So what does the uniform look like? It is basically a simple wide jacket and wide pants both made from thin white cloth. The jacket is held together by a belt which also shows the rank of the person.
For sparring and self-defense additional equipment is necessary: a vest/ body amour, shin and forearm protectors, hand protectors and a head guard. When wearing all this the resemblance to a plush toy comes to my mind. Or the one of a giant turtle, well kind of a ninja turtle ;-)
For starters just some loose fitting clothes will be all right. When you decide to regulary attend classes then a dobok (taekwondo uniform) should be considered.
As for the sparring gear most clubs provide them for use during classes. If you are sure you will learn taekwondo for a longer period of time (and/ or for hygienic reasons) buy your own equipment!
At our club Hansu we are very technique oriented which means we focus on learning forms (called "poomsae"). There are 17 forms, each with a fixed pattern and level of proficiency. The form is a combination of hand and foot techniques resembling combat but are artistically non-combative. Energy, precision, speed and control are the key points to train. This makes it so attractive to start with taekwondo, age does not matter to learn poomsae!