In real life, a pair of short socks as the following seems to be more common.

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However, anime girls tend to wear long socks, at least knee-high.

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Why do anime girls tend to wear long socks? Is it because this is actually a trend in Japan or just for the sake of the fans' preference?

  • 2
    Just doing an image search on Google for "japanese school uniform socks" shows that the socks also tend to be long in real life.
    – Turamarth
    Aug 25, 2022 at 7:14
  • 1
    @Turamarth Yes that is true. In junior high school and above, socks are often specified as knee-high socks. Colors are also specified as white, black, or navy blue.
    – Skye-AT
    Aug 25, 2022 at 8:00

2 Answers 2


Long socks are a part of Japanese "Moe" culture and a common theme in the anime and manga world.

A bit of history!

Knee-high socks developed from "high socks" socks that covered up the calves. These were around since the 1980s and female idols wore them as part of their costume for their performance in television programs, and often coordinated with a mini skirt or short pants. Since 2006, knee-socks were introduced to the public as a fashion item that makes legs look thinner. Every fashion style in Japan incorporated knee-high socks to spice up the cuteness. Soon, the item itself was abbreviated as "Nii-hai" or "Nii-so" which made young females in Japan to be more familiar with it. From there, people have made different varieties according to their preferences and currently, there has been a set definition as for length for each type of knee-socks. "Knee-high socks" are considered to be about 40 to 50 centimeters long. “Over Knee-high socks” are 50 to 60 centimeters long. “Thigh-high socks” are over 60 centimeters long.

Why do people stick with "Knee High socks"?

There has been data collected from the male population who would consider that legs and thighs to be an important part of sexual attraction and since knee-high socks do emphasize those parts of the female body, it explains why that male population recognizes the attraction.

Then there's Zettai ryōiki

Ref: Why Can’t We All Stop Falling In Love With "Knee-High Socks"?


It's part of the school uniform and students are not allowed to change their school uniform for school.

  • 3
    This might be true in real life, but I don't think it holds true in anime. There are numerous examples of anime characters wearing non-standard school uniforms, with absolutely no consequence. It seems apparent to me that they could get away with wearing ankle socks if they wanted to.
    – F1Krazy
    Aug 25, 2022 at 11:26
  • @F1Krazy it depends on the school, obviously. The reason the girls wear it is because the school demands it, not because they like it. That was the question and not why the creators chose schools with this type of uniform.
    – Ocean
    Aug 26, 2022 at 14:16
  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review Dec 15, 2022 at 11:33
  • @AnkitSharma how does it not answer the question? Students have to wear the school uniform of their school and the socks are part of that uniform. It's just one of the real life things that anime doesn't often change.
    – Ocean
    Dec 18, 2022 at 18:10

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