In winter of cold climate regions, thermal comfort asks for hand gear. This guide covers how to use gloves to add style to your look, not matter whether or not the weather asks for them.
- Gloves are great for all kind of protection
- Who made gloves for their signature style?
- How to use gloves to style your outerwear
- Go beyond brown and black
- Which gloves to wear, when, where?
- An essential winter gear in cold climate
- Driving in summer
- Going out
- Historic parades and Halloween
- What not to wear
- What is the gloves etiquette?
- How to improve your style with gloves in a nutshell
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Gloves are great for all kind of protection
Nurses and doctors wear them all the time for protection of themselves as well as the patients. Bikers and skate boarders wear gloves to protect their hands’ skin in case they fall. In winter, we wear gloves for protection from the cold weather. Famous dog mushers of the Yukon Quest or Iditarod wear them under their mittens to be able to quickly fix problems with metal hooks or other parts of equipment without freezing to it at often below -20F (-28.9C) temperatures. Gardeners use them to avoid getting blisters when digging.
Me watching the Iditarot in a DIY kuspak, beret with beads embroidered mittens on Dale Road in Fairbanks, Alaska
Woman doing field work in the Arctic in down parka, down pants, Bunny boots, head light, backpack, and seal mittens
Me working in our yard in an Alaskan kuspak outfit
However, gloves have so much more to offer than just protection of various kind. They are a classic accessory to up your style from good to great. Let’s start with taking a look at the Style Icons first.
Who Made Gloves Their Signature Style?
Gloves can be a signature style element. Why not making it yours? Think of the late Karl Lagerfeld, Queen Elizabeth II or even Meghan Makle who always carries them instead of wearing them (no matter how cold it is). I have to admit that I do this sometimes too.
Remember the eternal classic look of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s? Long black gloves with a little black sleeveless dress are ageless style. Remember First Lady Jackie Kennedy with her sleeveless sheath dresses, pillbox hat and over-the-wrist length white gloves at various state receptions? Classic chic and elegance! These style icons have revealed the recipe for having ageless style with gloves beyond winter. The recipe to make an entrance is toWear gloves with a tailored simple cut, solid color dress without sleeves. #agelessstyle Click To Tweet
When these women can do, you can do it too.
How to Use Gloves to Style Your Outerwear
When talking about accessories people think first of scarves for style or any kind of jewelry. Most people also just think of their work, going out or weekend look, not outerwear. However, you can also accessorize with belts. They are not just to keep your pants up. Those living in a region with cold winters think of gloves as a great tool to keep your hands and fingers warm in winter. Who wants to ruin the pockets of their coat wardrobe by putting their hands in? Not to mention that doing so is very unpractical!
Here some outfit inspirations how I use them to style my outerwear with or without hats and gloves.
Example of picking up a color of other accessories: Red LeatherCoatsEtc pea coat with LV silk scarf, YSL bag, Nine West loafers, LeathercoatsEtc gloves, Ray Ban Jackie O. sunglasses and brown pill box style hat (all own)
Max Mara zebra print coat, LeatherCoatsEtc leather beret and gloves, Kate Moss for Longchamp satchel, and Sanchez riding boots (all own)
Example wearing gauntlets as a style statement: Oliveo leather skirt with leather jacket, hat, gloves, Modalo Pippa bag, bow tied scarf and ankle strap Covington pumps (all own)
Shearling coat, Pavlova Russian scarf, LeatherCoatsEtc gauntlets and beret, Celine bag, Aerology color denim with sequins, GNW lace socks, Manolo Blahnik booties (all own)
From a price point of view, they are under priced given the value as a statement piece.
Go beyond brown and black
Go for gloves with colors, but there is no need to match their color exactly with those of your hat or scarf. It is so much more modern to have a similar shade, tint or hue and not having an all hat-scarf-gloves set. The matchy-match is so yesteryear.
Striped coat with, Lew Magram pants, Manolo Blahnik booties, YSL bag, GNW tights, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves and hat (all own)
LeatherCoatsEtc gloves, beret and leather coat, Celine tote, Sienna Studio leather skirt, GNW tigh, Harley Davidson booties, Jones New York polka dot shirt, and Pavlova Russian scarf (all own)
Pea coat worn open as cape over closed red blazer with Halogen leather skirt, scarf, GNW tight, Manolo Blahnik booties, hunter green leather gloves, teal green beret, and green SAK bag (all own)
Short shearling coat styled with a wool floral print Russian scarf, beret, purple gloves, and fuchsia 3.1 Philip Lim bag (all own)
Max Mara denim coat, Tucker brocade skirt, GNW Luxe cashmere sweater, GNW tight, L.K. Bennett tall boots, silk scarf, Prada bag, and LeatherCoatsEtc gaunlets (all own)
Max Mara coat, GNW Luxe wool cashmere sweater, Sienna Studio snake print leather pants, statement necklace, DIY snail pearl brooch, LeatherCoatsEtc gloves, 3.1 Philipe Lim tote (all own) and my husband’s Winkwood mirrored sunnies
Which gloves to wear, when, where?
An essential winter gear in cold climate
As an Alaskan, the first thing that comes to mind when you talk about gloves is protection of your hands and fingers when it is lousy cold outside. You need them in winter to not freeze your finger to the doorknob when leaving the house. On your way back, you can’t drive your car without them when your car was outside in the parking lot, even when the motorblock heater was plugged in. You just can’t drive a car when your hands are frozen to the stirring wheel. A friend of mine even wears mitten over her gloves as she can’t stand cold fingers.
Shiny satin gloves in silver, gold, white or black are great for evening parties. Make sure the gloves don’t clash with the color of your dress and do not match the color of your shoes except they are black. White shiny satin gloves are also great for brides with sleeveless gowns. Wrist length looks are a do for the Mother-of-the-bride or groom shopping in the South of the US.
Do you wear gloves for more than just keeping your hands/fingers warm?
If not, then you are missing out stylewise.
Driving in summer
They can be used for so much more than to style outerwear in winter. They are a real style factor year round. Can you imagine Her Majesty the Queen without wearing her gloves? It’s her signature style! A couple of summers ago, for instance, I was so into a pair of driving gages while driving. I enjoyed the stares when leaving the car and taking them off.Gloves can take your look from good to great. #aglesstyle Click To Tweet
NYFW had many looks with super-long – opera length – gloves on the runways. Cocktail-length gloves are as classic as classic can get. Marilyn Monroe wore them. They give the attitude of mystery, they look sexy. Amal Clooney wore white long gloves at the Golden Globe. Recall Angelina Jolie wearing a dress were long gloves were even attached to the dress? Many First Ladies wore gloves for style: Jackie Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, and recently Melania Trump.
Velvet gown with stole and opera-length leather gauntlets
Neck-holder velvet gown with coin belt
Rule of thumb:
Opera length with sleeveless
Elbow long with 3/4 sleeves
Wrist hem with LBDs or sheaths
Historic parades and Halloween
In former times, gloves were widely used in every day life, i.e. not only for staying warm in winter or special occasions. Thus,they are rocket fashion at historic parades. Heritage or founder festivals are also great opportunities to don them, especially in lace.
Dressing for Halloween is another great occassion. Take the opportunity to add them in your costume.
What not to wear
Except when you are watching some outdoor winter sport event like the Iron Dog or you are mushing your dogs, snow-machine or have to wait for the bus at 40 below, steer away from mittens. Street style for the Iditarod or Yukon Quest when sheering your favorite musher of course ask for mittens. Ok, add idling your car in the parking lot at 40 below in the dark of winter to the allowable list. 😉 Otherwise mittens are only cute on kids.
What is the gloves etiquette?
Take your gloves off when eating, dancing and drinking. Place your gloves under your napkin in your lap when eating. Except for may be bracelets, wear your hand jewelry under the gloves during parties, receptions and balls.
Take off your day gloves when you come indoors. While you can keep your evening gloves on when shaking hands except you meet Mr. President, the Queen or alike, take day gloves off when shaking hands with whom ever.
Here the above material is summarized into a list of 13 tips that are the essential secrets how to up the style factor of your outfits.
- Get a pair of driving gloves. So cool. Black is a classic. Red is a head turner. Beige or tan are perfect for summer. Just imagine the stares, when you leave the car and taking them off. 😉
- Long black gloves with a little black sleeveless dress are ageless style. Such a LBD also looks great with silver-gray or white gloves. It’s a classic, chic and elegant.
- Long leather gloves are a must-have for winter coats with 3/4 length sleeves.
- In winter, go for gloves with colors. For a modern look, a similar shade than your bag, shoes, hat, or scarf is much better than the exact shade.
- Recycle your sleeveless evening gown by adding a pair of shiny satin gloves in silver, gold, white or black the next time you wear it.
- Are you getting married this year? White shiny satin gloves are look great for brides with sleeveless gowns.
- Speaking of weddings, a mother-of-the groom or bride skirt suit with 3/4 sleeves looks elegant with white or black satin fingerlings. Make sure that the contrast is not too hard. Resist to wear the look with a fascinator or wide brim hat, and cat-eye sunglasses, and a top handle bag with matching shoes. That’s so 1960s. Go for a clutch that doesn’t match your shoes. Skip the hat.
- Rock a monochromatic look with gloves.
- Use gloves as a pop of color in your winter outerwear.
- Make sure you match your gloves with the material of your outfit.
- Match the color of your short gloves to the color of your jacket/coat. So chic.
- Long formal evening gowns in gem colors look very elegant with opera length white satin gloves. When you have tuned upper arms, but don’t like the look off your elbows, these long beauties are your best bet to show the results of all your weight lifting efforts off.
- If you are a regular at horse races, wear short gloves like Julia Robberts did as Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman. Her outfit was timeless and is ageless. It looks very modern even more than 25 years later.
Are you interested in more style tips to look your best? Buy How to Dress for Success in Midlife.
Do you wear yours for style or just staying warm or both? What kind do you wear? Have you tried other colors than tan and black? If so which ones?
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Have a look at these 13 tips to look great with gloves! #agelessstyle Click To Tweet
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Photos of me: G. Kramm
Photos of collection: N. Mölders
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