Every one would agree that adding long elegant evening gloves to a formal outfit will help add an element of sophistication and high fashion design. But many are not aware that there is indeed a tradition and history that accompanies this fashion accessory. Opera gloves describe a precise design of formal glove which rises above the elbow. Even though there is mention of attending the opera, these particular gloves are in fact well suited for numerous sophisticated events.
One traditional type of opera glove is the mousquetaire. This particular name is believed to have transpired simply because the gloves were much like the gloves donned by the French musketeers through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Such gloves were created with an opening on the wrist, secured by means of three buttons. Though the buttons might simply appear to be a stylistic choice, the opening is in fact, rather practical, as it allows one's hand to easily slide out without having to remove the complete glove. The glove material may then be rolled away and stowed nicely in to the glove arm. The glove wearer found it much simpler to dine this way without having to be concerned with a soiled glove.
In previous years, when appearances in public were far more significant, opera gloves demanded their unique code of conduct to be followed. This code still prevails to a certain degree in recommended etiquette. Ladies dressed in opera gloves were instructed to put on their gloves while at home. Once on - they would continue to wear them while socializing and shaking hands, but would remove them before dining. If taking off the evening gloves in public was necessary, doing so as quickly and uncerimoniously as possible was required.
Opera gloves are offered in a variety of materials such as satin, leather, velvet, lace and crochet. It is feasible to buy gloves in many number of colors to coordinate with any shade of dress - however they are most commonly found in basic black, white or maybe an off white cream. Dyeable gloves allow one to find a perfect match when trying to coordinate colors for weddings.
Formal gloves are measured in length in terms of buttons - whether a glove has buttons or not. A proper evening glove should be approximately 16 to 22 buttons to be deemed an opera glove. The inexpensive gloves designed for a single event may not follow these same guidelines. In such cases you will be wise to try on the glove first to determine if it is long enough to rest above your elbow. Cheaper goves can vary wildly in length from one manufacture to the next.
Finding a wide selection of opera gloves is easiest just prior to to the Christmas holidays and before the spring prom season when demand (and supply) is at its peak. Locating an authintic style of mousquetaire glove is best done on line as it may be harder to find at the local town shopping mall. Checking at bridal specialty shops or fine clothing retailers is a good place to start.
Beautiful long gloves remind us of a formal time in the past when dressing up was a requirement and also fun. Why not bring back this elegent bit of history and add the sophisticated touch of opera gloves to enhance the element of high fashion with your ensemble.