3 Sept 2015

Gi Review - The Fabulous Gi

Very flamboyantly designed jiu jitsu uniform with a love it or hate it appeal, the Fabulous Gi actually fitted me very well (A1L jacket and A1 trousers), with minimal shrinkage and overall very good quality construction.

The Fabulous Gi is made by Norway based company Rios Fightwear. The gi is sold via their standalone website - http://www.awesomegi.com/ priced at $135.
Or through USA website Rollmore for $159.99
The gi is a unisex model.

I have no personal or business connection with Rios Fightwear, all views expressed in this report are my own and reflect my personal opinions based on the sample provided.

With rainbows, unicorns, pink bows, butterflies, diamonds and other extravagant decorative details, this gi is clearly designed with tongue firmly in the camp fashionista cheek. Mind you, I'm not sure how satirical it is meant to be, after all, some people very clearly do love the aforementioned graphics - not least me with my own history or designing flamboyant artworks (notably for Pony Club Grappling Gear). Naturally it didn't take me long to accept the offer of a review from the makers of The Fabulous gi - the Norwegian people at Rios Fight Gear. More importantly however, does the gi stand up to the rigours of day to day training?

Size, Weight, Shrink
Rios sent me a size A1L (long) jacket paired with a size A1 pants. For the record, I measure 167cm in height and weigh 59Kilos (around 135lbs). I normally wear size A1 in other brands although my long arms mean some models sleeves appear short on me.

Size in centimetres, first figure brand new, second after seveal warm (40 degree) washes and air dried.

A: 163 / 159
B: 75/75
C: 53/53
D: 15/14.5
E: 52/51
F: 93/90
G: 21/21

Weight - jacket = 1.2 kilos, trousers = 0.5 kilos

Discussion: wingspan at 159cm remains very good for me with my long arms. Despite being an A1 LONG, the Fab gi seemed more like a regular A1 compared to other brands such as Shoyoroll (159cm) and Tatami Fightwear's Estilo 5 (153cm). In nearly all other areas, the Fab gi showed very little shrinkage. Trouser length could do with being a bit longer for me, but it's not outside my normal parameters. Perhaps a size A1Long pants would be better in this case instead of the regular A1 they sent me. Weight at 1.5Kilos overall was fine for this size, not too heavy, not ultra light.

The gi material on the jacket is made from 550gsm pearlweave cotton. This density of fabric is sturdy and strong without feeling too heavy. It is the same gsm weight as the Estilo 5 and subsequently feels very much the same.

Of course the key selling points for this gi are the numerous graphics and other details:

The Fabulous gi comes luxuriously packaged

Introductory letter echoes the camp theme of the gi

Despite outrageous styling, overall, it is a balanced and consistent approach for both jacket and pants

The inside jacket flap contains a (looks like heat applied) unicorn graphic print

Embroidery quality is tight and detailed, stitching and pipework neatly applied

Comfy inner cuff tape

Slogan based tape and rainbow inner side vent patch

Cupcakes, stars, ribbons and butteflies - The Fabulous Gi covering all bases

Every sector is covered with detailed graphics

The trousers are made from nice light and comfy ripstop cotton. Six belt loops and a thick rope drawstring ensure a tight fit. Design wise, the decals and colourway echo the jacket perfectly.

Rolling performance, fit and feel
Let's be honest, even if this gi was made from weak rice paper, people will buy this gi based on the looks alone. Luckily, customers won't have to worry if this gi is more about the looks than the substance, because the quality of materials and the construction appear to me (over the two and a half months of rolling) to be of a very high standard.

When the brand owners advised I be sent the A1L, they were completely correct. This size fits me perfectly. The trousers were only A1 however, so felt a little tight around the gusset and shorter than I would like in length (see photo below) but certainly still very usable.

I like the fact that the jacket material seemed identical to the Estilo 5 gi - which is one of my go to regular gi in my personal rotation.

The thickness of the embroidery that wraps behind the shoulder blades did mean the gi jacket bunched up a little bit when I was in a hunched stance or combat base position, but it didn't bother me, just an observation really.

The embroidery, seam tapes, patched lining and rubberised printing all lasted the testing process without any degradation. Usually inner printing fades or peels off after a short while, but the unicorn print wasn't affected at all. Impressive.

Viewers will see this gi once and will instantly love it or hate it. For some, it is the ultimate expression of creativity and fun, for others, it is an abomination. But then that's the point of the gi - it's very existence throws an extravagantly denonair open hand slap into the face of conservatism and tradition. "Bitch please", the slogan implores, "I'm fabulous". It is, and you are.


About the Author


Author & Artist

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


Anonymous said...

I love your reviews so much. Do you have two or three favorite gis of all time that you could name?

Meerkatsu said...

Oh boy that's a tough one. I think visually, the very first Scramble (Ichiban) and the grey Competidor come about as close to the best looking I've tested. For fit and form, the Tatami Estilo gis have always been my go to kimonos. I'm sure I have overlooked some classics of the past, I'd have to run through them and re-think.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for replying. If anything else comes to mind I'd be interested for sure. Keep up the good work on your site and designs and congrats on your black belt.


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