Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Fashion in Film - Evening Gloves - What are they?

We've seen evening gloves on the likes of Marilyn Monroe to Gloria Swanson to Bette Davis in the movies!
(Bette Davis,
courtesy of
But what is the difference between evening gloves and any other kind?
Miss Maven bows to Miss Manners' on the subject!
[Judith Martin, Miss Manner(R) Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, Warner Books, New York, 1982, page 546.]
(Rita Hyaworth,
courtesy of
What are "eighteen-button gloves:?
These are white gloves that come above the elbow and make a riveting show when the wearer slowly peels it off before she can take a drink. They are called "eighteen-button" because they have three pearl buttons at each wrist.
No doubt this is a stupid question and I am demonstrating my unfitness for respectable society, but WHY doesn't a pair of eighteen-button gloves have eighteen buttons on it, or even eighteen buttons a glove, for a grand total of thirty-six?
Yes, indeed, this is a silly question, because everybody know that there are buttons and buttons, and while eighteen-button gloves have three small pearl buttons each at the musketeer (which everyone knows is the opening at the wrist), there are, indeed, eighteen buttons on each in length. That button is a standard of measurement of approximately one inch. The approximate part is because it is a French standard of measurement.
If you begin measuring at the base of the thumb, you will find that four-button gloves end about the wrist, eight-button below the elbow, ten-button about the elbow, and twenty-six the longest up to the armpit. Naturally this system only comes out right on French arms.
(Gloria Swanson,
courtesy of
Miss Maven must confess that she has referred to the twenty-six-button gloves in private as the "be-sure-you've-used-your-deoderant-button gloves"!
Miss Maven isn't sure if THESE gloves could have belonged to some really kinky space aliens!
Miss Maven looks forward to your emails at


Post a Comment

<< Home