Monday, 17 January 2011

Studded Leather Driving Gloves

I bought these gloves last year when studs were all the rage.  Although I photographed them in the summer I thought I'd post these photos since I've been wearing them again to add a silver accent to my winter blacks.

Gloves have always fascinated me.  Perhaps it's because I grew up in warm climates and it was just never cold enough to need to wear them.  Rather than a necessity against potential frostbite, they seemed more like luxurious decorative accessories, worn simply as an extra adornment, which made them seem all the more desirable.

As teenagers desperately seeking to escape the dreariness of the Australian suburb we called home, my sister and our friends would often visit a vintage clothing shop together called Memory Lane which was tucked away in a tiny shopping arcade in the city centre.  It was probably one of the only vintage clothing shops at the time and it had a window full of decadent displays of the most amazing and dramatic vintage clothing and accessories.

There was always a basket near the door teeming to the brim with pairs of vintage gloves of every length, fabric, design and colour imaginable.  The store owner was an elderly lady who was good natured enough to allow a gang of broke teenagers with an unrequited love for vintage clothing to regularly rifle through her collection oohing and aahing, knowing full well we didn't have the money to buy anything.

She would also talk us through the history of pieces we found interesting and one day I became very taken with a pair of tan leather gloves with backs of champagne coloured crocheted cotton.  I had never seen a pair of gloves so unusual and so lovely.  She told me that they were driving gloves and I remember being starstruck at the thought of this bygone and more glamorous era, where people would wear such beautiful gloves just for driving.

Now whenever I buy gloves I look for some interesting detail in the design so as to combine a form I find pleasing with function.  It also means I take much better care not to lose them!  When I bought these my sister was visiting from Australia.  She looked a little envious inspecting my purchase, running her fingers over the studs as she sighed to her boyfriend, "wouldn't it be great to actually need to buy gloves like this because you have to wear them?"

For an excellent and inspiring example of DIY studded gloves then check out the amazing designs of the divine Miss Devilishly Pleasurable.  A true glamour puss who also recognises the power of gloves in dress she does rather fabulous DIY jewellery too and has the most gorgeous, to-die-for girly flat with a parlour and boudoir!

Studded leather driving gloves, Karen Millen


  1. I'm learning to drive and think that a pair of fabulous leather driving gloves will be my treat to myself when I eventually pass!!

    Love the detail on your gloves :)

  2. I do love those, very sexy and reminiscent of Emma Peel.
    One of my earliest memories is riding in my Dad's AC Cobra with him resplendent in knitted backed leather driving gloves. xxx

  3. The store owner sounds liked she was an incredible woman. Imagine her joy to share a love of vintage clothes with teen girls who were just as excited about them as she was!

    Gloves are one of my favorite accessories too. The unfortunate part is that I live in Wisconsin and warmth and practicality need to take priority over fashion when it comes to gloves. Many of the most beautiful pairs aren't warm enough to battle 10 degree weather! But for spring and fall, I'm all over them!

    (And I'm currently looking for a pair of fuchsia leather gloves. I can't imagine a better color to wear with my white winter coat.)

  4. Gloves are great fun, I do agree. Also in that category are hats. I always hated sun hats, but love getting dressed up in caps and berets over here x

  5. That shop sounds like quite the shop.
    Thank you for the boots link. Though I'm looking for leather, maybe LD Tuttle will bring back their shaper boots this year again. Those were perfect.

  6. I love gloves too. The pair you've featured seem like an updated sexy pair the artist Tamara de Lempicka would feature in one of her paintings if she were still alive. Red lipstick required!

  7. Wonderful gloves! To think that women wore gloves in warm weather so their hands wouldn't get an unsightly tan... I'm a huge gloves fan too and wear them up to 10 degrees because my hands are ALWAYS cold.

  8. Love the driving gloves - they would add a bit of spice to any wardrobe!


  9. Veshoevius--I just finished reading a novel that revolved around the now defunct glove industry in the USA. It discussed how the leather is selected, how the gloves are patterned, etc. Philip Roth's American Pastoral might be a book to read.

  10. Um... am I dreaming?? I swear I left a comment on this post and I SWEAR there was a 'grey camisole' post that I commented on late last night... rather early this [my] morning, around 3!

    Maybe I was dreaming. Guilt at not having left comments on bloggers posts. Now I'm dreaming about it!!!

  11. @Dusk - there is a grey camisole post and yes you did leave a comment - no you were not dreaming about that one!

    @Terri - thanks for that - must look that novel up!

    @Julia - indeed they do - I love these gloves - thanks for stopping by!

    @SabinePysnopsis - I have super cold hands too (as well as feet) and am sure I'm wearing them at much milder temps than most people

    @jill815 - red lipstick - yes indeed!

    @Prêt à Porter P - I often wonder if it is still there or moved to be something else - good luck in your boot search

    @Penny Dreadful - funnily enough I wore more hats in oz than over here (??)

    @jessica - I guess you have to dress for snow huh - I must admit below a certain temperature leather gloves don't do anything to keep my hands warm!

    @Vix - what a memory!!

    @Shop girl - oh you must! Good luck with the driving test.

  12. Beautiful shots of your sumptuous, sensuous gloves. I like the punk textures against the delicate old window hardware.

    I actually do need gloves for warmth *and* driving. I have found the best combination to be what I think are quite sexy black kid gloves lined with cashmere. The leather and the thinness of the cashmere lining allow me to grip the wheel securely, yet they block winter wind and hold warmth.

    I have long found vintage and antique leather gloves to be sexy in a Victorian way --

    I love your story of the vintage shop! Is it still there? Or was there big sale when it passed?

  13. Hmm...part of my comment was cut off again! Maybe because I had two toddlers crawling on me. "I have long found vintage and antique leather gloves to be sexy in a Victorian way -- covering but revealing form."

  14. What lovely gloves. I would love to own such a pair.

  15. What a beautiful pair of gloves.


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