First of all, I want to preface this review by saying Jesse from Killer Bee kimonos paid me money to write a "puff" piece about his custom gi. Me, being the huge sell out that I am, gladly leapt at the chance of becoming an ass kissing lackey. So, Killer Bee: Five stars! The best!
Seriously though, this was the first time I've ever ordered anything from this company, and I have to say the customer service is excellent. The owner tries to go above and beyond to satisfy his customers and it is reflected in the way he does business. The gis were late in arriving to the owner, and I was refunded money and even had my shipping charge to Korea discounted without even asking.
I'm not going to go over all the options for customizing a gi. There are too many. If you're curious, have a look here:
Off the top of my head, some of the things you can customize are the stitching, jacket and pant measurements, collar color, and gi material.
-Ligustica gi material
-White gi with grey contrast stitching
I decided to order the gi in the Ligustica weave. The weave is very soft and light yet sturdy, and I'm really pleased with it.
When you order a custom gi you can customize the length of the sleeves and the jacket length. All of my gis are A-0, and I checked my gi measurements to the measurements on the Killer Bee sizing chart. I decided to go with an A-1 and not change any of the measurements. The gi fits pretty well, although it is a bit roomy under the arms and in the back. Not bad, but I wish it fit a little better in those two areas (I like a slim fit). I washed it about four times in cold water, and then did one hot cycle in the washer (without drying) to get the gi to shrink to where I wanted it.
The embroidery & craftsmanship
I was able to get two custom images embroidered on my gi. You can pretty much choose anyplace on the gi to put your images. I had my academy's old school team logo placed on the back, and my school's name in Hanja placed on the front. The embroidery is beautiful, and it came out even better better than what I was expecting. They did a really, really superb job. I was a little worried about getting the Hanja to come out correctly on the gi, but Jesse was able to work with the graphics I sent him.
Also, the gi is put together very nicely. All the stitching is straight and tight, and there are no loose seams or threads anywhere on the gi.
There is an option to have the Killer Bee logo on the gi or taken off. I decided to keep the logo on the gi and had it embroidered in white. I think it came out looking pretty cool.
I ordered the trim on the bottom of the gi jacket and on the inside of the pant cuffs and sleeve cuffs in pink. The trim is darker than what I was expecting (I was expecting a light pink), but I'm still pleased with it.
I don't really care how the collar of my gi feels or looks. I know some people like to know the thickness, so here's a picture of the collar compared to some of my other gis:
I decided to go with the cotton pants. The length on the pants is perfect as is the width. The only thing that I don't like is that there is a bit too much room in the crotch area of the pants which makes them feel a bit awkward.
I had a lot of fun designing my gi, and there are a lot of options to choose from. It seems like a lot at first, but it's really not that bad. I've had my gi for about two weeks now, and have been using it at every practice, so obviously I'm very happy with it. It's very comfortable to roll in, and overall I'm happy with the fit.
-Craftsmanship and embroidery
-Overall fit, although I would have liked the gi to be a little less roomy under the arms and in the back
-Pants a bit too roomy in the crotch