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What gloves to wear: Reader question

22 August 2012

Dear Simon,


I am seeking advice about gloves. Firstly what colour pairings do gloves go with? Is it possible to be adventurous or should one stick to brown and black? Also where could I find a very tight pair of leather gloves? Fingerless gloves for shooting do not agree with me and a very tight (for enhanced sensitivity) pair would be great.

Image: The SartorialistThank you
George


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George,


The key to gloves is not to match them with anything, but as with any accessory, be aware of colours that go well together because of their relative formality or colour palette.


There is nothing wrong with brown or black, but black in particular is rather limiting. I would only wear black gloves with suits and other formal outfits when you are likely to be wearing black shoes. Dark brown is more flexible, as it would certainly go with any other more casual outfit, but chestnut is even better. And now we begin to get into our stride.


A tan glove has more potential for patination, which can wonderful personality to any leather product, and skins like peccary or carpincho provide softness and interesting texture in the same tan tones. Green, too, in paler variations, is more interesting than brown but within the same autumnal colour palette. I have a particularly lovely pair of green lambskin gloves from Bill Amberg that have proven to be surprisingly versatile.


The paler or darker – essentially, the less saturated – a glove is the more formal it can be. Hence yellow chamois is a classic formal glove and, though a little showy, can be a lovely alternative to black with suits.


You have a wide range of choices therefore, and are certainly not restricted to black and brown. If you are a lawyer and wear grey suits every day with black Oxfords, black gloves are probably a must. The managing partner may wear yellow chamois with the same outfits. Elsewhere, tan is probably the most versatile colour and dark browns or other dark colours the next.


Looking at the Dent’s site (the Heritage Collection is hand-sewn and stretched – see post here), the options include very dark browns, greys and greens alongside the standard colours. Lissom & Muster also stocks some good Chester Jefferies pairs.


Recommending some that are close fitting is difficult, as much depends on your hands. But you want to go for unlined gloves, and those with the seams turned out so the fit can be closer, particularly through the fingers. With any of the online heritage retailers, you’ll probably find that stock is low at the moment as this is the ‘off’ season. But you only have a few weeks to wait.


Simon