Long socks can be a wonder, but the joy at trying on your first thigh highs can quickly be dashed when you take them for a spin…and find that they don’t want to stay at that perfect place on your thighs. We’ve heard this lament from various people, with various body types (small, big, tall, short): “my socks never stay up—my legs are just too [blank].”

Well, never fear. We’re here to tell you that it’s not you or your body’s fault when socks won’t stay up. It’s not even really the socks’. It’s simply gravity, and even the best socks can’t fight it forever. All that said, leg shape can play a part in where socks want to naturally settle on your leg. If you have an extreme tapper to your leg, socks will be more likely to slip down and settled on a straighter area. But socks will slip down any leg over the course of a day, especially if you’re spending a lot of time going between sitting and standing—as many of us who work desk jobs find out. But don’t worry! We know all the tricks to keeping those socks in place, and we’re happy to share.

Garter Belts

Two images side by side. On the left, a model is wearing a black suspender-clip garter belt over sheer black tights, holding up marled grey thigh highs. On the right, a person is wearing a black satin garter belt attached to lacy black thigh highs.

Left: Suspender Clip Industrial Garter Belt
Right: Satin Suspender Belt

The most classic technique is to invest in a good garter belt. For stockings and thigh highs with a rolled edge, a garter belt is generally a necessity—for stay-up power, as well as achieving that classic stocking look. But even thigh highs with a thicker cuff can benefit from a garter belt. For thinner stockings and socks, you’ll want to go for a belt with traditional garter clips, but our Suspender Clip Industrial Garter Belt can work wonderfully on thicker socks like our Extraordinary Thigh Highs or M45s. Picking a garter belt can come down to a lot of different factors, but we have this blog post from a few years ago that should help you figure out the size and type that will work best for you.

Sock Garters

Two images side by side. On the left, black sock garters with a tradition clip are being worn to hold up black knee high socks. On the right, black elastic sock garters are being worn to hold up grey openwork thigh highs that have a slouchy cuff.

Left: Classic Sock Garters
Right: Simply Adjustable Sock Garters

Now, while we’re on the subject of garters, it’s time we talk about sock garters. These will remind many people of classic men’s trouser socks. Worn just above the calf, sock garters can keep socks at the right level to add a pop of color under pants without falling into a slouchy look, but they can also be worn above the knee to keep up thigh highs. And with either style, you have a couple options to make this look your own.

Sock garters break into two types: clipped and non-clipped.

A basic elastic sock garter is simply a band of elastic, worn over the top of your socks. You can even cuff your sock down over it to hide the garter, or use it as an extra accessory (it's a good way to add a little color to an outfit). A sock garter with a clip is more akin to a garter belt. It sits above your sock, with a clip hanging down to attach to the sock, and can get you closer to the garter-belt look, if that’s what you’re going for.

Layering

Two images side by side. On the left, a model is wearing black thigh highs layered over black fishnets. On the right, a model is wearing orange thigh highs over opaque black tights.

Left: Extraordinarily Longer Thigh Highs worn over fishnet tights
Right: Long Cuffable Scrunchable Socks worn over solid tights

Probably the most comfortable option for keeping thigh highs up is good old fashioned layering. Especially in cold months, it’s a snap to wear tights or leggings under your socks to keep warm, with the added advantage of keeping your socks up as well. Layers work about how you would expect: thinner, shinier fabrics are going to have a harder time keeping socks up, while thicker tights or leggings with more texture to them are going to grip better. Even simple fishnet tights can add a little extra support to slippery socks.

It may take some experimenting before you land on your perfect combo, but it’s the easiest trick I know.

Now, if you don’t like the layered look (or it’s too warm to add another layer of fabric), you’re not a fan of garter belts, and you haven’t found sock garters to be of much help, there’s still my ace in the hole...

Sock Glue

A model seated on black velvet, holding up an opened bottle of It Stays! Body Adhesive so that the rounded applicator can be seen.

It may sound a little scary, but sock glue is the best way I’ve found to keep socks up, while sacrificing none of the look. The kind we carry, It Stays! Body Adhesive, washes right off with water, and is gentle even on sensitive skin. It has a roll-on applicator, and you just put a bit on your leg, then press your sock down for a few seconds. After that, it should keep your socks up all day! I use it for thigh highs, naturally, but I also like to use it to keep knee highs where I want them, and a dab of it on the back of my foot will keep my no-shows from slipping off my heels. Wondering how Instagrammers keep their sock game so high? Sock glue, my friend.