22 Mar 2011

Gi Review: Tatami Fightwear Estilo 2.0 in navy

An update to the hugely popular Estilo gi, the Estilo 2.0 navy gi offers improved styling and a softer more comfortable fabric. It still maintains the same cut and strength as the first generation - aspects that make the new Estilo an even more outstanding gi.

In my previous review of the original Estilo gi, I stated:
"In my opinion it’s an absolutely outstanding product that combines quality materials with classy styling. It is a gi that is not trying to be a copycat prestige model...it is a prestige model".
It was a bold statement to make. Several months since that review the original Estilo is still a frequently used gi in my personal rotation and judging from the feedback I receive from training partners and folk online who have bought the Estilo, is a hugely popular gi. The new incarnation of the Estilo is even better than the first. But first, some stats.

Straight out of the bag: jacket, trousers, gi bag

Size, shrinkage, weight and other stats

Click for bigger image
As the stats show, shrinkage in all areas was minimal. What little shrinkage there was affected the arm length and trouser lengths more than anywhere else - as is the case with all new gis. The weight, at 1.8Kg, is neither heavy nor ultra light compared to most other A1 pearl weave gi models I have reviewed previously. The gi comes with a cloth gi bag.

Navy is such a gorgeous colour for a BJJ uniform. The previous navy coloured offering from Tatami Fightwear suffered from irregular fading and marbling, leading to a stone-wash effect. This new navy Estilo uses a different dyeing process and after x4 washes at 30 degrees, it kept its colour very well with no stone wash effect at all.

Lovely navy colour does not fade unevenly

Style and Design
Tatami fightwear still haven't ditched their overly busy patches. There are just too many flags, kanji, tao symbols and other bits and bobs for my liking - as discussed in the first Estilo review, in my opinion, most iconic gi patches feature just the name of the brand and not much else.

Chest patch same as Estilo 1, could do with improving

One thing I do like is the new 'e' in a laurel leaf. It's a very cute little logo and reminds me of an old racing car logo. I feel the crispness of this design makes the chest and shoulder patches look dated.

Cool new 'e' logo replaces old tao symbol

Contrast coloured stitching, once a rarely used design element, is now almost universal among all gi brands. The new Estilo navy sports white contrast stitching and white coloured edge trim, both contrasting very tastefully with the deep navy cloth. any kinks and stitching faults are easily visible, but the sample sent to me was immaculately crafted, with hardly a stitch out of place.

Branded inside jacket tape, serves no obvious function, but pretty to look at!

One rather novel and interesting detail is the branded seam tape running alongside the join between the jacket body and the lapels. It is very pretty but does not seem to hold any purpose as it does not cover the actual join so could not be considered to have any degree of reinforcement functionality.

The first thing I noticed about the jacket is that the pearl weave appears to be slightly different than with the original Estilo. The navy seems to be much softer and the weave a bit less densely woven. I asked Tatami about this and they replied that it was still the same weave material as the first Estilo, but the dyeing and treatment process used did alter the characteristics slightly. Judging from the new way the new Estilo fabric looks and feels, the new production process appears to be a big improvement.

As with the previous Estilo, the jacket cut is slightly longer along the arm lengths than many other gi brands I have tried. The body of the jacket is just right for me, not too long, not too short, and the width is slightly narrower than some brands.

As with the first Estilo, the collar is made from a rubber inner core and covered with canvas cotton. It is quite stiff when new, but softens over several washes.

Canvas covered collar with rubber core

The collar is not as thick as the one found on the Break Point Deluxe, but not as thin as a Vulkan Pro Light collar - so somewhere in the middle. I personally give the edge to collars with a spongier feel than the Estilo, but it's not a major issue for me.

As with all the Tatami Fightwear gis I have reviewed, the new Estilo has nice long sleeves (armspan 156cm) which are perfect for my personal body dimensions.  Compare this to say the Break Point Deluxe A1, which has an armspan of 150cm, which is a touch too short for my liking.

Estilo 2 has wider sleeves and is double stitched

The cuffs are stitched and covered with branded seam tape and the width of the sleeves are very slightly tapered. At 16 cm wide for the A1, the cuffs are 1.5cm wider than the Estilo Mk1 - which I feel is an improvement and avoids potential IBJJF sleeve width compliancy issues. The cuffs are only reinforced with a double row of stitching, compared to the triple stitched Estilo Mk1. Time will tell if this makes any difference to long term durability - the sleeve cuffs undergo a lot of heavy stress during training, so any weaknesses will quickly show. so far, they have proved to be perfectly adequate for the job.

The Estilo is very well reinforced throughout the uniform. The cuffs, as mentioned before, are covered with seam tape, the armpits and side vents have extra material and so does the trouser gusset join.

White trim and extra reinforced later at side vents

The trouser ankle ends are a simple fold-over and double stitch job - some gi brands, such as the K2 Premier gi, offer extra reinforcements in this area. I personally have not experienced ripping at the ends of the trousers, but I do hear of people who's gis rip at the ends. With the strength of the thick canvas trousers on the Estilo I doubt it would rip as easily as gi pants made from thinner twill cotton so extra reinforcements may be unnecessary.

Armpit layer reinforcement

The Estilo navy trousers have four belt loops and a thick, white rope drawstring. As I have often stated before, I find rope strings much better than flat trouser ties. Rope does not get lost in the hem and stays tied together much longer.

My only criticism is that they are very very long (on the A1), leading to a bit of rope drawstring flapping around during rolling.

Gusset reinforcement

The trouser length is perfect for me (I am not a fan of very short trousers) and the knee reinforcements extend from above the knee to mid shin level.

Nice use of the Estilo logo at base of trousers

Comfort, fit and rolling performance
As with the original Estilo, the A1 fitted me perfectly. It's almost as if Tatami Fightwear used my own personal body size measurements as a basis for their A1 gis. Great for me! Possibly not so good if you have quite different body dimensions to me. What I really enjoyed about this gi was the comfort factor. The cloth is much smoother and softer than any other pearl weave I have sampled, including all previous Tatami fightwear gi models reviewed. It felt more like a goldweave or judo style single weave.

For my personal preferences, size is perfect in all areas!

During rolling, the Estilo navy held up to some vigorous attempts by my training partners to rag me around (yes I do request that my pals help me with testing by ragging me extra hard on the mat!). So I'm fairly confident this gi will be tough and durable for intensive and frequent usage.

The Estilo is not a super light gi, but then it is not marketed as such. The thick canvas trousers can feel a little heavy after a sweaty session and in summer I will probably prefer to use the thinner twill pants that are found on the Zero G or the Break Point Deluxe's competition trousers. Nevertheless, the canvas cotton that Tatami use for their trousers is still very nice and comfortable compared to some, stiffer and less pliable canvas trousers I have worn in the past.

The Estilo MK2 in navy is a beautiful looking gi that is actually more comfortable to wear than its previous incarnation. It is just as durable and brilliantly fitting (for me) as the original Estilo. Those who are not worried about ultra lightness and seek an affordable, tough and stylish uniform should definitely consider the Estilo 2.0 (also available in white, black and blue).

Credit and disclosures
My thanks to Tatami Fightwear for the chance to review this gi.

This review represents my own opinions. I am not an expert in textiles or clothing etc, just a regular BJJ student who likes a few BJJ gis (okay a lot). I consider myself independent and impartial - I am not sponsored by any one company nor do I endorse any one brand. I have a close dialogue with a large number of gi makers and sellers, some of whom I collaborate with on various projects that are unconnected with this review. If you have any questions about this review, please feel free to email me (see About Me) or post a comment below. I hope this review was helpful.

DISCOUNT CODE: WELOVEMEERKATSU for 10% off this gi only.


About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Jay B said...

Ordered, with seam ripper in hand. By the time I added all of my association patches, along with the Tatami patches...wouldn't know it was pimped-out navy. LOVE that color!!!

slideyfoot said...

If those patches are like the ones on the Zero G, shouldn't be too difficult to remove. Or are they stitched more securely on the Estilo?

Meerkatsu said...

The shoulder patch might be a bit tricky, the others would seem to be rippable. Slidey, the Blogshire Ripper, mmm kind of a nice ring to it.

slideyfoot said...

Hah - I prefer not having to bother ripping, hence the preponderance of plain gis in my wardrobe. ;)

Meerkatsu said...

Check out Grappling Addict's nova review. Very plain!

slideyfoot said...

Yep, just read that: looks good. If I ever need to replace a gi, I will be getting another Padilla, but it's good to know there are plain, decent quality BJJ gis available closer to home at a reasonable price.

Though like I commented on the review, it would be interesting to know exactly what the gi does to justify that extra cost over a cheap judogi (I presume there must be differences in cut, weave etc).

Meerkatsu said...

There is definitely a difference in cut as you know. But the knowledge that my money will go towards a gi company that supports the UK BJJ scene would sway any decision. Though I think I might be in the minority with that way of thinking.

enter the hero said...

i really wanna get this gi, i only have 1 at the moment i have the tatami nova basic gi and i have quickly realised 1 gi is definatly not enough lol.roll on payday


enter the hero said...

im gonna get this one when i get paid,i quickly realised having only one gi is not gonna be enough lol. btw i have the tatami nova gi in black its really good from what i can tell but then again its the only one i have worn aside from random crusty ones that i had to borrow lol.

enter the hero said...

my bad for the double comment dude,my browser froze when i made it so i wasn't sure it posted

Unknown said...

Do you suggest mercurizing the gi so the color dosent fade?

Meerkatsu said...

No, it should already be dye fast. Pearl weave includes sanforising in the production process AFAIK.

NinjaMonkey said...

im becoming somewhat disenchanted with the service portion. After ordering was told a week after that it is out of stock, 2 weeks on nothing inbound....not what i was expecting!

NinjaMonkey said...

Just got the Gi's....very impressive, im shocked that i've been buying Atama for this long, these are 50 Euro's less and much much better in my mind. The customer service portion leaves a lot to be desired, id recommend going through a dealer that confirms they are in stock before ordering. Otherwise it might take the better part of a month as it did with me

Meerkatsu said...

Cool! Glad you got it. I think your order coincided with a sudden influx of orders from their US and Far East distributors hence the lack of responses and sudden out of stock situation. Hopefully they will learn from the experience. Tatami usually have very good level of customer service. Enjoy the gi!

Adrian said...

Just got mine today. Really nice gi. Was hoping to remove the chest patch, but alas it is not possible on mine. The patch actually goes under the lapel and is stitched through by the lapel stitching. Interesting, since that's not the case in Meerkatsu's. The shoulder patches are also not easy to remove since they are run though by the Estilo tape stitching. The patch on the lower back and on the pants can be removed, however.

Meerkatsu said...

Adrian, I actually did remove all the patches on my navy Estilo. You are right, the branded mini tape covers the inside seam and stitching to removing the chest patch also undoes the inside tape. But I did it anyway and it doesn't seem to affect the strength of the underlying seam. I was a bit brutal about it though so it looks sloppy :s

Anonymous said...


There is 1 error :

voucher name not valid


mosquito cat said...

I had the same problem with the voucher. Probably want to buy this gi too!

Awesome blog by the way. Just getting interested in BJJ after a couple of years studying Shorinji Kempo and one thing I love is the greater freedom with gi designs.

Unknown said...

Read this review a couple weeks ago and have re-read it several times. As of 2 days ago this Gi is on it's way. Eager to try it out.


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