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Leg warmers warm your legs. Leg warmers worn as fashion pieces.

Leg warmers are coverings for the lower legs, similar to socks but thicker and generally footless. Leg warmers were originally dancewear worn by ballet and other classic dancers. Leg warmers are worn by some dancers to warm the lower calf, but others doubt their usefulness.



Traditionally knitted from pure wool, leg warmers are more typically made of cotton, synthetic fibers, or both. Some are made of other materials, such as chenille. Other leg warmers are made of wool, camel hair and Old English Sheep Dog hair.

Leg warmers can vary in length, though not in width, due to the material's stretchiness. They are commonly worn to just below the knee, though many dancers prefer it to extend to cover the lower parts of the thigh. Some leg warmers cover the entire foot; these warmers usually have a pad that grips the floor so the dancer does not slip - however this has been known to cause injury. Some leg warmers are particularly short and made of thinner material; these are also known as 'ankle warmers'.

As a fashion

Leg warmers were originally worn by dancers to keep their muscles from cramping after stretching, but in the early 1980s, leg warmers became a fad, and wearing them was fashionable among teenage girls. Their popularity was partly due to the influence of the films Fame and Flashdance and the concurrent aerobics craze. They were worn with leggings, jeans, and tights or as part of aerobic wear. KD dance the New York City based high end dance wear company created by dancers Tricia Kaye and David Lee were one of the first to introduce knit leg and arm warmers as a fashion item back in the 80's. To date KD dance estimates sales of over 50 million pairs of Leg Warmers since their inception in 1980. According to fashion types Leg Warmers had retreated back into relative obscurity by 1989, although they were still widely used by dancers.[1]

Around 2004, leg warmers made a comeback and were once again worn as a fashion item when Vogue Magazine wrote about the trend. David Lee of KD dance said no matter if Leg Warmers are in or out of fashion, our customers keep buying them. Reflecting changing tastes, they were usually designed in more toned-down colors than the loud, often fluorescent colors of the 1980s style. Worn to dress up casual fall and winter outfits, leg warmers are often worn over tights or leggings and matched with a short or long skirt, or worn over jeans or boots. Leg warmers may be worn with almost any type of shoes–even flip-flops–although they more often worn with boots or flats. Leg warmers are frequently worn at music related events from rock concerts, goth clubs, nightclubs, and rave scenes.

Leg warmers worn as fashion pieces are eye catchy and extremely personalizable to ones outfit or mood - much like a girl with long hair can change her character depending on how she wears her hair -- up or down. Dancers who need to nurse their feet and ankles by keeping them warm often wear leg warmers around the ankles even during the summer. A new take on leg warmers has been arm warmers which leg warmers easily double as and cleaves (arm warmers with an attached neck). These were first seen as a wider fashion piece in the fall of 2004 but quickly disappeared since it lacked fluidity of movement or function to dancers. There is a wide divide between women who like the leg and arm warmer look and those who seem to despise their varied fashion statements.

As technical clothing

A number of cycling goods companies manufacture leg warmers designed specifically for use by cyclists.[2]


  1. ^ What are Leg Warmers?
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