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bernie sanders wearing mittens

A Guide To Men’s Gloves

We’ve reached the third and final installment in our guide to men’s winter accessories series with our guide to men’s gloves. Though the warmth continues to fight against the chill (it’s 67 degrees and sunny here in Philadelphia as of this writing), we will need gloves sooner than later. To that end, ht follows is a quick run-down of some common styles of gloves for men.

Everyday Gloves

We consider “everyday” gloves to be gloves you’d wear, well, everyday. They can work from anything from suits to jogger pants and sweatshirts, and we break them down into two buckets: formal and casual.

Formal

man in blue suit and grey topcoatWe use the term “formal” pretty loosely here – though black-tie and white-tie gloves exist, they’re by no means “everyday” gloves. For our purposes, a formal everyday glove refers to a glove with a leather outside and some kind of insulation on the inside, typically merino wool or cashmere. More rarely (and controversially), furs such as rabbit are used to insulate everyday formal gloves.

The skin used for the outside is typically calfskin – a soft, supple leather with a great handle and pliability. They wear in similarly to how a pair of great leather shoes will break in over time. While less common, some everyday formal gloves will use exotic leathers – namely ostrich.

These are the gloves you wear with your everyday garments – suits, sport jackets, custom denim, etc. – anything you’d wear when you’re headed to work, out to a meeting, or to a shared meal.

Casual

man wearing casual glovesFor us, casual gloves refer to bulkier gloves typically made from high-tech, man-made materials – something you’d find at REI before, say, Neiman Marcus. They’re often lined with fleece (a very soft, warm, synthetic wool) and/or Thinsulate, a brand of synthetic thermal insulation produced by 3M.

When do you wear casual everyday gloves? The question to ask is, “Will I be handling snow?” If you’re shoveling, skiing, making snowmen with your kids, or participating in other outdoor wintry activities, casual gloves are a perfect fit. Aesthetically, pair them with joggers, sweatpants, and waterproof boots for a cohesive look.

Other Glove Styles

There are, of course, more than the aforementioned glove styles.

Driving Gloves

man in driving gloves
Driving gloves are just as much a statement piece just as much as they’re utilitarian clothing.

To pre-empt a question you might have – yes, there are gloves made specifically for driving. Driving gloves are basically just leather gloves with no lining, often with holes at the knuckles and the top side of the hand, just above the wrist.

As for everyday use, driving gloves are a look – more form than function. If you’re concerned about keeping the steering wheel of your Bentley in top condition, then they’re useful in preventing the oils in your hands from rubbing off while also helping you to grip it better.

Fingerless Gloves

man wearing fingerless gloves
Some fingerless gloves have a mitten attachment for particularly cold days.

Fingerless gloves are funny in that they’re simultaneously useful and ineffective. They cover your hand and about half your fingers, leaving the fingertips susceptible to the cold. The benefit? You can use your phone without removing an entire glove. While there are full-fingered gloves on the market that purportedly allow you to use a touch screen device, our personal experience is that this is spotty.

Guitarists, bassists, and players of other string instruments who may have outdoor concerts also benefit from fingerless gloves’ utility.

Fingerless gloves looks best with casual outfits – jeans, sweaters, and that sort of thing.

Mittens

bernie sanders wearing mittens
Senator Sanders keeps his hands warm on a cold day.

In terms of utility, mittens are at the top of the list. Because there’s no separation of fingers like there are with gloves, they allow your natural body heat to do its work, essentially allowing your fingers to keep themselves warm. The problem is that the downside is pretty significant – they look kind of silly unless you’re doing outdoor work or are dressed¬†very casually.

Conclusion

There’s no reason to let your hands freeze once it finally gets cold outside (and stays that way). We hope this guide to men’s gloves was helpful, and we’re always happy to provide style and image advice. Have a question about what to wear, how to wear it, and why? We’re here to help. Give us a call at 215-310-0219 or email info@henrydavidsen.com for more information.

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