Stockings and holdups…do you know the difference? While stockings and holdups appear quite similar upon first glance, there are some distinct differences between the two. These differences make them each well-suited for different looks and occasions. So how do you choose the right one for your next special outing?

Sure, both go to the thigh, but do the differences go beyond that? Let’s talk about what stockings and hold-ups are, how they are different and how to decide which is right for your next event.

What are Stockings?

Stockings are a type of hosiery that typically reach the mid-thigh or upper thigh and use a garter belt to keep them in place. They can be very comfortable to wear since they do not have a tight band around the top that can dig into the skin. And since they stop no higher than your upper thigh, they are comfortable to wear in warmer weather or with outfits that may otherwise feel hot and restrictive.

Stockings are often associated with vintage or retro looks. They are also a popular choice for special occasions such as weddings or formal events. In fact, the wedding garter toss is a popular tradition at wedding receptions similar to tossing the bouquet! And let’s face it, the garter belt alone adds a bit of sexy sophistication to any look.

What are Hold-ups?

Hold-ups, also known as thigh-highs and stay ups, are a type of hosiery that are designed to stay in place without the need for a garter belt. Unlike traditional stockings, holdups have a band around the top that prevents them from slipping down. Often these are made from silicone to help them grab the skin and stay in place.

Hold-ups are a popular choice for those that want the look of stockings without the hassle of a garter belt. They are also less likely to create visible lines under clothing, which can be a concern with some looks. Hold-ups are also versatile, working for everyday wear, special occasions, and a large variety of outfits.

Quick comparison of stockings and hold-ups 

It may seem like stockings and hold-ups are just about the same, especially if you’re new to these types of hosiery. The following list compares the highlights of each so it’s easier to see how they really compare.


  • Requires a garter belt to keep them in place.
  • Often has a higher level of compression than hold-ups.
  • Has a vintage look that is often associated with formal occasions.
  • Can be worn with a wide variety of outfits, from dresses to shorts.


  • Has a band at the top to help hold it up, no garter belt is needed.
  • Often has a lower level of compression than stockings.
  • Has a modern, versatile look that works with a wide range of outfits.
  • Can create a seamless look under clothing and are less likely to create visible lines.

The good news is that it’s easy to find the right type of stockings or hold-ups for just about any look you want, from dress up to living-it-up! Of course, if you’re not sure where to start, just browse a bit and get familiar with the options. And if you have any questions, just let us know and we’ll be happy to help answer all your hosiery questions!