How to Wear Fishnet Tights Without Looking Trashy


Trends may come and go, but fishnets are here to stay. The thought of wearing fishnet tights as an everyday item might instantly set off red flags for some, but you might want to rethink your position because they are becoming a huge trend. Your first thoughts now might go straight to stereotypical images like old fashioned saloon girls or Julia Roberts’ character in “Pretty Woman,” but fishnet tights don’t need to go in the trashy direction; in fact, with all of the different styles and patterns they come in now and some tips on how to wear fishnet tights right, you can go in about any stylistic direction you want.

That being said, it’s a trend – either you’ll love it or you’ll hate it. Fishnets are just automatically risqué to some extent, the severity of which is dependent on the design, so they’re not for everyone. But if you’re one of those adventurous women ready to bring this sexy trend into your everyday wardrobe, here are a few style tips, tricks, and secrets to keeping it classy while wearing your new fishnet tights.

Don’t Get Short

In many cases, pairing fishnets with a short skirt or dress brings us right back to that “Pretty Woman” image, so that’s the first thing you’ll want to keep in mind as you begin looking into this new fall trend. Knee-length skirts are perfect to pair with fishnet tights, but feel free to err one way or the other – choosing a skirt length that keeps you feeling confident or powerful all day is perfect.

Along those lines, make sure it is not too tight as well, if you decide on an above-the-knee skirt, since the combination might be especially suggestive.

Keep It Simple

If you’re going to venture into the fishnet trend, you’ll want to make sure not to overpower anything. By choosing garments with simple, solid fabrics you’re ensuring that the pattern of the fishnet tights will be able to stand out – otherwise things will get muddled, and you’ll end up looking like a hot mess! This, along with the length of the hem, will keep you looking professional and right on trend.

Opt for Pants…

Just because they’re generally worn with skirts and dresses doesn’t mean fishnet tights are just as impactful when worn under pants. If you’re a bit leery to try out the trend, this might be a great place to start out. This is an especially great option for women who work in an office, since it will give you at least a small boost of confidence and empowerment, even if it’s just a peekaboo every now and again from beneath the hem of your pants.

Fishnets and pants have also shown up in everyday streetwear, worn with full-length and cropped denim pants. In this case, you’ll probably be sacrificing a bit of warm coverage at your ankles and feet (depending on your shoes), but it will be in favor of rocking one of the hottest new fashion trends.

This way, you can enjoy the fall fishnets trend without worrying about the length or fit of your skirt in that combination. If you’re going for this look, you might look into buying fishnet socks, which pull up just above the ankles.

… Or Shorts

Easily the more daring of the two, fishnet tights with shorts has been around for a long time. Look back to the 1940s at Katharine Hepburn, or to the 1950s at Elizabeth Taylor, who is often noted as the queen of this trend. You can go for a structured pair of shorts or keep it simple and grab some denim.

Regardless of your choice with that, your choice of fishnet pattern will be crucial here. With the short length, you’ll want to be cautious here, because grabbing the wrong pair of fishnets might have you falling back to those stereotypical images of fishnets.

How to Choose Patterns of Fishnet Tights

You can use fishnet patterns to your advantage to change of their style connotations. Fishnets come in so many more patterns than the stereotypical large diamond shape. You can try out smaller diamonds for a more refined look, or just ditch the diamonds altogether and try out ovals, circles, or other abstract shapes.

Going for a micro-sized fishnet is a great, subtle way to sport the trend. From a distance it’s almost hard to tell that they are fishnets, so up close it has the perfect pop of surprise. That’s why this is a great addition to a professional look!

Along those lines, the thickness of the mesh can impact how you pull off the fishnets trend this fall. Fishnet tights with thinner mesh will appear daintier and be much easier to pair with items in your wardrobe. It also makes for a smoother transition into the trend, as it is inherently less noticeable and also carries a sweeter style with it. Going for a smaller or thinner pattern is great for daywear, but also for eveningwear for a subtler nod to the trend.

With these thinner meshes, large diamond fishnets are trending as well, particularly with edgy styles. You can try them out in black or nude, most notably, and you’ll find that the stereotype doesn’t hold true there, since the thinner diamonds actually make for a dainty accessory for your outfit.

Use a Pop of Color

Another way to ease into the trend (and to stay warm this fall) is to toss your fishnets on over a pair of opaque tights or leggings. This will add that great fishnet texture and pattern to your look while covering up more of your skin. This way you can have fun with the latest fall trend, add a great new dimension to your outfit, and even play around with color.

Colored fishnet tights don’t generally look as nice as their black or nude counterparts, but throwing on a pair of forest green tights or leggings, for instance, will give you the chance to add some color under your dresses. But don’t be afraid to have fun and play around with different color options!

Keep Your Shoes Closed

Fishnets look the best when paired with close-toed shoes. It keeps everything more refined and put together, and keeps you from edging into that trashy territory. You can try it with pumps, canvas shoes, boots (high or low, and with heels or without), Oxfords, or whatever go-to shoes you have in your wardrobe for fall.

It’s easier to find shoes to pair with fishnet tights than you might think. And if all else fails, it’ll be a great excuse for you to go out and splurge on some hot new footwear!

Take Advantage of Cutouts

Cutouts are coming out in new shapes and styles each season, and that can actually go hand in hand with the fishnets trend. If you have a dress with side cutouts, you can pull your fishnets to that level (assuming the cutouts are low enough on the dress) and add some texture underneath without totally blocking them off. It adds some intrigue to the already sexy cutouts.

The same goes for rips in jeans. Toss on some fishnets under your hole-y denim for a peekaboo of the texture.

Don’t Sweat the Rips

It’s way too easy to rip a pair of fishnets, so that’s just something you’ll inevitably have to face if you buy a pair. But a tear doesn’t have to be detrimental to your look!

If you get a noticeable rip, then you can take it and run with it by ripping or cutting it into a hole you feel looks good, depending entirely on the outfit or style you intend to wear them with. This is especially great with grunge styles, in smaller scales of the fishnet print; if you have smaller tears in large-diamond fishnets, you might err on the trashy side.


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Written by Courtney Dobrzykowski
Courtney is a student majoring in mass communication and professional writing. She works as a writer and editor, and has a wide variety of hobbies, such as fashion, reading/writing poetry, sewing, and playing video games.