The Panda kigurumi/Onesie

Many of you are aware that while at university, you get dragged into doing a variety of strange and new activities, it’s the first chance of true freedom away from your home life/parents/family etc, and you take full advantage of that. Of course you are there to study, but the other part of university is having fun. A situation that appeared here was a trend for wearing a onesie (or a kigurumi), which is what this review shall be about.

So in first year, I lived in a building made of 9 flats, with about 10-15 students in each, each flat was either boys or girls (None were mixed), and aside from a few conflicts there was really only one flat everyone hated (Constantly pulling a fire alarm at all hours) but everyone else tended to get along. There are plenty of stories I could tell from university and living in these halls but I’m sure I’ll end up telling a few during my posts. I’m not certain how this trend appeared but during the winter months, more and more people from my building ended up getting a onesie to casually wear. You were at university, if you want to wear a onesie at 2 in the afternoon, you did. This was actually a trend that I was part of; there were others like getting tattoos, nipple piercings and a whole bunch more that I decided against (Don’t give in to peer pressure!). Originally I wanted to get a Pokemon/Pikachu onesie, but someone else beat me to it and although I’m a Pokemon fan, I decided to get a panda onesie instead because pandas.

I spoke with my housemates about where they got theirs and found the seller. Some of you may not know but as a student you can get Amazon Prime free for six months (I think that’s still the case), and so Amazon was simple and easy to order from.

StorePanda.pngThis is the unisex Panda design onesie, no longer available online at Fashion Studio via Amazon,  for £34.99, in sizes M-XL based on height. However, if you are interested in this design, I know a lot of sellers on Ebay and Amazon who are still selling a panda and many other designs (E.g. Giraffe or Unicorn).

As this was many years ago, I can’t remember how it was packaged and such but considering I still own it, I would say I didn’t have any issues that required sending it back. I ordered a size L due to my height (5 ft 8, or roughly 173cm) and figured it’s baggy so even if I am packing a few extra pounds, as I’m at the lower end of the L recommended height, it should be okay. The sizing: M for 160cm to 170cm, L for 170cm to 180cm and XL for 180 to 190cm, so you can see why I went for L.

From what I know of onesies, they either have buttons or a zip at the front, in this case, I had a series of chunky black buttons. I’m not entirely sure whether I like the fact the buttons are black, because many pandas have black spots down their front (Sarcasm) but they also give it a cute aesthetic as well making it more similar to a teddy bear than an animal/panda. If you actually look at the picture the seller gives, they have white buttons so a little bit of dishonesty regarding the product.

Regarding the material, it’s not stretchy but that’s expected as it’s a coral fleece material, which makes it super soft and incredibly warm (perfect for the Autumn/Winter). As a heads up, it’s machine washable but when it comes to drying, hang it up. From my experience it does shrink a bit, not a lot but enough you can tell the difference. Getting the onesie on was easy, it’s designed to be baggy which probably helped as it does cling slightly to my hips, thighs and bust making me think to always get an XL no matter their recommendation on height (Live and learn). Similarly there’s no issue with getting it off, but it can be very cold doing so, especially as you literally have to strip every time you need to use the bathroom.
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I love looking like a panda teddy bear. Out of all the fads that my building went through, this is by far my favourite because I look adorable. While it’s not as baggy as it should be (definitely needed the largest size), I think it does fairly flatter my figure in a weird way. It’s perfect for that bit of extra warmth during the cold season, perfect for nights out where you need to dress up (Careful drinking too much and it will be very warm in a club), and perfect for the times you’re just feeling lazy. It’s not the most versatile, it’s hard/impossible to accessorise it to make it formal, and not really suited to a summer beach party but at university it’s a great and fun thing to wear.

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As it’s unisex it means it’s designed for both men and women, which is great but as it’s also designed based on height, it means that my womanly curves tend to make this onesie suffer. On my bust, you may be able to see that it’s stretching the fabric apart and the buttons are clinging to dear life, though a simple tug to make the fabric move forwards does tend to fix this, but add a little movement and it’s back to square one. However there isn’t that constant tightness that usually comes from this issue, rather the only movement I have that is restricted is when I lift my arms up and that may be as a result of it being a one-piece and not just a simple top as I don’t have to readjust when I bring my arms down. As I mention it’s designed to be baggy and it’s not on my arms and bust, which makes it a letdown but it’s not restricting my movement which helps overall.

Regarding my waist in the onesie, there isn’t much to write about, I think it’s the only area which is baggy like it should be. You may notice a common theme where the waist is baggy but the hips/bust is not, this is another article of clothing which meets that criteria. The only other thing to say is that I’m glad the white stomach bit goes down far enough that it reaches my hips as the onesie being small means that it might not always end up where it should.

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So onto the hips. I actually really like how it does cling to them, personally I think it adds a bit of shape to the otherwise designed to be shapeless look. Normally I’m not a big fan of my hips/thighs, and don’t like how big they are but lately I don’t mind them so much, hence the photo of me actually kneeling so you can see the lack of bagginess. So as previously mentioned despite a size L being recommended for my height, and the slight issue with shrinking, the length of the onesie isn’t as long as I would have liked, to the point it’s easily a couple of inches above my ankle after a bit of movement. There is enough movement in the leg section that I can kneel and sit cross-legged but not so much it’s easy to spread my legs without worry of it splitting.

If we take a look at the details of the onesie there are a few things that stand out: The hood, the cuffs, the pockets and the tail.

Panda Hood.jpgStarting with the hood, it’s insanely big. I thought I had a big head and then this hood came along. Because it’s big it means I can easy turn my head without it constantly tightening up and trying to fall off, it even manages to keep my ears and forehead warm without trouble. The actual details of the hood are the sticking out panda ears which are roughly a couple of inches above my ears, roughly accurate placement. I think they have some form of stuffing inside to help with sticking upright, similar with the tail. The other details are the mouth and eyes; the mouth and the odd red marks from the eyes are stitches whereas the black eyes are a material (Felt maybe?) that’s sewn onto the hood.

The cuffs are at the end of the sleeves and legs and are incredibly stretchy. There’s very little to say about them aside from the fact they get rather bobbly after a while but are very easy to get my hands and feet through.

Pockets! This onesie has pockets! They are fairly well hidden on the hips and I can just about get my hands in them which means they aren’t too deep so I wouldn’t recommend putting keys, phones or anything valuable in them as it’s highly likely they will fall out. However, they are great at keeping your hands warm. Made of the same black fleece material, it means they are super soft and incredibly warm. I love that it has pockets.

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The final detail that helps pull this outfit together, the tail. On the back of this onesie, roughly on my tailbone is a cute white panda tail. Sitting down I can’t even feel that there is a tail, and truth be told I do forget that it’s even there. As previously stated it’s got some sort of stuffing in it, similar to the ears but dissimilar to the ears is that the stuffing in the tail has gone a bit misshapen so it does require a bit of fiddling to keep the shape consistent. A key feature of this tail, is that as you walk, it loves to move with you and swing from side to side. This then results in multiple laughs from the people who watch, and more often than not they have previously come up to me and compliment me on the overall look and the tail. So the tail definitely helps bring a bit of fun and humour to the outfit.

I love this onesie, I feel warm and as adorable as I could ever be being a large tall woman. It does make me feel like a little kid sometimes, but considering I’m only 22, I’m still a kid, and it’s healthy to embrace the inner child and have fun in a world that has plenty of doom and gloom in it. Also, wearing it, it reminds me of all the fun I had during my first year at university, randomly seeing a dinosaur walk past or an elephant say “Sup?”. It’s about having fun, and while it may not be the most accurate on sizing and buttons, it’s warm and part of a great memory. It’s rather surprising that new situations can bring and the quality you can find online.

Panda Hood 2.jpg

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Alex Morley Hewitt
curvylegion@gmail.com
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