Like toothpaste, feminine products, and deodorant, pantyhose come in an overwhelming amount of sizes, colors, fits, opacities, and brands. The presence of so many options makes it almost impossible to choose. Besides all the options on the packaging manufacturers use different materials and techniques to make them. How do you decide?! It's really not as scary as you think.
Stockings don't need to be as uncomfortable as you thought when you were eight. If you buy the correct size you need not worry about them being too short (the low riding crotch nylons are the most uncomfortable) or the bags of fabric at your ankles (a clear result of too big nylons). Be sure to check the sizing charts are each set you buy. The sizing doesn't remain the same throughout all brands and few things are so frustrating as when you're running late and your nylons are too small or too baggy. They determine size by your height and weight and each matrix could be a bit different.
The biggest pain in stockings buying is figuring out what means what and what gives what effect. Ultra sheer hose are for you women who want bare legs but not. They look like you're not wearing any nylons at all but still give your legs a smooth and polished look. On the other end of the opacity spectrum, opaque nylons or tights come in different colors and give a completely new look to your leg. These also provide greater warmth and often add to a more casual-dress look. Hose with a day sheer or spandex sheer don't give the bare legged look ultra sheer does, but it does give your legs a more polished look and they're good for toeing the line between too sheer and thicker, opaque hose. For the sometimes unavoidable paunch in your stomach, control top hose work well. These kind of nylons keep the tummy in without risk of it coming out more than you would like.
Color also more to do with picking the right kind of stockings than you may think. Darker colors and more opaque stocking contribute to a leaner look while sheer hose accentuate the shape of the leg. The world of pantyhose is a bit overwhelming and definitely one that needs to be further explored, but here are some do's and don'ts for your nylon wearing perusal.
I wish you the best of luck on your stockings quest!