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Hold-Ups or Stockings? -Which is best for your boudoir photoshoot

Boudoir Shoot Tips - Hold-ups or stockings which are best?

hold-ups or stockings

Hints and Tips for Wearing Stockings at a Boudoir Photoshoot

Stockings and hold-ups are both popular choices for boudoir photoshoots, and each option offers its own unique advantages. There are so many styles of hold-ups or stockings out there.   

I have met so many women who don’t know the difference between hold-ups and stockings.


Classic and timeless appeal: Stockings have a long-standing association with seduction and elegance. They evoke a classic, vintage aesthetic that can add a touch of timeless charm to your boudoir photos. The sheer fabric and delicate details of stockings often contribute to a more sophisticated and refined look.

Stockings were designed to be worn with a Suspender belt or Garter belt, as they won’t stay up on their own!  Suspender belts also come in a myriad of designs, from really skimpy ones to waspies that cover more of your tummy, which can be a great idea if you are a little self-conscious. Make sure that you match your stocking tops to your lingerie. For instance, match lace hold-ups with a similar patterned lingerie.

You'll also find that many basques and corsets come with attached suspender straps (removable ones can make them more versatile).

Stockings and suspenders are great for playing with during your shoot to add those beautiful details and to give your hands something to play with!


Hold up stockings have an elastic or silicone band around the top, designed to stay up without the use of a Suspender belt or a Corset / Basque with suspender clips attached. Hold-ups tend to grip and squeeze your thigh, so they can give you a bit of a muffin top which stockings rarely do.

woman with long legs wearing black holdup stockings
Pink topped holdup stockings

TOP TIP - don't get the two mixed up. Hold-ups don't work with suspender belts, the silicone or rubber tape on a hold-up makes it hard to fix in a suspender belt.   I know many of you will have struggled to fix hold-ups with the silicone band into the fiendish suspender belt clips, I dread to think about the number of times clients have either broken their nails or laddered the holdups trying to do this.

Do Hold-up stockings stay up?

Well, that's a million-dollar question! Some do, and some don't, is the honest answer. Hold-ups with thinner bands do tend to roll down quite a bit in my experience.

So the choice is yours. However, make sure you go for the finest denier (thickness) that you can find, as this will be super flattering in the studio.

Have a look in my galleries for more ideas, you'll see that neither hold-ups or stockings feature heavily in my images, it's not because I don't like them, but I do think that your natural skin will photograph so well that I think it is a shame to cover it.

Which is best for your boudoir shoot?

It comes down to your personal preference, my choice would be stockings, not hold-ups. I think stockings have a symbolic association with sensuality and femininity. The act of putting on stockings can be seen as a deliberate and intimate gesture, contributing to the overall mood and narrative of your boudoir photos. They can evoke a sense of seduction, allure, and confidence, enhancing the atmosphere you wish to create.

Stockings offer more posing opportunities for posing due to the presence of garter straps. The act of adjusting the straps or playfully tugging at the stocking tops can create dynamic and visually engaging shots. These interactions with the stockings can add movement, intrigue, and a sense of intimacy to your boudoir photos.

Shock Horror - I'm not a fan of hold-ups or stockings!

Absolutely, I understand that you may think stockings or hold-ups seem like alluring additions to an outfit, I generally don't recommend them for boudoir photo shoots for a couple of key reasons.

First off, hold-ups have a tendency to create a "muffin-top" effect on the legs, disrupting the natural contours and lines. This can be particularly unflattering in photos, making the legs look bulkier than they actually are. Secondly, both stockings and hold-ups can make your legs appear shorter, especially if they don't match your skin tone or if they are overly ornate, drawing attention away from the natural length of your legs.

In boudoir photography, we aim to accentuate and celebrate your natural beauty, and these types of hosiery can sometimes detract from that goal. Would you like to know more about what types of attire work best for a boudoir shoot - check out my boudoir style guide?

Having said that I'm not a fan I know you may be so please bring whichever you prefer, but you absolutely do not have to bring them at all if you aren't a fan. If you decide to bring either, think about bringing spares, just in case you snag them or get a ladder in them.

Where to buy stockings and hold-ups from

Here are some of the best places to buy from–

Have you joined the VIP group on Facebook yet - come and find out about other ladies experiences, ask them whether they opted for hold-ups or stockings or neither, get advice and chat about all things boudoir.

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