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Sexy Paris Pantyhose Patterns and Fishnets…or “Frenchnets?”

I just LOVE patterned stockings, but that wasn’t always the case. I can remember thinking they were “trashy.” But after living in France and ‘crossing to the other side,’ they’ve taken on new meaning. Like perfume, silk scarves and chocolates, these ladies’ “sousvêtements” (lingerie) are stereotypically symbolic of the natural sex appeal of French women. Even the 80-year-old ladies propped on canes to get down the cobblestoned streets can be seen in fishnets hobbling in their stilettos.

Whenever I head to the States, with a bit of humor, I bear gifts of fishnets and patterned stockings for my friends and relatives. My sister once asked me upon receipt of a pair of “Dim” brand fishnets (found in any French department store in a wide variety of patterns at a reasonable price), “What am I going to do with these?” I replied, “Wear them to synagogue so everyone will talk about you!” And that’s exactly what they would do.

Some women may think they lack ‘class,’ but one male friend says that they ‘lead to heaven.’ Recently he reported catching himself drooling along with other passers-by in front of a “Wolford” window at a Canadian airport over the “Stay-Ups” with a seam up the back of the leg on a plastic mannequin. It didn’t matter that she wasn’t real, he headed inside anyway to see more styles leaving him with pleasant thoughts for his long flight cross country.

I always made a point of wearing some really lacy pattern to all the Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conferences we held in the States, just to show that it’s possible to be sexy and professional all at the same time. One attendee at a past San Francisco conference, while sitting next to his wife, boldly confessed he couldn’t keep his eyes off my legs the whole time. Let’s hope she ran out soon after to buy a pair to avert his eyes on hers instead.

“Stretching Mess” by Fernand Fonssagrives This year there are more and more of the horizontal striped variety on the streets of Paris. Don’t be fooled into thinking those will do the trick. They don’t lead to anywhere but vicious circles. Leave those for the “Pippi Longstocking” types and stick with the vertical stripes if you’re aiming for attention from the opposite sex.

Two of my favorite photos show off great stockings on great legs: the famous French model Lisa Fonssagrives Penn’s long shapely legs in gorgeous hose in Horst P. Horst’s “Round the Clock” and Fernand Fonssagrives’ “Stretching Mesh” — both as beautiful as they get.

[From November 14, 2007] I’m headed to the Big Apple to spend Thanksgiving with my daughter, armed with a suitcase full of fishnet and patterned stockings to turn heads on the sidewalks of New York. I’ll let you know next week if American women are beginning to catch on to French sex appeal, now that the two Presidents have become so buddy-buddy and “Freedom Fries” have regained their “nom de naissance” (“French Fries”).

I think we should rename them “Frenchnets,” anyway, don’t you?

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

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P.S. 
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