Garments that offered protection to the hand and fingers have been used for millennia. They have been made from many different types of materials, including leather and fabric. In the 1500s, however, they began to be popularized as a fashion accessory. That is especially true among famous women, including Elizabeth I of England, who lived from 1533-1603. She started wearing gloves that went up to the elbow as a part of her formal attire. Since that time, gloves continued to be a popular option and by the time the 1800s rolled around, they were a part of everyday wear for both men and women.
Modesty became a larger part of the style in the 1800s as it progressed. Longer dress sleeves began to be seen and as a result, the length of gloves became shorter. Toward the second half of the 1800s, gloves were typically wrist length and they were worn both indoors and outdoors. The sleeves that were worn during the evenings were shorter so longer gloves continued to be a part of that attire. In fact, if a woman were to go out without gloves in public, it was considered to be indecent.
Men also began to use gloves as a basic part of their attire in the 19th century. Men’s leather gloves were particularly popular throughout the 1800s. Leather gloves were very versatile with some worn for dress, others for daily wear and still others for manual labour or for recreational purposes. They would wear them to social occasions and by the late 1800s, a stylish man would never remove his gloves, regardless of whether he was at home relaxing or at a social gathering.
Even today, it can be quite rewarding to put on a pair of winter gloves. If you’ve ever been outside in the cold with a cheap pair of gloves that aren’t lined properly, you realize exactly how wonderful it is to put on a high-quality pair of gloves that keep your hands warm.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
It can be difficult to know if a glove is going to fit by simply looking at it. In fact, you may need to wear it for a week or more before you realize if it is of high quality. The elasticity tends to be the first thing to go in a cheap glove and you may notice some sagging in the material. When you put the glove on for the first time, it will take some work because it is tighter but after you wear the gloves a few times, it will form to the natural contours of your hand. Half sizes are offered in many gloves and we even have quarter sizes available in unlined peccary gloves so that you get the perfect fit every time.
Have Two Pairs Available so You Can Alternate
Cashmere and leather, along with other materials should not be constantly worn. The materials will wear out quickly if they are not allowed to rest between the times that you wear them. For example, if a quality shoe with leather soles were to get wet, it would wear out quickly if you didn’t allow them to dry. It is best if you have a minimum of 2 pairs of gloves so that you can switch back and forth.
The Lining Should Match Your Climate
The different options that are available for glove linings include cashmere/wool, fur, and unlined gloves. When you wear gloves above freezing temperatures, you can typically be comfortable in unlined gloves. If the temperature dips below freezing, you can wear cashmere lined gloves down to 17°F but if it gets even colder, you should switch to fur-lined gloves. Of course, you also need to consider your own tolerance for the heat or cold and how much time you plan on spending outside.
Consider the Virtue of Warmer, Quality Linings
You will often be dealing with a polyester blend with cheaper gloves. Although they last longer than wool or cashmere, they certainly are not considered to be a quality option. Don’t think about how long the lining lasts, think about the quality of the cashmere or wool. The higher quality wool or cashmere linings will keep your hands much more comfortable and warmer, although you may need to replace them after two seasons.
Use a Quality Resource for Buying Leather Gloves
In order to get the highest quality leather and other materials, you may need to pay more. Don’t think of the higher price as being restrictive, think of the price as choosing an option that offers better working conditions within the factory and inspections that ensure quality.