Gloves have been around since the beginning of fashion. The “clothing of hands,” gloves have evolved to coincide with changing fashions. In a series of articles, we’ll be looking at glove fashions throughout history. Today, we’re focusing on the 1950s.
The 1950s was an incredible decade for fashion, and gloves were particularly stylish and popular. Women typically had several pairs in different styles to match different outfits and occasions. Women weren’t considered fully accessorized unless they had their gloves on when they went out in public. Gloves served a dual purpose - they kept hands clean and warm, and they showed that the woman had the right social graces. Gloves were a sign of high class and etiquette, glamorized by movie stars like Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe.
Most often when women went out in public, they wore wrist-length gloves (nicknamed “shorties”) during the daytime and either wrist-length or long gloves in the evening. Gloves were available in all different colors, and women often had multiple shades so they could match their outfit each day. While women each had their preferred colors, white and shades of cream were a favorite for many, as they were considered elegant and clean. White gloves continued in popularity beyond the 1950s and were made even more popular in the 1960s when the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s was released.
Just as numerous colors were available, so were the fabrics. Cotton and nylon were affordable options, while leather gloves were considered a luxury. Even so, many women owned one pair of leather gloves they wore to special occasions. For women living in colder climates, they could have their gloves lined with rabbit fur. Often, women’s long gloves were made from a lightweight fabric, like cotton and nylon, while their short gloves could be made from a sturdier leather. And beyond their daytime gloves, winter gloves, and evening gloves, they also had a separate pair of driving gloves. When it came to buying gloves, Dents and Pittards were the most popular. For those who couldn’t afford to buy them, they could also make them, as there were many patterns created for gloves.
The 1950s were an incredible time for wearing gloves. While today gloves are less frequent, women still wear them throughout the year, during winter and while driving. At Sundriven, we make driving gloves that are stylish and functional. They look fashionable while protecting your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays. Give a nod to the 1950s the next time you’re out and about by wearing your favorite pair of Sundriven gloves!