How to Adjust Garter Belts and Stockings

Updated July 20, 2017

Garter belts with stockings were once a practical alternative to the restrictive girdle. When pantyhose hit the consumer market in 1959, many prior garter belt wearers switched to the new hosiery. However, garter belts and thigh-high stockings remain marketable due to their functionality and their bonus attribute of sauciness. An improperly adjusted garter belt quickly loses both elements.

Hold the garter belt with both hands in front of you. Position the garter belt so that the back of the piece is directly in front of you.

Lower a step-in garter belt close to the ground and place both feet into the centre. Shimmy the garter belt up your body until it rests naturally over your lower abdomen and hips. If your garter belt has hook-and-eye closures, slip the hooks from the eyes, wrap the belt around your abdomen, and hook the closures back together.

Turn the belt until the front side is flush with your abdomen and the front straps hang down around the middle front part of your thighs.

Adjust the garter straps by sliding the strap adjusters up toward the belt for a tighter fit, or by sliding the adjusters down toward the garter grips for a looser fit.

Unsnap each garter grip by pushing the button tab on the underside out of the tab holder.

Pick up one of the stockings and gather the top part down to the toe area. Insert your foot into the foot area and slowly stretch the stocking up your ankle, calf and thigh.

Pick up the second stocking and repeat the process to put it on your other leg.

Untwist the garter ribbon and situate the top edge of the thigh-high stocking in between the two parts of an opened garter grip.

Close the grip by pushing the tab and stocking into the grip holder. Repeat for all the garter grips on this leg.

Attach the front and back garter grips to the stocking on the other leg in the same way.

Tug on each grip lightly to ensure that the stocking is securely locked.

Tighten the garter straps if the stocking feels too loose. Slowly pull the stocking upward, starting at the feet. Work your way up the stocking by gently pulling the stocking up with small tugs. This will create extra slack at the top of the stocking. Slide the front and back strap adjusters up until you get the desired fit. Smooth out the entire stocking.

Loosen the garter straps if the stocking feels too tight. Slide the front and back strap adjusters downward in small movements. Smooth out the entire stocking for a proper fit. Repeat sliding and smoothing until the stocking fits properly.

Examine the fit of the garter belt and stocking on the other leg. Repeat the process of tightening or loosening as necessary.


File down your fingernails before putting on your stockings so as to not cause accidental snags. Always move slowly, with deliberate and small motions, when fitting each stocking. Novice garter belt wearers should initially position the strap adjusters so the garter grips fall somewhere around mid-thigh. That way, the garter grips will be centrally located for easy adjustment.


Make only minor adjustments to the connected garter grip and stocking. Too much of an adjustment might tear or stretch out the stocking.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Korin Dayton started writing professionally in 2011. She has written on health, nutrition, fitness, fashion, traveling and emergency first-aid procedures for various websites. Dayton possesses a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of Southern California and a Master of Arts in international relations with an emphasis on counseling skills from Oklahoma University.