"net used to catch fish," Old English fiscnett; see fish (n.) + net (n.). From 1881 in reference to a type of stitch that resembles fishnet. By 1912 in reference to women's hosiery.
There has been considerable misconception as to the purpose of the fishnet hose imported by the ECONOMIST and illustrated on page 177. The newspaper representatives who viewed it at the ECONOMIST'S fashion exhibition used it as a pretext for many humorous articles and conveyed the impression that it was to be worn next the skin. The purpose is to use it over white or colored hose, to produce an unusual effect. Every store should have one or more pairs for exhibition purposes, if for no other reason. ["Dry Goods Economist," June 22, 1912]