I’ve talked about general glove etiquette before, but when I was writing that post, I neglected to talk about different glove lengths and when they are appropriate. And lately, I’ve been seeing some terrible glove fashion, so it’s time to talk about it.
There are three basic lengths of gloves- wrist length, elbow length, and opera length (opera length is long, past the elbow). When shopping for gloves, you might find them sized by button number- 2 button, 4 button etc. The more buttons, the longer the glove (even if the glove does not actually have buttons.) The general rule of thumb to follow is that the shorter the sleeve of your dress, the longer your glove should be. So, opera length gloves would be worn with strapless, sleeveless, or capped sleeved gowns. Opera is also the most formal length and should only be worn for evening events.
Elbow length gloves (which really end just before the elbow) can be worn with long or short sleeves. If the sleeves overlap the glove, the sleeve should cover the glove. Wrist length gloves are worn with long sleeves and are most appropriate for daytime. In the daytime, you would normally wear wrist length gloves even with a short sleeve.
Gloves should also match the tone of your dress. Dark dresses can match with both black and white gloves, but generally, you wouldn’t pair black gloves with light dresses. Similarly, a nice lacey glove looks nice with a light colored, breezey dress, but that same dress would look terrible with a heavy, dark glove. Lacey gloves aren’t going to look good with a heavy wool coat. And so forth.
Have you worn gloves? Would you ever? I have a great dark purple cocktail dress that I think would look smashing with black satin opera gloves…