How to Wear Fishnet Stockings
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.Published November 13, 2007. Last updated September 7, 2017.