Part 2: Shopping Spree!
So now that you know what to look for in a gi, let's go shopping!
Below are three companies who make women-specific kimonos that I have seen personally. I have also included several companies who are newer on the market and although I have not seen these gi's in person, I can imagine they will become fixtures in the BJJ community. This list is not exhaustive, but reading it will be, I'm sure, exhausting.
Colors: White, Blue, Black, Hot Pink
Opinion: This is a simple and clean looking gi. I own an Atama Kimono and love it although mine, if you recall, is blue with hot pink accents. The new Atama's come in basic colors (white, blue and black) and now use red trim instead of hot pink! If only they had this around five years ago...
They have a very specific size chart with six options that will fit both the smallest and the tallest girl. The kimono is simple with a couple of smallish logos on the shoulder, back and one pant leg.
Colors: White/Pink, Blue/Pink
Note: These look like very nice kimono's, although I think logo's on the jacket and pants are over-sized and, unfortunately, only come in Pepto pink. I have several friends who have purchased the Keiko kimono and loved it. However, the sizing options are limited (they have three basic sizes to Atama's six) and the jacket is typically longer than I would like. The photos on the website make the kimono look ill-fitting, but perhaps that was the way the models were wearing them. That much extra fabric on the sleeves and jacket make my fingers itch.
Colors: White, Lavender (oh yes, they went there)
Note: Again, I have several friends who own this gi, but only in the white. It has a nice fit and really great quality. I once ordered a pair of Gameness Vale Tudo shorts that had to be returned (I was devastated, but more on that in another post) and their customer service representative was incredible kind and helpful. It has to be said: that purple lavender is straight out of Lucille Ball's bathroom in 1954.
Color: Hideous Pink
Note: This is one of the companies I am not familiar with. The price is low, but that may be a reflection on the quality and, this is just an opinion, the color.
Colors: White, Black, Blue
Note: I have not heard anything about this company, but I am intrigued. It is run by women who train BJJ, so I imagine the fit would be nice. The low price indicates that the quality might not be as high, but it could also be because this company seems to prioritize making gear for women rather than turning a profit. I would love to hear if anyone has purchased a gi from Fenom, because they seem like a pretty great company.
What type of BJJ gi do you use? Would you prefer to purchase a kimono or other martial arts gear from a company just for women?
In the next installment of "Buying a Women's BJJ Gi," we will discuss how to care for your new gi, including the scary prospect of shrinking.