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A photograph of a woman performing on stage; she is wearing a fishnet shirt, fishnet stockings and black denim shorts.
Elize Ryd wearing fishnet attire during a performance in 2018

In the field of textiles, fishnet is hosiery with an open, diamond-shaped knit; it is most often used as a material for stockings, tights, gloves or bodystockings. Fishnet is available in a multitude of colors, although it is most often sported in traditional matte black. Fishnet is commonly worn on the legs and arms by practitioners of goth and punk fashion, but is also commonly worn by the mainstream as a fashion statement. Similar to the lingerie, fishnet is generally considered to be a sexually attractive garment and is typically associated with adult entertainment. Fishnets are used mostly as a type of undergarment, and in as much as it defines curves by applying a grid close to the body it generally accentuates the wearer's muscular definition.

A more practical use of fishnet textiles is in high performance next-to-skin apparel used in cold weather outdoor sports, including hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing, and mountaineering. In this context, fishnet is usually knitted from fibers of polypropylene, merino wool, or nylon, and offers a number of benefits over traditional densely knitted base layer apparel. These benefits are related to the presence of large void spaces in the fishnet fabric structure that trap insulating air for warmth in cool conditions, and allow for the rapid transport of moisture from the skin surface to outer layers to minimize conductive heat loss. [1]


During the 1920s, fishnets emerged as a more alternative trend in the U.S. and were favored by women like showgirls, in large part due to the fact that fishnets were more revealing than typical regular stockings of the day.

Fishnets later emerged as an eminent fashion staple in the post-war pin-up and print-porn world with models like Bettie Page, Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe frequently appearing in fishnets.[2][3]

In the 1970s and 1980s, the punk counterculture's fashion aesthetic included fishnets, often worn extra torn up with huge holes on the stockings or shredded up, as a reference to BDSM subculture.[4][5]

In pop culture[edit]

Roller derby athletes at an equipment check wearing three weaves of fishnet stockings ranging from coarse to fine

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jordan, Ryan; Martin, Mike (n.d.). "Just Say No To Wicking: Non-Traditional Base Layers Based on a Next-to-Skin Fishnet Model". Retrieved 13 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Jane Russell: 'She's got it!'". The Daily Telegraph. March 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Marilyn Monroe in the Black Sitting". Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  4. ^ "Fashions of the punk era". Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  5. ^ Leblanc, Lauraine (1999). Pretty in Punk: Girls' Gender Resistance in a Boys' Subculture. Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0-8135-2651-5.
  6. ^ Tom, Emma (24 April 2010). "Fishnets and mouthguards". The Australian. Surry Hills, New South Wales. Archived from the original on 15 April 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  7. ^ Caldwell, Felicity (4 May 2010). "Fishnets fly for Ipswich roller girls". The Queensland Times. Ipswich, Queensland. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  8. ^ Wallace, Daniel (2010). "1940s". In Dolan, Hannah (ed.). DC Comics Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. The Black Canary's costume added an undeniable jolt of sex appeal, consisting of fishnet stockings, high-heeled boots, a bustier, and an open jacket.
  9. ^ McAvennie, Michael "1960s" in Dolan, p. 112 "[Zatanna is] a beautiful mage in fishnets who cast spells by speaking backward."
  10. ^ "Cucumber Sandwiches and Fishnet Tights". BBC News. 5 December 2006. Archived from the original on 20 October 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2011.
  11. ^ Gimarc, George (1997). Post Punk Diary: 1980-1982. New York, New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 72. ISBN 978-0312169688.
  12. ^ "Fishnet, Inc". Fishnet, Inc. Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  13. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 149. ISBN 978-0898201604.

External links[edit]