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Stockings also known as hose , especially in a historical context are close-fitting, variously elastic garments covering the leg from the foot up to the knee or possibly part or all of the thigh. Stockings vary in color, design, and transparency. Today, stockings are primarily worn for fashion and aesthetics , usually in association with mid-length or short skirts. Historically, even though the word sock is at least as ancient in origin, what men normally wore were often referred to as stockings, probably especially when referring to longer hose. See Hose.