Here, see pictures of dozens of styles, plus get vintage fashion tips & glove etiquette! (For more, see Vintage gloves from the turn of the century: How to choose, wear & care for these elegant classic accessories.)
The rules for wearing 1950s gloves for women (1958)
By Amy Vanderbilt – The Paris News (Paris, Texas) November 12, 1958
Before me is a set of rules on glove-wearing put out by The Leather Glove Producers of France, with which I agree in most respects, but not all.
Here is what they say about the wearing of gloves:
“Women who don’t wear gloves every time they go out tend to feel self-conscious on the few occasions that they wear them. Self-consciousness about your clothes and accessories is a real poise-destroyer.
“So, the first rule, if you would handle yourself gracefully when wearing gloves, is to make them a habit. Then you won’t feel there’s anything ‘different’ about yourself when you have them on.
“The other rules of glove etiquette are more formalized.
“When to keep them on: Don’t carry your gloves, wear them. Put them on before you leave the house, the restaurant table, or your seat at the theater.
“Keep them on at a cocktail party or tea unless you are going to eat. It’s perfectly good etiquette to hold a glass or cup in a gloved hand. But it’s bad etiquette to pick up food while wearing gloves.
“The solution of many chic Frenchwomen is to remove one glove only at a cocktail party or tea. She holds the glove in her left hand or leaves it with her bag which she keeps near her.
“Keep your gloves on to shake hands, whether with a man or woman.
“Keep them on while dancing. (This rule is not fixed. It is not considered bad form to take gloves off for dancing if you prefer to.)
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“Particularly important to brides: Keep your gloves on if you are in a receiving line.
“When to take them off: Etiquette decrees that you must remove both gloves completely (even the long opera length) before sitting down to the table or helping yourself at a buffet.”
In a recent Brigitte Bardot picture, Brigitte Bardot cuddles a champagne glass in a gloved hand.
Most of the women in this country find keeping their gloves on at cocktail parties is impractical because of the service of canapes. It is bad form to take canapes with the gloves on.
If you subscribe to the one-glove-off-and-one-glove-on system and want to take a canape, you must take it with the ungloved hand.
Certainly, at a cocktail party in the suburbs or country areas, the woman who insists upon keeping her gloves on — or even one glove on — might seem pretentious.
The best rule is: if the others have taken off their gloves, you do so, too.
In the matter of keeping on one’s gloves when shaking hands, a woman removes them when shaking hands with a head of state or church.
In certain countries abroad, the right glove is removed by ladies for hand-shaking with either sex. Follow the custom of the country in which you find yourself.
Also, the climate of this country is vastly different from that of France. In our very hot sections, it is unbearable for women to wear gloves under all circumstances in public. It is quite proper for them to remove and hold or carry their gloves under certain conditions.
A woman might wear her gloves to a town meeting or to a flower show (to keep her hands clean in transit), then remove them and carry them during the proceedings for the sake of comfort, and perhaps to make it easier to handle programs, pencils and so forth.
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When should you remove your gloves? ’50s glove etiquette tips (1950)
By Elinor Ames – Daily News (New York, New York) June 2, 1950
1950S READER QUESTION:
When wearing gloves and about to shake hands, does one remove the right glove? Is it correct to shake hands with the glove on and apologize for same? Is it ever proper to shake hands with the glove on and not apologize?
Also, what is the rule of etiquette regarding removing the glove when shaking hands with a minister after the Sunday service, when going down a receiving line, when one heads a receiving line?
I have always been taught to remove one glove before starting down a receiving line but I notice other ladies wearing their gloves. Have you a booklet on proper attire for various occasions, proper accessories, etc.? – A READER
THE 1950S ETIQUETTE EXPERT ANSWERS:
Outdoors, it is never necessary to remove the glove or comment about it. The expression “Pardon my glove” is as out-of-place as “Pleased to meet you” — and as seldom heard.
Indoors, one would remove the glove if it could be done inconspicuously. But it is bad form to stand struggling with a glove to your own and others’ embarrassment.
In other words, if you can’t get your glove off in time, extend your gloved hand without apology. This rule would apply when greeting a clergyman or any guest of honor.
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If the gloves are considered as part of the costume, it would be permissible to keep them on when going down a receiving line or when standing on the line. Those on the receiving line at a formal dance would wear gloves.
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A guest whose costume was all-black only relieved by bright gloves or whose gloves were the same material and color as a hat or bag could consider the gloves a part of the complete outfit and keep them on.
At a reception or party of any kind, however, gloves must be removed before taking any refreshments.
Stylish 1950s gloves: Finger-tip fashion from “Mr Fred”
From Woman’s Day – September 1950
Again we bring you fresh, exciting John Frederics accessories you can make for yourself. This time, they’re Mr Fred’s new costume gloves of fabric — each with that unmistakable couturier touch.
Equally smart in any number of fabrics and colors to blend or contrast with your outfit, the costume glove is a wonderfully practical new fashion idea.
Adopt it for daytime or evening, formal or informal dress. Put your imagination to work, and make clever use of those scraps of tweed, jersey, velvet, ribbon, lace…
The crushed-wrist look in soft jersey (top right) is further highlighted by spiral piping. A perfect accompaniment to a special luncheon or dinner outfit.
The dressy shortie (lower right) of rich velvet, with jersey palm. For the Paris touch, a jeweled pin adds glitter between the double points of the satin cuff.
The wide cuff of this wool-flannel gauntlet (far right) flares from the elastic-shirred wrist and sports an unusual button-over flap for added attention.
Long and lacy, the sleeve glove (below) encloses the arm in an airy puff. As a sleeve, it can give dramatic emphasis to even the simplest evening dress.
Marilyn Monroe with long pink gloves
This is a still from Marilyn Monroe’s movie, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”
First Lady Mamie Eisenhower in Mamie Pink gloves – 1950s
Red vintage 1950s gloves for women
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Golden yellow evening dress with elbow-length white gloves
Woman in a smart tailored ’50s suit, leaf hat and short white gloves
Puffy vintage pink formal evening gown worn with long white gloves
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Elegant yellow evening dress with above-the-elbow gloves
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Woman wearing gloves in a classic 1950s car
Old-fashioned white cuffed vintage gloves above the wrist
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Vintage 1950s woman in pale taupe outfit with matching gloves
Retro woman in a red dress and black elbow-length gloves
When to wear gloves & hats: Style tips from the ’50s
From the Rocky Mount Telegram (Rocky Mount, North Carolina) August 7, 1955
Gloves and hats should be worn at all public functions and all social gatherings that are formal in character; that is, church, teas, luncheons, weddings. Hats may or may not be worn at gatherings after five o’clock or with formal clothing.
Gloves should be worn for evening parties, dinners, and dances. One fashion editor says that “gloves can be worn with a hat, but hats can never be worn without gloves.”
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If you want to be conventionally correct concerning gloves, do this: Wear a four-button slip-on glove of beige suede with your long-sleeved daytime suit or coat. (Length of gloves is measured in buttons, each button representing one inch from the base of the thumb.)
Wear a glove that can stretch up or crush down to meet your elbow-length coat or dress.
When in doubt, black glace kid or white doeskin are perfect choices.
For evening, wear a wrist-length white kid glove with everything-or an up-to-the-shoulder suede or glace kid glove with your completely decollete real evening things. No mistakes here.
Gloves add a dash of elegance (1950)
By Alicia Hart – The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina) September 26, 1950
Many women purchase gloves just because it’s conventional. Instead of wearing them, they carry them about like limp flags to signal their owners’ knowledge, if not observance, of the rules.
Those with an eye for important details, however, use them to add dash and elegance.
Not only is it important to choose your gloves in a color that will accent or complement your costume, but it is also necessary to wear them as a planned part of your outfit, not as an afterthought.
Pull them on smoothly, making certain your fingers are thrust down well into the glove tips. Straighten them so that there are no twisted seams. Long gloves should be crushed into artful folds to give an effect of softness to your arms and wrists.
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Woman in pink silk evening dress & white gloves
Vintage gloves made of French kidskin, lustrous capeskin, peccary pigskin, rayon and nylon
1950s bride in informal dress and a pair of short wrist gloves
Old-fashioned evening gown with long matching blue gloves
A shimmering gold evening gown and matching 1950s gloves for women
White gloves accent this formal ’50s dress
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1950s woman in long blue evening dress and shoulder-length green gloves
Vintage gloves for women in the Sears catalog (1954)
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Vintage actress Jeanne Crain in a navy suit and white gloves
Pictures of vintage everyday 1950s gloves for women
A woman in a navy blue coat and gold-colored gloves
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Yellow gloves to match a yellow blouse under a charcoal suit
Cream sleeveless top with below-the-elbow 1950s gloves for women and a strand of pearls
Vintage ’50s woman in a gray outfit with red accents
Fifties woman wearing a winter coat, hat with veil, and stylish red gloves
Conservatively-dressed woman in a fitted blue coat and pale yellow dress gloves
Isn’t she glovely?
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In the early 1970s, my mother and other ladies wore white gloves to church… but that was the only place you saw them. By then gloves were on the way out, and most younger women saw them as either pretentious or old-fashioned. Madonna made them trendy for a brief while in the ’80s, but that was largely in an ironic or fetishized sense. Today, ladies’ gloves have joined decorative hats and pipes as affectations that appear to be permanently obsolete.