Arm warmers are knitted 'sleeves' worn on the arms. Sometimes worn by dancers to warm up their bodies before class, they have also become somewhat of a fashion item, appearing in the fall.
Arm warmers can also describe any glove-like articles of clothing that lack finger coverings and/or were originally designed to keep wrists and lower arms warm. Today, many competition and sport bicyclists as well as distance runners/marathoners wear spandex-compression arm-warmers.
Various sub-cultures, such as the punk, emo and goth subcultures, have also adopted arm warmers as a fashion statement. Stores such as Hot Topic sell arm warmers with chains and designs of skulls, piano keys, band logos, and other alternative inspired designs.
In the mid-late 2000, cyclists have adopted them for use in cold weather. For the 2010 FIFA World Cup, arm warmers featuring the participating national teams became a phenomenon in the host country South Africa and abroad.
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