What’s Your Favorite Piece of Vintage Activewear?

When you are a fitness enthusiast, you amass a lot of activewear.  Maybe you’re even like me and buy more activewear than any other type of clothing (even if you aren’t a fitness instructor). With all the different kinds of fitness activities available, the clothing options available are plentiful (and some are even reasonably priced) but we all have our favorites, the pieces of activewear that we keep no matter what.  Even if we don’t use them, we have sentimental favorite pieces of activewear and today, I’m going to share mine but I’d really like to know about the one (or two) pieces of activewear that you’ve had the longest and why.


My two vintage pieces of activewear are my IronGirl cap and my Hind Leggings.  Both of these items are over 15 years old.  They were integral to training and completing my first and only 26.2 in 1999 (as you can see below) and I can’t bear to part with them.


Rock n Roll Marathon, Iron Girl, Hind, #oldestpieceofactivewear

Iron Girl hat, Hind Leggings, Iron Girl hat day of the San Diego RnR Marathon 1999 and the medal that reminds me of all the hard work.

I remember buying that Iron Girl hat and feeling like I was finally a runner.  Iron Girl was not the brand it is now but just seeing the name “Iron Girl” made me feel powerful.  Training for a marathon was hard work.  I did it as a bucket list item and rationalized that running a race for charity was a good way to get myself in shape.  My heart was in the right place but my head was not.  I did not love running or training but I was determined to finish what I had started – even if it was 26.2 miles (and all the miles beforehand during training).  I keep my Iron Girl hat to remind myself of the time, energy and effort I put into that marathon.  You really do give up a part of your life when you train for a marathon.  That hat is also a symbol of how far I’ve come not only as runner but as a person.

The Hind leggings were a gift and they were more expensive than I ever would have spent on my 29 year old self.  My very thoughtful friend, however, knew I was training during the winter and she always knew how to buy gifts for the people she loved most.  These cold weather leggings don’t get much use in Los Angeles but they stay in my activewear drawer because they remind me of that very special friend and our friendship.

Like the word “vintage”, the quality of these pieces of activewear have gone beyond their intended lifespan.  Maybe it’s bizarre to allow these pieces of vintage activewear to take up room in my overcrowded drawer but even after a cross-country move (and current clothing purge), they are not going into storage or anywhere else.  I’ll continue to buy more clothes for my #fitnesscloset (PavementRunner did a link-up last year about What’s In Your Fitness Closet and it inspired this post) but these vintage pieces will always have a special place in my heart.


I’d really love to know what your favorite piece of vintage activewear is and why.  Please either let me know in the comments or write a post and maybe I’ll start a link up.




  1. says

    Yes! Oh my gosh, I have so many pieces of activewear. It is insane! I have two drawers devoted to it and, as you know, that kind of space is at a premium in NYC!!

    I have purged a lot of my clothes as a result of moving so much in my 20s. I think the oldest pieces I still have are actually my ballet outfits from college (black leotard and pink tights). I hardly ever take class anymore but I keep them nonetheless. I don’t think I could ever give them up!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Happy Blogiversary MOB!My Profile

  2. says

    I really think you should do a link-up on this one! I’m overly sentimental about my fitness clothing and accessories. Each and every time I donate another pair of sneakers, I think about all the training runs and races I did in them. It’s a little weird but so true! I still have the sneakers I ran the Boston Marathon in 2007 and yes, I still have the ones I competed in Spain too! As for clothing, I have a pair of Adidas black capris from 2001 when I first started teaching. They are so worn out but it took about 12 years!
    Allie Burdick recently posted…Chocolate Covered Weekend (And The Top 4 T-Shirts Seen at HersheyPark)My Profile

    • says

      Glad that I’m not alone in having some sentimental attachment to my fitness clothes. I love the stories that go along with some of your clothes. If you write a post, I’ll do a link-up.

  3. says

    SO funny you should write this, I was just thinking (for the 100th time this year) that I really need to purge my fitness closet because it’s ridiculous. It’s not even 80/20 fitness to regular clothes anymore. There’s one purple Adidas top that is so old, 10 years I think, that I ran my first half marathon in and I just can’t part with it!
    Carly @ Fine Fit Day recently posted…The Run Report – In Which I Provoke an Unplanned Intervals WorkoutMy Profile

    • says

      It’s funny that I have more fitness wear than anything else. I like to think I’m invisible when I’m in my fitness wear but at the same time it’s brighter than the normal black that I often wear so I guess it shows another more dormant side of my personality.

    • says


      You’re the 2nd person to tell me that they have/had that hat too. At the time I couldn’t find cute girl branded stuff and that definitely made me feel legit.

      Hope you’re enjoying the lead up to your upcoming race. Have a blast and I can’t wait to read the recap.

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