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Gwelanmorrep's picture
Try before you buy

I'm fed up with mail-order gi that never quite fit. Is there anywhere I can go to try on gi before buying? I'll be in London for a few days next month, which might be a good place to start. Thanks...

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

I’m not sure there are that many “storefront” martial arts stores anymore. They were few and far between to start with, and what with the advent of the internet no doubt even fewer. You also have the problem that most gis are manufactured in sealed packets and the store owner may have difficulty reselling one that has been opened. The simplest thing to do maybe to try on the gi of club mates before ordering?

Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

All the best,


Gwelanmorrep's picture

Thanks Iain. A made to measure might be an option; expensive, but maybe less so in the long run if it fits. Anyone with experience? Is the extra cost worth it? What about paying more for 'high tec' material?

Bob Davis
Bob Davis's picture

What I do (for what ever that's worth )

I am on the larger side, 6'3" 100+kg and like a gi with room to move in but a sturdy construction. Never really had a heavyweight gi with trouser problems (other than leg length) but jackets are often an issue, personally I like a gi with plenty of arm pit room (and a good length) and have had some gis that are very restrictive in that area.

I used to by mid price and was very happy with the brand (until they "improved" it) but found in the long run that they lasted no longer that a quality budget.

What I do now is typically buy a size larger than recommended on the charts (they always shrink in use anyway) but then have the leg and arm length professionally adjusted and finished to suit my tastes, this typically costs about £10 per item (so £20 for both trousers and jacket). It's not the same as the full made to measure experience but you can get a good fit from a budget heavyweight gi for around £70-£80 total, a lot cheaper than a made to measure.