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How to Wear Fishnet Stockings

By Amalah

Dear Great and Powerful Amalah,

I have a pair of black fishnets that I absolutely adore. They’re the kind with the seam up the back, that I am super uptight about making sure it is straight — because a crooked line looks tacky. Anyways, I can not figure out how to wear them to work, or out in public for that matter, without looking like I charge by the hour. I would also prefer to avoid looking like Brit-Brit…of course mine do not have any large gaping holes (They have only seen the light of day once for you guessed it Halloween). I know not to wear them with a mini-skirt, but beyond that, I have no clue. Please tell me there is a classy way to wear them out in public! I don’t want them to sit in my drawer until next year. HELP!!!


Ah, the fishnet dilemma. We all love to look sexy and daring…but not TOO sexy or daring.
Fishnets CAN be worn out in public or even to (gasp!) the office, but there are rules. Oh, but there are rules. Let’s see if I can remember them all, and don’t ask me where I learn these things and why they manage to stay in my brain for years and yet I CANNOT REMEMBER MY OWN PHONE NUMBER.

Size (and color) matters. Fishnets with really large holes are not acceptable for day wear. They’re too punky and clubby. You want the tighter mesh with the smaller holes — the kind that from far away are hard to distinguish from regular stockings.

As for all the colored fishnets? Black, brown and nude are the appropriate colors for during the day, with MAYBE some of the darker colors POSSIBLY working, on a case-by-case basis and I refuse to officially sanction burgundy or dark green fishnets unless I see the rest of your outfit, young lady. I have seen some very cute, funky-type girls wear fishnets over colorful opaque tights, but I can tell you right now: I am not cool enough to pull that off, no way. I would look like a clown.
So…yeah. Know your own personal limit of daring.

Play peekaboo. The less leg you show, the better — particularly at the office. Fishnets look awesome under black pants and paired with heels. Hello, sexy ankles! I used to wear black fishnet knee highs under my suits all the time — SUCH a nice break from the stupid nude hose. Or wear them with tall boots and a knee-length skirt (pencil skirts look particularly nice). Hello, sexy knees!

Skirt length is probably the most important thing. Anything shorter than knee-length looks trashy with fishnets, and the same goes for longer skirts with up-to-there slits. Knee-length or longer, though, works. If your office is not super formal and conservative, you MIGHT be able to get away with a skirt and closed-toe heels, but….eh. It’s a fuzzy line. Tall boots are your best best.

For dressy, non-work occasions, you can obviously show more leg, but I still think the skirt length rule applies. A little black dress, fishnets and heels looks great — but make sure the dress isn’t more than one or two inches above your knee. Visible thigh flesh + fishnets = Yick.

Dial the sexy back. If you wear fishnets to work, for the love of God don’t tart yourself all up everywhere else. No tight, low-cut tops or red lipstick. Wear a nice tailored shirt or dressy sweater and go natural on your makeup and hair. Think Naughty Librarian, maybe.

Keep it simple at night too. Pick classic accessories, like a strand of pearls or diamond studs. Fishnets are fine and popular and all, but they still do make a pretty bold statement on their own. You want to balance out that boldness. Your legs might be screaming I AM A SEXY, SEXY LADY, so the rest of your look should scream BUT I ALSO HAVE CLASS OUT THE WAZOO, Y’ALL.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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sometimes I wear black fishnets under sheer hose (I like pale ballet pink). It gives some texture to the leg without looking overtly sexy.
Also – you can wear sheer hose under your fishnets to keep your toes from poking through. A dancer told me that tip.


Ha, this is funny to me, because when I was a young girl in (OMG, the [late] Swingin’ Sixties, I am old, but I was ten then), I had a whole wardrobe of fishnets! Pink, yellow, green, blue, even purple! It’s what all the cool sixth graders wore back then with our mini swing dresses, on what our Catholic school called ‘Color Days,’ when we didn’t have to wear our uniforms. And, as this was before pantyhose was invented, WITH GARTER BELTS.
Bratz dolls have nothing on us older chicks, apparently. Little whores before our time.


Kalisah’s tip about the hose under fishnets is genius. The pain of a strand of fishnet cutting into your big toe is not to be understated.


I was all excited to run out and buy myself a new pair of fishnets because this is a trend I have yet to try – and I SOOO dig the sexy librarian look.
And then I read the comments about wearing TWO pairs of hose. At one time. Dear GOD, the crotch sweat!!
I fear my best shot at Sexy Librarian is tortoise shell glasses with a plunging neckline. *sigh*


Instead of two pairs of hose, you can just wear those little footie things like they have for trying on shoes under the fishnets instead. Still protects the toes from getting caught, but without the potential for the crotch sweat.


I’ve worn fishnet stockings under a knee-length skirt with boots and a tailored shirt to work just to see if anyone would say anything. The kind with the grippy for maximum stay-upness. And it was fine. No one even really commented on them, except my coworker Jeff who sits right next to me and really, really, reeeeally liked them.


I just wanted to say that I think the rules apply significantly less when the fishnets are nude. Also, that nude fishnets look bangin’ over black opaque tights, and I don’t think that the fishnets make you any more sweaty than the tights would alone. Fishnets aren’t really that good at keeping you warm, even if they are fairly tightly knit. I also wear brightly colored fishnets under knee-length skirts with tall boots. Love. (But this is on my free time, not to…school, which sort of equals office?) Brightly colored fishnets are less tarty and more fun/fashiony, so the overall… Read more »


This was a very helpful article and you are a great writer. I was looking for this information for a co-worker who insists on wearing fishnets. She decided to ask me what I think and I wanted to be helpful instead of just simply saying the way she was wearing it was tacky. Thanks for the help.


I wear fishnets to work a lot in the fall and winter usually black or beige with either a knee-length skirt and heels or a below-the-knee skirt and boots showing an inch or so of my fishnets. I work with a lot of men and they do get noticed a lot LOL. Work can be boring at times and it’s nice to feel and look a little sexy.