A quote from 1950 issue of Good Housekeeping, found on The Vintage Connection
Thirty–five years ago hosiery was strictly utilitarian—underwear, in fact, since no nice lady permitted it to show. But when skirts came off the ground and shoes went down to pumps and sandals, it was discovered that women had legs, and we promptly demanded sheerer and sheerer stockings in which to display them. We got them, too—first in rare one–thread silk and then for everybody in 15–denier nylon.
Three years ago only 17 out of every 100 pairs of nylons were the very sheer 15–denier variety. Such delicate stockings were saved for “best”—parties and special occasions. Today, though, the number has jumped to 70 out of every hundred, and we’re wearing them for every occasion—and complaining because they don’t last like prewar nylons. Let’s face it: prewar nylons were almost entirely 30 or 40–denier. That means they were twice or more as thick and strong, and of course they wore longer !!!!