Stockings which are also known as hosiery, or hose, and popularly as “Nylons”, are coverings for legs and feet. Early references to hosiery go back to the ancient Greeks. Workmen and slaves wore hosiery in ancient times, and Roman woman wore a short sock (called a soccus) in their homes. Silk or cotton socks were also worn in Japan and China for centuries.
Socks evolved into stockings in 12th century Europe. Breeches worn by men became close fitting, reaching from the waist to the foot like modern tights. Women wore stockings held up at the knee by garters. After 1545 knitted stockings came into fashion, their seams were often ornamented by elaborate silk patterns, or “clocks”. This term is still in use today as “fancy feet” the decorative seam treatments that were popular during the late 40’s and early 50’s.
Source: Stocking Story