I've always been wary of paying more than a couple of bucks for stockings and tights. Somehow I always manage to but a snag in them within the first 10 minutes of wearing them. Snagged stockings might be fun for a "funky" night out, but totally inappropriate for work, which is where I tend to need this layering option the most. (My office is seriously an Icebox.)
I was given this pair of maroon stockings from J.Crew in 2009 by a friend who had ordered the wrong size but didn't feel like sending them back in. I have since worn these stockings about once a month for going on 3 years now, and they are still in better shape than ALL of the stockings I bought last year.
I highly recommend the investment, they are well worth it in the long run!