My Account

The Complete Noob's Guide to Activewear

Updated Jan 11, 2017

So maybe you're new to fitness. Maybe you're coming back to it after a long break. Whatever the case, welcome! It can be daunting to get back into it- gymtimidation is real! But with the right gear, you'll be empowered to focus on nailing it each and every time. 

A little back story. I was an active kid/teen, but I definitely wasn't into sports! Occasionally I would get involved in a vaguely physical activity, such as marching band, but I was kind of a huge dork, and not very coordinated. 

baton twirling, 1990

Case in point. Me in my baton twirling uniform, circa 1990. 

When I was in college, I made a few halfhearted attempts to take advantage of the free on campus gym. I owned ZERO items of athletic gear. I was a goth kid majoring in theatre- totally clueless about what to wear! The few times I went, I ended up wearing the ratty old t-shirt I used to dye my hair, some pajama pants, and converse. I felt (and probably looked) ridiculous, and never got around to exercising regularly. 

Fast forward to 2011, when I randomly decided to try a hot yoga class. I still didn't own any athletic clothing, but I at least had the good sense to go buy an inexpensive outfit to wear. I was hooked from that very first class, and that's what got me started on my fitness journey.

Nowadays, roughly 50% of my wardrobe is spandex. Now that I've made a habit out of regular, joyful movement, I am OBSESSED with athletic wear. The right gear makes ALL the difference in your mentality- and your mentality makes all the difference in your workout. 

So... what do you wear? Let's break that down a bit and find out.

What activity will you be doing? Will you be going for a walk? Lifting weights? Running? Dance? Swimming? Yoga? Martial Arts? Organized Sports? Remember, exercise should be fun! If it's not fun, you aren't going to want to make a habit out of it. You should try a variety of different things at least once- you might be surprised at what you enjoy. Different activities require different gear, but here's the basics you should be shopping for. 

1. Start with a good pair of comfortable, supportive sneakers. You can go to a running store and get fitted for a pair of fancy sneakers that are tailored to your specific gait. Or you can grab a pair online- I have found some great deals on a previous season's style of sneakers on Amazon. Expect to spend $50-100, but trust me that it's ABSOLUTELY worth the upfront cost. Sneakers are more expensive than other pieces of gear, but they are the one thing that you absolutely should NOT cheap out on. 

2. Ladies, you need a good sports bra. The right bra will depend on many factors- cup size, activity, etc. If you have a smaller cup size, and need a bra for yoga, you can get away with a simple bralette. If you have a fuller figure and are taking a Crossfit class, you might prefer a high impact underwire sports bra. There's literally hundreds of sports bras on the market. Again, this is something you might want to get fitted for- nothing is more uncomfortable than trying to wriggle out of a soaking wet, too small sports bra! (Lineage does not have sports bras available at this time, but it is something we are working towards this year.)

3. Tops are where you're going to have the most choices. You want to make sure that to take two factors into account- your range of motion, and how much you will sweat.

It's tempting to hide behind a baggy old t-shirt. But once you get moving, it can really get in your way. For many activities such as yoga, you'll need to wear something form fitting (doesn't have to be tight). Try doing down dog in a loose top, and you'll see why! This is why racerback tank tops are a good option. They allow for a full range of motion. You should be focused on your workout, not on adjusting your clothes every two minutes. Ladies, I know some of you feel weird about exposing your arms. Don't be! Your arms are fantastic- let them out to play sometime! 

As your body warms up and it feels 10-20 degrees warmer, you might regret having all the extra fabric of a loose t-shirt... Wet cotton gets HEAVY! It also shows sweat. Dark colors, multicolored patterns, and moisture wicking fabrics (look for poly or nylon blend on the label) will best disguise sweat.

Keep in mind that you may sweat more as you become more active in general. (Once I started going to hot yoga 3 times a week, I found I was constantly sweating at the slightest provocation. I still wear tank tops all year round!)

Finally, wear something that you like! You wouldn't dream of wearing your least favorite shirt to the office, would you? Found a cute tank top with a funny saying? Don't save it for a special occasion- get a little sweaty in it! You'll be more confident, and you'll have a great workout. 

purple peacock tank

Our Purple Peacock Sport Tank is AWESOME for working out. No sweat spots, adjustable drawstring side, and a perfect pop of color. You have the #righttobarearms

wine later tank 

Our Yoga Now, Wine Later tank is great for yoga. Or just sitting around at home, thinking about yoga. ;)

4. Headband or hair tie. I can't stand hair in my face! Particularly when I am working out, it's SUPER distracting! Our moisture wicking headbands stay put without headache inducing elastic, and were engineered to stay in place without sliding. 

stained glass headband

Stained Glass Headband, you know you want one.

5. Last but not least, you need some kick ass pants.

pants pants pants

Like these...

Or maybe a pair of some killer shorts! Our shorts fit the same as our leggings, just a little bit shorter. (Bonus points- they double as shapewear!)


Baggy sweatpants are inappropriate for many activities for the same reasons listed for t-shirts. Our leggings work for low and high impact activity. These can be worn for walking, running, yoga, hot yoga, acro yoga, aerial silks, barre, pole, pilates, cycling, spinning, zumba, dancing, climbing, crossfit, boxing, martial arts, swimming, or even a Tough Mudder.

The high waistband and lack of elastic offers a smooth, sleek look, and doesn't bind around the belly. The unique flat front and contoured seams are flattering and ensure that these will fit like a glove- with NO yanking! And our bright, colorful patterns not only disguise sweat, but will make sure that you look and feel confident and fun. 

The best part? You can incorporate these into your regular wardrobe. Check out our Style Guides for more ideas on how to wear leggings for any occasion! 

Your fitness journey starts right now. You got this! 

Leave a comment

Sign up now- get 10% off your first order + a free gift!

Receive a free guide to yoga poses for curvy beginners when you join our newsletter! You'll also be the first to hear about sales, new products, and more. We promise not to spam your inbox.