Allen Gant invented pantyhose because his pregnant wife didn't feel like bothering with garterbelts. "It was wonderful. Most people my age loved them from the very beginning and couldn't wait to get a hold of them," she says. [Smithsonian]
My issue with pantyhose is more about the waistband than anything else. I like to wear low-waisted skirts and it's difficult to find truly low-waisted hose that wont show over the top. And even when I do, the waistband needs to be tight enough to stay up, meaning that it pushes up even the smallest amount of belly-fat into a muffintop.
So I wear them now only under dresses but I still can't stand the feel of the deathgrip around my entire torso, and the fact that it tends to roll down whenever I sit.