…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: https://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk/