There! I said it. The word gives me shivers, even now.
Pantyhose were the first item of female apparel I played with as a boy -- if you don't count wrapping a bath-towel around my waist in the bathroom and pretending it was a skirt. Pantyhose seemed to be the epitome of feminine beauty. Their exotic feel, the way they smooth out bumps and skin-tone, the simple fact that only women wear them and there's no contemporary male clothing-equivalent.
Back in the days when I was growing up, women wore pantyhose routinely. They were required for most jobs. Women weren't allowed to wear pants and pantyhose eclipsed stockings when technology made them easier to wear and cheaper to produce. There were two decades of amazing TV commercials persuading women to leave stockings (popular in the 1940s and '50s) and shift to pantyhose (in the '60s and '70s). Like this one...
Since then, pantyhose have been disappearing. Women, not forced to wear them, choose more comfortable alternatives, like bare skin. In the past, bare legs were considered scandalous; you were supposed to cover yourself with something, even an item as thin and transparent as pantyhose.
One of the raps pantyhose always had was physical discomfort: they cling and squeeze and confine. They are also delicate and prone to snags, which can instantly ruin an outfit when rounding a corner too sharply. Pantyhose even raised health concerns (by trapping body-heat) until manufacturers started inserting breathable cotton crotches in them.
Most people don't realize and think of pantyhose as a petroleum product, but they are. They're made from oil and are a synthetic plastic. Which is why, when you store pantyhose in a closed coffee-jar underground for months, they start to smell like gasoline and eventually deteriorate. Don't ask me how I know this. :)
What's your history with pantyhose? Did you wear them as a kid? Do you wear them now? Do you like or dislike them?