The role of gloves has changed over the centuries: born with a purely protective function later became a symbolic and ritual accessory, now returning to it’s original use.
In the times in which extend your naked hand to another person was considered impolite gesture, this was hidden from any view, bury inside the glove. Hands should always be covered in public, and for this reason it was necessary to own different kind of gloves, appropriate in any occasion. The gentleman then, at that time and today, has a large collection of them, paying attention to every detail, from models to leather, from decorations to fit. The gloves had to be of fine leather, perfectly bonded to the hand and without the slightest trace of dirt. Characteristics which are quite far from the contemporary needs, when the gloves are worn exclusively outdoors, with the exception of the white gloves of frac.
The gloves are now an integral part of the men’s look, both for their practical role as a defense against cold, either because they are able to add an extra touch to an autumn or winter outfit. The models today’s market are of different types, but mainly can be distinguished according to the material: leather or knit. These two fabrics have different features and functionality: the leather, with great charm, keeps the cold out and will give a special touch to the look, while the wool will keep your hands warm and donate to the look a comfortable and practical appeal. Fascinating then, there are driving gloves, pretty hard to pull off and not suitable with the low temperatures, but undoubtedly perfect for a fashion editorial or on Steve McQueen during the ’70s.
Leather gloves are very stylish and they have a traditional and elegant mood at the same time. They aren’t bulky and therefore they’re used by those who need not to impede movement. For the colder months there are models in leather but lined in wool or cashmere, which represent a fair compromise. They can have a particular style: decorated with stitching and details, with nuances, clippings, vintage effects and models without fingers. Moreover, leather gloves are versatile and suitable to wear with an office suit, but also with a casual and informal outfit. Finally, these gloves get better with age, in fact, if well cared and treated with specific products, have longevity and a fascinating used look.
The knitted gloves have different styles and can be, just like the leather version, fingerless: very useful to use with smartphone and they often have an extra glove that can be over-applied. The versatility of wool gloves leads them to be an excellent gift for a birthday or Christmas and there are available in many textures and patterns.
How to wear them? A pair of black or brown leather gloves brown or black are perfect paired with wool pants, a striped shirt, a quilted jacket and some black alpine appeal boots, suitable for snow. A pair of wool gloves, instead, will be impeccable with a cardigan in thick wool, ribbed or braids.