The Best Leather Driving Gloves Online for Women & Men
Because I appreciate vintage styles, driving gloves are definitely on my list of things that make life worth living, but leather driving gloves do more than just look good. I'll guide you through the background and reasoning behind driving gloves, and show you my pick of the best driver-ready leather gloves online for both men and women.
Driving Gloves: History & Use
Driving gloves were originally designed to protect the brave pilots of the world's earliest cars—open-faced, dangerous carriages that left not only hands, but also faces and all other appendages exposed to the wind, rain, and elements.
Now that cars are comfortably encased in stylish bubbles of plastic, metal, and glass, driving gloves have gone the way of the dinosaur—sort of. Many men and women have actually started wearing them again, not because they need them per se, but because they're delightfully stylish, and also rather useful in other applications.
Driving gloves are an excellent, light, malleable glove to wear during spring, summer, and fall, when thick, bulky, lined gloves are both impractical and uncomfortable. They're great for bike rides, chilly strolls, shopping, and of course, driving.
I personally wear driving gloves almost everywhere outside for three reasons: (1) I am a germ phobe, and hate touching communal objects, (2) I want to protect my hands from sun, hangnails, broken nails, and chapping, and (3) Even during the spring, fall, and summer, my hands tend to run cold. Before I discovered my grandmother's vintage driving gloves, I wore crappy work gloves. Now I can finally wear things on my hands that are up to snuff with my cute little outfits.
I'm not the only one out there who wears driving gloves for non-driving purposes. German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is also frequently seen sporting a gorgeous pair of black leather driving gloves. Michael Jackson, in his day, could also be spotted in a pair from time to time.
Driving Gloves for Women
My favorite driving gloves for women have a vintage look. I am particularly partial to driving gloves with three major characteristics:
- Open backs
- Knuckle holes
- Finger vents
The porousness of gloves with these styles helps stave off any clamminess that might come with wearing an unlined leather glove (which most driving gloves are), but more importantly, I think it makes for an undeniably sexy look.
I have to say, the red coloring of these gloves is irresistible. Can't you just imagine how they would look with a blue summer dress? Or little black dress? Heck, I'd be tempted to wear these with nothing at all ^_^
There is something just so fetching about gloves with bare knuckles - they seem to highlight the quality of the gloves and provide extra contrast while not being overly garish. I should also point out that the knuckle holes feel rather good.
A similar vintage style- but with cutoff fingers. Racy!
Speaking of feeling good, be sure to check the sizing of the gloves before you make your purchase. You might be able to slide by with slightly ill-fitting winter gloves, but driving gloves need to have an almost skin-tight fit to really look good, so sizing is key.
Go for the knuckle holes!
If you don't end up going with all leather gloves, I recommend spandex driving gloves with leather or imitation leather accents. I inherited a pair of these from my grandmother and love them - they're washable (wash on a gentle cycle or by hand in a mesh bag and do NOT put them in the drier) and very comfortable.
Driving Gloves for Men
These days, I see more men wearing driving gloves than women. Leather driving gloves seem to surface most frequently amongst the rich, classy, and famous, so if you're going after that sort of look, have at these!
You might just be looking for something to protect your hands when going for long drives - or simply want to get a pair as a gift.
It's all about those knuckle holes! I'm telling you!!!
At any rate, when choosing driving gloves, be sure to mind the sizing and go with a versatile style. I recommend shying away form those cuts that more resemble winter gloves- stick with the open backs and knuckle holes, or at least some darts.
You will find that men have more limited color choices in the driving gloves department than women, but this is with good reason. Out of the predominant white, black, and brown options, I most strongly recommend black. It is the least likely to show a wee smudge, plus it goes with the greatest number of outfits.
Great traditional gloves with cutoff fingers, for a slightly more roguish look.