• Real Moms Put Uniqlo's Baby and Toddler Clothing Line to the Test!

    Do the quality, comfort, and design of the clothes pass the moms' scrutiny?
    by Rachel Perez .
  • Real Moms Put Uniqlo's Baby and Toddler Clothing Line to the Test!
    IMAGE courtesy of Saleng Ibabao, Ahlee Salang, and Cal Tavera
  • Dressing up little cuties can be fun, but we all know it can be expensive. Babies grow so fast that something you bought last week may not fit her next month! So moms have tried-and-tested ways to choose baby clothes that are worth the investment. Sometimes they can tell by just one look or touch even before they let their kids try it. 

    So when Japanese brand Uniqlo asked Smart Parenting (SP) to check out their baby and toddler line of clothing, we had one request. Could they send us samples for real moms to use on their kids?

    Uniqlo was game, and we found 10 moms willing to participate. We asked them to take photos of the clothes and their babies wearing them (all the images you see here are their pictures unless indicated otherwise). We gave them about two weeks with the products and invited them one Saturday at UCC Clockwork in Estancia Mall to hear their experience and honest feedback. 


    Meet our SP Mom Approved road test crew for Uniqlo: (from left) Saleng Ibabao with Matteo, Rayzy Nufable, Cal Tavera, Berns Lazo with Dale, Ahlee Garcia with Fourth, Rhoda with Miguela and Rafaela, and Pam Abella with Alaia. Three moms couldn't make it, so they sent their feedback via email. 

    WHO ARE THE MOMS?

    Pam Mejia-Abella has two kids, 7-year-old Zach, and 4-year-old Alaia. She helps in the family business. 


    Rhoda Cruz has 3-year-old twin girls, Miguela and Rafaela, and is a stay-at-home mom who also helps out in the family business. 

    Bernadette Lazo's eldest, Deidre, is 14, and her younger kids are Dale, 3, and Daphne, 9 months. She used to work for with mom-and-baby-related brands but now works for a construction company. 


    Rayzy Nufable is an outspoken, no-nonsense mom of two, 10-year-old son, Nico, and 11-month-old daughter, Lucia, and is an instructional designer. She's picky about baby clothes but also practical.
     


    Cal Tavera is a mom of two, a 12-year-old daughter, Allyson, and 5-month-old girl, Ramona Beatrice. She is currently on maternity leave but is her own boss, running an interior design business with marketing consultation and freelance writing on the side. 

    Ahlee Garcia-Salang is a first-time mom to her 1-year-old son, Fourth. She is in the field of public and corporate communications. 
     

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    Karen Ayala is a mom to daughter Adrienne Kalista, age 2, and a newborn baby born just last month, in October. She owns a business that turns kids' drawings into necklaces, bracelets, and keychains.

    Saleng Ibabao
    is a stay-at-home mom of two adorable kids, 4-year-old daughter Marjorie, and 10-month old son, Matteo. She goes for quality, comfort, then fashion in choosing kids’ clothes. 


    Saleng says of this photo, "A flat lay of the clothes and accessories in Matteo's bag when we spent a weekend in Los Baños, his daddy's hometown."

    Donna Llanes-Cruz is a mom to a 4-year-old son and a 20-month-old daughter, Lucille. The working mom is a civil engineer who manages a construction business with her husband.

    Tiffany Santos-Canseco is a mom of an 11-month old girl, Kina. She works as a publisher for a print and digital media company and has contributed articles on baby products for this website. 


    With the help of these moms, we listed the categories moms always factor in when selecting baby clothes.  

    FABRIC
    All the moms gave Uniqlo a "wow" rating; it went beyond their expectations. "What I like about Uniqlo is the fabric and its quality. I noticed after several washes it still looks the same," Rhoda said. Pam agreed, "Hindi nawawala yung kulay, even the print." 


    Saleng shared other brands would have necklines "na lumuluwag" after several washes. She and Ahlee explained Uniqlo didn't have that issue. "Even after several washes, it doesn't fade or becomes too loose." 

    WEARABILITY
    Cal noted that Uniqlo's baby clothes were versatile. "It’s something I can use at home, and if we go out, it doesn’t look like pambahay. It looks decent."

    Saleng liked that the "plastic poppers" or buttons of Uniqlo's onesies are colored. "Minor detail pero kasi makikita mo kung nasan yung gitna. Minsan nagmamadali ka, so 'pag wala yun, minsan nagkakamali ka pa, so uulitin mo pa."


    Saleng: "Because the Uniqlo pieces, tops, and bibs, can easily be mixed and matched, we did not need to bring extra clothes to come up with cute travel outfits. The sleepwear also made him comfortable overnight in an air-conditioned room."

    The moms agreed that Uniqlo should invest in short-sleeved tops, "kasi it’s a tropical country. Sayang their market. They could probably sell a lot more," Cal suggested. They all said the long-sleeved onesies came in handy when their children are in air-conditioned rooms. 

    Three moms were very happy, however, that Uniqlo was one brand that sold what they referred to as the "aircon" sando, "yung t-shirt na butas-butas (small holes)." Saleng, Rayzy, and Pam loved how airy, comfy, and breathable it was for their kids to wear.  

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    Karen and Donna, on the other hand, liked the fact that Uniqlo's pieces are perfect for travel.




    DESIGN
    Tiff reported her baby was comfortable in her onesie, and while she loved the design she got for her daughter Kina, she suggests that Uniqlo's designs can be improved with more funkier or cute prints.

    Cal, on the other hand, likes the neutral or muted and subtle colors. "It’s so good to accessorize. It's clean and minimalist. You can dress them up with a headband or the cute toys, so it’s not so distracting," she added.

    Karen shared the designs were very age-appropriate, simple, and versatile.

    PACKAGING 
    Bernz, who worked for several baby brands, noted there is much Uniqlo can still do to improve its packaging because it was a "little bit misleading." The issue was how the sizes were labeled; the "newborn" size could be worn by toddlers, as it turned out.  She suggested making the sizes a baby's age in months or years. 


    Ahlee agreed there could be some confusion about clothes sizes. Her 1-year-old son's clothes didn't fit him properly, but they had the supposed correct size according to the label. Many of the moms suggested to Uniqlo to have opened packages available so moms can check the size easily. Donna noted, however, she had all the info she needed without opening the merchandise. 

    Another point of confusion was the care label, the one that indicates the type of material and laundry and ironing instructions. Saleng noted while she understood the reason it's on the outside (so it doesn't irritate a child's skin), "Minsan nakakalito naman o kaya mukha siyang inside-out. Pag nagmamadali ka, eh ang likot, tapos baliktad pala, so uulitin mo." With two kids under 5 years old, she clearly goes for ease of use, too.  

    (We later relayed the moms' feedback to Uniqlo, which the brand appreciated. It did want to point out that the clothes' packaging is done for hygienic purposes. At the stores, there should be sample clothing hanging beside the sealed clothes that customers can touch and check for sizes. Uniqlo also added moms can find a size chart on their website. Click here )

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    We had a lively and fruitful discussion about shopping and baby clothes at UCC Clockwork in Estancia, Capitol Commons. 


     

    THE VERDICT
    After much deliberation, we asked the moms if they would recommend Uniqlo's clothing line for babies and toddlers. The answer was a resounding yes despite the issues of the size chart and care label. They even suggested they would be perfect as gifts. They hope Uniqlo can still add a wide array of designs (maybe even tie-ups with popular characters and movie franchises like Star Wars?), but it rates high on quality and comfort for these moms. And those two criteria alone makes this Uniqlo #SPmomapproved! 

    With additional reporting by Jillianne E. Castillo and Kitty Elicay 

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