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As any true fashion girl like yourself understands, knowing the origin of your favorite trends makes wearing them all the more gratifying. And there's arguably no bigger trend right now than leggings. We're all well aware of the fashion cycle—everything comes back again. (Just take a look at the recent revivals of '70s, '90s, 2000s, and now '80s trends.) But when it comes to leggings, it turns out they've been "coming back" for centuries. We were surprised to discover that the origin of the trend dates way back to the 14th century, and men were actually the first to wear them. But since the mid-20th century, leggings have been a closet staple for It girls and others who love them.
Given their lengthy tenure, we decided to take an in-depth look into the storied history of the legging craze, which was largely dictated by celebrities then just as it is today. (We're looking at you, Gigi.)
Keep scrolling to get all the fascinating facts about the seven-centuries-long history of leggings and shop pairs inspired by each time period.
Interestingly enough, the first known appearances of leggings were on men in 14th-century Scotland. Initially, the leggings they wore were two separate, hip-high, boot-like apparatuses made of either leather or chainmail, intended for both casual and military garb. They eventally evolved into thick garments, like tights, that men wore under their cotehardies during Renaissance times.
Leggings remained a predominantly male trend up until the 19th century when women began wearing iterations of their own.