A pair of knee-socks and an oversized sweatshirt
She goes right to my heart
She comes a'knocking with her stocking and I get hurt."
"Absolute Territory" (絶対領域, zettai ryouiki) describes the amount of bare thigh skin between the skirt and stockings or socks for female characters. The term and the trope come from anime and manga, with the term being used as an homage to the AT fields in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Zettai Ryouiki is made up of three components: socks (or stockings), skin, and skirt.note As per usual for fandom who obsess about costumes, this can be considered a moe attribute and thus, appear prominently in character designs and schoolgirl outfits, despite the fact that it kind of defeats the point of a uniform.
Since a Zettai Ryouiki is defined by the length of the stockings or socks, some people have categorized them into grades depending on the length of the socks. This ranking system goes from Grade F to Grade Anote . However, only Grades A (and thus S) and B are considered Zettai Ryouiki.
It has gained popularity around the world, especially in Japan, where it is a very popular fashion item with girls and young women, so the occurrence of Zettai Ryouiki can be regarded as Truth in Television.
Tropes Are Flexible: This trope not only covers socks but thigh-high boots as well. An Action Girl may trade the skirt for hotpants or other short bottomsnote , but if it doesn't include thigh-highs and visible skin, it's not Zettai Ryouiki.
See also Joshikousei (a combination of Japanese girls and the school uniform this trope is often combined with), Stocking Filler (for stockings without the skirts), Minidress of Power, Who Wears Short Shorts?, and She's Got Legs. The core reason for this may also be tied to the Theiss Titillation Theory. Compare with Opera Gloves, which are the equivalents for arms. Contrast Proper Tights with a Skirt.