Monday, November 06, 2006

The beauty of fishnets

Last week's column

I love fishnet stockings. I do, I really do. Anyone that knows me knows what an amazing statement this is. I hate stockings. Passionately. I regard them as torture devices fiendishly disguised as fashion accessories. They are the means by which society attempts to subvert women by making us uncomfortable to the point of distraction. I only have to look at a pair of stockings for them to start to fray. By the time I’ve got them on my legs have more ladders than Bhagwansingh’s hardware.

But I love fishnets. I don’t know how they do it but they manage to give legs great tone and definition, making you look like you spend all week at spin class when in fact you just end up spending your evenings turning around and never reaching the gym. They fall in that nebulous area just between skanky and whorish and never fail to grab attention. I feel sexy in fishnets – like Tina Turner in her “What’s love got to do with it?” video and they’re well ventilated to the point where you feel like you’re wearing nothing at all.

London is the land of the fishnets – you can get them in any colour, style and size. Last weekend I saw a pair of mid-calf fishnet tights with lace edging that I want to get to get. About two weeks ago I got brave and wore to work black fishnet stockings with red, patent leather, peeptoe slingback stilettos. Nobody in the office even blinked. I had a number of men sneaking glances at my feet though.

I tell friends about wearing them up here and the incredulous reaction is always, “Them skettel thing!” They wouldn’t be caught dead in them, except maybe at Carnival time, when you can safely be caught alive and inebriated in anything. But why is it that the only time of the year that women would consider wearing something as harmless as fishnets is the same time of the year men wear women’s clothes and people drink from poesies? Is the pressure to conform and fit it at home so strong that the only time you can subvert it, no matter how subtly, is when there is a consensus of blatant and total disregard?

Where am I going with this? Right here. I know if I go home in the morning and pull on my fishnet stockings and leave my house at least one friend will be ashamed to be seen in public with me, at least one more will insist I take them off because I’m looking like a jamette and at least one man will feel the need to shout at me and confirm while walking in the streets that I am, indeed, looking like a jamette.

And that’s one of the things I like about England. Not the fishnets stockings per se but what they represent. Up here, you have to come really good to produce a double take from anybody. Directors, managers, clubbers, grandmothers all wear their fishnet stockings like normal. They also colour their hair to match their outfits and wear outfits that look like they couldn’t decide among three outfits what they wanted to wear so they decided to wear all at the same time.

Body piercings are de rigueur and range from holes the size of twenty five cent pieces in earlobes to cubic zirconia beauty marks in the lower cheek. Goths parade in six inch high platform boots and matted hair while men wear cleavage revealing, form fitting blouses to go clubbing with their girlfriends. And no one cares. Coming from a society where if you wear the same party outfit more than once people talk about you having no clothes, this is supremely refreshing. I’ve had co-workers wear a shirt on Monday, wash it (I hope) and then wear it again by Thursday, Friday. Try to do that back home nah. You will never live down the shame.

In a city this big and this busy, the anonymity that can sometimes be depressing can also be a wonderful thing. It’s hard at times to walk the streets and no one knows you, to go for weeks without seeing someone you know among the crowds. But it’s also very liberating. You find yourself doing things to please yourself only, without the confines of the unspoken rules of acceptability that regulate Trinidad society and indeed, the Caribbean as a whole.

22 comments:

Alexia said...

So damn true..unless it in style in Trini you could get away it..but once that style gone you better not be seen it in again. I hate stockings myslef, not even winter I wear them, the fishnet for some reason if gives you a sexy look.

Hottie you sounding like you are falling head over heals in love with England now!

Crankyputz said...

I love certain fish nets, and more than anything thigh high stockings, what I can't stand, is that to date, they can't seem to make a pair of stockings that doesn't rip....what's up with that.

I would also like to point out that in TnT or in Dubai (where i hail from) the weather is not really conducive to stockings. Too hott.

Loved the last paragraph on the benefits and follies of being anonymous in these large cities, I sometimes get really nostalgic for the interfering grannies.....

Hottie Hottie said...

Alexia- the country has both positive and negatives yes. Just trying to be balanced.

Cranky - gyul, I doh understand teh stockings in hot sun either. What'slife like in Dubai? And thanks for the compliment. Sometimes, I miss it too.

Mani said...

Yeah I think fishnets are great too...

Hottie Hottie said...

But wait. I thought you say is jamette wear?! Yuh like jamette?!

Mani said...

I'm sorry, I was lying, lol. But I respect that you like them.

Karabana said...

UK is very fashion forward, the women can wear whatever & it looks sexy, not scandalous. In North America fishnets are typically seen in porn & on whores, it's true. You do see some women wearing them in the business world or to an event & they add an extra sexy something to their outfit (like yours HH). That's how these things start - some brave women taking back some piece of clothing, to give it a tasteful reputation instead of disgraceful. It's easier to do such things here & in London, not easy at all in T'dad.

Hottie Hottie said...

Mani - lol! Ah flattered yuh lie about the fishnets to spare meh feelings. If ever we meet I promise to not wear any.

Karabana - girl! Imagine that eh, yuh cyah wear what yuh want. Something as harmless as stockings. Is not to say yuh want to wear a batty rider to work yuh know...

'rah said...

Totally 100% feel you on the freeing anonymity of big cities, dude. Having lived in New York for a few years I know what it's like. It can be exhilarating, in the context of self-expression and depressing in the realisation that in this great big city within a 5 mile radius there probably isn't anybody who knows who the hell you are let alone someone who would care if you were run over by the next bus.

Karabana said...

It's freeing to move from a small town to a big city where you can wear what you truly want w/o rumors being spread. How small was my small town?, not only did they not have a carnival, but no West Indians, & never even heard of T'dad, so my Dad was a 1st (& you can just imagine what it was like for him). So since wearing bikinis on the beach was beyond bold, I would have never considered parading around in a beaded feathered one in front of thousands upon thousands of spectators!!

Hottie Hottie said...

'rah girl, it not so bad up here. A friend a mine pass out in s station and they take she hospital and call friend and thing.

Karabana - THAT is pressure boy. WAAAAAYYYYY!

eemanee said...

anonymity is very refreshing...being somewhere where no one knows you and no one cares can be very liberating, that's what i love about travelling.

Icahwait* said...

Karaban about the UK being fashion foward, its more like free to be experimental. When something not working, it not working and it fades away quickly.
I'm waiting on the shorts & tights to disappear more because its nov than anything else. Def waiting on ankle cut off tights to disappear back into the 80's

Hottie Hottie said...

True icahwait. It';s not so much they're cutting edge trendsetters - because ithave plenty fashion dem eh know nuttin bout - but there's room for almost any and everything. I'm so feeling the legwarmers though! You know how long I want to rock a legwarmers over a pair of high heels. But it too cold fuh dat shit now.

kevian said...

Hottie how come u choose to play in dragon rather than jamette? enlight of your fishnet stocking feteish..lol

Hottie Hottie said...

Girl, was me and some girl here so I had to go with teh consensus. But I still will be rocking de fishnets. Yuh worried ah wha'?!

saucydiva said...

Trinidad not easy when it come to fashion. But I like the look of fishnets.

Carnival Jumbie said...

I does save the fishnets for behind closed doors. I doh know If I can wear them in public. Nice idea but it has to be done right. Maybe you do it well but I have seen some definite don'ts. Some girls buy them tights too small and it looks like meat wrapped in string. Things cutting into the legs..not cute at all!

Hottie Hottie said...

Carnival jumbie, look how you make me almost spit my cereal all over the screen!!!!!! THAT WAS SOME FUNNY SHIT!

"looks like meat wrapped in string" KYAR, KYAR, KYAR!

Karabana said...

Saw in a magazine at the gym 2 ads w models wearing fishnets - 1st was holding a Burberry umbrella & wearing a Burberry scarf, black skirt & white blouse. Very classy look. The 2nd ad was a Latin dance scene, she wore 'em w a shiny red dress, very hot.

Hottie Hottie said...

Yuh gone down far girl!

Karabana said...

yup, hee hee... meant to tell you sooner...