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Fishnet stockings have basically never not been sexy. That dates back to the Victorian era, when conservative clothes meant that just a glimpse of a woman’s leg was majorly eyebrow-raising.
Stockings rose in popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when they were embraced by flappers who found them ideal for dancing in. That linked the garment even further to sex and nightlife.
Combine that with a philosophical reason based on the thinking of Roland Barthes, and the association has stuck around for more than 100 years.