For the last several days my mind has continued to drift towards – gloves. Leather gloves. Fine leather gloves.
It’s been decades since I owned a pair of fine leather gloves. Back in the day fine leather gloves were what I wore. I bought them in fine stores like Saks 5th Avenue or even at the fancy glove counter in Macy’s where all the goods were kept in glass cases and could only be accessed by Macy’s fine sales clerks – you know the ones. Or maybe you don’t if you had never shopped in Macy’s New York where the sales clerks are taught how to ignore you. It’s Macy’s folks, not Saks 5th Avenue where one expects to be ignored if one is not wearing mink and dripping diamonds.
I have gloves in a bottom drawer with all kinds of assorted Winter wear, which I don’t…wear. The gloves are a variety of one-size fits all stretchy gloves and cheap leather and knit S/M/L size gloves, probably bought at Target.
Fine gloves come in specific sizes. If you didn’t know your size the sales clerk would measure your hand – the width of your palm at its widest and from the tip of your middle finger to the base of your hand. Often only the palm width was used. Sizes started at 5 and increased by halves, my glove size was 7.5. But fine leather gloves also came in narrow, regular and wide. What I always found odd was that very, very often your glove size was equal to your shoe size.
Gloves came in lengths – measured by buttons way back when, and as I remember, described by how far up your arm the gloves went – cuff length, bracelet length, elbow and opera length. I found a little graphic –
There is/was a whole etiquette to gloves – really fascinating I suppose, if your mind wanders to esoteric fashion history. I would add links to various web sites that recount the history of gloves, their uses and meaning but I know you are really not all that interested. I scanned through a few and some of it is quite interesting, right up to today when it seems opera gloves are making a fashion comeback. Oh, here’s a link to a very short history of gloves.
The thing is – I have no idea what prompted my thinking about gloves, or why the thoughts and images kept recurring over several days – so much so that here I am writing about it.
Perhaps because I have more important things I should be thinking about, I chose to spend my mental energy remembering when gloves were a thing…