December 2010 saw the much-anticipated release (at least by women’s BJJ gi lovers) of the Atama Leticia Ribeiro Limited Edition kimono (here for the US). Why the excitement? I’ll tell you why – PURPLE BUTTERFLIES AND STARS! You see, while there are plenty of girls that can pull off the Kyra Gracie-style pink gi, equally there are many of us that want limited or no use of pink in women’s cut gi, such as the black and white Fenom Lotus, and I am really pleased that Atama has added a new option to the women’s gi world. This is my first Atama and after a few rolls and washes I am very happy with its performance, cut and styling. Atama is in the ‘premium’ gi range and the Leticia Ribeiro Limited Edition set me back $208/£132.
The Leticia Ribeiro Limited Edition is all about the insanely cute, yet understated, detailing. Dark purple and deep pink embroidered butterflies and stars at the shoulders and upper left trouser leg make this gi extra special. Much like the OTM Supa Star kimono, the Leticia Ribeiro Limited Edition uses very considered accenting with bold, feminine colours on a white gi to create a spectacular and unique overall effect.
In addition to the embroidery, the Leticia Ribeiro Limited Edition has lovely dark purple Atama-branded piping on the inner cuff and around the outside hem of the jacket. The placement and design of the embroidery and piping gives an impression of great attention to detail. There is, however, one small aberration: while the label inside the jacket names the gi the ‘Leticia Ribeiro Limited Edition’, the trouser label names the gi as the ‘Kyra Gracie Limited Edition’. Now, there *is* a new Kyra gi out, and while the embroidery on her new gi looks beautiful, I’m not quite to the point of wearing that much pink (though I am loosening up on this score). Nevertheless, considering the hard work in design this gi suggests, it is a bit of a shame there was less consideration in the implementation. (Amendment: this may be a one-off mistake as feedback in the comments suggests this isn’t the case with all trousers.)
With the Leticia Ribeiro Limited Edition, I am getting closer to a perfectly fitting women’s cut gi, for me. While I am a particular fan of the Fenom Classic, the Fenom Lotus and the OTM Supa Star, there are aspects of each of these gi that aren’t quite right for my ‘V’ shape. I believe that this has everything to do with Atama’s willingness to sell jackets and trousers separately and this adds weight to my argument to gi vendors to offer women’s gi as separates; this review is of the F3 top and the F2 trousers. (Note: the US-based site asks you to choose a size to add to the cart, this is actually the jacket size you want. You are then prompted to choose a trouser size. It it unclear to me if the Atama Europe site allows similar flexibility in ordering.)
I love the short, flared skirt on the Fenom Classic, but my undersized derriere is lost in the trousers. The OTM Supa Star jacket’s shoulders cut perfectly on me and I adore the A-line silhouette, but I’m not booty-full and the trousers look more than a little outlandish from behind. On the one had, in Fenom I wear an A1 and I am at the absolute top of the size range, yet the trousers aren’t great for my shape, though the A0 would surely be too small in the jacket. On the other hand, while I am dead centre in the F3 size range, I’d need at least F2 and probably F1 trousers in the OTM though the F3 top is just right for me. This is the crux of much of the trouble with creating women’s gi. All women are different individuals, of course, but women’s body shapes come in four generic types – A, V, X and O – and it can be very difficult to accommodate all these shapes with one product. Knowing the trouble I’ve had with other women’s cut gi in fitting my bony behind, I was psyched when I could purchase the F3 top and the F2 trousers, which has resulted in a much better combo for my V-shape.
The Leticia Ribeiro Limited Edition has an A-line silhouette, similar to the Supa Star. The jacket fits neatly at the shoulders and opens out to the bottom of the skirt. The skirt of the jacket is of the longer style, similar to the Tatami Women’s Zero G and the Fenom Lotus, versus the shorter skirts of the Fenom Classic and OTM Supa Star; I have a personal preference for the shorter skirts, but the Leticia Ribeiro Limited Edition jacket does fit well and allows for freedom of movement. The trousers have the greater room in the seat, hips and thighs as expected in women’s cut gi and work with the jacket to produce a lovely tailored outline. The gi is a single weave construction advertised as, ‘identical to that of our Mundial Model #9’. The jacket and trousers are 100% cotton and I can’t help but feel that I would be in state of crazy-bunny-boiling-obsessed-love if this gi had rip stop trousers as in the Mundial Model #9, rather than in my current a state of warm but controllable, affection.
Atama gi are not preshrunk and you can expect skrinkage up to 5%. I wash my gi on a warm (60C) wash against manufacturer’s instructions, but found that shrinking stayed well within acceptable parameters. Further, the deep colours of the embroidery did not bleed onto the white of the gi.
This is a beautiful gi and it preserves Atama’s reputation for high quality, well-constructed and superbly-designed women’s gi. The Leticia Ribeiro Limited Edition is soft on the skin and comfortable when rolling. I would suggest that Atama’s celebrity limited edition gi might be better with rip stop trousers like their Mundial Model #9 cousins. Finally, if you are a fellow purple belt and a fellow fashion victim, may I suggest the Fenom belt and the Scramble Newaza Hoodie as the purple used in these items matches the gi perfectly.
All reviews are based on my independent observations. I have no formal qualifications, I am not sponsored by any company and I do not endorse any one brand. If you chose a gi based on my review, please let the manufacturer know that MegJitsu persuaded you. This will not benefit me financially, but can help me to get more gi to review. As always, thanks for reading.
Thanks to Dave Birkett at Dartford BJJ for playing uke in my photos. Thanks to Seymour Yang/Meerkatsu for accepting my imitation as flattery; the gi dimensions diagram is a useful innovation!
 For reference, I am 163cm/5’4.5″, 60kgs/130lbs and have bust, waist and hip measurements of 86.4cm/34″, 68.6cm/27″ and 91.4cm/36″; this review is of the F3 jacket and F2 trousers.
 Addendum: as of 27 Jan 2011, Fenom Kimonos offers jackets and trousers as separates.
 For a discussion of the different gi weaves (and for the best collection of men’s gi reviews on the planet) check out Meerkatsu’s blog.