Love them or hate them, fishnets are definitely making a comeback. Bold tights, as sent down the runway by the likes of Gucci, Chanel and Saint Laurent, will soon be spotted all over the streets of NYC. Fishnets, which have cropped up in shows throughout the Fall/Winter 2015 to Fall/Winter 2016 seasons, are just one classic and unexpected example of a wardrobe essential that is finally getting its chance at a much-deserved revival.
The history of fishnet stockings is relatively unknown, but photographic evidence shows that one of the first purposes of fishnets was to draw attention to the burlesque dancers of Moulin Rouge in Paris, France, during the late 1800s. Since then, fishnets have come a long way.
Miniskirts were all the rage in the 1960s, providing young women the option to complement the latest trend with a pair of statement fishnets available in a vast array of bright colors (a major fashion risk at the time). It wasn’t until the punk movement started garnering attention that the famous black fishnets we’re all familiar with today began to be seen as a legitimate style choice indicative of the subculture’s emphasis on nonconformity. As the years progressed, fishnets, which became less taboo as the ‘80s crossed over to the ‘90s, were heavily embraced by those in the goth scene and those who frequented the club circuit. Fashion designers and fashion houses, like Vivienne Westwood and Comme des Garçons, sent formal yet avant-garde looks down the runway, introducing the once risqué fishnets to much greater audiences and bringing them into the mainstream.
While they haven’t gone anywhere, the demand for fishnets has somewhat declined. But thanks to street style stars and the recent runways, the alluring stockings have gradually been climbing back into mode for the Fall 2016 season. Because of this, new ways of styling fishnets are being sought after. Since they’re basically fashion’s epitome of unconventionality, why not try to express that in how you style fishnets?
Denim and fishnet tights never fail to make for a perfect pair. While you could go for the traditional denim miniskirt and fishnets combination, you could also try pairing the stockings with ripped jeans or a midi skirt, allowing for limited exposure, which defeats their original purpose in a creative way.
Wearing fishnets with knee-high boots can also take away from their intimidating nature. Paired with high-waisted shorts or a fitted or flowy dress can make for a head-turning look. After all, what’s the point of rocking fishnets if you aren’t going to make a statement? On the other hand, if you prefer a more casual look, an oversized sweatshirt, flannel or t-shirt with the tights would be the way to go.
The styling possibilities for fishnets are limitless, and if executed properly, they can serve as an important staple in creating memorable looks this autumn. No matter how you decide to wear them, just remember by simply having fishnets incorporated into your outfit, you’re already channeling the daring and free spirits of those who dared to flaunt them throughout the course of history.
Sherah Ndjongo is a Staff Writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.