Tonight, I’m have two questions on my mind. The first question relates to these shoes which remind me of ballroom dancing shoes. Does anyone know who Missi Jackson is and is she still making shoes? The vintage pumps that I wore today (shown above and below) have the maker’s mark “Missi Jackson – Handmade” stamped into the leather insoles. I have no idea where they were made.
Long before Barbara Windsor become my style icon, in between my mock-gothic years and before my unfortunate Sarah Palin newly qualified lawyer frump period, I had an fleeting flirtation with Fifties fashion. Dita Von Teese embodied two or three years ago the look that I tried to achieve then.
I raided the Victorian Village vintage markets in Glasgow for long kid gloves, seamed stockings, fishnet tights, black satin hobble skirts and little silk blouses. It is very high maintenance trying to emulate Fifties chic, all that sticking rollers in your hair to sleep in. Also, I don’t iron and I am not greatly fond of removing make up stains from period clothing. So slowly, a bit sadly and quietly, the gloves were phased out along with the bright red lipstick and dyed black hair.
I do miss the hosiery particularly the fishnet tights. In the summer they are a good alternative to going bare-legged, particularly if you pick a nude shade that doesn’t resemble Barbie skin. Once or twice I’ve tried to bring the mesh back. Each time that I do my husband shudders in the involuntary way that he reserves for three quarter length trousers, Juicy Couture velour tracksuits and knickerbockers.
This week, on the day that my shoes fell apart (Day 48 of the Shoe Challenge) I bought myself two pairs of tights from the dollar shop outside my office. For those of you unfamiliar with dollar shops these are places that sell a lot of cheap crap that you didn’t think you were going to need until you got in there. In most suburbs of Sydney this is where you would go to buy the non-confectionary detritus that people stick in children’s party bags (little men with plastic bag parachutes, fake noses, plastic watches, farting cushions etc). In Surry Hills, the dollar stores stock Mardi Gras costumes, counterfeit Tim-Tam (R) Chocolate biscuits and pinatas with huge phalluses. When I asked where the tights were the shop owner directed me to a display consisting of nearly black tights (for which read battleship grey) some lacy tights that looked like this:
and the abomination that is the …. Sockette
I cannot even begin to tell you how much Sockettes creep me out. They are like condoms for feet.
So the choice was made for me, I bought the only thing that didn’t give me the weirds namely the fishnet tights. The only problem was, of course, that I now had introduce the tights to my husband.
‘Why do you hate fishnet tights?” I asked pretty much as soon as I’d kicked off my shoes and put my feet up on his lap before our daughter aka the Minx beat me to it.
“I do not hate fishnet tights. I mistrust them” he said “due to presentation issues that I have with them“.
This was going to be good, I thought. I probed further. This took some time due to the need to intermittently break up fights between our children. They take any adult conversation between us as an affront on their personhood and self-appointed roles as the head of the household (job share). Somewhere between the Head Banging Off the TV incident and Bedtime I got to the bottom of things.
Apparently my husband has, on four separate occasions in the past, been asked to fix things in houses belonging to female friends. On each occasion, on arrival, the female friend in question has offered him a cup of tea only to come back from the kitchen clad in mesh hosiery. He now believes that fishnet tights are a predatory device used by women who want to draw attention to themselves in a renactment of some seduction scene in a porn film. This, he says, makes him want to run away and hide leaving the way open for other handymen to ahem, get the hand in should they wish to do so.
I have always thought of fishnet tights as retro and fun. It seems from my husband’s disclosure though that men may think of them as slightly trashy and low rent.
So what is your view of fishnet tights? Edgy and cute or trashy and tasteless?