I have had a bit of a love/hate relationship with fishnets over the years. I suppose my interest has come and gone with the fashions a bit but the change in our lifestyle has meant that I have given them another go and fishnet is back in one form or another, in my underwear drawer, and also in that section of the wardrobe kept for special occasions.
I can remember wearing fishnets in the early 80s when I first took an interest in boys. The first time I wore them with a rara skirt and white stilettos with my mother looking on askance as she clearly picked up on an undertone which I was oblivious to. I had to go to ‘The Market’ in Aberdeen to buy them and she was horrified about that too. I was pretty naive and when I got ready to go out I realised they weren’t tights but stockings. My mum had pop socks but no stockings so I was a little confused and had to ask her what these weird tights were and how they worked. At this point it was too late to investigate how to keep them up securely without another trip back to the market, so off I went with some sellotape folded double to hold them onto the tops of my legs.
As my knowledge of lingerie grew, I purchased a little suspender belt and me and my fishnets danced the night away to ‘Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ and ‘Fame’ at many a disco. Paired with other classics like the leg warmer and the obligatory ‘luminous’ items (now dubbed the more popular term, neon) they remained more about fashion than about anything else. But I felt good in them. I thought I was cool and that was what mattered at that time. I dressed more to impress my friends than for the attention of the boys and any effect my choice of leg attire had on them was more about luck than forward planning.
When I left school and moved to university I left my fishnet phase behind. It wasn’t really what was done there – the fashions had changed and so had the expectations on me about who I was. It wasn’t a good time for me really. I struggled with that classic thing of finding myself, or at the very least of feeling lost, and I felt weighed down by a dislike of myself. The carefree days of the fishnets were gone and were replaced with episodes of self-loathing, self-harm, low-mood and an eating disorder. There was nothing sexy about anything from that time really and although I had relationships, one really serious one, they were always tempered by that battle with my mental health.
It wasn’t until much later, after that classic invention of the hold up, that I returned to revisit my friend the fishnet. By this time a lot had happened in terms of life experience. I knew that fishnets carried those undertones of sex and was ready to make that statement. I experimented on and off a bit but as a stay at home mum there wasn’t as much call for dressing up as there once had been. I also seemed to lose the interest of my husband and as I bent over to load the washing machine in my little shorty knickers and asked if he was coming up to bed, he continued to watch Newsnight without even a sideways glance. As the marriage grew stale, my fishnets were pushed to the back of the drawer, hiding but not forgotten.
In the end I went back to work in the hope of saving my marriage or at the very least, being financially independent enough to end it. Clearly the latter was the way that it went but as a smart teacher in a fitted suit, I was able to enjoy my fishnets once again. It was the era of the patterned tight so really they were quite in keeping. We all enjoyed the freedom of expression for at least 6 months until one of the deputes deemed them ‘lady-of-the-night-tights’ and banned them as acceptable school dress. It was during this time, however, that I was horribly let down (literally) by Marks and Spencer and I have never forgiven them the humiliation.
As I sassed through central hall on the way to my classroom, I felt my hold up begin to loosen. With an armful of books (typical English teacher) there was nothing at all I could do. I continued my walk of shame and by the time I reached my destination at the other side of the school, the one on the left was slipping dangerously below the hemline of my skirt and the one on right was flapping in a mocking way around my knee. I hurried straight into my cupboard to compose myself, pulled them up high enough up to get back to my desk for a couple of bulldog clips, and then returned to my cupboard for my makeshift repairs, embarrassed and unimpressed.
This experience did put me off, hold-ups in general and not just fishnets, but I didn’t care for the overhang of my tummy from a traditional suspender belt, and tights just didn’t feel sexy so I persevered. Three kids and the body image issues left over from my eating disorder meant that I had to work at feeling sexy and it was a time in my life where I needed that. My marriage ended and me and my fishnets moved out and I learnt to be me again. It took a while but then I met the man who is currently my husband and Dom and the rest, as they say, is history. But wait! What about the fishnets?
Well, they have been out more times than I can say. HisLordship is partial to them and has encouraged the wearing thereof on many an occasion. He has not hidden his thoughts and more recently has had me move from fishnets in private to them being worn, again, in a more open forum. We have recently invested in a couple of fishnet body stockings (one pictured above) which have elicited a very positive response from him. I feel that my affair with the fishnet is moving firmly into a new phase, and I cannot easily predict where it will go. What I do know is that HisLordship has moulded and shaped the sexy women who he commands into the fishnets, and that is what has made the real difference.