80s Leg Warmers Collage

Leg Warmers in the 80s

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 popularise the leg warmer once more, with 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 80s, they were worn with tights, leggings, leotards and shorts, with headbands and wristbands also being popular accessories.

80s Stirrup Leg Warmers - Pink

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, grey and pastel shades, as well as striped rainbow colours. Styles were plain, ribbed and knitted with some having stirrups to hold them securely over your feet during a vigorous workout. 

The release of the movie Flashdance in 1983 fuelled the aerobics and dance fashion craze, but by the time I was leaving school in 1984 the leg warmers fad had pretty much died a death.   

If you want to create an 80s dance style then you'll find a huge range of low-cost leg warmers at Amazon, both in the UK and U.S.

Take a gander at our 80s workout fashion page to gain some inspiration and view a wide range of clothing items that will help to create your look.

Which colour leg warmers should you choose for 80s dress-up? 

The rules aren't set in stone for creating an 80s look, and range of colour combinations was wide and varied back in the great decade. However, some of the more popular combinations included pastel colours such as pink with grey, pink and purple and grey and black. 

However, combinations of three or four different colours were not uncommon. For example, purple tights or leggings with pink leg warmers and a black lycra leotard would look pretty authentic. Bold colours such as yellow and turquoise and paint splash patterns also became popular. 

Purple Lycra 80s Leotard


Neon, Striped Rainbow Colours Leg Warmers


Don't forget to visit our 80s Workout page for more inspiration 


Read more about the 80s Aerobics craze on the 80s Fashion page