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Leggings are a type of skin-tight garment that covers the legs and may be worn by both men and women. Originally, leggings were two separate garments, one for each leg.
Modern leggings are typically made from a blend of lycra (also known as spandex), nylon, cotton, or polyester blend, but can also be made from wool, silk, and other materials. Leggings are available in a multitude of colors and decorative designs. Leggings are sometimes worn fully exposed, but are more traditionally worn partially covered by a garment such as a skirt, a large t-shirt, shorts, or fully covered by an outer garment, such as a full length skirt.
Leggings are typically ankle-length, and some are stirrupped. Some are shorter. Leggings are worn to keep a person's legs warm, as protection from chafing during an activity such as exercise, or as a decorative or fashion garment. Leggings are worn by both men and women during exercise but usually only by women at other times. In contemporary usage, leggings refers to tight, form-fitting trousers that extend from the waist to the ankles.
Leggings in various forms and under various names have been worn for warmth and protection by both men and women throughout the centuries. The separate hose worn by men in Europe from the 13th to 16th centuries (the Renaissance period) were a form of leggings, as are the trews of the Scottish Highlands. Separate leggings of buckskin leather were worn by some Native Americans. These were adopted by some Long Hunters, French fur trappers, and later by mountain men. They are the leatherstockings of James Fenimore Cooper's . The Buckskins were mostly a dull grey brain-tan, not the bright, glossy vegetable tanned leather commonly used today.
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