You have to hand it to M&S…


…it does sell exceedingly good leather gloves!

I have rather a liking for gloves, in particular leather ones, and specifically the ones sold by Marks and Spencer which offer outstanding value.  They are beautifully soft, especially so after just a few wearings. For many years I have been receiving them as gifts from my husband and daughter. I look after them and they serve me well. I refer here to the gloves rather than the husband and daughter, though I do try to take care of them too.  Daughter will testify to this as she was on the receiving end of a stern talk from her mother yesterday regarding a particular safety issue in which I regarded her to be negligent!

“I know,” she said, “It’s because you love me.” Spot on, daughter dear.

Back to M&S leather gloves: it’s rare for me to be without a pair (when outside, obviously) in the cold weather but I wear them not only for reasons of warmth. I like the look of them too and have colours to go with just about anything that I care to wear. Over the years some colours have been replaced as needed. I’m on the look out now for lime green ones and hope that M&S introduce this colour as, having tried other brands, I’ve found them not to be as good. I suppose there are exceptions but they probably come at an exceptional price!

Gloves have been worn as a fashion item for centuries, made from all manner of luxurious fabrics. In the past those worn by the upper classes were often lavishly embroidered or embellished with gemstones. I can’t imagine that sales today are anywhere near those reached in the fifties when women wore them for every occasion, including neat white cotton ones in summer. Following Audrey Hepburn’s look in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) long white gloves were considered very glamorous. The well groomed woman was expected to wear gloves in the city or town, when going to church, to lunch, dinner or a reception, to a dance, wedding or official function, and to the theatre.  It was expected that she remove them when eating, drinking or smoking, but not when shaking hands.

Initially worn only for protection (think workmen’s thick protective gloves and gauntlets worn for fighting), gloves have also been worn as part of custom and ritual practice by ancient societies, and as part of investiture ceremonies for monarchs where they symbolize the granting of tenure.  During the Middle Ages, knights were given a ceremonial glove to show understanding between he and the landowners. The knight was expected to provide military service and to be deprived of the glove for misdemeanor was considered very degrading.

The Fashion Museum in Bath (UK) is reputed to have one of the finest collections of gloves in the world:


  1. That is a lovely collection of gloves! I had a tan pair and a brown pair (I honestly don’t think either were leather, though) when I lived in Wisconsin where they were essential during the winter. Here, it doesn’t get cold enough, although I have a couple of pairs of knitted ones to wear on those chilly mornings in February, when I need to bundle up to go to work.


    • I wish our weather wasn’t cold enough for gloves. It seems that our climate has shifted a little, because with the odd exception, our summers are cooler and our winters colder. Or maybe it just seems that way!


  2. I also love gloves! I had a new pair given to me this Christmas, M&S, but whereas I’ve always had Medium size, the Medium are now too tight and I’ve had to exchange them for Large and I certainly don’t have large hands. But never mind, they are lovely soft leather and for a very reasonable price (where else can you buy nicely-made gloves in soft leather for under £20?)
    I don’t have quite your selection of colours just yet, but have black, navy, brown, purple, plum and my favourite gloves are tan and, down the sides of the fingers they are black leather, with little press-studs across the top, so that you press those into place when wearing them, very neat. Mind you, these were treble the price of M&S gloves, they are Ted Baker gloves but after three winters’ wear they are still like new, and they fit to perfection.
    Yes, lime green would make a lovely addition to your (and my own) collection!
    I have a small collection of books on accessories, such as hats, shoes, gloves, bags, shawls, and all these have interesting histories, especially gloves.
    Margaret P


    • I have large size, but by the time they have been worn a few times, I’m sure that could get the medium ones on as they do ‘give’ a lot. My turquoise ones are the next to be replaced as they are now looking decidedly past their best. I like the sound of the tan and black. Coincidentally my husband bought me a book yesterday on shoes. It was produced by the Design Museum in London.


  3. M&S departed from Canada many years ago.

    So my gloves are a random assortment. I think somewhere in Italy there is a wonderful glovemaker who then lets others stamp their brands on them. Ralph Lauren was good for a while, as was Calvin Kline,

    So now I just look for the “made in Italy” label and hope for the best.


    • I’d love to try Ralph Lauren but a bit out of my price range, I’m afraid. Apparently, at one time, the finest gloves were made from very thin…..chicken skin!!


      • My favourite pair is Italian. The palm and under fingers are made of very fine, soft, supple, black leather. The top is suede. A beautiful shade of almost purple with a jacquard pattern which is two shades darker, plum maybe?

        A coworker is convinced they are kidskin. I just know they make me happy and have a wonderful lining of cashmere. I think I paid $35 in the after Christmas sales.

        Ralph Lauren on sale is around $25-30. You just have to know where to shop.


      • They would cost a great deal more in the UK but my daughter visits USA every year at least once. I shall ask her to look for me when she’s there next.


      • TJ Maxx and the larger department stores have great mark downs during January.

        Saw the most wonderful scarlet leather pair yesterday for $35. Unfortunately, their idea of a size 7 isn’t the same as the surgical gloves at works idea of a 7.


  4. I also love M&S gloves. I have black, wine, red, shocking pink (my favourite) and purple. I would love a stone/beige pair, also a pair of navy blue. I would also love a pair of olive green. They are exceptional value for money.


    • How nice to find another fan, and to hear that you agree that they are such good value! Although you can’t quite make out all the colours, I have black, navy and brown among the other more obvious colours. I also have a burnt-orange pair which are not in my drawer. I had a look around but couldn’t find them. I’m hoping that I’ve left them in my drawer at work. Thanks for commenting.


Comments are closed.