It doesn't have to be fishnet to work. Quite some years ago, very loosely woven mesh polos and T's were common, and they worked as well, perhaps even better, than the fishnet. And looked much better, coming in different colors and tailoring.
Unfortunately, a lot of them were cotton or cotton-polyester, and while much more effective under an outer layer than plain woven cotton, wore out quickly. Several days of rainy hiking on the AT rotted out the last of my mostly cotton ones.
Then manufacturers made the mesh denser to improve their view of appearance; but this greatly reduced the fishnet factor. An example of this end stage development was the 'mesh' polo from Royal Robbins with the embroidered hiker on the chest.
When PC's came out, spent hours on the web searching for light mesh polos with no luck. What is called mesh now still has some advantages, but is nothing like the loosely woven material of yesteryear.
Can't comment on your science; but what I liked so much about these garments was the comfort and wide temp range. They were airy and cool on hot days; but when the mountain air got cold, just the addition of a windshirt over them warmed me up faster than anything else, and remained very comfortable during exertion. They also provided great comfort and warmth for weight under GTX shells for rainy hiking.
'Fashion trumps function,' was the comment made about the demise of true mesh on this site several years ago. The much denser polyester mesh sold today isn't bad, but doesn't hold a candle to the earlier stuff.
Maybe your article will encourage some product redevelopment. Hope so.