Fishnet stockings. Few words can produce such vivid visions of naughtiness. However, fishnets have become far more acceptable than in they once were, having made their way out of the shadowy darkness of clubs and burlesque shows, and into the bright light of modern urban women’s wear. Here are some tips on getting away with wearing this saucy mesh stocking by the light of day.
There are a variety of factors that influence the appropriateness of fishnet stockings, including the size of the mesh, the color of the stocking, the footwear and clothing it is worn with, and the condition of the stocking.
Fishnet Hosiery Mesh Size
As a general rule, fishnet hosiery with a mesh any greater than the standard tiny holes (approximately 1/16th inch wide when worn) are inappropriate for everyday, formal, and (especially) professional attire. If you’re going to indulge in large-mesh fishnet stockings — which tend to look a bit costumey— reserve them for funky or punk club-wear.
Fishnet Stocking Color & Style
Black, chocolate or beige fishnet stockings are excellent for everyday wear, and add a bit of pizzazz to an otherwise ordinary outfit. Flesh toned fishnets hosiery may even be appropriate in some conservative workplaces, and are a fabulous modern alternative to dated and dowdy nude pantyhose.
Colored Fishnet Tights
Fishnets are now available in virtually every shade you can conceive of, however in most cases, wearing eye-popping, brightly colored fishnet stockings in a professional office setting is not recommended. However, if your work environment is more casual or creative and bright tights suit your office and your personality, by all means, go for it.
Layering Fishnet Tights
When there’s a chill in the air, those with a desire to take a bold fashion step forward can even try layering brightly hued fishnet stockings on top of tights in solid colors like neutral black, grey, brown or white.
If you’re looking for a fishnet stocking that stands out from the rest of the pack of standard fishnet hosiery (without looking like an x-rated costume) definitely check out Nicole Miller’s Wide Chevron Fishnet Tights ($18), available in black or chocolate. These chevron-patterned fishnets add an extra level of visual interest to any outfit, and fit in perfectly with the tweed, chevron, and menswear-inspired textile and pattern trends for fall while being wholly feminine… love!
Wolford has a beautiful new collection of luxury stockings and patterned tights, including their Estelle Black Tights($50), which have a fine fishnet mesh with the sexy and elegant detail of a stocking stitch (wider than a typical backseam) that extends from the waistband to the toes — super sultry for evening looks or sexy-smart if worn under a more straight-laced pencil skirt and tall boots, with just a hit of the woven backseam exposed.
And for those occasions on which you want to create a little heat, there’s nothing like fishnet stay-ups and lingerie to get things steamy. Wolford’s lace-topped Black Jade Stay-Ups ($67) are super sexy and have an invisible elastic band to keep them put.
Know When to Throw Away Fishnet Tights
Even though fishnet hosiery is made of thousands of tiny holes, snags and tears are completely unacceptable. Throw damaged stockings out.
Figure-Flattering Fishnet Stockings
Thanks to the availability of slimming hosiery and undergarments on the market, you can now get control-top fishnets: Spanx Tight End Fishnet Tights($28) eliminate grid bum once and for all, making your tummy, toosh and yams look as sexy as you feel!
And if tummy control is not a concern, check out Capezio’s Fishnet Seamless Tights($26); these tights were designed for dancers and will not show side or front seams, and can be worn without any risk of showing even the slightest peek of lining or control fabric.
How to Wear Fishnets at Work
You really need to be careful when incorporating the fishnet stocking into your work attire. Yes, they’re hip and sexy, and that may be exactly what makes them inappropriate in some work environments, even if they are worn with an otherwise conservative outfit.
Unless you work in an open, progressive or creative work environment, fishnets may work against you, making you look too racy and unprofessional when meeting with clients and colleagues who expect a more conventional look.
Wear Fishnet Hosiery with Pants!
A fun option that may work on the job is wearing fishnets under pants, showing just a peek of mesh between the top of your shoe and pant hem; go with either full on fishnet tights or choose fishnet socks or knee-highs.
How to Wear Fishnets with Skirts and Dresses
Although fishnet stockings look very stylish with boots, pumps, kitten heels or flat shoes when worn with a skirt, make sure that your dress or skirt’s hemline falls no higher than knee length. Mini skirts with fishnet stockings come across as trashy looking; a more chic option is a flattering pencil skirt or flared skirt.