Fashion

Forgotten Fashion: Gloves

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I am a big fan of gloves, in fact even before my vintage leanings manifested themselves through fashion, I often sported evening gloves when dressing for special occasions. I now have a pretty decent collection of gloves, gold gloves from the 50's, beaded gloves from the 30's, and a wide array of black satin gloves which are good for any fancy evening. 
Recently I received a few gloves from the grandmother of a friend: a pair of white cotton and yellow cotton gloves that stop mid forearm. As delighted as I was to have these vintage treasures, I began to think about glove wearing and that, other than in winter time, this practice has almost entirely disappeared. What is strange for me is that I, someone who would wear just about anything, am a bit afraid of regular glove wear mostly because I have no idea the proper etiquette for such accessories. 


"Gloves are an integral part of your costume"-Gloves: Fashion and Etiquette 
Ladies looking glamourous in gloves, from Flickr: Those Were The Days...1940's.

With some help from a 1960's guide to fashion and Miss Abigail's Time Warp Advice I have determined these do's and don'ts concerning glove etiquette.

Don't ever appear in public without gloves. 
Don't eat, drink, or smoke with gloves on. 
Don't play cards with gloves on. 
Don't apply makeup with gloves on. 
Don't wear jewelry over gloves, with the exception of bracelets. 
Don't make a habit of carrying your gloves ~ they should be considered an integral part of your costume. 
Don't wear short gloves to a very gala ball, court presentation or 'White Tie' affair at the White House or in honor of a celebrity.

.........................................
Do wear gloves when you go shopping, visiting, driving; and for outdoor festivities such as garden parties, receptions. 
Do wear gloves as a mark of respect in a place of worship. 
Do wear gloves for formal indoor occasions: receptions, balls, and on arrival at a luncheon or dinner party. 
Do keep gloves on in a receiving line. 
Do keep gloves on while dancing at a formal party. 
Do keep gloves on at a cocktail party until the drinks and hors d'oeuvres are passed. Then turn gloves back at the wrist or remove one glove. 
Do remove gloves entirely at the dining table. 
Do remove gloves after your arrival at an informal party or luncheon, leaving them with your coat.

Perhaps I may wear my gloves with confidence now that I know the proper way to do so.
Still the question remains, why did gloves fade into the fashion background? Though they may be currently considered a quirky addition to any outfit rather than a fashionable one, I think that gloves add a touch of class to any occasion and revive a sense of formality that fashion seems to be missing these days.

Above: The yellow and white cotton gloves given to me by a very stylish grandma.

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