FENOM Pearl Weave Gi Review
by Lauren LaCourse
I needed an inexpensive gi, but not a cheap one. I teach and train anywhere from 4 to 6 days a week, a couple hours each day. That being said, any gi of mine, would have to be durable. I came across FENOM Kimonos after reading about them in a post from Chelsea Bainbridge-Donner. She’s kind of a BAMF. She trains at ATOS, and is responsible for my all-time favorite BJJ blog (http://leaahh.com/). I figured what is good for the goose, is good for the gander. She had made mention of the FENOM Pearl Weave gi, so I decided to go ahead and order one.
I am 5’7, and weigh anywhere from 140 lbs to 147 lbs, so I purchased the A2 White FENOM. I worried that since the gi was on the larger end of the sizing scale, that it might be too big. When it arrived, it certainly felt that way. Keep in mind, I’ve been rolling around in, and washing the only gi I’ve ever had, nearly every day.
That gi knows me.
Putting on a fresh, never rolled in, crunchy, stiff, new gi was a disappointment to say the least. Recently I have come to terms with the fact that new gis are absolutely awful, especially after having the same effect when putting on my current Atama gi. Nevertheless, I risked washing and drying it a couple of times and headed to the gym. The first roll was terrible. It was scratchy, the stiff collar felt like it had been wrapped in sandpaper as it slid across my neck. If I didn’t forcibly hold my arms down, they may have very well stood straight out the entire night. However, I kept rolling, and kept washing.
(Photo Property of Lauren LaCourse)
After the initial three washes (hot wash/hot dry), the gi didn’t shrink very much. Eventually, it shrank to a perfect fit after a few more of those washes, and I’m now able to wash and dry it after every use! Now, my final synopsis. After a couple months of rolling, I absolutely, 100 percent, LOVE this gi! It is so soft. It fits perfectly, and I would recommend it to any girl on a budget looking for a quality kimono. This gi comes in many colors (I’m secretly planning to buy one in every shade). If white is not your thing, you can opt for blue, navy blue, or black. The sizes are specifically contoured for women, with “curvy” options for many of the styles. FENOM is also quick to return emails for customer service, as I first tossed around the idea of returning my initial purchase for a smaller size; to which they promptly replied with an, “of course!” I am too impatient to wait for a new gi to arrive, so I opted instead to wash and dry my current one until it fit perfectly, and fit perfectly it did.
This FENOM pearl weave gi is so wonderful that I really only have a single complaint. It does tend to pick up a lot of lint. If you are like me, you wash your gi after every roll, so lint should not be an issue. Aside from some lint, this gi is da BOMB. Made for women, by women, and you can certainly tell. I love the way it looks, and I like the way it feels when I teach and roll.
Material – B+
Fit (after shrinking) – A+
Customer Service – A
Durability – A
Looks – B
Cost – A+
As always, good luck and keep on rollin’. -Lauren
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