Gloves haven’t always been considered a fashion accessory. Gone are the days when they were considered as a form of etiquette; the last century has dramatically transformed gloves into statement pieces, thanks to celebrity influences and the ever-changing iconic trends from each era…
1920s – 1930s
During the early decades of the 20th century, gloves were generally worn by women. Influential silver screen actresses and singers, like Gloria Swanson and Joan Crawford, strongly promoted the glitz and glamour of elbow length evening gloves. Often made of soft silk, satin, and lace materials, they would often accompany a long gown at a formal party.
On the other hand, men had always treated gloves as a means to show their manners and respect. Wealthy gentlemen would wear them outside as part of their everyday attire, and take them off when entering a building. These gloves tended to be of simple, yet classic styling – often made of a thin leather.
1940s – 1950s
Film continually proved to be a popular factor towards the trend of long gloves during the middle of the 20th century. Who could forget Marilyn Monroe as one of the best evening glove wearers of all time? For example, her sequin detailed gloves (above) combined class and elegance with a hint of flirtation.
Patterns and decorative features became more experimental in the 1950s. Iconic polka dot prints – as seen on Judy Garland’s quaint gloves – were a hit among women. It could be noted that during the latter part of this era, the accessory concentrated less on being a part of formal attire, and more focused on everyday wear.
1960s – 1970s
Having transitioned into an essential form of clothing, the glove considerably reduced in length. Often the cuff would end at the wrist, like we know today. Designs were practical, yet still made room for expressing yourself – whether you had extravagant or classic tastes.
People with a bold sense of fashion would opt for gloves with vivid colours and patterns, as proved in our 1960s image from the Dents archives (above). Those with a feminine tastes could style their look around iconic actress Audrey Hepburn. She beautifully portrayed her class and sophistication through the delicate touches on her plain white fabric gloves.
1980s – 1990s
When the pop culture really hit during the later part of the 20th century, it heavily impacted on glove designs. The accessory had a noticeable shift in popularity towards male celebrities; it became a huge statement piece among music legends such as Billy Idol, David Lee Roth, and Michael Jackson. The king of pop was known for performing in just one white glove, which was encrusted with diamante detailing.
Fingerless gloves (whether they be made of leather or net material) also proved to be popular among party goers at the time. Fans of Madonna will remember her regularly sporting a pair in many different styles.
2000 – Present Day
And finally, we enter the modern day! As a contemporary everyday accessory, gloves have perhaps become tamer in design – but that doesn’t mean they look boring! Many of you choose classic styles such as driving gloves, and those with 3 sewn points on the back. One exception, of course, is extravagantly dressed celebrity Lady Gaga, who arrived on the red carpet in large red ‘washing gloves’ at the most recent Oscars.
Thanks to social media gurus with a keen sense of fashion, leather gloves have become a top accessory – especially for males. Dents gloves have grown in popularity over the last few years, and have even recently been spotted on the likes of blogger Ella Catliff and men’s stylist Angelo Mitakos, who wear them perfectly.
Which era is your favourite when it comes to glove styling?