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Cheering on the Green and White by Nancy Kolsti
Fall 2003      


story extras

Cheerleader fashions

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About that bourbon

Cheerleader feedback

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Cheerleader fashions through the years

As these photos from North Texas yearbooks demonstrate, cheerleader fashions have definitely changed through the decades. In addition to following popular trends, the outfits reflect a switch in the main focus of cheerleading — from yelling to tumbling. No matter what uniforms they wore on the sidelines, however, North Texas alumni who were cheerleaders agree on one thing — they were proud to represent North Texas while wearing them. Click on the images for a larger version.

1920s to the 1960s

From the 1920s until the 1960s, both male and female cheerleaders wore modest uniforms that showed little skin. Men wore long pants while women wore full skirts with lengths that ranged from the mid-calf in the 1940s and ’50s to the knee in the 1960s.







Hemlines for women’s outfits continued to rise, and in the 1970s, the uniform for both men and women became less formal. Turtlenecks often replaced cotton shirts, and by the mid-1970s, women cheerleaders were even wearing shorts — short bib overalls with white knee socks.


1980s and 1990s

By the 1980s, cheerleaders needed uniforms that allowed movement for tumbling. Women began wearing sleeveless, midriff-baring tops with very short skirts. Men wore short-sleeved shirts and sometimes wore shorts instead of the long pants that had been popular for decades.



North Texas cheerleaders today wear a variation of the streamlined uniforms introduced in the 1980s.



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