bootcuts I saw straight away that it lightened the solid stripes and matched the embroidery on the pants (which don’t use the same flower motif so the effect is subtle, not exaggerated) in a way that made the whole outfit hang together well. I have, now, come to appreciate the little flower as giving a hint of delicacy to the T-shirt and my daughter likes it for its “prettiness”.

This top is a great practical wardrobe basic with a little touch of something extra given by the unusually shaped neckline and dewy green trim.

Frugi takes the Australian Sunhat Challenge

Product Review by Natasha R – Frugi Customer & Crusader

Girls Reversible Sunhat & Boys Explorer Sunhat

Australia is the country of sun and freckles, beaches and skin cancer. It is a country where every school has a “no hat, no play” rule and every school bag has at least one scrunched up hat in the bottom of it. That hole in the ozone layer? It’s on top of us. Here, a good children’s hat is not just a fashion accessory – it is also a health issue.

So, I was very excited to finally discover Frugi’s  sunhats: made from organic cotton and ethically produced. This season “down under” my kids have tried two of them: The explorer sunhat on my nearly 5 yr old boy, and the gorgeous reversible hat on my not quite 3 yr old girl.
From the moment I opened the bags (made from biodegradable and compostable plastic) and removed the little fabric tag telling me the size and composition of the hat (100% organic cotton) that was thoughtfully attached only by a little bit of sticky something so you can take it off to avoid scratching; I could tell that a lot of thought had gone into the making of these hats. But were they tough enough to pass the Australian sunhat challenge? Here goes:

Challenge #1: A wide enough brim

Before I mention the lovely way in which the hat frames my child’s face, or completes their outfit, or anything else I need to know that the sunhat will do what it is supposed to do, namely, keep the sun off the face. The girl’s reversible hat has a wide brim going all the way around and sits quite low on the forehead so does this very well. The ears are completely out of the sun, as is the back of the neck. Eyes are completely protected (think cataracts from sun damage here) and the brim is not so wide as to flop down over her eyes (if this happens a hat is finished in our house, as no amount of folding up the brim will convince my daughter to ever wear it again).
The boys’ explorer hat also has a brim all around so offers more protection than a cap ever would but the brim is quite a bit smaller than on the girls hat. My little boy’s ears were protected from the sun as were his eyes and some of the back of his neck. The brim could be a little wider, but this is a personal preference as too wide and it will look “girly”. I probably err on the side of caution rather than fashion and would have liked a slightly wider brim.

Challenge # 2: Is the hat comfortable?

Both hats did excellently here. They have a removable tag so that they are not scratchy. The explorer hat is lined with lovely soft cotton and the girls reversible hat has a soft pink cotton inner and when worn the other way around the thicker greenish outer material didn’t cause any problems either.

Challenge #3: Is the hat durable?

The happy answer to this is yes, yes, yes. These hats can be rolled up in a handbag or backpack and still come out looking fine – they have a quite thick woven cotton outer material that helps them keep their shape. After a wash ironing is not necessary either, as long as you pull them flat before drying.

Challenge #4: Will the hat stay on?

These hats do not have a strap or toggle or anything that passes under the neck to keep them on. This is a very contentious issue in Australia  – to toggle or not to toggle? My chlidren’s pre-school teacher goes around cutting long straps off children’s hats as she worries about them getting snagged on tree branches etc. and any choking dangers they may pose. Other people love them and swear they are the only way to keep a hat on their child.

Despite the lack of a strap, both hats do quite well on this test. They are quite deep  (i.e. the bit you put over the head is quite long) so the hat sits reasonably low on the forehead (but doesn’t cover the eyes) and this means they won’t blow off at the first gust of wind. They would hold up quite well in a light breeze (but not a serious wind), or when a child was running. However, I think that the good, inventive folk at Frugi could probably come up with some sort of short Velcro fastening chin strap for next season (and maybe a removable one for those of you that don’t want to toggle? ) – just to give the hat a bit more stability in all weather conditions.

The Rest:

I really liked the colours of these hats. The girls reversible hat is a quite neutral very pale green dewy colour in a thick canvas on the outside. The brim has a cream, pink and pale blue piping sewn around it that looks quite pretty on without being overdone. It is a good serviceable colour in strong material that could be worn with a variety of outfits. The inside is a quite unusual and lovely shade of dusty pink – a perfect choice for little girls as, let’s face it, they always have a fair bit of pink in the wardrobe to match. You could probably throw it on with most outfits without having to think too much. You could certainly team it with the girls explorer bootcuts in this season’s Frugi catalogue that are made from the same material. The Song Bird Gypsy skirt is also made to match and has the same coloured piping on the hem. Reversed, with pink on the outside there are even more options and it would make a great outfit with Frugi’s leapfrogger romper, summer shrug cardigan or Romany stripe top. If you’re buying it for a little one it would match any of the baby bodies in the songbird 3 pack. I really like the idea of this reversible hat with two other well-chosen pieces from the Frugi collection giving the impression of two entirely different complete “outfits”.
The boy’s hat is a neutral green that would match a lot of clothes too. It is a perfect match for the explorer zip-offs in this seasons Frugi catalogue and I always find it quite easy to buy pants and a hat that match then just rotate different T-shirts in between. Your child comes away looking co-ordinated, but not trying too hard to match. Although it would also make a great gift pair with the cute dino Tee.

A Note on Sizing:

The reversible girls hat I tried was sized 2-4 years and was a perfect fit on my average sized nearly three year old. Could be a bit on the small side for a big 4 year old. The boys explorer hat was also sized 2-4 years but we were disappointed to find it too small for my 4 year old boy (although admittedly he will be turning 5 soon). To compare it, I also tried it on my nearly three year old girl and it seemed a bit small on her too, so definitely buy a larger sized hat than you normally would with this one.

Frugi for older children??

Help!! My oldest daughter who is a very small six year old will very soon be past the stage where I can possibly stuff her into your size 4 clothes. Although out of cloth nappies for quite some time we have being squeezing her into your size 4 clothes for as long as possible for so many reasons…Organic cotton, ethically manufactured, sturdy, durable, well thought out clothes with a conscience as well as just plain lovely designs!

Now I understand that teenagers might have their own ideas about what they like to wear, but why, when a customer has been faithfully buying your clothes for 4 years are they suddenly shut out in the cold once their child gets past size 4? I look at the pictures of your smiling factory workers and their happy schooled children in your catalgue and I think to myself “Why can’t they make clothes for my older child too?” (the factory workers that is, not the children in school!). Surely you could consider a range up to, say, size 12 (and then we could have this discussion again in 6 years!)?? People need to get past the idea that organic and ethically produced clothes are only necessary for babies – there are so many reasons to buy (and make) them for everyone in the family. I haven’t found any other company as ethically responsible as yours and am at a loss at what do do that doesn’t involve somehow trying to stunt my daughters growth!