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Hello! We’re taking a look at Tatami Fightwear’s new release, the Estilo 4.0. A while back, I reviewed the women’s cut of the 3.0 (read it at http://gireviews.net/womens-cut-tatami-estilo-3-0-gi-review/).
Despite looking cool and being of very sound construction, it didn’t really go that well for me. I had a number of issues with the cut, most importantly that it had very little room in the booty and thigh region for a ladies’ gi.
by Nicole Kirk
After the review was released, the gents from Tatami Fightwear got in touch with me, jokingly(?) dubbed me “the Estilo hater” and offered to send me the 4.0 for review. They told me they had made some adjustments from the 3.0 and would appreciate a comparative look.
Anyway, I took a long time with this review. Mostly because I’ve been dealing with a recurring injury that took me off the mat for a couple of months, but also because I think nearly any gi will hold up to three weeks of punishment; it’s after a few months that you start to notice how it’s wearing in or wearing out.
So, as with the majority of their releases, the 4.0 is aesthetically on point. The logo hits are clean and striking, not at all busy. The woven patches from their earlier models are a thing of the past and they’ve upgraded to high quality embroideries throughout. The gi they sent me is white with gray and orangy-yellow accents, which are more classic-looking than feminine, which gives it a more professional vibe than some of the more embellished women’s gear out there, if you ask me.
The construction is awesome, especially if you measure it against other gis in its price range. The collar is meatier than most and rubber-filled, the sleeves are tailored, but will meet IBJJF regulations. The pants feature six belt loops in contrasting gray, a stretchy rope drawstring (also in gray) and a new feature, a rubberized grippy webbing is stitched inside the belt line, to help keep your pants from slipping down…but more on that later. The trousers have a little bit of a boot cut to the leg, which is different than the 3.0 (more of a skinny jean there), is good for IBJJF purposes, but isn’t billowy or super easy to grip, due in part to the bulletproof brushed canvas material Tatami favors for its Estilo pants.
So far, so good, but the problem is, it can look great and last forever but if you don’t feel comfortable in it, it’s never going to be your favorite gi. Sadly, it seems that for my body type (short, a bit stockier, big shoulders, narrow hips, big legs), Tatami will never be my soul mate brand. I was sized on the smaller end of F3 (I’m 5’3”, 142-148lbs, depending on pancake and pizza allowance), and in the length, I could have easily gone with an F2. The sleeves and pant legs were on the long side (though it does shrink considerably if you force it to) and the skirt was noticeably longer than what I would consider ideal. Through the shoulders and hips, however, the fit was pretty well tailored without tons of material in the boob or back region, which worked well for me.
The true deal breaker here, just like the 3.0, was the pants. The way Tatami cuts their women’s pants continues to confound me. The waist was large enough to accommodate someone a fair amount larger than me, while the gusset was so narrow that anyone with thighs the same size as mine (sort of in the small tree trunk range) will find lateral movement impossible. They did expand the booty region a bit, which is nice, but the hips are cut surprisingly conservatively for a women’s specific model. After several months of training in it twice a week, I was tired of not being able to do a side lunge or comfortably reach my leg forward for Spiderman steps (also called alligators, I think). Further, the elasticized waist I mentioned doesn’t do too much to help keep your pants up when there is enough room at the waist that it pleats a little bit, but you can’t keep the material on your outer thigh from binding and pulling your pants down. Ultimately, I think my hips stopped the downward trajectory of my trousers, not any grippy materials.
Tatami makes well-crafted, stylish gi and no gi gear and are lovely people to work with. If you like an average weight gi that doesn’t feel flimsy and your bottom half is on the slimmer side, this might be your perfect everyday training gi. If not, skip this one and go with something a little more suited for those of us with booty to spare.
Brendan is the Founder of Gireviews.net. By day he is a elementary school teacher, by night, a jedi gi reviewer!
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