A Fashion History of Leggings: See Their Evolution Through the Years

Photo of 126 Madonna
Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Wearing leggings is by no means a novel concept—but what is interesting is how much leggings have evolved since their inception in the '60s. As the comfier alternative to jeans or khakis (or any traditional pant, really), the stretchy second-skin piece is one that is—and will continue to be—a closet must.

In the early days, circa '60s and '70s, leggings made pop culture history when style legends such as Audrey Hepburn and Olivia Newton-John wore them in iconic films. And, in the '80s, Madonna, in particular, launched a leggings movement when she made them a part of her on-stage uniform. She wore lace pairs layered under minis (pictured above), dresses, and even a faux wedding dress.

After a brief stint as an aerobics piece in the '90s, the next wave of leggings came in the mid-aughts when knee-length pairs cropped up on the street, on the red carpet, and everywhere in between. Then came novelty ones (courtesy of Lindsay Lohan), "jeggings," "meggings," leather leggings, and now, back-to-basic ankle-grazing black leggings beloved by today's It models, like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid.

Flash back to the past and take a look at the leggings evolution through the years.

PHOTOS: A Fashion History of Leggings: See the Styles and Trends Through the Years

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