Workout Clothes For The Woman & Athlete

By Sarah Huntington

Back when I was a teenager, the 1990s were full of thong leotards and neon spandex. Neither looked good on my awkward adolescent frame. Although I loved Saved By the Bell, there was no way I could be a part of Jesse & The Sundaes.

Growing up in the ‘90s, I was more inclined to wear baggy shorts like the Fab 5 from Michigan, than sport a unitard. And being a basketball player and not a ballerina (I quit ballet when I saw my athletic body in the mirror next to every dainty girl in class), it was hard for me to find the balance between feminine and athletic. Back then, you were either a jock or a girly girl.

Even in college, I chose shorts that my 6’4” boyfriend at the time could wear, and growing up I hid my body under a sea of Reggie Miller jerseys and XXL Champion sweatshirts.  It wasn’t until, fresh out of college, I stumbled upon Lululemon in Lincoln Center, that I realized there could a style and finesse to athletic clothes. I felt comfortable, feminine, and sexy all at the same time — and I didn’t have to wear a thong over my leggings.

Now, of course, there’s a whole industry of athletic clothes geared toward women.  Even J.CREW's fall catalog features sweatpants you can wear with heels – I think I just died and went to heaven. While I may have struggled to find the balance between the baller and ballerina, I am so thankful that the girls I now coach on the basketball court are able to bridge the gap between girly and tough. I am thankful they have the Julie Fouchers and Ronda Rouseys of the world to teach them (and me) that strong is sexy.

Strong and Feminine

Athletic wear can be as feminine as you choose to make it. It all depends what your workout involves that day, and where you are headed afterwards. For example, LOLE women just featured an all white collection — acceptable even after Labor Day! I like plenty of options to switch in and out for each outfit, based on temperature, workout, and my plans afterward.

1. Bra - Lole Women Lona bra  Shop

2. Tank - Lole Women Anahita Top  Shop

3. Long Sleeve - Lululemon Unity Pullover  Shop

4. Pants - Lole Women Lajjili Pants  Shop

5. Shoes - Adidas by Stella McCartney Leopard Blush Sneakers  Shop


A Play on Black and White

Our top priority is always to find quality, supportive, breathable pieces that will stay strong through active workouts — but why not have fun with those pieces, and add in a bit of fashion sense? I love that you can adjust the length of these shorts for whatever feels comfortable for you. Or try the baggier pants on the bottom, if that’s more your speed.

1. Tee - Carbon 38 Skulls All Over Tee  Shop

2. Tank - Outdoor Voices Racerback Tank  Shop

3. Pant - Reebok Women Whatevers Good Pant  Shop

4. Shorts - Carbon 38 Onzie Side String Short  Shop

5. Jacket - Carbon 38 Vimmia Zip Jacket  Shop

6. Hoodie - Lululemon Scuba Hoodie II  Shop


Bold and Badass

Sometimes you want to feel like you're dressed to kick some serious ass — or just get in a killer workout. These pieces will take you there. 

1. Bra - Reebok Women Iridescent Short Bra  Shop

2. Top - Carbon 38 Exhale L/S Top  Shop

3. Sweats - Outdoor Voices Running Woman Sweats  Shop

4. Legging - Lululemon Diamond Dot Wunder Under Pant   Shop


Metallic Tones

A little shine and grit never hurt anyone. These pieces are the perfect combination of a little shine with a hard edge.

1. Bra - Reebok Women Metallic Dance Bra  Shop

2. Legging - VIE Active Rockwell Compression Tights  Shop

3. Tank - Spiritual Gangster Shine Light Burnout Tank  Shop

4. Sweater - The Sweater Life from Lululemon  Shop

5. Hoodie - Lululemon Bhakti Yoga Jacket (Black)  Shop



Sarah Huntington was a collegiate basketball player and is now a runner and high school Head Basketball Coach. She lives in Wilton, CT and enjoys reading, writing, yoga, and has recently picked up kickboxing.