Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fashion Hel(l)p!


No gi classes have started and I’m in fashion hell. The gi was great. I knew exactly what to wear. But this no gi thing. Ack.

First there’s the pants problem. All the sports shorts I have are too short. They’ll show the curve of my butt cheek as soon as I hit the mat. I have resorted to a couple of old bicycle-style shorts circa 1990. They function well. They don’t ride up. I don’t mind sweating in them because they’re ancient, er, vintage. Apparently they came back in style two years ago ("work, 'em, ladies 'n' gents"!). It seems like that problem is solved. But then you get to the shirt.

If it’s hot, I’d prefer to wear a tank top (sports bra underneath). But when I put on the tank with the bike shorts, I don’t know. . . . I feel too . . . curvy to be getting all hot-and-sweaty grapply with the guys. The gi covered everything and hid my womanhood. (I suppose this is why some people favor uniforms, at school or other places. People can focus on the work instead of the clothes and what’s showing or not. Oh, please, bring back my jiu jitsu uniform! If only it weren’t so goddamned hot!)

In a rare show of modesty, I have resorted to the bike shorts and a handful of tees that have met certain rigorous Shark Girl standards:

1) not too heavyweight;
2) not too large for Shark Girl’s dainty frame;
3) not too stretchy for jiu jitsu.

That’s about three shirts. I suppose I can live with that for now. But in a few weeks I’m going to need some more rotation.

I’ve been trolling on-line for rash guards and shorts. First off, all the rash guards have brand names on them. I can’t do brand names across my chest. (That’s a pet peeve I’ll save for another day.) Second, how about some style? Only two stores seemed to have rashies with style, and all of them were upwards of $50 each. Then I found some cute, fitted, longer yoga shorts that I thought might work well. Again, upwards of $50. If I am going to buy something new, I want it cute, comfortable, and functional. But I also don’t want to feel guilty sweating in it because it cost me half a week’s salary. I do not want to compromise my sons’ Harvard* educations because Mommy had to get the cool jiu jitsu duds. Is that too much for a Shark Girl to ask?

So here’s where you all come in. I know this is a fashion-forward crowd. What do you no gi in?

Much Love,
Shark Girl

*or Yale; I’m not one of those fussy parents.  


  1. My favorite rash guard is actually a ten dollar rash guard from Walmart.

    It's plain black and sleeveless.... Starter is the brand I think. All of my other rash guards were 40 or 50 bucks each... It annoys me that my favorite one was the 10 dollar one. I wish I bought it first and saved myself a butt ton of money.

    Pants is a slippery slope though... gotta have draw string, gotta not have wide legs, not too short, and not hideous... also needs to make my lower half NOT look like a sack of potatoes.

    I'll let you know if I find a pair that fits all of those criteria. lol

    I can say though, that the fighter girl shorter shorts are SHORT. And ultra low rise.... cute, yes. I would probably wear them as normal shorts... but no way would I fight in them. I bend half way over and my roll pops right over the low waist line, and my butt peeks out and says hello. .. and no one wants to see that. O.O

  2. Board shorts! Get thee to the surf shop! Also check out the Fighter Girls website, they have board shorts that are cut for women. Have you tried Under Armor shirts? They fit pretty snug, but you can always buy a size larger.


  3. Fighter girls stuff is cute but if you are curvy the board shorts do not fit well. The leggings are expensive but the material is really nice and they stay put.

    As far as shorts, I haven't found a pair that I am happy with yet. I've bought some men's gear but my waist is smaller than the smallest size most brands offer.

    I second the UnderArmour shirts. I also wear UnderArmour compression shorts under my boardshorts so when the shorts roll up my legs are still covered.

  4. I almost never train no gi, but when I do, I always go with a rash guard and gi trousers. If I was a woman looking for advice on what to wear to no gi, then I'd probably head over to Meg's blog: she's written a couple of great posts on the topic (e.g., reviews here and here).

    Her recommendation is board shorts and what she calls a 'rashtard' (a rash guard over a leotard, like you'd wear for dance or something like that), which safely covers everything and means you're not at risk of exposing anything you'd rather stayed unexposed.

  5. I'm with Stephanie - I like the $10 walmart rash guard. I also get Champion rash guards in the men's department at Target. Longer running shorts like these
    work for me too, as long as they have a drawstring. I wear Starter or Champion "underarmor" type long compression shorts (Starter or Champion - found in the men's department) under my pants for extra protection from wardrobe malfunctions.

  6. A female online friend of mine said that the Lululemon Paradise Rashguard for yoga was perfect for rolling. It had this drawstring/loop at the bottom of the waistband that could tie onto the shorts you were wearing in order to prevent it from riding up too high. She bought two.

    Unfortunately they sold out online so dang fast that it was basically impossible to get there. Brick and mortar stores may still have them.

  7. I seldom train no gi, but I do have my uniform which I like.

    Maybe it's because my school is an MMA school, but the women don't train in shorts and rashguards. When I see it it looks way too "bare" to me. All women train in full sleeve rashguard tops (and sometimes bottoms), fight shorts and tees...actually, that's generally what the guys train in too.

    I LOVE my Hayabusa shorts. Kinda pricey, but affordable on Ebay. I do tights under that, a rash guard and our school shirt on top. Keeps everything covered and protected. I know seeing the guys shorts ride up to points of no return distracts me...I can't imagine what happens with a hemline is riding up lady-thigh.

    You can see some examples in the last half of this video...

    and this one...

  8. I knew I could count on you. It sounds like reliably good gear costs, but you can get lucky with some cheaper stuff. Before I make a larger monetary commitment, perhaps a trip to the local TJ's and/or Wal-Mart (without kids so I can *really* look through the goods) will be worthwhile. I'll keep you posted. Until then, please keep the suggestions rolling in. You guys rock!

  9. I second (or fifth, or whatever we're up to) the rashguard types found at Target & Walmart. I have 5 of them, short and long sleeve, and I've found them to be better than any other rashguard. Also, compression/spandex shorts of some kind so no one gets a peek at anything.

    I like the FighterGirl shorts, though they do ride a bit low and are hard to size well. On the other hand, they have good customer service for returns & exchanges.(The compression shorts cover anything that might be seen by the low-riding.) Basketball shorts also work.

  10. I second the basketball shorts.

  11. I'm too small for the men's clothes and boys cut just doesn't work for my junk trunk. I wear compression shorts under basketball shorts. Then I pair it with a yoga or sports tank with built in bra and then wear a sports bra under that. I troll the clearance rack at my local athletic store for the tops and compression shorts. I fork out the bucks for Nike shorts.


You Can't Fight City Hall

In the mid-90s, while alt-rock raged across the airwaves, twenty-something Shark Girl used to visit two elderly Italian sisters who lived ...