People often ask, “How many Gis should I have?” The answer should always be the same; as many as possible. In all honesty, you really only need one Gi to train but that would require washing it multiple times a week; which would will get old very quick.
You should to have at least one Gi for every day you plan to train during the week. This will ensure that every training session, you will have a clean Gi ready to go. When you do wash your Gi, make sure to always wash it with cold water and either hang-dry or dry on light to ensure the Gi will not shrink.
If you are in the market for a new Gi, one of the factors should be what kind of mats do you train on? The reason for this is puzzle mats are known for rubbing the color off onto your Gi. The last thing you want is your nice new white Gi becoming red because of your school mats. If this is the case, try to go with a black or a blue Gi to prevent this from happening.
Most schools are not picky about what color your Gi is, but it is always a good idea to check before making a purchase. Some seminars it may be mandatory to wear a white Gi, so make sure you are always prepared. The typical colors for BJJ Gi’s are Blue, White, and Black. These are the only colors allowed for competitors at IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation) tournaments.
What is your budget for purchasing a new Gi? Just like with all other items, you get what you pay for. Make sure and do your research before making a purchase. Is the Gi you are looking to purchase from a reputable company? Do you know someone who owns one that you can try on before you purchase? How much will it shrink after the first wash and dry (they all shrink somewhat).
Finally, how do you know when a Gi should be retired? Once the Gi gets a rip in the material, it is a good idea to go ahead and donate it to the loaner Gi’s at the gym. More rips are likely to come if the fabric has been broken down too much from wear and tear. Another reason to retire a Gi is if you are not able to get them clean any longer. This can happen from training on dirty mats or from not washing your Gi directly after a training session.