Fenom Kimonos is a new line of gi for and by women; as their slogan states, Powered by She! A fellow grappling grrl and I are proud to be the first two women in the UK to own these gi, which we modelled at a recent Women’s Open Mat. Since beginning BJJ-training in 2005, I’ve been a committed Koral wearer, gi which I find hard-wearing and nice-fitting. I was attracted to Fenom’s amazing introductory offer and decided to take a chance on my first non preshrunk gi, and I have not been disappointed. I’ve put my new gi through the ringer this week – training, washing at different temperatures, ironing and measuring – and I can confirm that Fenom’s created a great product backed by excellent customer service and an admirable corporate outlook.
Two things immediately strike anyone encountering a Fenom, the superbly soft weave and the slick branding. The jacket and trousers are velvety soft and have remained so after two training sessions and two washes (without softener) and air drying. My Koral are superb, but their burlap texture does not compare with Fenom’s impeccable softness. While soft, the weave is sturdy and has a ‘proper’ BJJ-gi weight; I’m not a fan of the ultra-light gi.
Fenom’s inaugural gi is black with pink gothic-style ‘F’ Fenom branding; smaller ‘F’s adorn the shoulders and a larger emblem is stitched at the foot of the right trouser leg. Fenom’s belts and internal tags also include a pink stylised lotus. Classy, feminine, but understated and not too saccharine or over the top (I’m not the sort to rock a Kyra Gracie pink kimono and it is nice to have a feminine gi that’s not exceedingly ‘girlie’).
I’ve trained in Fenom twice, so while I can’t comment on the longevity of the gi (though it looks and feels sturdily constructed), I find it exceedingly comfortable. The cut and, especially, the fabric really can’t be beat. I think the boys are jealous their gi aren’t as baby soft!
Fenom currently offers three gi sizes and I chose the A1. My measurements are at the top of the A1 range, but even after several washes I find the A1 a good fit. After minimal shrinkage, I really like the Fenom’s fit, especially the trousers. They’ve got a slightly roomier rear panel than my Korals to accommodate ladies’ ‘donk’, and while I’m not particularly blessed in this area and have quite a bit of excess cloth at the back once I’ve tightened the drawstrings, the trousers lay flat rather than gaping and puckering as my Koral MKM A1 trousers (see previous post for full details of Koral fit). The jacket fits my shoulders well and I am happy with the length of the sleeves, which, though they cut above the wrists, are comparable to my Korals. The jacket’s cut is a bit shorter than what I am used to, and though this is pleasing tailoring and means the jacket is loose over the hips, perhaps a bit more length after shrinkage would allow the jacket to be held together by the belt a bit better.
The Fenom suffered minimal shrinking after washing at 40 degrees with negligible change after a 60 degree wash; I air dry gi, either on a clothes line or on drying racks hung from radiators.
|Measurements||Before(cm/in)||After 40°C(cm/in)||After 60°C(cm/in)|
|collar to cuff||64.8/25.5||61.7/24.5||61.5/24.25|
|back of collar
to skirt bottom
|width at elbow||20.3/8||20.3/8||19.5/7.75|
|width at cuff||15.2/6||13.9/5.5||14.5/5.75|
|width at knee||25.4/10||25.4/10||25/9.75|
|length of inseam
(to seam above gusset)
I heartily recommend Fenom and look forward to additions to their collection over the coming months. Not only is Fenom bringing a super product to the market, they are really channeling the ‘strong-woman vibe’ and working hard to bring more women and girls onto the mat. This is the sort of business I am keen to support, and with such a fine product, it is no hardship.
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.
Addendum: Meerkatsu has published a fine interview with Fenom founder, Triin Seppel, here.
 While I measured the waistband, I am sure that I made a mistake and the prewash measurement is not reliable (88.9cm/35″). Accounting for human error, there is no further shrinkage after the first wash.