This guide covers how to improve your style with gloves, 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
- Which Gloves to Wear, When, Where?
- What Is the Gloves Etiquette?
- How to Improve Your Style with Gloves in a Nutshell
Disclosure: This post has affiliate links.
Gloves Are Great for All Kind of Protection
Nurses and doctors wear them all the time to protect themselves and their patients. Bikers and skate boarders wear gloves to avoid insuring their hands when they fall. In winter, we wear gloves to keep our hands insulated in cold weather. Famous dog mushers of the Yukon Quest or Iditarod wear them under their mittens. Doing so permits them quickly fixing problems with metal parts of equipment without freezing to it at often below -20F (-28.9oC). Gardeners use them to not get blisters from digging.
However, gloves have so much more to offer than just protection. They are a classic accessory to up your style from good to great.
Stylist tip: Gloves can add the “Je ne sais quoi” to your outfits.
Who Made Gloves Their Signature Style?
Let’s start with taking a look at the Style Icons first. Gloves can be a signature style element. Why not making it yours? Think of the late Karl Lagerfeld, and Queen Elizabeth II; Or even Meghan Makle who always carries them instead of wearing them.
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 sheaths, pillbox hat, and over-the-wrist length white gloves at various state receptions? Classic chic and elegant! These style icons have revealed the recipe for having ageless style with gloves beyond winter. To make an entrance …
Stylist tip: Wear gloves with a tailored simple cut, solid color dress without sleeves.
How to Use Gloves to Style Your Outerwear
When talking about accessories people think first of scarves for style, jewelry, hats or even accessorizing with belts to keep their pants up; Not work, going out, weekend look, nor outerwear.
Those living in a cold winter region think of gloves as a tool for keeping their hands and fingers warm in winter. Nobody wants to ruin the pockets of their coat wardrobe by putting their hands in. Not to mention that doing so is very unpractical!
Stylist tip: Gloves the finishing touch in styling of winter outwear.
From a price-performance ratio, they are under-priced given their 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. Matchy-match is so yesteryear.
How to Wear Red Gloves
Burgundy Gloves Styling Ideas
Outfit with Purple Handwarmers
What Works with Blue Gauntlets
Taupe Handwarmer Outfit Idea
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.
Stylist tip: Wear gloves for more than just keeping your hands warm to not miss out a great opportunity to up your style.
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.
Stylist tip: Gloves can take your look from good to great.
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 Melania Trump.
Rule of thumb:
- Opera length with sleeveless
- Elbow long with 3/4 sleeves
- Wrist hem with LBDs or sheaths
Above the Elbow
Historic Parades and Halloween Outfits
In former times, gloves were widely used in every day life, i.e. not only for staying warm in winter or special occasions. Therefore, they are fashionable at historic parades, heritage or founder festivals, especially in lace. Add them to your costume when dressing for Halloween.
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. 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 King or alike, take day gloves off when shaking hands with whom ever.
How to Improve Your Style with Gloves in a Nutshell
- Get a pair of driving gloves. Black is a classic, red is a head turner. Beige or tan are perfect for summer.
- Pair long black, silver-gray or white gloves with a sleeveless LBD.
- Long leather gloves are a Must-Have for winter coats with 3/4 sleeves.
- In winter, go for gloves with colors. For a modern look, a similar shade as 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.
- White shiny satin gloves look great for brides with sleeveless gowns.
- A mother-of-the groom/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 the 1960s look (fascinator or wide brim hat, cat-eye sunglasses, top handle bag with matching shoes). Instead, unmatch your clutch and shoes. Skip the hat.
- Rock a monochromatic look with gloves.
- Use gloves as a pop of color in your winter outerwear.
- Match your gloves with the material of your outfit.
- Go for the same color of your short gloves as your jacket/coat.
- Try opera-length white satin gloves with formal evening gowns in gemstone colors to show your tuned upper arms.
- If you go to horse races, wear short gloves like Julia Roberts did as Vivian Ward in Pretty Woman. A timeless look even more than 30 years later.
Photos of me: G. Kramm
Photos of collection: N. Mölders
© 2013-2023 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved