Monday, June 2, 2008

With Gloves On

One accessory that almost always gets pushed to the back of the closet in warmer weather is the glove. Sure, they hide your manicure and any rings you might be wearing, but they add a touch of classic elegance to any aspiring pin-up.

Once upon a mandate, gloves were a mandate of ladies etiquette. Take a look at the ladies in just about any Hitchcock movie (for example, Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief) and you'll probably find that each of them wear gloves at some point in the film--and not because it's cold. According to Barbara Leaming's biography of Marilyn Monroe, when announcing her divorce to Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn fretted over whether to hold her gloves in her hand or to wear them. Nowadays, many brides still wear gloves as part of their ensemble, and I need not mention that gloves are still a part of many burlesque acts.

I find gloves alluring because they cover a part of my body that almost anyone can touch. We come into contact with other people's hands so often that putting a barrier between them makes us sit up to take notice. Gloves communicate untouchability, modesty and innocence, which is part of what makes them so sexy. Even if the gloves in question are sheer or lacey, there's still a thin veil stretched over your hands, and that's enticing for exactly the same reason that sheer and lacey lingerie can be so hard to resist.

They aren't generally practical in the summer--although they can help dry up a sweaty palm and offer mild protection from germs--but that's not a good enough reason to take off the gloves. Like so many other elements of fashion, gloves aren't always about utility (though these are an exception). They're about adding style and beauty to the world.

And, another piece of good news is that gloves need not be a terribly expensive accessory. Those that are pricey are surely wonderful--such as these, which I received as a holiday gift from my sweetheart--but you can almost always find perfectly suitable gloves at your local thrift or vintage store, and I hope you don't require me to tell you about the bottomless well that is ebay. In short, you've got no excuse for going gloveless, so get out there and pretty your paws for your public.

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Pinup Tales by Kitty du Vert is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.