Glamorous Gloves: The Long and Short Of Glove Fashion!

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"


As a child I remember looking through my grandmothers things to find beautiful lace & satin gloves. I always remember thinking where could you possibly wear these, and what would you wear them with?!. I now own these gloves and despite worrying that Ill damage them I do wonder where the idea of wearing gloves for fashion comes from. So, I put my super sleuth hat on and here is what I found out!

Much like we found in our previous High Heel Heaven post; gloves, like heels, date back as far as ancient Egyptian times. Worn by nobility, priests & priestesses through the centuries; they have a long history of being associated with numerous customs, practices, & rituals. In the tomb of the most famous Egyptian of all time, Tutankhamun, 28 pairs of gloves were found with intricate woven motif embellishments.Gloves and their fanciness (for lack of a better word) have played a huge part in determining the social standing of people for centuries, especially from the 12th to 16th centuries. At a time when the way you dressed without a doubt expressed your importance; gloves were just another piece of clothing that could be embellished, embroidered & jewelled to signify wealth & luxury form men & women. Kings, Queens & noble people went wild with the decorative possibilities, resulting in some amazing designs.

If we look at glove styles in recent decades we can see they were consistently worn up until the 1980s. A demand for casual wear has since deemed them almost non-existent in stores. Their lengths, colours, fabrics & embellishments have changed dramatically through the decades. While researching I found that glove lengths were very seasonal and changed with sleeve lengths. As sleeves got shorter, gloves got longer and vice versa.

Here is a look at some of the styles most popular through time:
Elizabethan Gloves Victorian Gloves
1920s Glove Advertising 1920s Hats and Gloves
1940s Advertising 1940/ 50s glove styles
Connie Francis in Opera GlovesMod Fashion
1980s and on...
Michael Jackson Billy Idol Madonna

Glove Etiquette

In previous decades you received a glove etiquette handbook when you purchased a pair of gloves. These often provided you with details on how to care for your gloves and when to wear them .
Here is one example issued with each purchase ofLe Gant Paris Gloves.

When To Wear And Not Wear Your Gloves

  • Gloves should be put on in the privacy of your own home.
  • They should always be removed whilst eating, even if it is no more than a cocktail canap.
  • When sitting down for dinner, you should remove your gloves and then put them back on afterwards.
  • Any removing of your gloves in public should be done discreetly and not in the style of a burlesque dancer!
  • They do not have to be removed when drinking.
  • They should not be removed in order to shake hands.
  • Gloves are not worn whilst dancing.
  • Dont wear jewellery over gloves, with the exception of bracelets.

Glove Lengths

Gloves lengths are concerned with fashion rather than the time of day. The length of the sleeve determines the length of glove.

Bare shouldered or sleeveless dress - Above the elbow
Short or cap sleeve - Elbow or below elbow length
Below elbow or bracelet sleeve or jacket - Wrist length

Interesting Fact!

During the Victorian era gloves were also used as flirtation codes, so if the moment presents itself you could use your gloves as secret code:


Completing your outfit with a pair of gloves really elevates your overall look and gives it decidedly vintage edge. Browse our range of gloves today!