Peekaboo Beans - quality children's clothes with some pretty cool benefits

I was compensated for the following review with a pair of pants that didn't fit me well so I gave them to Brandon. Opinions are my own.

My good friend, Vicky, sells this Canadian brand of clothing - Peekaboo Beans (PB) - and the quality is amazing. When she asked me if I would do a review, I was happy to oblige. 

Brandon calls his Peekaboo Beans clothes "peas in a pod" because of the company's logo sewn on to all their clothes. It's seriously cute.

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PB clothes are meant to be comfortable, functional and allow kids to play. (This is mostly why I was so disappointed that they didn't fit me. I like comfy clothes. Sorry, Vicky; there's a downside to every product.)

The tags even encourage children to play!

All the pertinent stuff we parents need to know is right there on the front of the tags.

All the pertinent stuff we parents need to know is right there on the front of the tags.

Rather than toss it away, you can give it to your child to turn into a wee little piece of art.

Rather than toss it away, you can give it to your child to turn into a wee little piece of art.

As the mother of a child with autism who also has sensory processing disorder (SPD), I have so much appreciation for the thought that has gone into PB clothes. That tag being removable means that kids who are bothered by tags won't have problems wearing Peekaboo Beans. 

Even though the big tag is gone, I don't have to wonder what size Brandon's clothes are with the less bothersome smaller tags left behind.

Even though the big tag is gone, I don't have to wonder what size Brandon's clothes are with the less bothersome smaller tags left behind.

Another bonus is the thumb holes that are so helpful to Canadian kids and parents for roughly nine months of the year (maybe 6 depending on where you live). Thumb holes mean arms of your child's shirt aren't going to get bunched up when it's time to bundle up. (No doubt this is also helpful for kids with SPD.)

Brandon really loves his pirate ship shirt with the thumbholes. (Don't try saying that too fast.)

Brandon really loves his pirate ship shirt with the thumbholes. (Don't try saying that too fast.)

He doesn't wear this shirt without using the thumb holes.

He doesn't wear this shirt without using the thumb holes.

The pants have fake ties for the younger kids, but Brandon is old enough now to wear pants that have a real drawstring. 

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So, how does this outfit look now that I've talked about it so much?

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Not too bad at all when it's sitting on the counter.

Though I think the best part is when there's a cute kid filling it out. ;)

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In addition to selling Peekaboo Beans, Vicky is just a really great person to know. You can get to know the uber-fabulous Vicky by following her on Twitter or liking her Facebook page.

I've been a little behind on my writing (as you may have noticed since there's been a two-month gap between this post and my last), so the PB line has moved on from winter and is into spring and summer. You should definitely check out the new line!

Second-hand children's clothes; a blessing and a curse

I am really fortunate to have a number of friends with young boys who have been very generous in giving me hand-me-downs for Brandon. One good friend (who has two boys) gave me everything she had ever had for her boys up to about the 18mo. size before Brandon was born. It amounted to three huge Rubbermaid bins full of clothes. I was able to use quite a bit of the clothes, though on occasion there were some really cute pieces that he didn't get to wear, because they were the right size in the wrong season. I still kept them, because maybe we'll have another one born smaller or at a different time of year - you never know!

Other friends have mostly given me much smaller amounts of clothes, but in being more selective, those few items tend to be even more useful for Brandon. I've actually thought about asking my friends to let me go through their things before they take them to the consignment stores and I'll pay them for what I can use for Brandon. It's a win-win proposition; I pay less than I would at the consignment shop and they get more than they would from the consigning, though maybe it has some drawbacks that I'm not aware of.

Today, I got a message from someone I'd say is more of an acquaintance. We see each other mostly in passing and generally not often. She indicated that she was going to be taking some clothes to Goodwill tonight that she couldn't sell at the consignment shops and I could come over this afternoon and look through them to see if I want anything. While I appreciate the thought, I was also a little bothered by the message. I might be laid off, but I do have things on my plate and I can't necessarily just drop everything and go look through clothes on the off chance that something will be useful. And what if they aren't?

I'm the type of person that if I'm being "gifted" something, I don't ever like to express dislike, even if I hate it; I try to be as diplomatic as possible so that I'm honest without being brutal. But what if these clothes aren't something I'd ever want for Brandon? My only true escape route would be to say they aren't the right size for him and I have no idea from the message what size or season they are.

I guess if I were planning to give away clothes that I wasn't going to consign, I'd offer all of them and leave it up to the recipient to sort and discard, as they feel necessary, any items they don't want. Mind you, that doesn't make it more appealing to me either, because I have spent many, many hours going through all the clothes we were given because it just took a very long time to go through that volume of clothes and stay on top of it so that he didn't outgrow things before we used them. After all the time I spent sorting and organizing clothes Brandon had never worn, I decided it's actually much easier to buy my own clothes for Brandon and I do usually buy them from consignment stores.

Second-hand children's clothes are wonderful, because every piece you can use saves you money, but it's also a lot of work and can be potentially awkward. I've had more than one mom offer to loan Brandon a particular item of clothing because they know he can use it and it won't get too much wear, but they aren't ready to part with it. I honestly love that honesty and appreciate their willingness to let him use that piece so much more; we take extra care with those items to ensure they are returned in good condition.

Other awkward moments come when you're offered a piece of clothing that you really don't like or want and how do you diplomatically express that? My most recent awkward moment was being offered the leftovers being sent to Goodwill. Perhaps it's unreasonable of me, or simply related to us being only acquaintances, but it rubbed me the wrong way when I read that. I'm over it now and I won't hold it against her. The thing is, she may not have meant it in a negative way and I totally get that - we ALL say things that are unintentionally awkward for others. I'm truly giving the benefit of the doubt on this.

But it doesn't make me want to drop what I'm doing and run to her house to look through clothes today!

My big kid needs clothes, too!

Okay, so I’m kind of frustrated with buying clothes for Brandon. Actually, I’ve always been frustrated with it - seriously, why are baby clothes such a hassle? Especially for boys. I’ve got two beefs, though. One has to do with the sizes available. I got so excited last fall when I heard that Carters opened up here in Ottawa and I made the (long) trip across town to check out the store, specifically because I wanted to get sleepers. Now, I went when Brandon was 8 months old, but I needed 12 months sleepers, because he’s very advanced for his age. The store had absolutely nothing over the 9 months size. I waited about a month and went back - nothing. I give up now. Going across town is just not worth it - yes, even for Carters.

Yesterday, we went to Old Navy to find him a few things and once again, I run into the problem of finding clothes for a child that are bigger than 12 months. It makes me want to pull my hair out. What do clothing manufacturers think? The baby stops growing when they get to the 6 months size and then BAM, they’re 2T suddenly? Hello! I’m quite certain there are lots of babies who need these larger sized clothes and yet all I can ever find in the stores is 9 months and under.

My other beef about baby clothes is the prominent and abundant display of girls’ clothing. There are tons of styles, fabrics, patterns to choose from. For boys, they mass produce a bunch of different colours of the same exact thing and throw it on the side shelves out of the way of the girls’ things. I’ll admit, I can see why making an abundance of styles for boys can be challenging, but I think children’s clothing designers need a serious dose of creativity. I’ve picked through stores to fine one or two little items that are both cute and a good price and I think Brandon’s a well-dressed little man for it. But I have to deal with crap like going into The Children’s Place and finding that everything in his size is based on one theme. I can’t remember what it was, but I haven’t been back, because I wasn’t interested and didn’t think it was at all cute. Don’t get me wrong, I have gotten some really cute stuff from there as gifts from friends - I just wish I knew where they found this stuff, because I sure can’t find it!

Oh well, at least I know the selection gets better. I can always drive to Syracuse and buy clothes in the States - the selection is far better down there anyway.