Hold-ups or stay-ups (in the United States also referred to as thigh-high stockings or simply thigh highs) are stockings with an elasticized band at the top, designed to hold the stockings up when worn, without the use of a garter belt or garters (British English: suspenders). Thigh highs are held up by one or more bands sewn to the top that is backed with silicone on its inner surface. This ensures the thigh highs stay in position because of the elastic and the friction of the silicone against the skin. The silicone can become ineffective by contact with body lotions, oils and talcum powder, as they all reduce the friction of the silicone. Thigh highs are designed so that the elastic band exerts just the right pressure on the wearer's thigh, avoiding any uncomfortable tightness or unflattering muffin-top effect. Sometimes thigh highs are preferred to pantyhose for hygiene reasons, because they reduce excessive microbial growth around the groin due to humidity and warmth.
Thigh highs may be chosen because of the classic popular "stocking top" line, and there are no suspender bumps to be seen through a skirt or dress. Like stockings and pantyhose, the thickness of thigh-highs is measured in denier.