Mousquetaire Glove Etiquette and More


The mousquetaire— the glove with an opening at the wrist— is easier to get into and can be rolled back for eating or smoking.— “A woman without gloves is a marked woman. It's like going barefoot to be without them.” - Claire Mc Cardell, 1956


Gloves Called Most Important Costume Accessory – Mid-20th Century Etiquette Advice


“A woman without gloves is a marked woman. It's like going barefoot to be without them.”


Although gloves themselves have changed somewhat since the late Claire Mc Cardell, the designer, made this statement in 1956, the etiquette of wearing gloves has not. They are still the most important accessory of a woman's costume and the one about which there seems to be the most confusion.


Fashion has moved in two opposing directions—extremely casual by day and very formal at night—and it is impossible to be well-dressed without a glove wardrobe that includes various lengths and fabrics.


Long evening dresses have brought the 20-button to 16-button glove back into the forefront of fashion. (“Button,” in glove parlance, means inches measured upward from the base of the thumb.)


White kid is still proper for most evening dresses according to Miss Adelaide Baltimore, glove buyer for Bloomingdale’s. More dramatic women are wearing long black suede gloves with black costumes, and there is some interest in gold lamé or embroidered gloves.


“How long to buy gloves depends on the length of your arms,” Miss Baltimore advised. “With formal dresses the elbow should be covered: this can mean 16-button for some women, longer for others.”


For less formal evening dresses or cocktail dresses, the 10-button to 12-button glove that comes to the elbow is becoming. Wrist-length gloves are sometimes worn at parties by young girls, but the mature woman had better forget them for a while, Miss Baltimore suggested. The “mousquetaire”— the glove with an opening at the wrist— is easier to get into and can be rolled back for eating or smoking.

Gloves for Day

The favorite daytime glove is still the 8-button kid or suede one. Even though all coat sleeves no longer end above the wrist, women like the neat look of sleeve and glove meeting when they move their arms. The silk-lined, kid glove inaugurated in Europe, has made leather gloves easier to slip into and more comfortable. Neutral or black gloves are still daytime favorites, said Miss Baltimore, but her department is selling a surprising number of white kid gloves for day, despite their fragility.


Fabric gloves, now that synthetic fabrics have been given such attractive textures, are practical substitutes for leather and look best in taupe or neutral shades. The long, thick knitted glove, has moved to town along with bulky, country tweeds.


What used to be the driving glove, with a leather palm, is now worn by subway strap hangers and baby-carriage pushers as well as by lady chauffeurs. Cold weather will bring out fur gloves as soft and thick as cats' paws.


American women wear gloves-and keep them on wherever practical. It is correct to wear them while shaking hands, indoors or out. The habit of carrying one glove makes a woman look unfinished. It is a good idea to give oneself a moment before entering a room or a restaurant to replace the glove that came off to pay the taxi driver. — By Angela Taylor, 1963 via the Etiquipedia.blogspot. Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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