Thigh High Starter Styles

Image of someone wearing dark red thigh highs, leaning against a white picket fence, in warm sunshine. The text over the image reads "Gift Collections: Thigh Highs"

Originally published on the Sock Journal:

We know the thousands of socks and accessories on our site can get overwhelming, that’s why we’re going to be spending some Sock Journal time looking at our Gift Collections. These are Dreamer-curated collections of socks at your fingertips, perfect for when you’re searching for a gift (for yourself or somebody else).

Image of someone wearing dark red thigh highs, leaning against a white picket fence, in warm sunshine. The text over the image reads "Gift Collections: Thigh Highs"

I’ve gone over shopping for “My First Thigh High” on the Sock Journal before, but styles and times have changed (oh my gosh, that post is from 2014!!), so it’s time for an update.

Thigh high socks and stockings are a tricky thing. Personal taste, inseam and thigh circumference all come into play when walking that definition between a sock that falls “over the knee” and a sock that is truly “thigh high.” And that’s before you even get into if you’re looking for a sock (opaque and thicker) or a stocking (sheer, often needs a garter).

No matter your measurements, or other specifics, if you are looking for a style that reaches at least the middle of your thigh, you’re looking for a thigh high. And, if it’s your first time trying a sock that high? It can be intimidating. We love helping folks find socks, so if you get overwhelmed, be sure to drop us a line. But if you want to start the search on your own, you know we got tips! Plus, we have a gift collection just for you: Thigh High Starter Styles. These are some of our and our customer’s favourite thigh highs, our go-to tall socks!

Before you go shopping though, you need to have a good idea of some basics first.


First: What are your measurements?

You’ve heard us say it before: clothing sizes mean diddly when it comes to sizing socks. Beyond the fact that clothing sizes seem to be made up on wild whims, things like weight and height have nothing to do with what socks fit you.

Same with adjectives like “plus”, “muscular” and “slim”! They can be a nice shorthand for describing yourself, but if you want socks that fit, then you need the hard numbers. When it comes to thigh highs, the best info to know is your thigh circumference (what measurement your thigh is around). We have lots of tips for measuring in an old Sock Journal post all about it!

But where do I measure?

Now, this is a little trickier. If you want a thigh high to go up as far as it can go, then measure the widest part of your thigh. If you know from experience that things tend to land short on you thanks to the length or fullness of your legs (or you’re worried they will), then it’s worth grabbing the measurement of your “over the knee” area (a few inches above your knee cap).

Since socks come up different heights on different folks, knowing the range a style will need to stretch can be super helpful when shopping for tall socks. And it’s nice to know, when you realise a style won’t quite stretch to fit the fullest part of your thigh, that it’ll fit a little lower on the leg.

Knowing how dramatic the curve is between your knee and your thigh can also help you know how well some styles will stay up. If your legs have a more dramatic curve, then styles with wider cuffs will really want to roll, even if they stretch more than enough! It’s that tricky physics.

Basically, your OTK measurement is the backup info when you’re looking for thigh highs. It’s not necessary, but it can be useful.


Next: What kind of thigh high are you looking for?

There’s really two levels of question here. What type of thigh high you’re looking for, and how you’re going to wear it.

Sock or stocking?

This is the first and easiest question. Do you want a thigh high sock or a thigh high stocking? A sock is thicker, opaque and more commonly made of natural fibers like cotton. A stocking is thinner, often sheer and made of nylon.

Split image showing the cuff of a thicker and opaque sock on the left and the cuff of a sheer stocking on the right.

On the left: Extraordinarily Longer Thigh High
On the right: Sheer Curvy Stockings

We know there are crossovers, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s keep the definitions basic: sock=thick/opaque, stocking=thin/sheer.

Garter or no garter?

So, how do you plan on rocking your thigh highs? Are you going to take the plunge and add a garter belt? Or is that a little much and you’d like your thigh highs to stay up on their own, please?

Split image showing a sock garter being attached to the top of a cuff-less sock on the left, and on the right a stocking with the cuffed rolled back to show the stay-up texture on the inside.

On the left: Extraordinary Roll Top Thigh High
On the right: Sheer Stockings with Lace Top

We do our best to mention in the Sizing Tips tab on each product page if a style needs a garter to stay up reliably. You can also take a quick guess at how well-behaved a thigh high is by looking at how our models are wearing them. Of course, we want you to be reading the Sizing Tips before buying, but if you’re just browsing, it’s a good way to guess how we’ve found a style is best worn.


Finally: Let’s browse thigh highs!

Our  Thigh High Starter Styles collection is already just a bunch of our favourites, but we’re grabbing our topmost faves to get you started.

Sock & No Garter

We worked years to find a mill and make our Extraordinarily Longer Thigh Highs. At 30 inches long from heel to top, they cheerfully go up to the top of the leg for most folks (yes, even if your inseam is over 30 inches; socks are stretchy!).

Image of a model in dark grey thigh highs that almost reach to the short-shorts they're wearing.

Their stretch at the cuff is 27 inches, and 24 inches mid sock, which means even if your legs are full from calf to tops there’s lots of stretch and length for them to go the distance! If you’re shorter, or want them to go a bit shorter than all the way up, the Extraordinary Thigh High is only 24 inches long.

Sock & Garter

In that same vein, the Extraordinarily Longer Roll Top Thigh High is the same delicious cotton blend sock, just without a cuff! That gives them a stretch of up to 28 inches at the top! With that little bit of extra stretch, they also work great as gartered over the knee stockings for folks too.

Split image of two models with very different body types wearing the same black thigh highs with roll-top cuffs. The model on the left has slim legs, and the socks reach their upper thigh. The model on the right has wider legs, and the socks hit a few inches above their knees.

The best garter to pair with thicker styles like these are the Suspender Clip Industrial Garter Belt. The sturdy clips firmly grip your socks, so they’re going nowhere!

Stocking & No Garter

Stay up stockings! A wonder of the modern world. With grippy silicone strips hidden beneath a gorgeous lace cuff, they give you all the fancy-no-pantsyness of stockings without the hassle. Our current crush is on the Deluxe Lace Topped Stocking.

A model wearing sheer black stockings with a cuff off intricate black and red brocade.

With five sizes, they’ll fit most folks, though we did find that the wide lace cuff is a little too wide for some legs, and wants to roll  if you have a dramatic size difference between your over-the-knee area and your thigh. We haven’t had luck finding stay up stockings with a narrower cuff, but we’re on the lookout.

Stocking & Garter

Probably one of our favourite sheer stockings, the Sheer Curvy Stocking has a stretch of up to 30 inches in its smaller size that may be listed as “2x” but still looks nice on slimmer legs.

A plus size model wearing sheer black stockings worn with suspender clip garters.

They pair perfectly with the Deep Lace Suspender Belt, which is a wide lace garter belt that fits so comfortably and lightly, while looking so awesome, it’s reason enough to start wearing stockings. Plus, it comes in a great range of sizes!


Now that you’ve gotten started

As you get more comfortable browsing for thigh high styles, remember that you can always drop us a line for help finding what you’re looking for. We hope that this little introduction and the Thigh High Starter Styles can give you the familiarity and confidence to branch out into the wild, wide world of our regular thigh high collection. ?