Friday, October 23, 2009

Gloves Need to Come Back in Style

While recently trying to figure out how to dress like Audrey Hepburn in Charade, I made a discovery. Nothing I could think up out of my own closet was anywhere near as elegant, and I could think of nothing to buy that would be either. Then, I made another discovery. There were two things that Audrey Hepburn had that I did not, and they were one glove on each hand. Well, to be literal, I do have one pair of vintage leather gloves in beige, but I would never wear them out because people would look at me like some kind of a freak. And that happens often enough as it is, thank you. Far be it from me to purposely attract that kind of attention.

But anyway, I tried on a few things with the gloves, and it made all the difference in the world. That is both a good thing and a bad thing, good because it means that not looking elegant can just be blamed on current fashion, but it's a bad thing because until gloves come back in style (if!), nobody can be impeccably well-dressed. Sadly, it doesn't seem likely, so to relieve my feelings I am blogging about it. (Be glad I'm not blogging about other feelings that could do with relieving.)
A few pictures:

The idea that certain aspects of vintage fashion would make us all look better dressed is not limited only to gloves. The list could go on and on. I can think of a few:
  • Skirts. Not that they are no longer worn, but they are worn far less often than they used to be. I don't really understand why...they are more flattering than pants, comfortable, and some guys have said they prefer them.
  • Hats. They add about as much to an outfit as gloves do, but they also add a lot to your face, if you choose the right ones. I cannot say much about hats; the fact that they are never worn except for winter, sports, or the beach makes me ill.
  • Suits for casual wear. Nowadays there is hardly any such thing as a casual suit, or a suit that looks casual even when it is. Last February, I bought a tweed suit for a completely ridiculously cheap price, but I have discovered that wearing it anywhere could only not look out of place unless I carry a sign saying "One-Girl Freak Show." So, I have not worn it once. I am quite sore about that.
  • Casual dresses. So easy to wear, so flattering, but almost nonexistant, or so it seems. Why can't people satisfy their desire for casualness by wearing dresses made out of casual fabric, instead of sacrificing all nice clothes??
  • Natural looking makeup. You don't see this very often among many "vintage revivalist" people--they exaggerate their makeup quite a lot--but genuine classic makeup looks are usually a dramatization of natural coloring. It looked like the way people really look, just more so. At least, that is true of the forties and fifties.
  • Stockings. Seamed or not, what a difference they make! Honestly, how many of us have pretty skin on our legs? I tend to have a few light bruises that pop out out of nowhere, and that's all it takes to look a bit ugly. Also, tights are far more popular than vintage style thigh-highs, which are impractical, but so much more comfortable. And God knows knee highs are too short for anything useful.
  • Medium-toned skin. I don't get some people's dedication to being pale to the point of being faintly blue, but it makes more sense than orange tans. And tanning was fashionable even as far back as the twenties, there was just more balance.
I am sure there are a lot of things you can add to this list. Please do! Or, better yet, write a post about it. Consider yourself tagged.


Amanda Cooper said...

I think you covered just about everything, but I'm willing to give this a try!

Kate Gabrielle said...

yes, yes, yes, yes and yes!! I wish all of these things would come back in style!! As stupid as I look, I actually do have a pair of long gloves (that I found at Target, actually!) that I wear sometimes with my 3/4 sleeve coats. I also went through a phase where I was dying to own a muff, but I refused to get one made out of real fur & faux ones don't seem to exist... anyway... to be honest, as much as I wish that all of the vintage fashions for women would come back, what I'm really wishing for is a clean-shaven male population that wears suits & neckties again!

Millie said...

I will so wear gloves if you do! That was my 6 year old dream to wear gloves! Over the years, I had forgotten about it, but you reminded me! I so love gloves!

Also, HATS! Hats are the coolest thing EVER!

And, I do wear casual dresses! Sometimes I look overdressed, but I still wear them, because they are stupendously amazingly cool!

And, I'm so with you on the natural makeup!

Gosh, this post was so cool! I loved it!

Blondie said...

I too wish that all these things would come back into style, but think I might be too lazy now to participate! I love my jeans, I'm not gonna lie! I do love me some gloves though and wish everyone would wear gloves and hats with their jeans. Have a fabulous day girlie! Kori xoxo

Magaly said...

I agree-I think we have lost that everyday sense of elegance.

Kesenya said...

Darling - wear your gloves and sux to what anyone thinks !! I would wear mine ( I own quite a few pairs) every time I go out if it wernt for the fact that I have three toddlers (oh dear - it is easier to change nappies with bare hands than gloves !!). I dress as authentically vintage as I can as much as I possibly can (although today I must confess I am in modern shorts and a green ginham is very hot). Beautiful summer dresses are much cooler than 3/4 pants or jeans, skirts are just lovely with cute little cardigans and glamerous hats should be compulsary (at least for everyone here in Australia where the sun - and skin cancer - are killers). Let me encourage you to get out there and look as glamerous as you can - most people will admire you for it, and you might just start the vintage glamour trend we are all hungrily longing for !! XO

emma wallace said...

I love my gloves! And wear them with the complete understanding that it's terribly glamorous no matter what other people may think! (And it's probably worse since I live in Florida where gloves are never necessary.)

For me, I'd like to add *Nice, neat nails. As a pianist, I can't even have long nails but I like the ladylike, clipped natural version the best.

Great list!

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

I can't say enough about your wonderful blog. Thank so much for sharing.
All the very best.

Merriam said...

Wow, thanks to everyone for all the lovely compliments! And I agree with all your additions. What wouldn't I do for men in suits.

Lily Lemontree said...

I just happened to stumble across your blog, absolutely love it! Amen to all the above, our society has continued to pare down what we deem as 'casual' and 'comfortable' to the point that we have lost style and elegance along the way. Funny that I was sitting down to write a post about the lost art of the glove when I found your blog and your post on the very thing! I will link you as my inspiration if you don't mind!