Over my 3 years of trying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I have bought about 12 different kimonos ranging from Gameness to Lucky. I must admit, I have been one of those who bought a kimono simply for the design & the name of the kimono. When I bought my 2nd kimono it was the very expensive Lovato Lucky kimono. This was one of those, bought for the design & name. Now that I have been training for a while, I look back and realize maybe that wasn’t the best decision; luckily that kimono was very well constructed and durable. I ended up wearing it every day for about 2 years until it started to tear and fall apart. When buying your first or your 100th kimono, always keep some of these things in mind. Of course, everyone has a different idea of what is important to consider when buying a kimono. So please take what you like from the information I will provide for you.
-When buying a kimono, what I like to do is read as many reviews as I can. Reading reviews will not only inform you as to what others thought, but can also warn you about any defects(i.e. dye running in the wash, the amount of shrinkage, & rips or tears). A review can also tell you about the customer service the company offers including return policies on a defective kimono. Keep in mind not every company will exchange a kimono after you have worn it once & it ripped.
*note: Not all reviews are good reviews. Read & watch as many reviews as possible before making a purchase. Some reviews are limited to a person sitting in front of a camera and saying what he or she did or did not like about the kimono without having tried it on, washed it or trained with it.
-Quality is key when looking into buying a new kimono. What do I mean by quality? There are companies that just mass produce their kimonos in the thousands & never check their products before they leave the warehouse. In contrast to this, there are also companies who pay outside personnel who have no affiliation with them to check over every kimono after each is made. If there is even one defect, they take it off the line and make a brand new one. How do I look for quality in a kimono? I start by looking at the construction. Things like reinforcements on weak areas of the kimono (i.e. the V cut on either side of the pants and also the jacket V cut, some companies will not reinforce this area, which saves them money on production. Other places to look are the arm pits and the groin area inside the pants. Check the inside of the jacket where the material meets. A quality kimono will have covered the areas where stitching can easily irritate your body with a softer piece of material to protect your skin. These are just some of the things that I look for when I am going to make a new kimono purchase.
-Durability: You want a kimono that’s going to last you at least a year. I go to my local fight shop & do a basic durability test in the store. The store staff will not get mad at you for this unless you are trying to do a rolling session. What I first off try the kimono on; while still in the dressing room I will begin my little test. Depending on the size of the dressing room, I will do some squats, side, front & back lunges. What I am listening for here is the stretching of the stitching, if you hear stretching in the stitching either you are too big for the kimono which means get a bigger size or the stitching is not tightly stitched. Which means in about 2 weeks you will be at your local tailor getting it fixed? I will also take the kimono off and try to pull it apart, Though I will not to be the hulk and separate it about I will give a couple good tugs to the jackets arms & pants legs. If you give it a tugs and it starts to separate that’s no good, now image if you buy that kimono & you training and someone pulls on it to sweep you well there goes you’re sleeve and back to the store you go. Again I am no expert in buying the best kimono or know which are or are not, we all have our options but these are the tests or what I look for when buying a kimono.
I hope that I have helped you toward purchasing the right kimono for you and that you all buy one that is durable and is made with highest quality. If you have any questions or would like to know my thoughts on certain kimono please feel free to email me through my site www.everythingbjj.com