Once upon a time, a woman would never think of leaving her house without a pair of gloves on her hands. Gloves were de rigueur when it came to attending religious services, formal events, and other outings. Although gloves are not the wardrobe staple they once were, many women nonetheless enjoy accessorizing their outfits with a pair. Read on to learn about different types of gloves and when to wear them.
Formal gloves come in a variety of lengths, which are measured in buttons (inches). To determine how many buttons a glove is, measure from the base of the thumb to the top edge of the glove. The smallest-length glove, measuring about 2 buttons, is the appropriately named shortie glove; the end of the glove comes just above the wrist. Next longest is the classic glove, which ranges from 4 to 6 buttons.
The longer the pair of gloves, the more formal they are. The longest gloves, known as opera gloves, are anywhere from 16 to 23 buttons, which in terms of arm length, reaches from just above the elbow to mid bicep. Whereas shorter length gloves are appropriate for daywear or dressy casual evening events, opera gloves are intended for formal evening events (such as a night at the opera). Wear a pair with a sleeveless special occasion dress to showcase the gloves for an elegant look. Glove etiquette calls for wearing your rings and watch under your gloves, but a bracelet over the glove is permissible. As for material, formal gloves are usually made of kid leather, which is soft and supple; longer-length gloves can also be made of satin.
If you spend a lot of time in your car, then treat yourself to a pair of driving gloves. Driving gloves are made of thin leather to allow the driver to feel the car’s pull and motion through the steering wheel. Originally, they protected drivers from steering wheels, which were initially made of wood (think splinters) or metal (think burning hot in summer). To help keep hands from sweating, the gloves often have numerous perforations to allow air to circulate, and there are holes at the knuckles for increased flexibility. In addition, the back of the hand is open, with the glove fastening with a snap at the outer wrist.
Unless you’re a certain movie princess who is not bothered by the cold, whenever the temperature dips near or below freezing, you’ll want to break out your winter gloves. Winter gloves range from cute knit gloves to wear while you’re strolling down the street and window shopping to lined leather gloves in a range of colors to dress up your winter wool coat. If you’re planning on building a snow creature with your family, you’ll want gloves that are well insulated and also waterproof, or at least water resistant. If you find your hands are still cold, try a pair of mittens. Because all four fingers are together, they stay warmer than when separated as they are in a glove. Knit mittens can be found in all sorts of cute designs and colors. For extra warmth, choose a pair with a fleece or shearling lining, slip in a pair of hand warmers, or put on pair of glove liners before donning the mittens—or all of the above.
“I want to get frostbite while outdoors scrolling through my messages,” said no one ever. If you know you’re going to be using your phone outside in the cold, buy yourself a pair of touchscreen gloves. Touchscreen gloves usually have a special thread woven through the thumb tip and index fingertip that allows the wearer to use their phone as they normally would without having to remove any gloves.
Fingerless gloves are exactly what the name says, gloves that extend up to the knuckles closest to the fingertips. Fingerless gloves are perfect for people who keep their thermostat low while working at home; the hands stay warm while the user works at a computer, slices vegetables, or engages in any one of a number of other activities that require dexterity. Snuggled up on the couch under a fleece throw blanket to read your book and finding your hands are cold? Grab a pair of fingerless gloves.
If you engage in any sort of work or activity that calls for manual labor, you’ll need appropriate gloves. Even a relaxing hobby such as gardening requires them, unless you prefer the dirt-under-the-nails look. Work gloves come in different thicknesses and materials, so be sure to get a pair that’s appropriate to your needs. Health care workers, for example, wear disposable nitrile gloves, as well as face masks, to keep both their patients and themselves from infecting one another with bacteria or viruses.
From formal events to everyday work, there’s a glove for whatever you need. Choose the right pair for the occasion, and your hands and fingers will appreciate you for taking care of them.