I’m beginning to love the folks in the UK. I hate to admit it, being the proud American that I am, I just hate it. There’s nothing worse than having to admit that our brothers in competition are doing something right! And that’s just what the lads at Tatami are doing. With the recent launch of the Brotherhood, GenX, and Zero G lines and the continued sale of their Estilo and Nova lines, as well as their limited Pinup release (which is sick!), there is a flavor for everybody.
Let me be honest with you for a minute. I’ll tell you up front I’m not a sponsored fighter. Don’t read my reviews thinking I’m only going to hype up a product because they’re paying me too. Because they’re not. So what can I say that hasn’t already been said about this gi? There’s not a lot. I found 7 to 10 reviews online just doing a quick Google search and most of them are written ‘more better’ than I’m able to. I’m not going to razzle-dazzle you with my impressive Photoshop abilities or take multiple pictures from multiple angles. That’s not what I do. However, what my friends failed to focus on is that Tatami really paid attention to what the practitioner wants. Any monkey can get a mama-san in Singapore to sew them a gi but it takes a professional company with solid customer service and an ear for what their customer really wants to provide a quality product. Thank you, Tatami. Thank you for a stiffer (not thicker) collar (making it just a little bit harder for the “bad guy” to choke us!). Thank you, Tatami for four loops around the waist of the pants to keep them up. Thank you, Tatami, for a rope drawstring which actually gets tighter the more you wear it. No more pesky re-tying of your pants after a tough sparring session! No more pants sliding off my ass as I get used as a mop to soak up sweat around the mat! Take all of these things and throw in the fact that the Tatami Estilo 2.0 jacket is a bit bigger in the mid-section than most others for comfort (and sizing for us fatties), and you’ve got yourself a top quality gi! Oh, and did I mention that you can mix and match the jacket and pant sizes so you can get a fit for your body that actually works for you! Thank you, Tatami!
Let’s talk quality – top quality! Tatami not only set us up for success with an awesome fitting gi, but one that uses canvas instead of twill. Heavy pants and a single piece pearl weave material up top keep me happy! Tatami made the smart decision of pretty much replacing anything twill with canvas. Canvas pants. Canvas collar. Canvas! Canvas! Canvas! You know that twill drawstring you’re used to? You know, the one you can’t keep tied? Yup, gone! Canvas? Nope! Rope! But we already talked about this. Let’s move on.
The shrinkage on this kimono is the only thing that is standard about it. Following the provided care instructions (which means I did NOT stick it in the dryer and blast in high heat) the measurements prior to the wash were:
Collar to bottom: 32.5″
Collar to end of sleeve: 31.5″
Exterior leg: 40″
In seam leg: 31″
The post wash measurements were:
Collar to bottom: 32.25″ (-.25″)
Collar to end of sleeve: 31″ (-.5)
Exterior leg: 40″ (0)
In seam leg: 30.5″ (-.5″)
Moving on to what you really care about, the cool factor. Tatami sent me their Navy Premier Estilo 2.0, which looks sick! Custom embroidery, contrast stitching, rich colors, and a bad ass set of patches make me look like the cool kid on the block. Fake it till you make it, right?! (Insert cool guy strut and obnoxious stretching in the middle of the mat …here…).
If you’re in the market for a new Kimono, you might consider checking out Tatami. I’ll be rocking mine for a long time to come!