Obsolete Fashion: Do You Believe in a Thing Called Glove?

obsolete fashion, obsolete gloves, gloves, 1950s, 50s, 50

Photos (clockwise from top left): A Scrapbook of Me, A Scrapbook of Me, Retro Ways

Today, we only wear gloves when the weather is chilly and we need an extra layer of warmth, but for centuries gloves were worn as decorative garments symbolic of social status and power. In the Middle Ages, royalty and church dignitaries sported them for ceremonies. During the Renaissance, noblewomen showed off lavishly embroidered, perfumed gloves made from silk, linen, and leather. In the 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I loved gloves so much that she acquired some 2,000 pairs and even employed a wardrobe mistress whose exclusive task was to care for them!

In the 20th century, gloves became standard in design and mass produced like other types of clothing. Throughout World War I and World War II, gloves were rationed, and therefore usually worn only for warmth in cold weather. A glove renaissance occurred in the 1950s, though, spurred on by designer Christian Dior and celebrities like Marilyn Monroe (see images above). During their 20th century golden age, gloves were produced for the masses in a vast array of materials and colors. In fact, a woman of the 1950s was almost expected to accessorize each outfit with a pair of gloves, and etiquette dictating the “proper” way to wear them even enjoyed a brief revival.

What do you think? Cast your vote, and/or leave a comment below!

<br /> <a href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/3236125/” mce_href=”http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/3236125/”>Tell us, are you in ‘glove’?</a><br /> <span style=”font:9px;” mce_style=”font:9px;”>(<a href=”http://www.polldaddy.com” mce_href=”http://www.polldaddy.com”>polls</a>)</span><br />


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  1. Avatar
    Hannah (ModCloth) 05/21/2010 at 12:06 pm #

    Ah! I love gloves. I own a silly amount when you take into account how much I wear them. If only I could figure out how to type in them and eat in them, I’d wear them all the time forever and ever and ever ever ever! 😛

  2. Avatar
    Amanda 05/21/2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Oh, yes, yes, yes, please! I made it a point to revive vintage fashion this past Easter, making my own fashion fascinator hat and then pairing it with the White Poise Gloves from Modcloth. Well despite the opulance and grandeur of my home-made hat, an elderly woman sitting in our pew said she liked my outfit most of all because of the gloves. She said she misses the days when gloves were worn by all the fine ladies. I think they could definitely find a resurgance, but Modcoth, you must sell more! There are only 3 styles available right now!

  3. Avatar
    Iva 05/21/2010 at 12:46 pm #

    I think they are SO CUTE!!!

  4. Avatar
    Susan 05/21/2010 at 1:01 pm #

    I have a few pairs of gloves my mom used to wear in the late 50s. They are so pretty and elegant. I vote to bring back hats too!

  5. Avatar
    Melissa 05/21/2010 at 1:46 pm #

    I love gloves! They add so much polish to an outfit that it’s a shame people don’t wear them (not to mention hats) anymore.

    I agree with Amanda that Modcloth should sell more styles of gloves. We big-handed modern girls need a place to buy them, since so many vintage ones are too tiny!

  6. Avatar
    RachelC 05/21/2010 at 4:40 pm #

    PLEASE bring back the glove! 🙂

  7. Avatar
    Sophie 05/21/2010 at 8:54 pm #

    I believe!
    I always eye gloves wishing that I could just throw them on as part of an outfit. Maybe I will!

  8. Avatar
    Mousevox Vintage 05/23/2010 at 12:36 am #

    Gloves are always a unique way of sprucing up simple ensembles. I can, bring on the glove!

  9. Avatar
    Lauren 05/25/2010 at 3:19 pm #

    I wear gloves every chance I get! Its funny how often I get comments from my grandmothers generation when shopping – they all approve of course! When did we forget that gloves are a beautiful accessory? (And helpful when avoiding germs at the supermarket!!!!)

    Bring back the gloves!

    Here’s a link to the way I like to wear them 🙂


  10. Avatar
    Bernadine 06/10/2010 at 12:02 pm #

    I would love the bring the gloves back. But I live in sunny temperate Singapore and all I would have at the end of the day would be sweaty fingers. Maybe just a pair of light lacy ones. Sigh…

  11. Avatar
    caroline 01/24/2011 at 5:42 pm #

    I love gloves! I’d definately wear them!

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