Dear VienneMilano,
What's the difference between stay-ups, hold-ups, and thigh highs?
Anna M.

In short, there is no difference between stay ups, hold ups, and thigh highs as they are all terms used in different regions to describe the same type of hosiery.

Hold Ups and Stay Ups

In Europe (including the United Kingdom) and Australia, the preferred terms are stay ups and hold ups – and are sometimes used interchangeably.

Thigh Highs

In the United States, Americans use the term thigh highs. We, at VienneMilano, use the term thigh highs because we are an American fashion brand. Although our products are made in Italy, VienneMilano is based in the USA.

ISABELLA Sheer thigh highs by VienneMilano

What are stay ups, hold ups, and thigh high stockings?

As the name implies, stay ups, hold ups, and thigh highs are stockings designed to stay up by themselves without additional support (garter belts are not required). This style of stockings is made with an elastic or silicone band and should stay above your mid-thigh.

Fashion Faux Pas

In some cases, we have seen the terms thigh socks, high socks, or hi-thigh used to describe thigh highs – which is wrong. We've also seen the term thigh highs to describe other styles of hosiery. For example, stockings that reach your mid-thighs are called over the knee socks (or OTKS).

Unfortunately, over the knee socks are sometimes referred to as thigh highs incorrectly – which is silly. Would you call flip-flops hiking boots? How about calling an elephant a mouse? Unless you are extraordinarily tall, thigh highs should reach the top of your thigh (as the name implies). Don't be fooled by other fashion brands who are not selling you the real deal and are offering inferior quality.

DAFNE Over The Knee Socks by VienneMilano

About VienneMilano

VienneMilano is a luxury hosiery brand dedicated to thigh high stockings. Our products are made in Italy – a country renowned for its beautiful craftsmanship, fashion-forward designs, and heritage. Shop our collection today.

Which term do you prefer to use? Leave us a comment below.

garter belts
September 30, 2016

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