Nothing catches the eye like a great pair of luxurious leather gloves! Sophisticated and fashionable, gloves complete the look of any outfit; giving a man an air of distinction and charm.
There are so many types and styles of gloves on the market today, buying the perfect pair can be confusing, so, let’s take a look at what you need to know before you head out to purchase your latest accessory.
There are multiple reasons to wear gloves – primarily to keep hands from getting cold. Not every glove is suitable to be worn for every occasion or with every outfit. Like shoes and belts, gloves should match and compliment the clothing you’re wearing. Gloves come in both dressy and casual styles, so, along with color, the type of leather and glove style need to be a factor when accessorizing.
Leather is a natural product that’s strong, flexible, breathable and comfortable – everything you’d want from a glove. With so many believable faux or synthetic materials used today, make sure the gloves you buy are truly leather… if that’s what you’re going for. Traditionally, lambskin has been the leather of choice for fine dress gloves; however, many types of hide, including cow hide, are used today due to advanced methods of manufacturing; turning low grade leather into soft, supple, classy looking gloves without the expensive price tag.
Leather gloves come in two basic finishes: “flat” – having no shine, and “glossy” – having shine. Flat finishes are usually a more casual glove to be worn with casual clothing; where glossy or shiny gloves are used with more formal attire – suits, overcoats and tuxedos. This is not a hard and fast rule, as I’ve seen dress gloves in flat finishes that look sharp with a suit; however, I would not suggest wearing high gloss gloves with casual clothes.
Gloves come in as many colors as other leather accessories, but unless you’re going to own a vast assortment, choose neutral colors – black and browns – which are versatile colors that safely compliment most outfits and wardrobes. When choosing a pair of gloves, factor in the colors of jackets, coats and suits you own in order to match the majority of your wardrobe. There are many other colors available if you prefer to get creative, yet I suggest you cover the basic, neutral colors first. Obviously, owning more than one color and finish would be ideal.
Gloves come with and without linings; both of which are acceptable. Often, dress gloves do not have linings, since their purpose is for aesthetics and style not warmth. However, dress gloves can be found with natural linings – cashmere, rabbit fur and various wools – which are preferred to manmade materials that cause hands to sweat, if warmth is a factor. Casual leather gloves come with the same lining options as dress gloves.
The best way to choose gloves that fit is to try them on. However, since this isn’t always possible, measure your hand to find out your glove size. With a tape measure or piece of twine, measure your writing hand around the widest part of the palm, excluding your thumb; then round up to the nearest half or whole number. If your measurement is 8 inches, after adding the extra half inch, your glove size is 8 ½.
Glove sizes are determined by either measurement sizes (8, 8 ½, 9, etc.), or S (small), M (medium), L (large) and XL (extra large).
The corresponding numbers are:
S – 7 ½ to 8
M – 8 ½ to 9
L – 9 ½
XL – 10 to 10 ½
Gloves should not be tight or restrictive, but comfortable and a pleasure to wear.
Yes, there is glove etiquette! When meeting another man who is also wearing gloves, it’s acceptable for each to shake hands with gloves on. However, if he is not wearing gloves, or takes his off, remove the glove from your right hand before shaking. Always remove the glove from your right hand when shaking hands with a woman. By practicing glove etiquette, you’ll both look and act the part of a gentleman.
Style is a personal preference, and like the rest of your wardrobe, gloves should be a style you like and feel proud to wear. That being said, I encourage you to wear a sleek, soft, thin leather glove, instead of a stiff, bulky, thick pair, especially with dress clothes. An understated, sophisticated glove adds class and style to an outfit, instead of detracting from it.
Gloves can be found in many retail stores, including department stores and men’s clothing shops. There are countless websites that offer quality gloves from around the world. Finding a pair or two of gloves should be easy and fun. When shopping, if you feel like you don’t want to take the gloves off… you’ve found your perfect pair!
by Aaron Marino