June 3rd, 2017

Bring back the opera-length evening glove

Long evening gloves used to be standard for all well-dressed women when they wore evening gowns during the 1950s. As a child, one of my very favorite occupations was to open the top drawer of my mother’s bureau (yes, I was allowed to do this) and to try on some of her gloves. They were long and short ones of different colors and materials, including kid, and many of the long ones had a row of tiny elegant buttons.

Here’s a high-fashion version:

And here’s Marilyn Monroe with a color-coordinated version to catch all those millionaires:

If you do a Google search now, it appears that long gloves have been somewhat relegated mostly to the kinky accessory category.

But look at Jackie, so elegant!

And I had a vague memory that Michelle Obama wore opera gloves, too, on occasion. And yes, here they are—the occasion seems to have been a meeting with Queen Elizabeth:

[NOTE: You might want to take a look at what Rita Hayworth does with evening gloves here.]

13 Responses to “Bring back the opera-length evening glove”

  1. SR Says:

    Not a really good look altogether for Mrs. O

  2. Mike K Says:

    When I was a child most women wore gloves when they went out of the house. They also wore veils at formal occasions, mostly outdoors. The veils were thin lace and disappeared about the time men’s hats began to disappear. I think JFK had a lot to do with that.

  3. Frog Says:

    Elegance does not go with Michelle. Part of it is her big butt.

    Today, where would one wear long gloves? We’d need to really go back to the 1950s, which would be wonderful. Tuxedos and dinner jackets for men. Dinner jackets?

  4. n.n Says:

    Yes, do. It’s becoming the feminine form.

  5. miklos000rosza Says:

    Such gloves are used as an accessory in Helmut Newton-style erotic photography, and down into the nether regions of BDSM porn.

  6. parker Says:


    Its the broad shoulders that are the tell.

  7. AesopFan Says:


  8. Sally Kay Says:

    I absolutely loved wearing them to formal occasions! And I recall flying with my family, as a child, all of us well dressed and my mother wearing the attractive short white gloves, all the way to California. Thank you for gifting me this little box of nostalgia.

  9. csimon621 Says:

    Maria Bartiroma got much attention for her scarlet satin evening dress w/ full-length white opera gloves when she sat right behind the podium at 2016 Al E. Smith dinner in NYC as Trump spoke. It was quite the throwback to glamour: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s_jMBZeDcq8

  10. Susanamantha Says:

    My grandmother had a black velvet cape lined in purple. It appears to have been custom made. Such a luxury for her, I can only imagine where in the world she would have worn it in Middletown, Kentucky. Anyway, I have the opera length purple gloves that accompanied the cape and am awaiting an opportunity to wear them. Five months to Halloween.

  11. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    I don’t know if it was also the fashion in the US, but in the late 80’s I dated a model who, for about a year, wore just one of those long-length gloves whenever we went somewhere reasonably formal.

    We were very young so I didn’t see the look very often and never asked why.

    Her girlfriends in the industry also did the same so I think it was a look that went beyond just her.
    She looked really hot in her glove – but that may not have been entirely down to the glove.

    I agree that the longer gloves were very elegant and enhance the look of just about all ladies. However, no-one has worn them better than the immortal Grace Kelly.

  12. ColoComment Says:

    I have several pairs of suede gloves of different lengths in my dresser drawer. From ~1960 or so. With embroidered flowers. I treasure them, but probably will never again wear them.
    Dunno why I keep them. Nostalgia for a day and time that will never return?

  13. artemptydgr Says:

    Feminism killed all that.. Duh
    Your pinning over something intending to objectify you
    It’s evil
    Your masters have spoken
    Take it up with them…

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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