Famous Gloves Through The Ages

Famous Gloves Through The Ages

For most people, gloves are seen as a necessity during the colder months, are used for fashion or simply for hand protection.

Gloves, however, hold a secure place within cultural history whether we realise it or not.

Gloves as an accessory have been around since 18,000 BC which means they have been through a lot of interesting events throughout history.

In this article, we have taken a look back through history to see where gloves have made their mark in pop culture. 


Karl Lagerfeld

Many of us will remember Kerl Lagerfeld who was the CEO of Chanel for his white high ponytail, high collared shirt and his black sunglasses.

However, there was one more element to Lagerfeld’s look which stood out and this was his leather fingerless gloves. 

A lot of people think that Lagerfeld only wore gloves for fashion purposes, and you would be forgiven for thinking so but there was actually a lot more to them.

Lagerfeld in an interview with M Magazine in 2012 he admitted his love for gloves and how he wore them to make his arms longer.

In France to have long arms means you are influential, he also mentioned that he preferred fingerless gloves for movement. 


Michael Jackson 

Michael Jackson’s famous white sequined glove has become one of the most well-known looks in music history.

Jackson bumped into chief film editor Rick Ross who was cutting and splicing a TV advert.

He was wearing a white cotton glove on his left hand whilst running the film through his fingers.

There was a little box full of these disposable gloves on the side as this was standard for film editors then.

From that encounter, Jackson seemed fixated on the glove and politely asked if he could have one and as you know the rest is history. 

The white glove which later was covered in sequins made its TV debut on Michael Jackson’s left hand during his performance of Billie Jean at Motown 25th anniversary TV special in 1983.

After that, it became an icon in the King of Pop’s wardrobe for the rest of his career.  


O.J Simpson 

In 1994, NFL player O.J Simpson was arrested and charged with the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, they were both found stabbed to death outside her home.

In Brentwood, LA. Near Goldman were a blue knit cap and left-hand glove in extra-large (Aris Isotoner light leather)

Later on, policeman Fuhrman discovered a bloody glove which was later determined to be the matching glove to the one found at the murder scene.

Through forensic testing, the glove was determined to have blood from both victims and Simpson, as well as clothing and hair fibres from the three. 

During the closing arguments in the Simpson trial, lawyer Johnnie Cochran utters the famous phrase, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit”.

Previously Simpson appeared to have difficulty getting the glove on, the prosecution stated that they believed the gloves shrank from having been soaked in the victim’s blood.

It is believed the ill-fitting gloves saved O.J Simpson. 


Mickey Mouse

Since 1928, Disney’s famous Mickey Mouse has been an icon for children across the globe.

The cartoon mouse will always be found in his little red shorts, yellow shoes and white gloves.

Did you know that the gloves were originally added for contrast from his hands to the rest of his body?

These gloves are now some of the most famous in the world and are sold as part of costumes sets, memorabilia and park souvenirs around the globe. 


Muhammad Ali 

Famous Gloves Through The Ages

Muhammad Ali is one of the greatest heavyweights in Boxing.

He was known for his boxing ability and religious beliefs.

Muhammed Ali was involved in some of the world’s most memorable boxing matches and wouldn’t have been so successful without his reflexes, movement and bright red boxing gloves. 


Freddy Krueger 

Freddy Krueger is a fictional character and is the main antagonist of the popular film Nightmare On Elm Street.

He is the spirit of a serial killer who uses a gloved hand with razors to kill his victims in their dreams, causing them to die in the real world too.

Wes Craven created the character and stated that the inspiration for the glove came from his cat as he watched it claw the sofa. 


Brooks Robinson 

Brooks Robinson is an American former baseball player who played for the Baltimore Orioles for the entirety of his career?

This actually stands as the record for the longest career spent with a single team.

He won 16 consecutive Gold Glove Awards and was even elected to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. 


Audrey Hepburn 

Famous Gloves Through The Ages

There is absolutely no question that Audrey Hepburn’s Hubert de Givenchy designed LBD in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of the most recognised in film history.

Her character Holly Golightly was an icon for elegance, helped by the long Italian satin black gloves. 


Disney Princess’ 

Here is a theory for you, what do the Disney princess’ Tiana, Belle and Cinderella have in common?

They are all married into the royal family as opposed to being born into it and these princess’ all wear gloves.

Princess’ who have royal blood such as Ariel and Snow White does not wear gloves at all. 

Disney has fantastic attention to detail with all of their films which is why some people have considered that the gloves show that the characters have something to hide, for example, Elsa wants to hide her powers.

Other Disney fans are thinking a lot more literally and have suggested simply that opera gloves were very commonly worn at formal occasions such as balls which is why some princess’ wear them and some don’t.

What do you think?  


The History Of Gloves 

Gloves have been made since ancient times and throughout history have been used for both utilitarian and decorative reasons.

Did you know that some early cave paintings have people wearing gloves and that some gloves have been found in the remains of ancient Egyptian tombs?

Gloves were initially made for protection and also were an indicator of social status and power.

Gloves first made their appearance in Europe in the tenth century; however, it was not until the eleventh century that the accessory took over the United Kingdom.

They were typically worn by knights and military officers who wore protective hand coverings which were fashioned out of linked iron.

Women, in general, did not wear gloves until the reformation period.

Gloves being worn as a fashion accessory didn’t start until the early seventeenth century! 


Also Read: From 1700 to Today: Swimwear Through the Ages

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