Hold-ups or stay-ups (in the USA also referred to as thigh highs) are stockings with a band of elastic sewn to the top, designed to hold the stockings up when worn, without the need for a garter belt or garters. However, as people's thighs vary considerably in thickness, stay-ups are prone to fall down, or conversely for the elastic to be uncomfortably tight, leaving red marks and possibly aggravating varicose veins. The elastic of the stay-ups can cause chafing.
Sometimes stockings are preferred to pantyhose for hygiene reasons, because they reduce excessive microbial growth around the groin from humidity and warmth. They are sometimes chosen because of the classic popular "stocking top" line, and there are no suspender bumps to be seen through a skirt or dress.
Stockings have a drawback in colder weather, because they expose more skin to the cold compared to pantyhose.
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