Why do professional ice skaters wear fishnet tights while all other skaters wear regular tights?
Fishnet tights achieve a very particular look to a costume or an outfit. With regular tights, you have one piece of fabric that is going over the entirety of the skin. With fishnets, you have little criss-cross threads that are exposing tiny bits of the surface of the skin. For an audience member sitting far away, fishnets give a more natural look: almost like you are bare-legged and not wearing any tights at all. You can achieve this natural look because of the skin exposure coming through. As opposed to a regular tight, there is no skin exposure coming through at all. From far away, it can be very obvious that skaters are wearing regular tights. Especially when the color of the tight is not a perfect match to the rest of their body.
Professional ice skaters such as those performing on cruise ships or with Cirque du Soleil are doing exactly that… performing! They are putting on a live entertainment show. A main focus with live entertainment is the aesthetic, the costume & the look. Professional skaters got the memo: they know the power of fishnets and how important they are to their look while performing for an audience. Fishnets are an absolute must and a staple in their skate bags. Most competitive figure skaters continue to use standard-issue tights. You will often notice the color of their legs completely mismatched from the rest of their body. Amateur skaters compete in beautiful, custom-made dresses to then pair it with regular tights that don’t even match their skin tone! Since there is skin coming through with fishnet tights, your legs will match the rest of your body when wearing fishnets.
If you look closely during the half-time show, a Coachella performance or any live performance of your favorite artist, check out what the dancers and singers are wearing on their legs. More times than not, they are wearing fishnets! If Beyonce’s legs are exposed in a costume, she is almost always sporting some fishnet tights. Beyoncé has even admitted in interviews to wearing 4 pairs of fishnet tights at once to “keep it all supported”.
In a rack.com interview with Beyoncé’s dance captain, this what she had to say about fishnet tights:
“… compared to standard-issue tights, fishnets blend a little bit better and look a little more natural. Your skin still comes through enough to make it look like you could be bare-legged, but you’re not.” Most important, she adds that “they’re still tough enough and tight enough to contain and suck it all in.”
Dancer & choreographer for Lady Gaga and Mariah Carey says,
“I don’t know if it’s because of the way the fishnets are designed, but it feels like they suck you in more. Instead of one giant piece of stretchy material, you have all these tiny connecting zigzags that are pulling in different directions, creating a more flattering visual.”
Britney Spears costume designer says:
"The crisscross of the fishnets helps blend into the skin because there’s no sheen. It looks natural. From where you’re sitting in the audience, you’re never going to know that a performer is wearing fishnets. It just blends in with the skin tone.”
If you’re going to get advice from anybody about performance and look, take it from these women who are on top of their game.
If you are a performing ice skater: professionally or with a local club team, over-the-boot fishnet tights are a must! They create a level of sophistication and give you that extra needed confidence when under the spotlight.