To be more specific, which diapers do you prefer for overall appearance (look) and comfort (feel)? If you want to know why I'm asking about those two things, the reasons are pretty simple:
I've found out about a number of brands and types of diapers - mostly due to this site, so thanks to everyone! But right now, I'm in a position where using diapers for their intended purpose could be an issue. I can get and wear the diapers just fine; I order things online pretty often, so no one's too shocked if I get a package. I have a room to myself and my own car, both of which can be hiding places if I'm careful, and I can pretty much say that I'm going to the store and not have anyone ask me why. (If they do ask, it's usually because someone wants me to pick up something for them while I'm out.) But as those last comments hinted at, I don't live alone, so any odd smells would be noticed, and maybe changes in habit, too. Fortunately it's not uncommon for me to hang around in my room with the door shut, and I wash my own clothes/take out the garbage pretty regularly, so those aren't issues. The smell, though...that would be hard to explain away.
On top of the possible risks, I don't intend on using them all that much anyway, for a number of reasons. I definitely won't be messing the diapers; the idea just doesn't appeal to me, even if I thought I could get away with it. And though I may try wetting, I'm not planning to do it on more than a 'try and see' basis...or if I honestly have an accident, which is something I try to avoid as much as I can. I'm also going to start out only wearing them in private, when I'm alone, so I shouldn't have to worry about any of the stealth needed for outdoor wearing. Because of all that, absorbency, leak control, crinkling, ability to hide under clothing, and most of the other practical aspects of picking one diaper over another aren't really deciding elements for me right now. (They may be in the future, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it!)
As a result, I'm not sure where to begin in my diaper-wearing experiments. I don't want to get a cheap, uncomfortable diaper that feels like sitting on a pile of scratchy paper...but I don't want to spend money on an expensive diaper like a Bambino if it's not much more comfortable to wear, or if I sweat endlessly in it, or if I can only wear it once and then have to toss it out once I take the tapes off. In my mind, that's like if I bought a bottle, used it once, and then put it in the trash...not going to happen if I can help it.
So, with all of that in mind, here's what I'd like to know:
-What diapers have you found are most comfortable to wear while sitting or standing? What about while moving around - walking, picking things up, doing daily activities?
-Which diapers are, in your opinion, the most comfortable to sleep in? Which ones are less comfortable, and what didn't you like about those?
-How do diapers tend to feel against the skin? Is there anything that someone unfamiliar with them (like me) should avoid doing or keep in mind for greater comfort while wearing?
-For disposable diapers: how many times can you tape/re-tape them before the closures stop working? If I do decide to get some, I'd like to get the most out of them that I can, especially since I won't be using them for their intended purpose right away.
-Disposables versus cloth: How do they look when worn? Are there major differences between the appearance of disposable briefs and cloth briefs, for example?
(If you know of any sites where there are clear images of the different types/styles laid out or worn on a mannequin, that would be great. I'm not looking for pictures of people wearing, as that's...fraught with danger, I'll put it that way. But even diagrams and such will do if they give an idea of how the diaper might look when worn. It's just that most of the images I've seen are of folded diapers, so other than color and material used, I can't tell the difference between the two very well. Yes, I'm rather clueless, I know.)
-For those looking at diapers from a *B point of view: Which diapers look the most appealing, or the most baby-like, to you? Any that you would recommend?
(And by the way, I'm far too large in hips and waist to dream of wearing baby diapers, so that's not an option for me.)
-Is a cloth diaper easier to reuse and/or more comfortable than a disposable? Or is it the other way around?
-Is it worth it to spend the higher price on diapers if there's not a lot of feeling/appearance difference between different brands, or between disposables and cloth?
-Is it better to be cheap because I don't have to worry about absorbency, or to get used to the good stuff from the start? (I don't mind paying more for a good product that I can get a lot of use out of.)
-When it comes to diapers in general, do you usually get what you pay for, or is hunting for deals a good idea?
-Does price per unit really matter if you're wearing instead of using?
-Any other thoughts on the appearance or the comfort pros (or cons) of the diapers you've used in the past? If there's something you love to wear, brand names/where you got it would be helpful mentions!
So yes, before I ramble on more, I'd really appreciate any thoughts and advice from anyone who's willing to share. If you need more information from me, I'll do my best to elaborate. Oh, and I understand a lot of this is opinion based, but that's my whole point in asking. While absorbency and features are statistics that can easily be compared, the opinions of people with experience tell things that numbers and measurements can't. So consider this question more like "What did you think of that movie?" or "How's the food at that restaurant?" rather than "Between product A and B, which is bigger (better, faster, stronger, etc)?" Everyone's going to think a little differently, but by hearing what everyone thinks, maybe I'll get a clearer idea of what's out there.
And here's hoping someone hasn't made a thread like this in the day or so it took me to finally decide exactly what I wanted to ask!