printable version

Fishnet Stockings:
Are they appropriate for Christian ladies?

When fishnet/patterned stockings were mentioned, it was assumed that I would be in trouble. Some would say I am a nutcase, a prude, out-of-touch, or they use some less nice adjective. So be it. I am not the only one who feels like fishnet hosiery should stay in Hollywood, in the nightclubs, or on the streetwalker, if anywhere. Let the Can-Can kickers, the Lindsay Lohans and the Madonnas of the world sport them. They are not made for godly Christian ladies.
            Some will say that they do not wear them to look sexy or to draw attention to their legs, but that is their sole purpose. If you think I am the only one in the world who feels this way, just Google “the history of fishnet hosiery.” Read through some of the articles and you will see what fashion designers, consultants and ordinary women think of patterned and textured hosiery. Let me give you a brief sampling tour.
****
Fishnet Stockings: A Fashion History
“No one is exactly sure where and how fishnet stockings originated. There is even talk that fishnets were found in Aesop's fable, The Clever Peasant’s Daughter. In the fable, the girl is told to come "not clothed, not naked..." and so wraps herself in fishnet. What is known in the history of fishnet, however, is that fishnets came to America in 1908, from Paris, France [Can-can dancers in the Moulin Rouge].

Up until the 1960's, fishnets were only seen on prostitutes, "loose women," and pin-up girls like Bettie Page. For a brief stint in the 60's, fishnet stockings were "in", giving legs that "more leg" look as one ad from 1967 put it. These were still stockings, which were held up with garter belts.

Punks claimed fishnets as their own in the 1970's. Women in the subculture commonly wore them under miniskirts or micro-minis, often as a mockery of modern culture's view of female sexuality. As Lauraine Leblanc put it, she was "taking what they and their society thinks is sexy and ... making it ugly, because that's what it is."

It was not until the late 1980's, early 1990's that fishnets became much more popular in the United States. Models wore them down runways, and alternative teenagers stocked up on matte black fishnets to further the goth look. Most commonly, fishnets were sold as fishnet pantyhose or tights, though a few still chose to wear fishnet stockings with a garter belt. It also became more popular to wear fishnets underneath torn jeans.

In 2000, fishnet lost a bit of it's alternativeness, and became, according to Deborah Boria, an "acceptable, sophisticated choice for leg wear." Boria is executive director of merchandising and design at Sara Lee Hosiery, which holds licenses for DKNY and Donna Karan hosiery lines. More women began wearing fishnet hose to work, wearing them under knee length skirts.

Source:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2922952/fishnet_stockings_a_fashion_history.html

Lauraine Leblanc, “Pretty In Punk: Girl's Gender Resistance In A Boy’s Subculture”
Pittsburgh Press, May 11 1967

Once Risque, fishnet stockings are back and hotter than ever - Boston Herald

Comments and questions on websites from readers:

“I was just wondering if any of you knew the origin of fishnet stockings. I wonder about this because they seem so trashy.”

One online article: “How to wear fishnet stockings without looking whorish.”

Another website article: The Seductive Sixties: Black Fishnet Hose
Another: “They are sexy” – One brand is called XXTra, the double X suggesting “X-rated.”


Here is an interesting extract from an article by John Manning:

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.

One respondent on a forum said to someone who bought them:
“Unless you're trying to learn about the punk/emo style, no women that I know wear those. If you really want to, you could wear [them] under a short dress, or a black skirt. I think that maybe you'll be leaning towards the prostitute side, so I'd return them if I were you. :]” http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AphyRKEZ.BIxMVEzMyXXtvMMxgt.;_ylv=3?qid=20071028213015AA5HtUE

Another article headlined: “Ohhh. Sexy lingerie.” (http://www.kissmegoodnight.com/lingerie/fishnet-stockings.shtml) Here is the copy:
Wearing Lingerie: Sizzling Secrets 
What's The Appeal of Fishnet Stockings?
      You saw them in the 1980s as Madonna flaunted herself around the stages of the world. You heard about fishnet stockings when punk and gothic styles came into fashion. What is the appeal and fascination with these sexy tights? Maybe this is some type of phenomena that is never meant to be truly understood. One thing is for certain though - the fishnet stocking is hugely sexy. There is something naughty and taboo about a leg covered in black or red fishnet. It is almost defiant. It is like the leg is covered but not really. Fishnet stockings scream, “See mom, I am wearing my hose,” even though the whole leg is still uncovered for the world to see. When the 1990s hit and the gothic scene grew to new lengths, we saw the return of the fishnet stocking. Where they were prior in history is a major controversy. Many think the fishnet stocking was the trademark of the call girl. Others argue that it was a way to show some leg in the Flapper Era without actually going bare under those sweet little dresses. Then you hear of the 50s housewife wearing fishnet stockings as she vacuumed the living room while the kids were in school. Who really knows where these sexy gems came from?
            It was the 1980s that brought back the fishnet stockings to some extent. The fashion design of the time was short shirts and jackets in bright colors with mini skirts and fishnet stockings. Once the trend was started, manufacturers went nuts with every possible color and design built into a fishnet stocking. Once the gothic look came back in style in the mid-1990s, black fishnet took over the continent. Not only could you find fishnet stocking and tights, but there were also fishnet shirts and skirts. Even in mainstream fashion fishnets were a big hit. They made any outfit sexy and daring. There was, and still is, not a department store that does not have fishnet stockings or tights in their hosiery department. Not to mention the idea that a good girl could wear something so “naughty” and still be good had a tremendous sex appeal to men and still does. For men to know that their so-called “normal” girlfriend could look so pretty in the bedroom has always been a big thing.
You can now find them in lavender, baby blue, or any other pastel color you so desire. If you are going with fishnet stockings for intimate play, go black. Black is the naughty color and a woman who normally wears lighter colors has more sex appeal for some reason. It is almost like even the best girl has a naughty part to her. The stigma of the trashy look on a woman drives men crazy. Men love to know their women are good girls but can look naughty for them only.
Therefore, no matter what your taste is there is a perfect fishnet stocking out there for you. It doesn't matter if it is a thigh high with a garter belt or teddy. It could be a pair of tights under a cute little dress or slip. The sex appeal no matter where it originated is there and not going any place very soon. What really matters is that you have at least one pair of these in some form in your sexy naughty girl drawer for that special occasion. You will want to be able to draw on this sexy look in one of those moments when nothing else is working. Don't wind up the only one without fishnet stockings in her lingerie drawer. There is nothing worse then getting caught with your fishnet stockings down.

Then this in the Houston Chronicle by Nick de la Torre:

Houston Chronicle “Stop. Why be a pirate for Halloween, when you can be a sexy pirate? Apparently, you can just add ripped fishnets, skirt slits and exposed bra straps to any costume and - voilÀ! - bring sexy back. Indeed, scattered among the demure princess tiaras and vampire fangs at a local store are costumes so sleazy they'd make Hugh Hefner blush: A "Cowardly Lion" outfit comes with a micromini skirt and fur... So what if you're a sexy nurse?”

http://www.chron.com/photos/2006/10/25/13737061/260xStory.jpg

From a fashion consultant:
“Where you are planning to wear fishnets is a great way to determine whether or not they are appropriate. Often times, when youre attending a formal function or if you work in a very conservative office, fishnets can be seen as inappropriate attire. If you’re not sure whether or not fishnets are appropriate in your workplace, check the list of policies or ask someone human resources. If you’re going out to the club or want to look sexy for a night out on the town, go ahead and put on a pair of fishnets and dance the night away.” (http://www.interactiveunderwear.com/category/fishnet-tights/)

Yet another consultant:
There are a lot of different opinions about fishnet tights.  Throughout their history, fishnet tights have had many conflictive views.  First seen in the United States in the early part of the 20th century, these tights were not something a respectable woman would wear. Today the same condemnation is still sometimes made. Many see fishnet tights as hot and sexy while others look at a girl wearing them and think she looks like a skank [promiscuous girl]. It is no wonder that now, when considering slipping a pair on, women usually think twice about wearing them or not. The solution is not simply to bury them in your closet and they are also not something that can only be used in the bedroom, which is believed by some.” (http://www.examiner.com/style-in-chicago/how-to-wear-fishnet-tights#ixzz1EKuGFwet)

Another comment from a fashion designer:
“Fishnet stockings are hot and they evoke different memories and reactions from different people. For myself, I can vividly remember the music videos of Madonna dancing and crawling around in next to nothing and wearing the sexy fishnet stockings. One video I remember in particular was where she was pretending to be an exotic dancer in a peep show!
These days we see the younger generation that is into the gothic and punk movements wearing the black fishnet stockings along with the rest of their black wardrobe and black makeup. Personally, I think that is the only time I have seen fishnet stockings that didn't look sexy. The stark white faces with makeup that makes someone look dead or like a vampire just doesn't do it for me.
Overall, with the exception I made above, fishnet stockings just seem to give even the most innocent looking woman a naughty look. My wife is quiet and reserved most of the time, well in public anyway! She becomes a different person behind closed doors and one of her favorite holidays is Halloween when she dresses up as someone very sexy like she did last year when she wore her naughty nurse outfit. I won't even go into the details, suffice it to say she didn't look shy or innocent!
The exact origin of fishnet stockings is still being debated as some say that they were introduced and worn by prostitutes and exotic dancers first. I can remember seeing them on some of the old actresses from the late 40s and early 50s. Wherever and whenever doesn't matter much to me, all I know is that for the majority of women they are very sexy and I know of few men who can resist them.”
Links on the website:

 

Another link states: “If you remember, the fishnet stockings were made famous by Moulin Rouge of Paris in the 1800s and then later the can-can girls went west to help ease the loneliness of the gold miners in the early days of the US. We saw lots of them in the westerns staring John Wayne and others. And the performance of Nicole Kidman and Ian McGreggor is memorable in Moulin Rouge.”

[End of “tour.”]

♦♦♦♦♦♦

 

There are many more sites I am sure that provide the history and the meaning of fishnet/patterned hosiery. If you can stomach the sites, I invite our ladies to peruse them and they will see that fishnet stockings belong to the world and are not appropriate for Christian women.

The Bible does not mention “patterned/textured hosiery” anywhere that I have found. But there are plenty of principles in the Scriptures that would warn godly women away from them. Please be considerate of your husband, children, and others in the church by avoiding wearing those things that identify one with some trashy element of the world. We won’t win the world by looking like them.

 

 
 
back to top