Cheerleaders wear skirts over a pair of metallic or printed spandex shorts referred to as "spankies" or a pair of briefs with the team name or logo on the side or across the behind. The cheerleader's uniform is meant to provide a comfortable, functional fit for the athlete.
Women's cheerleading uniforms in the 1900s were turtlenecks under cardigans and long wool skirts. In the 1960s, the sweaters became less bulky, and the skirts were shortened to the knee and pleated. As acrobatic stunts were added into cheerleading routines, it became important for the athletes to wear comfortable clothing that allowed them to move. Most modern uniforms are made with a polyester-spandex blend, and the skirt is no longer than 12 to 14 inches for tumbling safety purposes.