Why Can’t We All Stop Falling In Love With “Knee-High Socks”? Let’s Unravel The Mysterious Attraction Of It!

Why Can’t We All Stop Falling In Love With “Knee-High Socks”? Let’s Unravel The Mysterious Attraction Of It!

As one of the standards items of Japanese “moe” culture and common knowledge for all Japanese subculture geeks worldwide, “knee-high socks” have the never-ending possibility to attract many different people nowadays. From fashion, to subculture, and even to fetish art, knee-high socks have come to be loved by males and females now. As one of the main symbols of a changing image, they have evolved to where a new culture has been born. A Japan Knee High Association has been established to support all “knee-high socks” lovers, whether they wear them or just like to look at them.

Why have “knee-high socks” been so popular for so many years now? Why are they so attractive to both genders? We are here to dig deep with the basic history and evolutionary paths of them!

**What’s “knee-high socks”?**

Knee-high socks developed from “high socks,” socks that covered up the calves. Those were around since the 1980s, when many of the female idols were wearing as part of their costume for their performance in television programs, and often coordinated with a mini skirt or short pants. But during this time, white high socks were common than black and soon became more popular with the Lolita fashion in the 90’s.

White High-Socks

Since 2006, as branch off from high-socks, knee-socks were introduced to the public as a fashion item that makes your legs more thin. Not only the niche fashion culture like Lolita, every fashion style in Japan incorporated the knee-high socks to spice up the cuteness or sexiness. Soon, the item itself was abbreviated as “Nii-hai,” or “Nii-so,” which made young females in Japan to be more familiar with. From there, people have made different varieties according to their preferences and currently, there has been a set definition as for length for each type of knee-socks. “Knee-high socks” are considered to be about 40 to 50 centimeters long. “Over Knee-high socks” are 50 to 60 centimeters long. “Thigh-high socks” are over 60 centimeters long.

Knee-high Socks

Over Knee socks

Thigh-high socks

But the most common term is “knee-high socks,” and people will just refer to any socks that goes high above the knees would be called as “nii-so,” which tells, that is how much it is embedded into the culture.

Why “knee-high socks” and not other types of socks? There has been data collected from the male population who would consider that legs and thighs are to be important part of sexual attraction. And since knee-high socks do emphasize those parts of the female body, it explains why that male population recognize the attraction, or the “moe” of knee-high socks.

Currently, there is a shop where they sell only knee-high socks called, “Zettai Ryouiki“. They sell knee-high socks that have playful and colorful designs to coordinate in your style.

**“Zettai Ryouiki”**

The most important part of what it means to wear knee-high socks is the “Zettai Ryouiki.” “Zettai Ryouiki,” translated as “absolute territory” has came up as part of the main aspect of why knee-high socks are attractive and sexy. The definition of it is the bare skin area of the gap between the knee-high socks and the skirt or shorts.

Zettai Ryoiki

Not only is the length of the socks are important, but the balance of that exposed area with the clothing is also important to consider as part of attraction as well. If that is balanced out well enough, it is considered as “moe.” Some may prefer a smaller gap, others prefer larger, so whatever the preference is, the kinds of lengths are already available.

**Trends From Fashion to Anime to Fashion Again**

The “nii-so” craze was not just as fashion influence that has triggered to its popularity, but the female characters in Anime series wearing knee-high socks have become popular with male audiences.

Taiga Aisaka from “Toradora!”

Hitagi Senjogahara from “Bake Monogatari”

Because knee-high socks are worn by attractive female anime characters, females with otaku hobbies started to wear them, and soon, it also spread as the part of the uniform for the Maid Cafés to attract more “masters” in for coffee.

@Home Cafe maids

Maid café costumes have also had become an influential aspect to the “kawaii” culture as well when the Maid Café craze peaked around 2006. From there, more young females in general started to wear knee-high socks as part of “kawaii” as well as sexy style.

**Which Would You Prefer? Sock-type Or Stocking?**

Not only are the socks themself popular, “knee-high stocking” have started to sell from 2011. The knee-high stocking was sold as an answer to the voices from female fans like, “the socks always slides down as I walk,” “I don’t like to have a mark of the band part since it itches,” or “I don’t like my fat to be on the socks.”

The stocking was a savior for female knee-high lovers with those problems, but the voices from the male fans were unexpected. Many of the male fans strongly suggested the socks-style for the females to wear because it would really emphasize their meaty part as the band that surrounds that thigh area. But the argument back from females who would rather wear the stocking-style, is that the stocking really helps out their worries as well as that there are many more cute designs, like the animal knee-high stockings, that the sock-type can’t do, so the battle still goes on…

Knee-high stocking with Cat Design

knee-high stocking with cat design

Let’s All Celebrate The “Nice Nii-hai Day”!

There’s also the trend of “Nice Nii-hai day,” as well. Every November 28th, as the numbers tell “1128” in Japanese like an acronym as “Ii Nii-hai,”and many of the female Twitter users who have their own Knee-high socks would post selfies on Twitter with the hashtag wearing it. Some are cute, some are very sexy, some are casual, and some are funny asa well. Male

The “Nice Nii-hai day” will come up soon, so why not have a post your own favorite knee-high stocking?

**“Moe” to Fetishism to Art**

From the anime characterization of the knee-high socks have become popular within the otaku culture, and soon reached to the general population as a fashion trend, now, the knee-high culture are being reviewed and many subcultural artists are reworking with knee-high socks as part of fetishism of feminity. At Tokyo Girls’ Update, we have been chasing the “Suichu Niso,” or the “Underwater Knee-High Socks,” which has become the trigger of bringing the knee-high socks to the next level of the “moe.”

Underwater Knee-high girls plus

Catch up on Underwater Knee-high Socks on TGU!
Underwater Knee-High Socks Coming to You! Go Hear What the Creators Have to Say!
The 3rd “Underwater Knee-High Girls” to Be Published as “Suichu Niso Cube” Showing Girls’ Relationships

“Suichu Niso” series were un-expecting, but also well-received because of the mysterious attraction of this unlikely combination. There have been three photobooks out already and have done art gallery openings of the photos, which have been successful as well. We haven’t come to the set conclusion of why this has become popular, but it is clear that the “knee-high socks” play the major part of making the females more attractive than just a bathing suit.

So, how about it? Do you love “knee-high socks” even more?

It’s almost 10 years after the knee-high craze began but, the popularity still hasn’t burnt out, and now, people are become more creative with that. Can’t wait to see what comes next when people create new culture with the knee-high socks, where we can always fall in love again, and even more.

Nihon Knee High Socks Kyokai Official Site
Nihon Knee High Socks Kyokai Official Facebook
Knee High Socks Shop “Zettai Ryouiki” Official
Knee High Socks Shop “Zettai Ryouiki” Official Twitter

Source :Tokyo Girls' Update
Source article written by Satsuki

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