The Official Jiu-Jitsu Times Survey Results Are Clear: Enough With The Pink Gis Already

Photo Source: Rissa White

Well, guys, we asked and you delivered: nearly 600 of you responded to the Jiu-Jitsu Times survey asking what you wanted from your jiu-jitsu gear, and thanks to you, we finally have some hard data on what women really want. Rashguard manufacturers will no longer have to shake their fists at the sky, screaming, “Why do all my customers have a Y chromosome?” and gi manufacturers have lost their rights to be baffled when no one buys their hot pink products (more on that in a moment).

Without further ado, here are some of our findings:

Sizing matters: 73 percent of respondents said that they preferred rashguards sized specifically for women, and 67 percent want their gis to be built with the female form in mind. Only 14 percent want their rashguards and gis to be sized for men; 19 percent had no preference when it came to gi sizing and 13 percent didn’t care if their rashguards were specifically sized for men or women. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many women commented that their larger bust or hip sizes were the main reason for wanting gear specifically tailored to them, while women who mentioned that they had larger shoulders were more likely to prefer men’s sizes or not have a preference.

What goes up should stop going up: The overwhelming majority of respondents (35 percent) said that their biggest struggle when finding a rashguard was getting one that didn’t ride up. Another 19 percent said they have a hard time finding a rashguard that fits, while 17 percent struggled to find a rashie in a style or color that they liked.

Transparency is valued in businesses and friendships, but not spats: 37 percent of the women who responded said their top struggle when shopping for spats or leggings was finding a pair that didn’t show off their underwear whenever they stretched the fabric. The second-biggest struggle (at 26 percent) was finding spats that didn’t slide down mid-roll. Only 9 percent of respondents had a problem with spats that felt too restrictive, so it’s safe to say that giving up a little bit of stretch in favor of a little more modesty isn’t going to hurt anyone.

Oh-em-gi — stop assuming smaller men’s sizes will fit women: If you’ve ever felt personally victimized by gi manufacturers saying, “We don’t carry women’s sizes, but an A1 should fit you just fine,” you’re not alone — 25 percent of respondents said that their greatest woe when gi shopping was finding one that didn’t make them look “boxy”, and 22 percent said that theirs was finding gi pants that fit their lower body. Another 11 percent lamented not being able to find a gi jacket that fit their torso. A large number of the 25 percent of women whose greatest issue landed in the “other” category brought up the point that most gi manufacturers don’t sell pants and jackets separately, which can be a huge issue for women who have large busts but small rear ends, or vice versa.

On Wednesdays (or any other day), we’d rather not wear pink: With only 7 percent of respondents saying that they prefer “very feminine” gear (predominantly pink or floral), it’s no surprise that we see more women rocking either unisex gear (which was preferred by 31 percent of respondents) or mostly unisex gear that had subtle feminine accents, such as a single flower or pink lettering (like 42 percent of respondents want). 20 percent had no preference as to if their gear had a unisex or feminine style.

We’ll throw money at you if you offer us stuff that fits: Ultimately, what’s important to us is having a variety of products to choose from in sizes we can count on. Women who rock larger sizes commented about having a hard time finding a gi that was both large enough for them while still fitting their body type. Many also commented about wanting grappling shorts that were sized for women instead of having to resort to buying men’s shorts instead. Offering the aforementioned option to buy different sized gi jackets and pants would also be a huge plus, and many of us would love to be able to find more rashguards that fit our curves a bit better.

So who’s already nailed it when it comes to making their female customers happy? Fenom and War Tribe were the most frequently mentioned companies when respondents were asked who was the most female-friendly brand (based on quality, variety, selection, and overall service) to buy from, receiving 18 percent and 15 percent of the vote. Fuji was the third-most popular with 8 percent, and Tatami received 6 percent of the vote. Basically, we’re not asking for anything that can’t — and hasn’t — been done here, and these companies are proof.

The numbers don’t lie — when it comes to jiu-jitsu, men’s gear isn’t cutting it for women. None of this is about being overly picky or wanting to be given special treatment. We just want our performance gear to help, not hinder, our performance on the mats. Female BJJ practitioners are becoming a larger and larger part of the market, and it’s time for clothing manufacturers to adjust their styles and selection accordingly or lose customers to competitors who do put forth the effort.


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