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Does anyone know of a good supplier of white dogi for either aikido or judo that are tailored to women?

If not, does anyone know of homemade modifications that can be made to a "male" dogi to make it more comfortable for women to wear?

Note after comment: Women have breasts (men generally do not have them) and a thinner waist which means that most gis are either too big or open up, revealing sports bra and potential cleavage. Either way is not good for training.

  • Unfortunately BJJ is the only arena that I've seen gi specifically tailored for women. I'm not too familiar with the topic, though. :) – Dave Liepmann Aug 16 '12 at 14:06
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    I wonder if you could take the dogi to an experienced tailor and explain to them what you need. Those kinds of people would probably be able to pull something off for you. – Matt Chan Aug 16 '12 at 15:06
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    I was thinking about BJJ gis too, but they mostly just come in pink or with some feminine designs. I'm not sure they're actually a different cut. – Robin Ashe Aug 16 '12 at 22:56
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    AFAIK, Gis are unisex (at least at the normal shops in Germany). Which features do you actually desire for your Gi that the common one doesn't have? – fubra Sep 17 '12 at 16:00
  • Any tailor can bring in the sides of a dogi. They are largely unisex. – stslavik Sep 17 '12 at 21:42
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Fenom is one of the most widely recommended womens bjj gi. Not sure if it's judo competition legal, but they aren't too badly covered in flowers and stuff, so depending on your school, they may be acceptable. http://fenomkimonos.com/products.html

atama makes a fairly popular ladies gi as well.

Fuji, which is a long standing brand in Judo and BJJ Gi's makes several women's gis as well, some would probably never be allowed in a traditional aikido or judo dojo, but some perhaps would. http://www.fujisports.com/product.aspx?productid=95&pvavID=661&qty=1

This website has a review / list of bjj companies that market to the ladies: http://gireviews.net/womens-gis-and-kimonos/ in the comments you can see discussions on which brands are just re-labeling their men's products and which are actually cut differently.

I wouldn't recommend trying to sew one yourself, especially a judo gi, the material is so thick, you need an industrial strength sewing machine for it. Tailoring a pre-made one would be tricky to.

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I'm not precisely qualified to answer this, but perhaps Janet Rosen's description from an AikiWeb forum thread of adding modesty ties will help.

If all you need is modesty ties, buy a long shoelace, cut it in half, sew the halves where you want them. Snap tape works as well.

Janet Rosen has also written a column on AikiWeb about customizing the dogi which contains diagrams as well.

I have experimented with a variety of closures, including snap tape and velcro, and am happiest with a pair of white or natural (to match the dogi fabric) sneaker shoelaces. One lace cut in half will secure the waist, the other cut in half will secure the lapel. Put on the gi top, over the gi pants and belted as usual, and use straight pins to locate where you want the ties to be. For the waist ties, the left side tie will go on the inside of the top (wrong side) and the right side tie will go on the outside of the top (right side). For the upper lapel ties, the right side tie again will go on the outside of the top (right side), but it is easiest to secure the ties if the left side tie is directly at the edge of the gi top.

This doesn't address the "slim" issue, but it does address what I'm reluctant to call the "modesty" issue.

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Other than the tailor suggestion, here are a couple links that I've found:

http://www.mizuno.eu/en/sports/judo/products/judogi/36102/nippon-women/

http://www.budoexport.com/judo-judogi-kimono-femme-joal-sensei-kusakura-xml-245_261-894.html

Also, I believe both simplicity and butterick sell sewing patterns for gi's as well.

  • They're a pain to sew, though, unless you have a fairly burly sewing machine. You may need to take the foot off for collar/seam work as well. – Dave Newton Aug 16 '12 at 18:58
  • Agreed. You almost need a serger to handle the thickness, especially on the reinforced/seams parts. I've even had trouble sewing a simple instructor ribbon on the collar of a traditional dobok. – JohnP Aug 16 '12 at 19:01
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Slim Fit gis

Judogis are generally unisex. Finding one which best suits your body type/you find most comfortable may be a case of trial and error, since different brands use slightly different cuts and sizings.

However some manufacturers offer slimmer, tighter fitting versions of their gis, sometimes marketed towards women:

  • Mizuno Nippon Women

    Competition judogi specifically designed for women and smaller judokas looking for a judogi closer to the body.

  • Fuji Tokai Nippon

    Best suited for lean to muscular body types, the aggressive cut mirrors your frame without binding in the shoulders or leaving baggy material across your back.

  • Adidas Champion and Champion II "Slim Fit" versions, with adjusted jacket girth. The below charts detail the differences:

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Modifications

Note if you wish to tailor your gi, there are strict regulations on material and dimensions for IJF competition gis:

T-shirts

Note that the IJF requires women to wear a white t-shirt in competition:

Female athletes must wear a white non- transparent round neck tee-shirt under their judogi jacket.

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