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The glove hunt is over

The glove hunt is over

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I’ve recently been trying to get hold of some vintage gloves. I’ve not been looking for gloves of the insulating kind but, rather, day gloves that no self-respecting fifties lady-about-town would have gone without.

My hunt is in aid of a wedding I’ll be attending shortly where the dress code is ‘morning suits’ rather than the more common ‘lounge suits’. (Yes, I had to rush to Google too.) Figuring that this is probably the only wedding I’ll ever attend where I’m required to look quite so smart, I thought I’d pull out all the stops and use it as an excuse to wear some impractical hand attire.

First off, I tried vintage-inspired clothing boutiques for a new pair. However, what was on offer was long, polyester satin burlesque-style gloves, which are not the look I’m going for at a wedding. So, it was time to try to find the real deal.

Things I have discovered are that what is on offer is mostly white, or else black, and often kidskin or otherwise nylon. I think this very much describes the fifties staples. In the end, I’ve ended up buying two pairs (click to enlarge):

I may shortly part with the white ones as, while I prefer them to the light blue, they don’t go so well with my outfit and I’m not sure when I would realistically ever wear them again (me and white are not the best companions).

You will probably be unsurprised to learn that most of the gloves I came across were far too small for me. I don’t have the most delicate hands, so this isn’t surprising, but I also learnt something else when at the shop where I bought the two pairs shown above. Apparently, some gloves were simply intended to be held when at, for example, the theatre, and manufacturers never made these gloves with the intention that they would be worn. Given this, they didn’t waste material by making the gloves of a wearable size.

The other things I’ve found out is that there are quite a lot of vintage glove patterns around – women used to make their own at home. Sounds distinctly tricky to me!


About SarahAnderson

I love old stuff and like to write.

5 responses »

  1. Venice is the place for gloves-my mum has brought back several pairs over the years and I have three pairs of >60 year old pairs my Grandmothet bought as a young lady (actually now only two-one pair were my staple winter gloves for a few years and I literally wore them out). I have large hands, for a lady (but I am large for a lady, at 181cm, so my 7.5 hands are entirely reasonable) but thankfully so does my granny…and the Italian of yore could cope with this! One of the pairs came with a lovely old flier for the shop- if I’m ever in Venice I hope to look it up to see if it is still there!

    • Hi Helen,

      Thanks so much for this! Never would have associated Venice with gloves. I’d love to hear about the shop, especially if you ever go back.

      So nice that you have your granny’s gloves. I think mine must also have had some pairs at some point, but she was ruthless at clearing out her wardrobe and they never made it down the generations (nor did the rest of her lovely ’50s outfits).

      Your glove size sounds entirely reasonable :). I think I am a 7, and I’m only 5’4″ (chubby fingers).

      Hope to hear from you again,


  2. Pingback: The wedding guests « The Auld from Reekie

  3. I’ve been trying to find gloves to wear for ages. I feel like no vintage outfit could possibly be complete without them. I absolutely refuse to spend money, so I’ve been trying to make them myself for ages. It is very difficult. At first, I just went super basic and traced out my hand, added allowances for the width of fingers, and sewed together two pieces of fabric. It works to an extent, but they tend to be much more shapeless than gloves were intended to be. Thus, I’ve decided to try making gloves with a real pattern, just like the ones you showed above.

    It’s very time consuming, and the measurements are very tricky. But I think it’s worth it, especially since I wear gloves almost every day 🙂 Someday, someday that the future holds, I’ll get the hang of it, and then I’ll finally be a true and worthy lady 🙂


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