Cheerleading underwear is regulated to ensure tastefulness and adherence to school colors. It includes panties, briefs, boxers, hosiery, stockings, bras, and sometimes shorts and T-shirts. Early uniforms were ankle-length skirts and cardigans, but modern uniforms are tighter and more revealing. Underskirts are controversial, with regulations stating they should be 12 to 14 inches and longer than standard briefs. Other types of cheerleading underwear include sports bras and socks.
Cheerleading underwear is the clothing worn by cheerleaders next to the skin while performing their routines. In keeping with the uniforms as a whole, a cheerleader’s underwear is regulated. This is to ensure that the ensemble’s clothes are tasteful and stick to the school colours. All members of the same cheerleading squad tend to wear identical outfits.
Any clothing worn next to the skin and under other clothing is considered underwear. Traditionally, this refers to panties, briefs and boxers. It also extends to hosiery, stockings and bras. Shorts, T-shirts and nightwear, when worn with no other clothing underneath, are considered forms of underwear. Such clothing may be purely practical or, as with linen, decorative.
Since the early 1900s, the cheerleading uniform has represented schools and teams. Their color schemes would be designed to match that of the school or team the cheerleaders belonged to. The uniforms will also bear the school logo. Modern cheerleading underwear is also sometimes printed with the school logo.
Early uniforms included ankle-length skirts and long cardigans. The skirts were made of heavy wool. Cheerleaders will wear polo shirts under their cardigans. The style didn’t change much until the 1960s when skirt length began to shorten.
In the 1960s and 70s, cardigans were first replaced by sweaters and then lighter weight garments which continued into the 21st century. At the same time, clothes have become tighter and more revealing. Professional teams like the Dallas Cowboys football team have started revealing their belly buttons.
Cheerleaders’ underwear has risen to prominence in this era for two reasons: shorter skirts and increasingly complex routines. Shorter skirts made more complex routines safer, but tricks like high kicks and toe-touches revealed what the cheerleaders were wearing underneath.
Underskirts are the most controversial element of cheerleaders’ underwear. The National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) states that skirts should be 12 to 14 inches (30 to 35 cm) and should be 2 inches (5 cm) longer than standard briefs and 1.5 inches (4.25 cm) longer long boy’s briefs . Briefs tend to be made of spandex or polyester and are also known as lollipops and spankies. Professional teams have their own rules and a greater variety of underwear.
Other types of cheerleading underwear include sports bras and socks. Such bras provide better support for the breasts during strenuous exercise. The cross back straps also reduce the pressure on the shoulder muscles. Socks began in the 1900s as short socks and remained that way until the 1980s when slouch socks and wigwam slouch socks became more popular. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, ankle socks or knee socks dominated team uniforms.