Knee highs

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Knee highs

Knee highs are hosiery that cover the feet and legs up to the knee. A fashion accessory for a casual and classic cool or warm weather apparel.[1] Typically worn by women in many societies, they are sometimes worn with modern semi-formal attire. Unlike ordinary socks, they are generally made of nylon or other stocking materials. There were also different types and uses of knee highs for men.[2]

Knee highs became popular during the 1960s and 1970s with the increase in popularity of the miniskirt. Knee highs at times form a part of girls' school uniforms. They come in many colors and patterns and transparency levels. They are more popular in cold weather, because they keep the feet and lower legs warm. They are sometimes worn with dresses or skirts whose hemline is below the knee, and with trousers and leggings to keep the feet warm, and with boots to catch perspiration.


The Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, and Europeans wore articles of clothing similar to knee highs. It was during the Roman Empire that the first type of knee highs was introduced. At the time men and women wrapped their feet with cloth and bind leather straps around their feet up to the calves. It was done in order for warmth and protection. Later on, knee highs were bought and sold and became a fashion accessory. During the 1920's knee highs become popular in America. Then in the 1960's they became an accessory that added sex appeal to the person's outfit.[3]


In the British army and the navy it was necessary for men to wear long woolen knee highs. They were to worn for protection in the trenches, preventing foot rot. Many women sent long knitted socks to the troops during both World Wars. However, due to the new generation, in the 1970s and 1980s the knee highs' popularity went down.[2]

Reasons for Knee highs[edit]

Knee highs are worn between the period when it is not too cold yet not too warm. Knee highs at the same time allow the legs to look longer and is a effortless put together. Knee highs are commonly known for school uniforms, but are worn nowadays causally in an everyday outfit. They often are worn with certain dresses above the knee giving again a classic yet casual look.[1]

Fashion trend[edit]

In 2010, knee highs became fashionable accessories for women; particularly for the spring and fall fashion trends. They were worn mainly to make a fashion statement.[4]

The length of the knee high is crucial and is according to the individual's body type. Thigh high socks draw attention to larger thighs. Instead, knee highs just below the knees give a slimmer look and not a 'bulge'. Knee highs compliment those who are shorter, with a shorter hemline to expose more leg, accentuating the height.[4]

In colder climates, knitted socks work well.[4]

In order to avoid the 'school girl' look, stay away from pairing knee highs with plaid.[4]

Layering is done often and quite common with knee highs.[4]

Material and fitting[edit]

The quality and fitting of the knee highs is important whether for a specific purpose or simply for aesthetic reasons. Cotton is the typical material chosen for socks since it is natural and high quality. However, the fabric absorbs moisture and does not dry as quick. Another type of material is wool, it is often said to be itchy and uncomfortable. If knee highs are used with wool, there can be a problem considering it takes a great amount of skin than ankle socks. A solution is blended fabrics, which weave together with at least or more than two types of materials for a balance. Another factor is that if they are too tight it will be uncomfortable and leave marks on the skin.[5]

Fitting is crucial for knee highs. They need to be tight and stretchy to be able to hold on throughout a certain amount of time. If not they will go down to the ankle and stay at the ankles.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Turner, Laura. "Outfits to Wear With Knee-High Socks". Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "End of an era: knee high socks face defeat". Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Chrissy's Knee High Socks". Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Dykes, Daniel. "Knee high socks: women’s fashion trend". Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "How Do I Choose the Best Knee High Argyle Socks?". Retrieved 1 April 2014.