There is much more to thigh high stockings than first meets the eye. Not only do they grab your thighs, they also grab attention!
Here are a few tips on how to choose thigh high stockings that best suit you.
- Undercover underpinnings. Thigh high stockings have a bit of intrigue to them, in large part due to the question of just how they are held up. There are several methods for securing thigh high stockings:
- Garter belts. Garter belts originated as a utilitarian design—they are meant to hold up full fashion stockings that would have fallen down otherwise—though over time they have come to be seen as seduction accessories. Garter belts come with either four or six straps with metal clasps at their ends to clip to the top of your stockings. If you’re wearing seamed stockings, a garter belt with six straps will tend to hold the stocking more tightly (thus keeping the seam down the back of your leg straight). Underpants are usually worn on top of the garter belt rather than beneath it as a matter of convenience.
- Garters. We’ve all seen the garter commonly thrown at weddings and (fortunately) it’s not a garter belt. This type of garter is meant to be slipped on top of the stocking at the thigh to hold it to the leg. Ever wondered why the garters at weddings are often blue? The belief that brides should adhere to the adage, “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…” has led to the preponderance of blue garters at weddings. I’ve always found it a bit ironic that the “blue” of the saying is meant to signify purity, modesty and fidelity since the garter is usually removed from the bride in a provocative fashion only to be tossed to a horde of drunken single men…but hey, you gotta love tradition!
- Elastic bands. Many thigh highs have layers of silicone at the top (often hidden beneath lace) to keep them clinging tightly to your leg all by their lonesome. These elastic bands work surprisingly well though the snugness of fit depends in part upon the shape of your leg. In hot weather, these bands can sometimes become damp from sweat. (Though the hold remains tight, those with sensitive skin may experience some irritation of the skin.) Of course, you can still wear a garter belt and stockings that are designed to stay up on their own…most thigh highs are reinforced at the top so that the garter belt clips will not damage your stocking.
- Heel and toe options. A reinforced toe and heel extend the life of the stocking but are not the first choice for footwear that exposes the heel or toe. (They’re not quite as sexy, either.) Listed below are the many toe and heel hosiery options available:
- Sandalfoot. Sandalfoot stockings have an invisible toe, meaning that the toe is not reinforced at all. This is the type of stocking to wear with open-toed shoes like sandals.
- Cuban heel. A stocking with a darker heel piece that is square at the top of the heel.
- French heel. A stocking with a darker heel piece that is pointed at the top of the heel. This heel is sometimes referred to as a pyramid heel because the shape of the darker piece is similar to that of a pyramid. If the stocking is a seamed stocking, the top point of the pyramid at the heel connects to the beginning of the seam running up the back of the leg.
- Demi-toe. A stocking which has a reinforced toe with half the amount of reinforcement on the top of the toe as on the bottom of the foot so that only the tip of the toes is covered.
- Materials. The options available in women's hosiery have certainly increased. Thigh high stockings are now available in many different blends that include everything from nylon to silk to merino wool and cashmere. The choice of material affects the degree of stretch the stocking will have. Stockings without stretch feel quite different on the leg than what many women have become accustomed to....the materials tend to have a softer lighter touch than the “grippy” feeling of your standard department-store nylons.
- Seamed stockings. Seamed thigh high stockings have a seam that runs up the back of the leg and are very sexy stockings. This seam is often a darker version of the color of the stocking but can be found in contrasting colors, and even neon, metallic or rhinestone. These are sexy thigh hi's! You go, girl!
- Degree of sheerness. Thigh high stockings range from completely sheer to absolutely opaque. If you don’t like to shave your legs, you may prefer a certain degree of opaqueness (or not). The choice is all yours. A completely sheer stocking with a glimmer finish can be a nice touch for a formal event or when wearing a bejeweled gown.
- Fishnet. Fishnet stockings are aptly named since the material is a wide knit that looks like a fishnet on the leg. Fence net stockings are stockings with an even wider grid than fishnet and they are frequently worn over another pair of stockings for dramatic effect.
- Lessons learned the hard way. When it comes to stockings, there are a couple of lessons that I’ve learned the hard way.
- Thigh high stockings tend to be very delicate and need to be handled with kid gloves. In other words, tomboys and thigh highs are not a good mix. Your fingernails need to be filed before you pull your stockings on, and your hands should not be so dry and chapped that the material snags on your knuckles. And of course you need to hand wash and air dry your thigh highs. Sheer stockings (especially) can run and pull very easily and chances are that you may need to dispose of a pair after one use.
- For those big nights out, have an extra pair of thigh high stockings on hand. Include a few extra pair of thigh highs in your glamour budget. You don’t want to snag your stocking on the cab door on your way out. The store where you purchased them has long since closed and I guarantee that the 7-11 does not carry the leopard print sheers you’ve chosen for tonight’s gala. If you have another pair on hand, the problem is quickly solved. Another trick is to bring an extra stocking with you in a baggie in your purse so that should you get a run in your stocking as the evening progresses, you can switch that stocking out.
One of the greatest pleasures of thigh high stockings is that they are a product designed not only for anorexic adolescents but for adult women, too. Thigh high stockings can be found in plus sizes and even with compression (for those who suffer from varicose veins). So don’t let anything stop you from going thigh high in fun.