There are three main reasons for buying a pair of driving gloves: increased grip on smooth controls; increased protection from dirt or the weather; and that they simply look fantastic. Whether it is emerging from your prized classic car, or to go with that magnificent handbag, driving gloves are for everyone. This guide will aim to inform you of the key considerations to keep in mind when buying a pair of driving gloves while pointing out some of the interesting reasoning behind their iconic design.
From a practical point of view, fit is especially important when it comes to choosing a pair. They are meant to be a tight fit to maintain an accurate feel of the controls, and this notion has filtered into the fashion accessory aspect too. Glove sizes thankfully range above and beyond the S, M and L. On your dominant hand, measure round the lowest knuckle of your little finger to the flesh above the webbing of your thumb. Then convert into inches (multiply by 2.54) rounding up to the nearest half to provide you with your size.
The materials used are a key consideration: leather provides a better grip, while being supple enough to easily respond to your movements, as well as providing the perfect level of insulation from the cold. It should be your sole choice when buying a pair of driving gloves as it also provides an element of luxury that is intrinsically linked to the aspirational ethos of such an accessory.
Whether you are driving or not, your hands are rarely still and empty, so buying poor quality leather will mean that it will mark and wear out quickly. In order to maintain an uninterrupted flow of information between your hands and the car, luxury driving gloves have all the seams on the inside and most likely will not have a lining. Moreover, your hands are certainly not simple shapes, which mean that there are a lot of these seams where poor workmanship will easily fray. Going for the cheapest option you find is in fact a false economy.
· To avoid this problem, you should ensure that they are at least made from Nappa or Napa leather, as its namesake tanning process means that it is soft and supple.
· The next step in quality is Hairsheep leather. It is particularly suited to driving gloves as it is finer than other leathers, meaning it is soft, supple and less bulky, while still retaining the strength.
· Deerskin leather is naturally tougher, while still being equally soft, luxurious and supple; it is therefore more expensive, but more durable and longer lasting than cow or sheep leather.
Driving gloves must also meet the requirement of maximum flexibility and minimum obstruction. This where a tight fit is important as well and also why a good pair will end short on the wrist and close tight with a button. These features prevent the glove from reducing the driver’s visibility to the dashboard, and also why they make such a good fashion accessory for women.
In order to increase the flexibility of the hand, vents are cut out at the knuckles so that they can grip the controls easily, and holes are punched into the leather. This increases the natural elasticity of the material. Alternatively many driving gloves create the same level of manoeuvrability by incorporating a cotton crochet back to them, which creates a striking and individual style.
The cotton crochet style also solves the issue of comfort, in much the same way as the holes pressed into the all-leather driving gloves. The holes allow air to circulate and ventilate the hands, regulating temperature and ensuring that you enjoy wearing them as much as looking at them. As the cotton leaves the hand more open to the environment, they are more useful for use inside cars with better internal heating.
For those that still like to have more ventilation and more manoeuvrability, and where protection from the elements is even less of a concern; fingerless driving gloves would suit. These still provide the benefits of protection, grip and style, but with the added tactile nature of uncovered fingers.
After all those practical considerations you must also consider the character and visual style of the piece: do you want it to match your car interior, exterior, your outfit or your personality? Unsurprisingly the internet provides a wealth of colours and styles so go online and search. Remember, if you don’t like the look of the glove you will be more likely to not use them or forget them. The range of colours and often two-tone nature of these gloves can help bridge the gap between the car and you.
For a good place to start your search for driving gloves or indeed, other luxury accessories, Click Here.