All About Thigh Highs

Everything you need to know about this sexy hosiery style.

Thigh high stockings and red suspenders
Getty/Studio MPM/Photographer's Choice

Updated by Kim "Kimmay" Caldwell, January 2016.

What are Thigh Highs?

"Thigh Highs" are a common term for thigh high stockings. They are a specific style of hosiery. Unlike full pantyhose, this style ends just about mid-thigh, instead of going all the way up to your waist. Exactly where a pair of thigh highs ends on your leg will depend on your height and inseam. 

Thigh High Styles

There are two basic thigh high styles: stay ups (the type that stay up on their own), and traditional (the type that doesn't).

Thigh Highs that stay up on their own are also known as "hold ups" in the UK. They use a combination of elastic, Lycra, nylon, and silicone to grip and not slip.

Thigh Highs that don't stay up on their own are sometimes made from other types of fabrics that don't contain any stretch fibers like Lycra. Without the extra elastic or silicone at the top, these require wearing a garter belt to stay up on the leg. 

When to Wear Thigh Highs

Thigh Highs are a great hosiery style to wear for any occasion. They are sexy for a date-night. But thigh highs are also great to wear everyday, even to work - as long as your skirt or dress is long enough to hide the top. And if you work in a cubicle or sit at a desk, it won't matter if a little skin shows every now and then. You may feel much more comfortable wearing thigh highs all day, instead of regular pantyhose - especially if your job involves a lot of sitting.

When to NOT Wear Thigh Highs

This hosiery style may not be the best choice if you're wearing  short skirt or would be embarrassed if the top of the stocking or a garter strap shows. In addition, winter time may require more coverage to keep warm. It's a personal preference, and up to you!
 

Benefits of Wearing Thigh Highs

Some women say that once you try this style, you won't want to go back to regular pantyhose - ever.

They enjoy how sexy they feel, and how comfortable thigh highs can be. In addition, because thigh highs do not have tight or restrictive material around the hips, they are breezy and cooling, in all the right places. If you're worried about the top of the stockings digging into the flesh of your thighs, try a stocking with a softer, wide band. 

And if you rely on control pantyhose for a little shaping help, there are plenty of ways to wear thigh highs with shapewear, like a waist cincher or control panty, to help slim your hips and thighs.

Thigh High Trends

Thigh highs are a classic hosiery style that is never out of style - especially for women who are die-hard fans of retro lingerie styles, and fun pin-up girl looks. In fact, faux thigh high stockings have come into popularity. These are full pantyhose with a pattern or design that gives the illusion of a thigh high style. 

Then there was the Great Gatsby movie, which put all types of trendy tights in the spotlight again, including thigh highs. And don't forget about the Burlesque stars who have made thigh highs so trendy - like, Dita von Teese, who has a hosiery line that includes thigh highs.

Suggested Brands

Updated by Kim "Kimmay" Caldwell, January 2016.