Glove History and Etiquette Facts

During the Dark Ages only men wore them. Ladies needed permission from the King to put on gloves. But Catherine di Medici changed all that. Thereafter, gloves became a status symbol among women, with England's Queen Elizabeth I emphasizing her status with more than 2,000 pairs. Today a woman shopping has almost as many kinds, lengths and colors to choose from. And gloves very definitely mark her fashion status.

Do You Have Your Fashion Status Well in Hand?

Choosing a pair of gloves to go with your costume is like selecting a sauce for a very good dish. The wrong choice can spoil everything. Yet ladies can be thankful for such a dilemma because wearing gloves marks their improved position in a man's world. 

During the Dark Ages only men wore them. Ladies needed permission from the King to put on gloves. But Catherine di Medici changed all that. Thereafter, gloves became a status symbol among women, with England's Queen Elizabeth I emphasizing her status with more than 2,000 pairs. Today a woman shopping has almost as many kinds, lengths and colors to choose from. And gloves very definitely mark her fashion status. 

In vogue are sleeveless dresses topped by sleeveless or short-armed jackets or coats, all of which require gloves to make up the fabric deficit. Glove length is described in terms of buttons (a measuring idea the French devised) even though the gloves often may lack buttons altogether. Each button corresponds to an inch measuring from the lowest part of the thumb seam to the cuff of the glove.

Here are the kinds of gloves your accessory wardrobe should Include: 

SHORTY - It stops at the wrist where it may or may not be fastened with a button. The most versatile of all lengths, it looks as well with sleeveless dresses as with long sleeved coats. The trim, style and material determines whether the gloves should be worn with dressy, tailored, day or evening clothes. 

SLIP-ON - Primarily a daytime glove, it has no fastening and ranges from three to five button lengths.

GAUNTLET - It is four to six buttons in length, has a flared cuff, and is pull-on in style. It, too, is primarily a daytime glove.

MOUSQUETAIRE - Lengths range from 8 to 20 buttons and have a buttoned opening on the inner side of the wrist. It is for dressy or formal wear with dresses. 

THE PULL-ONS - The length also range from 8 to 16 buttons. They have no opening or fastening. The elbow length size, about 12 buttons (or longer if worn crushed below the elbow) is the season's most popular length because they take up where cape sleeved, or elbow length, sleeves on new style coats leave off. Longer pull-ons are restricted to evening wear. 

A mere 75 years ago the act of pulling on long gloves was considered to be too intimate to be done in the presence of a gentleman. Today ladies slip them on and off as unblushingly and as casually as hats. Generally speaking, except on formal occasions when a long glove is an integral part of the ensemble, gloves are removed soon after entering a home, theater or restaurant. 

At a party it is not correct to do more than sip from a glass with gloves on. However, etiquette today no longer requires a woman to remove her gloves before shaking hands. — The Sun, 1963 via the Etiquipedia.blogspot. Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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