|Gloves as part of formal wear in the 1950s|
Gloves come in all shapes and sizes- opera gloves, driving gloves, crochet gloves, day gloves, woollen gloves, leather gloves- you name them you'll find them.
Unlike today when you go to mainstream shops gloves re either one size, or come in small/medium/large, vintage gloves often came in numbered sizes. A general tip on sizing for gloves is often your glove size will be similar to your shoe size. This is not always the case though- as I am a size 6 in shoes and my gloves are a size 7-7.5 (big hands)
General length names- shorties are very short wrist length nearer the ball joint; wrist length are also known as matinee gloves if worn for more formal wear; elbow length gloves; and full length or opera gloves. Lengths are also referred to in button lengths, which is a generally known term regardless of the presence of buttons- for example wrist lengths tend to be 8 buttons, elbow length 16 buttons, full length 22 buttons. (A button is slightly longer than and inch).
|1960s pink elbow length gloves|
Storage and Care
As with all vintage never store them in plastic as they can't breathe and they may start to rot. The best things is to wrap them in silk or cotton.
Wash in the gentlest soap possible and dry flat in their natural shape with care (out of full sunlight to avoid fading); never tumble dry. And follow any care instructions on the labels if present.
Try to put gloves on as gently as possible- not pulling on the fingers of cuffs to much but easing your hands in, nor should you push between the fingers as this too puts strain on the seams. Hold you gloves with care if you are not wearing them (not screwed up in the vastness of your mummy bag as I would be apt to do if I was a habitual glove wearer, rather than just a special occasion wearer!)
I'm not one to follow the rules on etiquette for what should be worn and how (except the no pyjamas in public rule- I'm a big fan of that one); however if you are wanting to wear your vintage gloves authentically here are a few do's and don't's for you...
- Don't appear in public without your gloves with you
- Don't eat or drink (or smoke) in your gloves
- Always remove your gloves at an informal occasion, leaving them with your coat
- Always keep your gloves on for outdoor events
- Always wear appropriate gloves for the occasion
- You can wear bracelets over gloves but not rings (fairly obvious I feel- not sure anyone could squeeze a ring over the top of gloves!)
There must be tons more information (and I'm no glove expert- but I can't seem to resist getting them for the shop at the moment, so am having learn) so feel free to add your own glove tips and etiquette in the comments below if you like., as I said this was just a whirlwind tour of vintage gloves