While mentions of fishnets exist as early as Aesop's fables — when a peasant's daughter shows up to woo the king wearing literal nets to catch fish — they were later popularly worn in the 1920s by flappers. Since then, some of the most iconic women's looks and style moments over the last decade have included the the diamond-patterned hosiery.
Embraced by performers, dancers and showgirls, whenever fishnets had a "moment" in fashion, they were typically worn to amp up the sex appeal by stereotypically rebellious (read: fun) women. From the pin-ups of the '50s to the ripped fishnets of the '70s punk era to every young woman who ever idolized Madonna, the hosiery has always come with little side-eye from the prude — and major celebration from women owning their sexuality. (Appropriately, Madonna's daughter Lourdes Leon is one of the ladies bringing them back this year, sitting front row at the Alexander Wang show with her mom and Zoe Kravitz.)
Not only are fishnets great for adding a little edge to any outfit, they allow you to wear some of your summer favorites a bit longer. You can cover your ankles (kinda) and still wear cropped pants, for example. The same goes for your everyday distressed denim: by adding stockings underneath, not only can you give your look a cool, on-trend update, but you can also stay warm in your favorite jeans.
Read on for a few ways to casually wear fishnets all winter long — it's simpler (and chicer) than you might think.
WITH THE WAISTLINE PULLED ABOVE YOUR PANTS
This is a step beyond the Aaliyah-inspired underwear waistline showing above the pants, taking that that old Tommy Hilfiger aesthetic that was refreshed by what everyone has been doing in #MyCalvins… or their Calvins (whatever). We've seen Kim Kardashian do it, as well as Calvin Klein model/singer Tommy Genesis and Rihanna. Perhaps you aren't comfortable with a crop, underboob and fishnets a la Kardashian? You can still wear them like this with a shirt the grazes the top of your jeans, showing just a hint of netting as you move around.
In a time when looking effortless reigns and genderless clothes are embraced all around, fishnets can add a sexy touch to an otherwise "boyish" look. Heavier combat boots or chunky heeled boots will juxtapose the traditionally vampy hosiery, marrying the bad girl attitude with the tomboy 'fit.
WITH JEANS AND SNEAKERS
The simplest way to incorporate fishnets into everyday looks is to wear them with your favorite jeans and T-shirt combo, sans socks. This serves two purposes: an extra layer for warmth and making everyone wonder what you have on under your jeans. (Right?)
WITH OVERSIZE TOPS
Conveniently, if you've been wearing your T-shirts and hoodies as dresses (a look that's become quite popular thanks to Vetements and Fenty Puma by Rihanna), there is only one step here: add fishnets to those bare legs. Much like wearing them with boots or hidden beneath your favorite jeans and sneakers, this adds a little polish to the otherwise "no fucks given" look. Keep your socks on for this one, too. It's cold out there!
WITH DISTRESSED DENIM
Have you ever noticed that, come winter, the five pairs of jeans you wear out of the pile that you own dwindles down to about two? Prolong your favorite distressed jeans with a pair a fishnets; this combo works with anything from big cozy sweaters during the daytime to whatever you'd normally wear during an evening out, paired with heels or platform boots.
WITH LACE-UP DENIM
Just in time for temperatures to drop, we started to see lace-up denim on the likes of Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and the Hadid sisters. Much like the destroyed denim we just discussed, you can easily wear fishnets underneath these as well. Sarah Snyder, above, completed her look with classic pair of Vans and a bomber.
WITH SLIP DRESSES
The '90s were going strong over the summer thanks to the ubiquity of chokers and slip dresses, and it really isn't letting up this season. You can go further than a T-shirt under your slip dress by adding a long-sleeved top or turtleneck and, of course, fishnets to switch up a considerably softer look.