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Related Website: American Association of Cheerleading Coaches & Administrators (AACCA)

Home > Related Article > Brief History of Cheerleading Uniforms


This is the uniform outfit worn by cheerleading squads usually indicative of the mascot, school, and/or colors of the team and/or organization they are representing. Cheerleading uniforms in the early 1900s were a steadfast symbol of the schools they represented, usually depicting the first letter of a high school or the first letter plus the letters "H" and "S", standing for "high school." These letters were normally sewn onto a sweater-type garment, sometimes even polo shirts in warm weather. While showing school spirit and having a uniformed cheerleading team, these sweater-tops were often hot, bulky, and not very functional for any type of athletic movement. The most common type of sweater worn by cheerleaders in the early 1900s was a long cardigan with multiple buttons, normally worn over a turtle neck shirt or collared blouse. The school letters were often sewn in either corner of the sweater sometimes in the middle of a megaphone shape. Worn with the sweater was a very modest ankle-length wool skirt, often a darker color than the sweater. Some early cheerleading squads chose plaid fabrics for skirts, often these squads were from religious schools and universities, as plaid was the main fabric of their classroom uniforms. Early cheerleading squads wore saddle shoes or flat canvas sneakers with high dress socks with their uniforms. This style of uniform continued through the 1950s and 1960s and is often depicted in movies and photos from that time period. One of the first companies to produce cheerleading uniforms was Cheerleader & DanzTeam, founded in 1948. The company was founded by Lawrence "Herkie" Herkimer, of Dallas, TX and a former cheerleader at Southern Methodist University, who began selling pom pon kits to local high schools. Herkie was also the first to organize cheerleading camps and competitions.