Chaps are an article of clothing worn over pants to provide additional protection to the wearers legs. Chaps, in essence, look like two pant legs attached by a belt with the rear seat and front zipper area missing. As the main purpose of chaps is to provide protection they are typically constructed out of a durable and thick material like leather or suede; though if the chaps are only meant to be used as a fashion accessory they can be found in any number of less robust materials.
Chaps have, for the most part, been associated with the North American cowboy culture; though this has expanded in modern times to include being associated with alternative lifestyle cultures as well.
There are several different styles of chaps, oftentimes you will find them being worn on different occasions. Shotgun chaps are perhaps the simplest form of chaps with straight narrow legs and little ornamentation. Bat wing chaps feature fringes or pieces of fabric that flair out from the outer sides of the legs much like a bat wing. Other types of chaps cover only the upper leg or lower leg. Additionally as the popularity of chaps grew worldwide additional variations were added to fit the needs of individual countries; both in terms of function as well as available materials.