2 Foolproof Ways to Keep Your Thigh-High Stockings From Slipping

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Options for Keeping Your Thigh-Highs in Place

woman putting on thigh-high stockings
Gpointstudio/Image Source/Getty Images

Do you love how sexy thigh-highs look but struggle to find a pair that will stay up? You're not alone. Constantly tugging at your tights is uncomfortable, awkward, and embarrassing. You can wear thigh-high stockings without going through this torture.

Here are two ways to keep your thigh-highs up, whether you're sitting, walking, or running. 

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Option 1: Wear a Garter Belt

Hanky Panky's Signature Lace Garter Belt.
A comfortable garter belt style by Hanky Panky, see buying information below. Photo © Nordstrom

Wearing a garter belt is the simplest and the most foolproof way to make sure your thigh-highs stay up. And depending on your style, this can be a sexy and stylish option, too.

There are so many different garter belt styles. Some are just narrow strips of fabric and elastic, which closely resemble a belt. Others are fancier, or wider. The lacy options, like the style shown above, are perfect for date night. Though garter belts were a practical way to keep stockings up in the past, they now lean toward a fashion statement.

How a Garter Belt Works

A garter belt wraps around your waist, hips, or torso to anchor the garment. Typically, garter belts have four straps -- two in the front and two in the back, though sometimes they can have six. The straps are attached to the garter belt and extend downward to the top of the stocking where there are clips at the end that attach it to the top of your thigh-high stockings.

Some thigh-highs have elastic at the top to help keep them up, but wearing a garter belt will help make sure they stay up - even if you're going out dancing, or running around town.

Some women find garter belts cumbersome or uncomfortable. However, in modern days, there are stretchy, soft, and comfortable styles. Even when a garter belt is lace, which some women find to be itchy against the skin, it can be comfortable if you shop for a brand that uses quality fabrics, like the Hanky Panky style shown above. If you still have issues with lace itching you, try washing your lingerie garments before wearing them.

Best Clothing to Wear With a Garter Belt

Keep in mind that a garter belt is an extra piece of fabric wrapping around your mid-section, and can sometimes cause bumps or bulges to show through more form-fitting outfits made of slinky, stretchy, or sheer material. It's best worn underneath structured clothing made of thicker material, or loose dresses that do not hug your body.

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Option 2: Look for 'Stay-Ups'

stay-up hosiery
Photo © Journelle

You don't always need to wear a garter belt to keep thigh-highs up. The styles that are specifically made to be worn without a garter belt are called stay-ups or hold-ups.

Usually, the name "stay-ups" is used by hosiery brands made or sold in the U.S, like Donna Karan. Brands from the U.K. or Europe, like Pretty Polly, use the term "hold-ups". The two can be used interchangeably and mean the same thing.

What to Look For

All thigh-highs are not created equal. Some brands say that they will stay up, but they won't.

The thigh-highs that will stay in place the best are usually the ones that have an extra wide band of elastic at the top, and sometimes silicone or other "gripping" features are added to help keep the stocking up, comfortably. This wide band will also help the top of the stocking to grip onto the skin without digging in and creating a "muffin top" look.

Recent advancements in fabric technologies have made it possible for brands to launch features for thigh-highs so they're more comfortable and more reliable than ever before. Try a few brands and types to see which thigh-high hosiery works best for you, your style, and your body. Wearing something that fits well and feels great is always the best option!