For several hundred thousand years, people have been wearing clothing. Since everyone you know wears clothing, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about how individual garments and styles evolved over time. But chances are, whatever you’re wearing right now has a pretty extensive and interesting history, if you care to look into it.

Clothing styles come and go and come again. Even some of the trendiest 21st century clothing has a story dating back longer than most of us have been alive. 

In an effort to make Refined a more educational space, I’m kicking off a new #TBT instagram series focusing on the history of fashion. Knowing the history behind the styles you wear is a good way to think more creatively about putting together your looks each day. So, in an effort to make 2020 the most fashionable year yet, let’s chat a little about how your favorite trends came to be…

Fishnet Stockings: A History

The Peasant’s Wise Daughter is an Aesop’s fable dating back to the early 1800s. Long story short (or at least as short as I can make it) the peasant’s daughter must solve a riddle from the king. The relevant part of the riddle being, “Come to me not clothed, not naked…” in order to achieve both, the wise daughter presented herself to the king wrapped in a fishing net.

As a reward for her clever response to the riddle, the wise girl became queen. The moral of the story: presenting yourself in fishnets is a sure-fire way to land a husband… I’m kidding, of course there’s more to the story, but you can see how this fable may have been responsible for introducing the concept of fishnets as sexy.

In the 1920s, fishnets were most commonly seen on flappers and burlesque dancers. By the 50s, they were a popular garment for pinup models. In the 80s, fishnets became most commonly associated with punk culture. Today anyone and everyone can wear fishnet stockings. 

So there you have it: a brief history of one of today’s sexiest trends. Are you a wearer of fishnets? If you’d like to learn more about how to style fishnet stockings in new and creative ways, leave a comment below!