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August 12, 2020

Knitted Leg Warmers of the 1980s

If you were to ask anyone to name an item of clothing synonymous with the 1980s, then there is no doubt that leg warmers would be at the top of many people’s lists.

Leg warmers weren’t invented in the 80s, though, and were worn long before this by dancers to help keep the muscles of their lower legs warm to avoid cramp.

The Fame movie (1980) and TV series (1982) helped to popularize the leg warmer once more, and Jane Fonda helped fuel an ’80s workout/aerobics craze. Teen girls suddenly turning up at school wearing leg warmers over their jeans in a scrunched-up style, just like the kids from Fame.

The leg warmer is best described as a long and thick, footless sock. For the aerobics craze that developed in the early 1980s, they were worn with tights, leggings, leotards and shorts, with headbands and wristbands also being popular accessories.

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone was wearing neon. Indeed, take a look back at old photos and video clips and you’ll see plenty of black, purple, grey and pastel shades, as well as striped rainbow colors. Styles were plain, ribbed and knitted with some having stirrups to hold them securely over your feet during a vigorous workout.


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