Wrestling has been practiced for thousands of year. In ancient Egyptian tomb paintings, wrestlers are seen fighting in long loincloths that reach their knees. The Greeks introduced wrestling to their Olympic Games in 708 BC. They had the competitors compete naked. Grapplers fought in tights with high waisted pants during the 1920s. Today, wrestlers wear a one-piece all-purpose costume called a singlet. Beginners often wonder what the singlet is worn by wrestlers.



The Wrester’s Singlet

The uniform worn by amateur wrestlers is the wrestling singlet. It is made from lycra, which allows it to be very close fitting. Although it looks like one piece, it is actually a complete set of shorts and vest. Lycra fabric allows for flexibility and movement of the limbs.

A ‘Gi’ is a loose-fitting jacket and trousers combination used in other martial arts. These uniforms are usually quite loose, allowing the fighters to perform punches and kicks while not being restricted by the fabric.

The close fitting uniform in wrestling allows the referees to clearly see what is going on during matches, allowing them to award points or pins.

The uniform is also not allowed to be grabbed by fighters when they attempt to pin or throw their opponent. Amateur wrestling is not like Judo or BJJ. It prohibits the fighters from grasping at their opponent’s clothing during matches.



The singlets worn by college and high school wrestlers will usually feature the team colors. To allow scores to be recorded, each competitor will wear one of the red or green anklets during matches.

For instance, in international wrestling, the Olympics or other types of competitions, each contestant will wear either a red or blue singlet.

Professional wrestlers, such as those in WWE, also wear singlets. However they are often more elaborately designed than their amateur counterparts.


When did wrestling singlets start being worn?

Before the mid-1960s, wrestling was done in trunks and tights. Topless wrestling was banned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the 1960s. It wasn’t until then that the singlet became popular in amateur wrestling.

Styles of Singlet

Singlet comes in three styles

The High Cut – This vest covers the majority of the chest and extends almost to the armpits.

The FILA cut is very similar to a high-cut, but it does not quite reach as high on the sides.

The Low Cut– The vest only extends to the center of the stomach before the straps split and run upwards across each shoulder, joining into a thin strap at the back. This singlet style cannot be worn at official competitions such as the Olympics.


Do wrestlers wear underwear?


A study of 440 wrestlers found that 41% said they wore nothing underneath their singlet, 31% wore a jock belt, 12% wore compression shorts and 9% wore shorts. A wrestler must be allowed to wear a T shirt under their singlets. This is typically for hygiene reasons such as the presence of acne on the back or chest.

Although the jockstrap was once mandatory for collegiate wrestling, its popularity has declined significantly.

This is due to fashion changes and changing trends. However, the youth training rules have been changed so that only briefs must be worn when you weigh in. Jockey straps were previously allowed to be worn while stepping onto the scales.


Are wrestlers allowed to wear cups?

Cups under singlets are strictly forbidden for wrestlers. This is not only illegal under wrestling regulations but it also hinders your ability to move and reduces your agility.


What other clothes do wrestlers sport?

Amateur wrestlers will wear a singlet and ear protectors (like those found here on Amazon). These are plastic cups that fit over your ears. They are held in place with straps that wrap around the top, back, and front of your head. Headgear is mandatory in the United States.

The headgear protects your ears from any bashing they might be exposed to. It should be worn so that the delicate blood vessels inside the ears don’t burst during grappling sessions. Sacs of blood can form in the ears. The condition is known as cauliflower ear.


Wrestlers can also use wrestling shoes (such as those here on Amazon). These shoes are lighter than barefoot training and provide better ankle support.

What do wrestlers wear underneath their singlets?

There are many options for what you can wear under a singlet in wrestling: a jock strap or compression shorts. However, most wrestlers prefer nothing.

To find the most comfortable option for you, it’s best to test them all.

Happy training! !