Vintage Gloves for Women: 1920 – 1980

Gloves have had numerous transformations over the years. They are an article of clothing which can be done without in some environments and are of top necessity in other environments. They have been an article of clothing for man for many decades.

In the early Victorian times, gloves were a part of dressing for ladies which conferred status. The wealthy women wore fitted corsets, flowing dresses with petticoats and gloves. This distinguished the wealthy from the servants. Servants worked mostly with their hands, so they remained with gloves while they worked.

Gloves in the 1920s

1920s Gloves

From the 1920s, the conferring of status through gloves was at a decline. Wearing gloves was no longer just a thing of wealth, but of necessity and fashion. The wealthy ladies wore gloves to match their outfits or accessories, while the not so wealthy wore plain colors like black, brown, white, grey, etc.

In these decade, gloves were no longer a must wear for decency, so during the summer, when the weather was more friendly, ladies opted out of wearing gloves. During the winter, everyone wore gloves for protection. Winter gloves were either made of leather or wool and were decorated with furs and attractive patterns.

Gloves in the 1930s

1930s gloves

From the 1930s, gloves continued to have their use in the society, and continued to become less of a part of the fashion industry. The opera gloves which came into existence in the 20s continued in the 30s with use by a few people. The opera gloves were elbow length, made form rich fabric like satin and silk. Some were shorter and loose fitting round the arm. They were a sight in Hollywood, as many people considered them dramatic enough for the screens. Some designers thought it more dramatic when they paired these gloves with evening gowns.

Gloves in the 1940s

1940s gloves

After the Second World War in the 1940s, gloves became a rare accessory. They were rationed and made only available for important circumstances. Gloves in cotton were the most popular, however there were more affordable gloves that matched outfits made from wool. In order to bring a certain amount of cheer to the times, ladies opted for a bit more color. Sets of bags and gloves sold in bright and bold colors were made available. In order to make a day swing dress more suitable for an evening event or vintage tea party, ladies wore gloves to give more class. Gloves would always match with something else; a purse, hat or coat.

Gloves in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s

Gloves made a complete reappearance in the 1950s. All gloved patterns of the previous decades came back into fashion. Due to the emphasis on feminity in this decade, an outfit would be incomplete without a matching glove, purse or hat.

By the 1960s, gloves were considered accessories without purpose. They were mostly carried but hardly used. They still maintained their fashion for evening wears or use as wedding accessories, but they were hardly a compulsion. The 1970s saw an almost complete expulsion of gloves all together, asides when they were worn in winter for warmth. The gloves available were mostly considered masculine; leather, suede and plain.

By the 1980s, gloves took on a completely new appeal, appearing in lace, mesh and satin for a wedding. These were worn by mostly wealthy women. They brought back the Victorian use of gloves; separating the rich from the not so rich.

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