But of course Lady Violette has a blue violet glove collection! And strong opinions about gloves!
Here it is ~ my collection of dainty little blue vintage gloves for spring from the 1950s ~ when ladies still wore gloves to protect their pretty hands almost all the time!
They wore them whenever they went outside and for activities such as driving, when shopping (and they kept them on for that) when going out to lunch, tea or cocktails, definitely for church, for dinner, to dances. to the country club. There were special gloves for almost every occasion. From gardening to protect the hands from dirt and sun, to long elegant evening gloves for the glamourous evenings out.It was not unusual to switch back and forth and end up using five pairs of gloves per day.
The goal was to keep your hands young looking, white, and soft. You were to keep them out of the sun in summer and warm in winter. They often put petroleum jelly on their hands, then wore white cotton gloves over it while they slept. (I tried it. But I couldn’t sleep! It felt too weird!”) A bit of hand cream during the day and at bedtime is all I can manage.
It was a common practice to check ones fingernails each morning, file them carefully to points, lightly buff the surfaces, and apply fresh polish daily. My grandmother did this while having morning coffee and reading the newspaper as she let her nails dry. She pushed her cuticles back with an orange stick wrapped in cotton. She didn’t paint the moons. She insisted that oiling the cuticles and never cutting them was the secret to beautiful nails. She also took vast amounts of gelatin as she was sure it was beneficial to having both healthy hair and nails. Natural nails were considered beautiful.
The thick, extra long, fake looking acrylic ghetto-fabulous nails many women wear today would have horrified her! They look like talons! They are not lady-like! Feminine, pretty and healthy nails were the goal… And you must never look like you had to do any work with your hands. The goal was to give the impression that your husband or father was successful enough in business to afford household help. Amazingly women actually did do a lot of household work and cooking and still managed to maintain their hands nicely.
This has to have been due to their attention to taking care of their hands. Their dedication to wearing gloves, filing and buffing their nails, and moisturizing. Historically beautiful hands were greatly admired. Women made caring for their hands a priority.
Gloves are so utterly feminine, so perfectly girlish and charming! I have been collecting them for years. They are getting very hard to find. They don’t seem to be making them anymore! Anywhere that I know of. (If you know of a good source, please, let me know! ) You used to be able to walk into any fine department store and go to the glove bar where there would be a great selection of practical and dressy gloves available in a vast array of sizes. Not one size fits all! And every season an amazing array of high fashion and highly entertaining options would emerge.
There used to be glove bars and hat salons in major department stores. Those were the days! And those are the kind of gloves I covet! I want them in every length, color, style, and fabric. Vogue Patterns is offering vintage patterns for making your own now. I am going to try it.
I provide pictures and descriptions of the real thing now for inspiration.
The Blue Violet Vintage Gloves clockwise from the top:
1) Pale blue/gray nylon ruched elbow length gloves – size small
2) Robin’s egg blue kidskin gloves from Italy – size 7
3) Palest ice blue Kid gloves from France – size 7
4) Periwinkle blue nylon wrist length gloves size 7.
5) Blue super soft and velvety cotton gloves – size 7
Did you know that gloves fit the same way as shoes? A woman’s shoe and glove size is usually the same. Or within the range of 1/2 a size difference. Thus if you wear a size 6 1/2 shoe, you will most likely take a size 6 and a half glove – if you wart a size 8 shoe you will probably wear a size 8 glove.