There's something about the combination of a short skirt and long socks that can be sexier than a bare leg. It mixes innocence with seduction, sensuality with ingenuity. It makes the eyes of the viewer linger in that small portion of skin, the Zettai Ryouiki or "Absolute Territory", between a girl's skirt and her stockings.

Skirts can be replaced with shorts, specially in action girls. While more common in girls, it can also be worn by men, specially if they're wearing a kilt.

Anime and MangaEdit

Sumika Murasame, from Sasameki Koto. Most impressive, considering that since she's taller than many teachers, her stockings are literally twice as big as everyone else's.

Comic BooksEdit

  • Ramona Flowers from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World often wore it, much to this fan's pleasure.
  • Strongbow from Elfquest. The lower right on this cover is one of his typical outfits.


Live Action TVEdit

Video GamesEdit

Web OriginalEdit

Western AnimationEdit

Troper TalesEdit

  • This Troper has a Zettai Ryouiki outfit: a babydoll style dress with grey and white stripes, a pair of thigh high socks with grey and white stripes (with a hint of pink), and fingerless gloves with pink and sparkly gray stripes. It's either Grade A or Grade B.
  • This Troper actually knows someone who wears this. Met her at a cultural exchange party. With my fluent knowledge of Japanese, I told her that her GRADE A socks were super moe. She knew what I meant! And from then on, we became great friends.
  • This troper actually started wearing ZR because of TV Tropes. She also usually sports the short-shorts variety, with really crazy socks. She actually refuses to wear anything under grade B.
    • Bless you for that.
  • This troper recently discovered a bar in his city where the waitresses all wear Grade C Zettai Ryouiki (in the American South no less) and are all college age girls. He was reluctant to go to the bar since he doesn't really like beer or bars, but needless to say, after he got there he was very happy he went.
    • ...* starts looking for suitcase*
  • When the weather permits and she's not at work, this troper sports the look. The socks are generally sparkly or beribboned. This troper is not good at being unobtrusive.
    • Niiice.
      • Update: wearing a lower-grade version (socks just as high, but longer skirt/dress) is apparently okay for work. Miniskirts are reserved for weekends. Doing this with black lacy socks and a black-and-ivory dress attracts a lot of attention at the mall - or maybe that was the Nice Hat. No Twin Tails, though, and not a Tsundere at all, despite the red hair.
      • I... I think I'm in love.
      • I think I'll be in my bunk.
  • This troper, too, especially since coming to TV Tropes. Including the Twin Tails.
    • You woudn't happen to be a Tsundere, would you?
      • Type A.
  • My homeroom recently got a New Transfer Student. From Japan. Second day: Grade A. Suspended for two days. Quite a shame.
    • ...wait, your school suspended someone for wearing stocking? Couldn't they have just...oh I don't know, tell her to take them off?
      • Yup, it's suspension. But apparently they don't realize that the softball uniforms are, essentially, grade B Zettai Ryouiki. I have no idea what the Rationale behind the dress codes are, but I hate them for it. Because now everybody wears real pants, or grade F. * sigh.*
      • I support the WTF here... I mean, isn't the whole point of Zettai Ryouiki that it's LESS revealing than just a miniskirt..?
      • Maybe the schoolboard is familiar with the Theiss Titillation Theorem?
      • Everyone stares higher that way.
    • Status Update (Albeit slightly late): She has convinced the school that her outfit cannot enslave 48 Percent of the human race. So she's back. And after three minutes of conversation with her, I find she is also a Tsundere. My worst fear is that she is a troper.
  • This troper whenever she wears a skirt. Usually it's Grade C+ (above the knee socks) unless its cold, then she wears Grade B. Not much of a tsuntsun and always forgets to wear her hair in pigtails, though.
  • While on a train ride home one evening, this Troper was treated to the spectacle of a cute EGL-dressed girl on the other side of the carriage with an A-grade Zettai Ryouiki. Singapore is starting to have more girls wear it in public these days, which is a good thing :D
  • This troper recently got some knee high and thigh high socks which would qualify as grades C and B. She hasn't been wearing them much because of the hot weather, but she hopes to get some grade As for the autumn.
    • Update! She ordered two pairs of grade As, stripey black and purple, and plain black. She just needs some pigtails for grade S.
  • This troper's little sister wears grade B Zettai Ryouiki every now and then.
    • This troper is now wondering if she wrote this and forgot about it, because she does indeed have a younger sister who occasionally wears a short skirt with her colorful overknee socks. (This troper herself prefers Grade C, because she's not fond of how overknee socks look on her.)
      • No, it wasn't you.
    • The little sister in question has now finally achieved grade S.
  • This troper wears grade A or B quite often, as does her little sister, which is slightly disturbing. Her little sister has actually been frequently told off for dressing inappropriately, especially when combining Grade As with short shorts. The shorts were fine, it was the socks that weren't.
  • When This Troper was around 14 years old, she once went out to a school party with her classmates and one of the girls was wearing grade B ZR.
  • This Troper has learned that Zettai Ryouiki is not as infallible as it is believed to be. After nearly being reduced to tears by a number of utter failures (including one who had the miniskirt and the thigh-high boots...and tights), he recently found a couple that technically could only be classified as proper Zettai Ryouiki as they came above the knee, but this was less a result of the socks and more of a result of short, squat legs. Like bikinis, it seems Zettai Ryouiki is not for everyone—and that the people most likely to try it are the ones who really shouldn't be.
    • He did finally see a legitimate case of B-grade today, though. Still a few inches short of being able to make it really sensual with only a B grade, but at least the length and width were proportioned properly.
  • This troper, whenever she wears a skirt, wears either B-grade or C-grade. And seems to have gotten a few other girls to try it as well. Victory.
  • More people (especially this troper) would wear Zettai Ryouiki if stores actually SOLD socks that go above the knees.
    • update, the above troper found some and is happy!
      • Can anyone from New Zealand tell me where to find some?
    • Try buying socks online.
  • This troper frequently wore C-grade and the occasional B-grade during 7th and 8th grade. And one friend of mine managed to to wear a A-grade for about an hour before being told to unroll her skirt by a nun. Alas, she wasn't much a tsundere and hated pigtails...
  • This (female) troper wishes that her school allowed socks to be longer than mid calf. ZR paired with the freshmen's formal uniform would be absolutely drool worthy.
    • By any chance could you post a picture of your uniform? For research, of course.
      • Seconded.
  • For Christmas, this troper got a pair of grade C ZR. Only time she's ever been happy to get socks. Though she wishes they were just a bit longer...
  • Can this trope apply to arms as well as legs? Because when This Troperâ„¢ sees a woman wearing very long gloves, it has the same effect on him as this trope.
  • This Troper occasionally wears a Grade A with twintails. But her Tsun Dere attitude is very mild and primarily Dere, so she doesn't qualify for Grade S.
  • My computer science professor just walked in with a Grade B. Fortunately she's actually kind of attractive in a Nerds Are Sexy way.
  • The sister of this Troper's friend was recently introduced to Grade S. She now wears it regularly. This Troper fears for the day she wanders into an anime convention...
  • This Troper was a Tsundere before finding TV Tropes, so all it took was the addition of twintails and Grade A Zettai Ryouiki to qualify her for Grade S, which she can now be seen showing off most any day. Too bad she hasn't gotten a date in a year. What's WRONG with my town?!
    • Maybe the fact that most of the people in society aren't otaku? Or that trying too hard to look like an anime girl could be a turn off?
    • For the record, being an otaku has nothing to do with it. Everyone should find that sexy.
  • This troper once wore a sort of combination of Grades A and B — the socks were at Grade B level, but there was only a Grade A amount of flesh exposed. With rainbow socks!
  • Kneesocks are actually an ENOURMOUS turn-on for this/ (female) Troper and pop up in her work all the time. She recently purchased a pair of thigh-highs and is trying them out to see if they really are do have hypnotic power. My favorite outfit is the socks paired with a woolen minidress that covers the socks the tinest bit, but also have a slit in them that the socks are visible throug.
  • This troper goes full out Grade S ZR at cons, and adds kitty ears and bells and a tail for extra moe! Typically it's just grade C or B+ twin tails at home or school though.
  • This troper normally uses Grade C, and sometimes B, but this year she'll be trying to go for Grade S. She has already been called a tsundere by her otaku friends, after all.
  • This troper wears grades A, B, or C ZR (that is...she would if she wore skirts and shorts more often...
  • This troper usually wears B or A grade socks when it's not to warm. In the winter she wears see through stockings under them, does that still counts? (It's practical since the socks don't slide down as easily.) Sometimes she have twin tails, but she's as far from tsudare that you can be, so no S-grade there.
  • This troper will never again look at this combo without wondering if the artist/wearer did for the Male Gaze.
  • This troper, frustrated with not finding anything better than a C grade, made her own from a pair of black stockings. Instant Grade A!
  • My older brother and his friend pulled off a Grade-A male version in celebration of homecoming. Ow, my eyes.
  • This troper, with a history of not realising how sexy what she's doing is (though she's gained a clue since growing up a bit) used to think that doing this was more modest than just wearing short socks because it covered more skin. As such, she went to her first anime convention cosplaying Chii, complete with grade A. She did not understand why she was being stared at by so many men. She was thirteen at the time. Now she does it on purpose occasionally— And yes, she is something of a Tsundere when not online. No twintails, though; 40s hair all the way~!
  • This Troper pulled off Grade S with a white socks. She is a Tsundere (type A,) as often stated by her friends, and put her hair into pigtails for this, as well as wearing a distinctly maidlike dress and a pair of chunky four inch black heels. Considering her hair is shock pink and purple, she wound up looking straight from an anime.
  • I have recently become addicted to Zettai Ryouiki ever since realizing the advantage of being only 5'2" with naturally short legs- socks that'd normally be only slightly above the knee on most women are grade B on me. I don't know why, but I love wearing sweater dresses with boots, having the socks several inches above the boots. I also made sure that my halloween costume this year would have grade A. My boyfriend has no complaints. :)
  • If any female tropers still can't find appropriate-length socks, there's an entire site that sells them.
    • Ohh, thank you!!
  • After discovering this trope, I always wanted to try thigh high socks on me. One day, I finally gathered enough corage and put Grade B socks with shorts. I felt really self-aware that day, and my brother told me I looked weird, but lot of people said it was sexy. A boy actually asked me, "Why are you covering them?!"
  • This Troper delights in wearing grade C and B whenever she can, but unfortunately has no socks long enough to give her grade A. Nor can she wear a very short skirt, because of her bubble butt. >_<
  • This troper was pulling off grade A of this at age 11. Why yes I am that awesome.
  • This troper ranges from a Grade B to a E. Though she rares this rarely. One example where a boy actually stares at her at amazement is at a winter concert. She also has a variant with only boots.
  • This troper is heavily frustrated by it's aversion, as in no girl wears it. However, there was that one day where to raise school spirit, everyone decided to go "Wacky Tacky". Suddenly, half the girls in the school are sporting Grade C, and I remember an utterly gorgeous Grade A in my class. It was glorious.\
  • This troper will remember his final day of high school extremely fondly, the tradition was to wear some variation of the normal school uniform, and almost every girl showed up sporting C-A grade ZR with their office skirts.
  • When I was young(er), I used to wear shorts and kneehigh socks, but to my dismay, they never seemed to stay up. It's a shame, because now they're a really big turn-on for me, and if they didn't fall down, I might still be wearing them. :/
    • I also wish it was possible to have ZR with really, really long boots outside of fiction.
  • Last Halloween, this troper went along with a (very attractive) friend of his (whom he may be interested in). (First person switch!) I arrived at her house, knocked on the door... and had to work extremely hard to keep my jaw from hitting the floor. She had on Grade A ZR with red bows on the tops of the socks and a matching black and red corset/skirt costume thing. It was absolutely glorious. And I was really distracted the entire night. Incidentally, I was wearing a black suit and red tie; we ran with the idea that she was my whore and I was the pimp, and the colors were our motif.
  • This troper is guilty of this. Usually she wears A - C, but she can pull off grade S. The only flaw is that she's a shrinking violet not a tsundere. She remembers walking around in the mall and whole bunch of Korean guys were staring but that was disturbing because this troper is only 15 and the people were around their late teens and early 20's.

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