Good gloves are often worth the money. If you trust yourself not to lose a pair in a bar or leave them behind a cab, quality gloves – particularly those made from leather – will look better with age.
If you don’t already have a pair, here are five things to consider when shopping for some, as well as suggestions on worthwhile brands.
Know Your Fit:There are some companies out there that can make you custom-fitted gloves, but most people will be better served with off-the-rack pieces. The key is to know your size. Wrap a measuring tape around the widest part of your palm and the number in inches is your glove size. Most companies offer sizes in half-inch increments, but if you find yourself in-between sizes, go with the smaller fit. Gloves naturally stretch with time.
Pay Attention to Materials:Skip anything made from acrylic – they’re simply not that warm. Wool is worth the up-charge, so long as the knitting is dense. A bit better still is something in leather, but here you’ll want to pay attention to the different types of skins. Lambskin and kidskin are smooth and fine enough to pair with any kind of tailored clothing; peccary and carpincho are the slightly textured look, which I find gives a nice, distinct look against rustic fabrics such as tweed. Deerskin and buckskin, on the other hand, are heavily grained and often designed for more casual use. You’ll typically want to use those with more rugged, workwear outfits, where a pair of fine lambskin gloves may not visually hold their own.
Choose a Lining that Fits Your Climate:There’s a trade-off here between warmth and silhouette. Unlined gloves fit closer to your hand, giving them a more svelte and, I think, flattering look. Fur-lined gloves, on the other hand, will keep your fingers toasty in the coldest of climates, but they can look like oven mitts. For something between these two worlds, consider gloves lined in silk, wool, or cashmere. I personally use unlined gloves for temperatures above 50 degrees, then cashmere-lined gloves for anything colder.
Consider Color:Black and gray gloves can be great for outfits that mostly rely on black and gray, but otherwise, brown is your most versatile color. Your gloves don’t match your shoes, but they should complement your outfit, so think of the total look. Unusual colors, such as green, yellow, or navy, can also be a nice way to add a bit of a colorful eccentricity. If you, like me, favor texture over loud colors, try something in suede. Just note that suede will age in patchy and uneven ways, but that
Look at the Construction:Hand stitching can be nice on higher-end gloves if you value craft, but the biggest distinction is in how the fingers have been made. If the edges have been tucked in, such that the fingers have been sewn and then flipped inside out, you’ll have a slightly slimmer silhouette. If the edges face outward, such that you can see the stitched seam from the outside, they’ll look thicker. Some gloves will also have little diamond-shaped gussets, known as quirks, sewn between the fingers to aid movement.