"I can't believe there was once a time when women wore garter belts ALL the time, not just to be sexy, then some guy invented panty hose. That guy's a DICK! What was he thinking?!"We all know what Ms. Fanservice wears to accentuate certain assets: the corset. What if she wants to show She's Got Legs as well? That's where Stocking Filler comes in. We have fishnet stockings, knee high stockings, and, of course, the ever popular garter. For works prior to the 1960s, this was something of an Enforced Trope, as American and European women simply wore stockings every day as part of their regular underwear.note However, due to the strict moral standards of the day (of which The Hays Code is exemplar), scenes depicting the full ensemble with garters and all were uncommon in American movies (though more frequent in European films); however, there were exceptions to the rule for using the trope for comedic purposes, and things started loosening up in Hollywood movies during the '50s. These days, they're considered inconvenient for daily wear (much like the corset was decades before), due to factors such as the widespread popularity of short skirts since the '60s and the introduction of pantyhose during the same decade, but still frequently encountered for fanservice purposes or as a throwback to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Expect the Femme Fatale to be dressed this way, and very likely to use the garters as a hiding place for money, concealed weapons or a flask. Also, in Stocking Filler scenes, the lead actress will most frequently wear black stockings with seams running up the back of the legs to conform with Rule of Sexy (in the real world, "nude" or flesh-toned is the most popular color for hose, and seams are very rarely seen except as decorations on special occasions). Actresses in movies and shows set in the 19th and early 20th centuries will also most frequently be seen wearing black or white stockings in Stocking Filler scenes, often with fancy decorations on the calves and ankles. In this case, it's Truth in Television due to the manufacturing and dyeing processes of the time (and social mores which prevented women from showing their legs but did wink at them flashing their ankles in flirtation or seduction). When you see a Stocking Filler scene in a Period Piece, check what kind of garter the actress is wearing to see if the costume department has been doing their research work properly. Before the late 19th century, stockings were customarily held up by round garters, ribbons of various materials, or even simply rolled up at or above the knee. Garter straps (also often called suspender straps) were introduced as attachments to corsets during the Victorian Era, and garter belts in the modern sense came along during The Roaring '20s as skirts got shorter and corsets fell out of fashion. Along with pantyhose, stockings with special elastic bands at the thighs were introduced during the 1960's. Also, thigh-length stockings were fairly uncommon before the late 19th century; most stockings were knee-length or extended just a couple of inches above the knee. Most often revealed in a Lingerie Scene. Part of Stock Underwear. Not to be confused with Silk Stalkings, an early '90s TV show (though there were several Stocking Filler scenes in that show), nor Filler, which may or may not include stockings. See also: Zettai Ryouiki - this is when Stocking Filler goes higher than the knee, and worn with a shorter skirt. See also also: Playboy Bunny, for whom stockings or hose are an essential element of the outfit. Compare Victoria's Secret Compartment for another use of underwear to conceal objects.
— Mitch Fatel, stand-up comic
open/close all foldersGarters
Anime and Manga
- Mahou Sensei Negima!: Asuna and Setsuna during the Budokai mini-arc, as part of their Instant Cosplay Surprise Panty Fighter outfits.
- Hellsing: Yumie always wears garters under her nun's habit.
- Ranma ˝: During the Martial Arts Dining arc, Ranma had to wear an antique French maid's costume (in girl form) by her opponent's instructor. So, for training, she usually doffed the dress and wore just the corset, women's panties, and a garter belt with stockings.
- Cowboy Bebop: Faye always wears a set of garters and thigh-highs with her shorts.
- All of the Mew Mews from Tokyo Mew Mew (the only exception being Mew Ringo from the games) wear a garter on one of their legs.
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt gives us Stocking, who can turn her stockings into katanas.
- M.M. and Adelheid Suzuki from Katekyō Hitman Reborn! both wear stockings with suspenders.
- Ghost Talkers Daydream: Misaki is a dominatrix, so sexy lingerie comes with the territory; often combined with garters and thigh high boots. Even when she isn't wearing her S&M attire, she'll occasionally wear nylons for lounging around the house.
- Aki Izayoi from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. It was also edited in the dub to make it look that she's wearing knee-high socks instead, and replacing this trope with Zettai Ryouiki.
- Zatanna gets this treatment (combined with Of Corsets Sexy) for her trademark fishnets in Seven Soldiers mini-series.
- Little Ego often ends up wearing a garter belt, stockings and nothing else.
- A traditional element of Lady Death's outfit. If it can be called that.
- Surprisingly common in "spicy" comic strips of the 30s and 40s, even turning up in the Mandrake dailies at one point◊. On the other side of the Atlantic, Jane was boosting home front morale in the traditional manner◊.
- In Scott Pilgrim, Envy Adams puts on stocking on the last volume of the series.
- In Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Jane Smith hides knives in her garters.
- Lori's introductory scene, wearing black stockings attached to garter straps as part of her French Maid Outfit, in The Man Who Knew Too Little.
- James Bond
- Worn by Pushkin's mistress in The Living Daylights. Bond rips her dress off to provide a distraction when Pushkin's bodyguard crashes into the room and it does the job quite nicely.
- Paris Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies. It's first shown when Bond strips her down and she's shown Topless from the Back. The very first shot of her after she and Bond have sex is her rearranging her garters.
- In the unofficial Bond film Never Say Never Again, The Vamp Fatima Blush has a victim hooked on heroin to force him to obey her. She carries a hypo filled with the drug in a garter belt (under a nurse's uniform no less), and exposes it while taking out the hypo. On YouTube starting at 1:05.
- Daniela Bianchi, in From Russia with Love (to be precise, she wasn't wearing garters, but black silk stockings rolled above the knees; this isn't clearly seen in the scene as released, but an alternate version was shot - there are several promotional photos from that version - which clearly show her exposed, stockinged legs).
- The "alternate version" of the above scene from which those photos come was actually a screen-test of Bianchi. According to 007 film lore, this scene has been used ever since to screen-test potential "Bond girls".
- Both Silk Spectres get variations of this in the Watchmen movie, although in Sally's case it's justified by the fact that pantyhose weren't yet common in the 1950s.
- The original Silk Spectre does wear stockings and suspenders in the comic.
- The senior girls in the St. Trinian's movies (as part of their Sexy Schoolwoman uniforms).
- In The Graduate, the older seductress Mrs. Robinson is seen wearing garters. (The still of Anne Bancroft removing her stockings while Dustin Hoffman watches is iconic.)
- In the 1932 film Red-Headed Woman, when Lil (Jean Harlow) is seducing her boss, she shows him that he put a small picture of him to her garter. Later, when he wants to break up with her, she shows her stockings again to prove that she's removed the picture.
- Extremely briefly appears in Scary Movie 2, when the girls attempt to parody Charlie's Angels and screw it up.
- Layer Cake. Before sleeping with the protagonist, a girl slips off her normal underwear in the bathroom and changes into black stockings and suspenders.
- Silk Stockings has an extended transformation scene showing Cyd Charisse donning the titular garments.
- Actually, we don't see any garters/garter belts; this was during the Hays Code era where lingerie was considered highly risque (it was even mentioned by name as a no-no in the Code).
- Sean Young, wearing black seamed stockings and suspenders during her character's limousine sex scene with Kevin Costner's character in No Way Out.
- Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne Moreau in several onstage scenes, performing as "The Two Marias", in Viva Maria!.
- Gina Lollobrigida in La Donna Piu' Bella Del Mondo (Beautiful But Dangerous), wearing black stockings and suspenders in the scene in Paris where she performs dressed as a can-can girl.
- Catherine Deneuve, wearing full-fashioned seamed stockings and suspenders in her sex scene with Gerard Depardieu in The Last Metro.
- Jayne Mansfield, revealing herself to be wearing black stockings and suspenders attached to her corset when she undresses in her bedroom in an early scene in It Happened in Athens.
- Sophia Loren, in Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow, one of her most iconic scenes (and reprising the scene in Pret-a-Porter (Ready to Wear)).
- Loren again in The Millionairess, combining this trope with Of Corsets Sexy when she undresses to try to seduce the doctor played by Peter Sellers in his office.
- Jeannette MacDonald (!) in the Ernst Lubitsch version of The Merry Widow. (Then again, she had so many lingerie scenes in her early career that she was sobriquetted "The Lingerie Queen of the Talkies" by her studio's PR people.)
- Joan Collins in The Stud and The Bitch.
- Jennifer Connelly, shown putting on her stockings as she dresses for an evening out with her boyfriend in The Rocketeer.
- Helen Mirren, seen wearing stockings and suspenders/garterbelts under her designer outfits in several scenes in The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover.
- Olga Georges-Picot, who strips down to her lingerie, again including black stockings and suspenders, in the Woody Allen film Love and Death.
- Sylvia Kristel in Lady Chatterley's Lover.
- Ursula Andress in The Fifth Musketeer and The Sensuous Nurse.
- The Jean Renoir movie French Cancan.
- Ornella Muti in Swann in Love.
- Laura Antonelli in Till Marriage Do Us Part; when she loses her virginity to her chauffeur, his difficulty in removing her complicated, elaborately fastened undergarments is a key part of the comedy in that scene, though he finally manages to get her stripped down to her black stockings.
- Actresses such as Shannon Whirry and Shannon Tweed often had Stocking Filler scenes in the low-budget, straight-to-video "erotic thriller" movies of the 1990's, either as part of a straight Lingerie Scene or during sex scenes.
- While actual Stocking Filler scenes were few and far between in the Production Code era, there were numerous "cheesecake" pinup photographs of starlets wearing round garters.
- Maggie DuBois (Natalie Wood) in The Great Race shows her legs in a fancy black, elaborately-patterned silk stocking to her editor to get him to allow her to cover the titular race.
- The 1958 film version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof shows Maggie Pollitt (Elizabeth Taylor) changing her stockings at the beginning.
- In the 1958 Jerry Lewis movie "The Geisha Boy", Marie McDonald plays this trope for comedy when she suffers a "wardrobe malfunction" at the hands of the klutzy Lewis and bounces down a flight of airplane boarding/debarkation stairs on her shapely rump, clad in black satin girdle with attached garters, black nylons and high heels.
- Nancy Allen in black stockings and garters in Dressed to Kill. Holy crap.
- Needless to say, the Carry On franchise made frequent use◊ of the stocking filler during the early 60s, although the trope fell out of fashion as the miniskirt grew in popularity.
- Sweet Pea in Sucker Punch.
- Lily (Mila Kunis) in Black Swan is shown wearing black garters in her sex scene with Nina (Natalie Portman).
- In The Fly (1986), Seth asks for a personal item of Veronica's, like a piece of jewelry, to demonstrate his teleporter. She peels off a stocking and hands it to him, saying "I don't wear jewelry."
- The Girl (1987). When seducing Franco Nero's character, the Fille Fatale removes her dress to reveal she's got nothing underneath except a pair of stockings.
- Kirsten Dunst, nude except for a pair of white silk stockings and holding a fan to conceal strategic places, consummates her passion for Count Axel Fersen (Jamie Dornan) in Marie Antoinette (2006).
- Lampshaded in The Shortest Way To Hades by Sarah Caudwell. Selena notes that she and her friend Julia are greeted at a party by a woman wearing "a black dress, black stockings and a little white pinafore." Apparently, the dress was short enough that Selena didn't need to guess that they were stockings and not tights.
- Clare in The Time Traveler's Wife.
Henry: Stockings and garters. My kind of girl.
- Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Maggie Spritzer wears stockings, as Razor Sharp shows.
- Domino Lady's costume includes stockings (and apparently no other underwear). She often keeps a small automatic holstered in her garter.
Live Action TV
- Sarah hides knives in her garter in the first episode of Chuck.
- Greek, "The Great Cappie": Casey hides a bottle of "illegal" hooch on the garter belt of her '20s flapper dress.
- As mentioned above, several episodes of Silk Stalkings.
- Virtually every female character◊ ever in The Benny Hill Show. Several times an episode in some cases◊; most frequently during the "chase" scene◊ towards the end.
- Original Avenger girl Cathy Gale carried her gun in a garter holster. Her successor Purdy (Joanna Lumley) of The New Avengers was a 'stocking and suspender girl' despite the invention of pantyhose.
- Romola Garai wears Victorian-era black stockings in several scenes in the 2011 BBC adaptation of The Crimson Petal and the White.
- This reporter on Bloomberg News.
- Averted in a Remington Steele episode. Remington and Laura are shackled together and hiding in a barn. He looks forward aloud to her 'getting comfortable' by taking off her stockings. Laura sinks his boat by telling him she's wearing pantyhose.
- Ace in the Doctor Who adventure "Curse of Fenric". When fighting the haemovores on the church roof, her kicking leaves no doubt that she is wearing stockings instead of anachronistic tights [pantyhose]
- Tear Grants from Tales of the Abyss owns garters that not only hold her red stockings up, but also holster throwing knives under her dress.
- Excellen Browning of Super Robot Wars sports barely visible garters for her casual wear. While it seems like an aesthetic design, it makes sense when you realize she's the series' Ms. Fanservice.
- Belle of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers.
- The Sims 3 always had stockings available (pantyhose, thigh-high and knee-high) but the Late Night expansion pack additionally introduced "sleepwear" with garters.
- Grim Fandango makes a point of Meche taking a damaged stocking off in one puzzle.
- Bianca wears orange pantyhose under her skirt in Pokémon Black and White. In the sequel games, she loses them in favor of pants.
- Mega Lopunny's dark legs are intended to resemble fishnets, a tie-in to its usual Playboy Bunny inspired appearance.
- ReBoot: Hexadecimal, after Season 2, has garters added to her outfit. (In her Virus form, the garters appear to be attached to her corset, while in her Sprite form, she wears a separate garter belt with a Showgirl Skirt attached.)
- Warner Bros. got in on the act during the early forties, when the Private Snafu shorts taught the troops◊ a few things◊ they never learned in school.
- Betty Boop's garter belt that she wears on her left thigh has become part of her signature look and was often used for comedic purposes in her early cartoons (before the Hays Code interfered). Now a days, Betty officially wears a yellow or white garter with a red heart design in the middle.
- Both Zatanna and Black Canary have fishnets as part of their regular uniform (though Canary has changed a bit, going back and forth to having regular stockings/spandex and back to fishnets).
- Orgasm Lass from XXXenophile.
- X-23 often pairs fishnets and miniskirts when she's in civilian garb. Especially the outfit she wore her first day to school with her cousin in Target: X, and during her prostitute days as seen in NYX.
- Yvette (Colleen Camp) wears fishnet tights as part of her French Maid Outfit in Clue.
- Every major character at the end of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- Alicia Witt, in one scene in Cecil B. Demented, wears torn fishnets, and has "Andy Warhol" tattooed on her thigh.
- Fishnets (usually worn as tights rather than stockings) were almost mandatory uniform for a lead actress in a song-and-dance scene in musicals during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Some notable examples are Jane Russell in Son of Paleface and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop (where her fishnets were tattered to reinforce her image as a down-on-her-luck showgirl), Kay Kendall, Mitzi Gaynor and Taina Elg in Les Girls, and Mitzi Gaynor, Cyd Charisse, Vera-Ellen, Leslie Caron or just about any other movie star particularly skilled as a dancer in a movie in which they exercised said skill.
- Amber in Sucker Punch.
- Fishnet stockings commonly appear as accessories for female characters in the Dragon Quest series, along with garters.
- Female jesters in Dragon Quest III are bunny girls, complete with fishnets.
- Jessica Albert from Dragon Quest VIII can look like a bunny girl, as well, with the right equipment.
- Dragon Quest IX is the first game where all equipment is visible on characters, and naturally the fishnet stockings appear.
Note: Fishnets are rarely seen in cartoons because they're difficult to animate without the Unmoving Plaid problem, though a few examples do exist.
- In The Simpsons season 5 episode "Bart After Dark", Belle, the owner of the burlesque house, wears fishnets, along with spike-heeled shoes. At one point, she pulls up her skirt and crosses her legs, showing her sharply-clad legs.
- In a later episode "The Cartridge Family", one of the hookers at the SLeep EAZY motel.
- ReBoot: Hexadecimal, again; with fishnets peeking out from above her boots in her post-Season 2 Virus form.
- Saffi on Jimmy Two-Shoes
- In Justice League Unlimited, Green Arrow is convinced to join the team when he sees Black Canary put on her fishnet stockings.
- Sedusa from The Powerpuff Girls.
- In The Cleveland Show episode "Escape from Goochland", Donna wears a prostitute costume that includes fishnets. When she got arrested for being mistaken for a real prostitute, she was thrown to the police van with three real prostitutes, two of them wear fishnets as well.
- Roberta's sexy Halloween costume in "It's the Great Pancake, Cleveland Brown" includes fishnets.
Anime and Manga
- Mahou Sensei Negima!: Chachamaru, all the time — even when bathing. It's implied that it's part of her "skin".
- Maken-ki!: Himegami is rarely seen without her thigh-high stockings, unless she's trying on new ones, to give the audience a long appreciative look at just how hot her legs are.
- Ranma ˝: In the manga, Ukyo's chef uniform includes baggy ninja-to style leggings. But in the anime version, she wears form-fitting stockings to accentuate the curvature of her legs.
- Ex Machina. Ava is an android with a feminine form but with transparent sections in her head, body and limbs. In one scene she puts on a wig, dress and knee-high stockings to cover up these sections and make herself more attractive to Caleb. Although it's played for Become a Real Boy, she's later show removing the stockings (knowing Caleb is watching her on the cameras) whereupon it's played for the traditional fanservice. Caleb at this point becomes worried that she's trying to sexually manipulate him.
- Thigh High Nylons, by Mustard Plug, is all about this.
- Stockings, by Suzanne Vega