...goes to but one great website this week: The Houndstooth Kid. What is this awesome gentleman's site about? In the words of the Houndstooth Kid: "The purpose of this blog is to point out both the common and obscure aspects of 1930s-1950s men's style and how it affects us today. Vintage style has and is still influencing the way we dress and generally live our lives. Everything we wear today is derived from earlier styles that have been tweeked in certain ways depending upon the latest fashion.Here we will look at both the earlier "pure" style as well as how that style is being taken and tweeked today, for both the good and the bad."
This phrase is perhaps or perhaps not uttered countless times a day in cities, towns, and even hamlets. Why? What does it all mean? In one word: Gloves.
Gloves have become an item donned merely due to cold weather, rather than to proper etiquette. It used to be, however, that gloves were worn (by gentlemen and ladies) in the street, at an evening party, to the theatre (and/or opera), when riding a horse, driving a car, or going to church. They were not worn in the country or at dinner.
What has happened? How has glove etiquette become practically extinct? It is, maybe, the same ill attitude that finds dressing-up every day a relic from the ancient world (pre-1960 AD), from which we have been blessed to be freed.
Freed from dressing like a gentleman? Nonsense! I would even say "Pish." By dressing-up one shows respect for oneself and for people in the general vicinity. What's more, a well-dressed gentleman wields a curious power--vis, a handsome wardrobe elevates and refines society, and also causes women to swoon. Lest anyone think I'm talking through my hat, there was an interesting study done some years back with classical music. Classical music was played through public speakers in a park where crime was commonplace. After a while of ‘round the clock classical music, the crime rates in the park plummeted and women were swooning all over the place. There is something about the very atmosphere of a place, I would wager in sight as well as sound, which does indeed have a wondrous effect on society.
But back to gloves qua gloves. Gloves are a classic element of a gentleman’s wardrobe. And when speaking of gloves it is to be understood that we are speaking of fine leather gloves, which come in a variety of weights with a variety of insulation strengths for various seasons. They don't have to be expensive, either. I found some great brown leather gloves for 20 bucks at Overstock.com
Speaking of color, black gloves go with black and grey outfits, brown goes with the rest. Some lads even wear a shade of yellow gloves (which would go well with a blue ensemble--goes with black, too, if you don't mind being taken for an unusually large specimen of bee). There are times when white gloves are required, though this is perhaps rare for most men these days. One would wear white gloves, for example, with formal wear when attending a ball, or checking for dust.
In addition, gloves keep grime, germs and bacteria off the hands. Especially important in the days of swine flu. Think of all the doors and the like you come into contact with all the day--you can be spared many of the germs thereof. For example, when you take your gloves off and rub your eyes out of sheer weariness you won't be imparting so many germs into them.
Finally, and in spite of taking a chance on stating the obvious, gloves don’t work when wearing a polo-short, t-shirt and the like. To be at their best, gloves need to be paired with a suit, or nice pants and a sport coat (say, grey flannel pants and a blue blazer). Gloves can work with a nice sweater as well. I suppose the point is, gloves and short-sleeve shirts don’t mix.
And need it even be said? Wearing gloves is simply dapper.