What are Fishnet Stockings?

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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 December 2019
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Fishnet stockings are a form of hosiery and are aptly named for their pattern. The pattern is woven with small diamond shapes. The stockings are close fitting garments intended to flatter the curves of the legs and create a sleek, muscular appearance by use of the pattern. The similar fencenet pattern resembles fishnet, but with larger diamond shapes. Their origin is ambiguous, though it is believed by many to have been Paris, France.

Like most forms of hosiery, fishnets were once worn in conjunction with garter belts. However, since the invention of pantyhose in the 1950s, they are no longer just stockings, but more often pantyhose or tights. Still, they are most commonly referred to as fishnet stockings whether they are held up with garters or all one piece.

Available in a variety of colors, fishnet stockings were once commonly associated with prostitutes, call girls, and strippers. In modern times, they are considered by many to be a fashion statement that enhances the glamorous look of cocktail dresses, particularly the little black dress. Fishnets are often considered sexy, especially by men, but their favor amongst women varies greatly.


Black is the most common color of fishnet stockings, though most every color can be found. White is also a popular color, as many brides elect to wear them under their wedding dress. Fashion experts recommend using good fashion sense when pairing fishnets with a dress. Though it once popular to pair them with miniskirts, this fashion faux-pas went out with the 1980s.

Most women can wear fishnet stockings without portraying the associated “trashy” look if they pair the right fishnet pattern and dress. Avoid pairing them with a patterned fabric and stick with black on black if you are unsure of color choices. Red is usually not a good choice for public affairs and most other colors are difficult to pull off as well. Look for small patterned stockings and be sure to wear a closed-toe shoe.


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