Vintage Fashion | Glove Etiquette for Beginners

Vintage Fashion | Glove Etiquette for Beginners

I admit, I have a bit of a thing for gloves.

Specifically vintage gloves that are small enough for my stubby hands. They look smart, come in a trillion styles and colours and make you feel like a lady. They are also the one part of my wardrobe that gets consistently noticed.

But since our mothers were freed from the social expectation of hats and gloves, we’ve forgotten how to wear them! Gloves were an integral part of dressing for many eras, but the majority of questions I receive are from lovers of 1940’s – 1960’s fashion. So here, my darlings, is a beginners playbook for the wearing of gloves – information courtesy of several 1950’s fashion etiquette brochures.

When to wear gloves

Gloves should be worn on the streets of cities and large towns.
They should be worn when driving or travelling on trains, planes or other public conveyances.
Gloves should be worn for church and formal occasions including weddings, luncheons, dinners, garden parties or receptions.
The hostess should also wear gloves while she is receiving guests at these functions.

When not to wear gloves

Please remove your gloves to eat, smoke, apply makeup or play cards.

Glove Etiquette

  •  If you are lunching in a restaurant remove your coat on entering but retain your hat and gloves. Removeyour gloves when you are seated at the table.
  •  When attending a party with food or hors d’oeuvres turn your gloves back at the wrist or remove one while eating. ( This is where those gloves with wrist buttons come into play )
  •  When attending an informal event, remove your gloves on arrival and leave them with your coat.
  •  Always remove your gloves completely when seated for a meal. Try to do so discreetly, a lady does not make a spectacle of removing her gloves.
  • Gloves are left on while shaking hands.
  • Bracelets are the only jewellery that should be worn over your gloves.

Miss Pinup New Zealand 2017 Velvet DeColette walks us through the basic rules for wearing gloves, the perfect vintage fashion accessory.

Which gloves do I wear?

Day Gloves 

  • Short gloves in cotton or nylon come in lovely styles. Consider bright polka dot prints for the races, and embroidered or lace-trimmed gloves for summer parties.
  • Black kid leather is appropriate for city sightseeing and theater in metropolitan settings.
  • Crotchet or string gloves for casual garden parties and fairs in the country, or at the beach.
  • Leather gloves are wonderful in winter, especially for shopping and also driving.

Evening Gloves 

  • The appropriate length of glove can be chosen according to the length of your sleeves – the shorter your sleeves, the longer your gloves.
  • White and off white, including ivory, beige and taupe, are the traditional colors for opera gloves. these pale colours are appropriate for virtually any occasion on which opera gloves are worn.
  • Black Opera Gloves should not be worn with light-colored dresses, but can be worn with black, dark-colored or bright-colored clothing.
  • Black gloves are also considered the most elegant with evening dress.
  • Long coloured gloves should really be worn only with dresses of a coordinating colour scheme.
  • Opera gloves should not be put on in public but should be put on in the privacy of your own home. If they must be removed in public please do so discreetly. ( I can only imagine this was included in 1954’s brochure as the sight of a woman peeling off an opera glove could drive a man crazy.)

Lilli Ann inspired gold and black floral ladies suit. Made and worn with vintage hat and gloves and modern back seam stockings and leather heels.

Of course, these are the fashion rules from the era our beloved gloves are from. Modern women have the freedom to disobey or obey them as they please. Personally I find the subtle nuances of wearing vintage clothing part of the experience, so I  hope these guidelines will help you confidently don your gloves like the retro beauty you are! Have fun and be bold!

With Style & Sass

    Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 4 comments

Monday Style Tip No.26

contrast textures

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments

Monday Style Tip No.23


Monday Style Tip wear your favourites

Remember that gorgeous dinner set your Nana kept in the cupboard ‘for special occasions’? Seems like a waste doesn’t it?
If you love something, wear it. Enjoy it. Fill it with memories. Don’t let it waste away in your closet waiting for it’s chance to make you shine.

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments
The Purple Kimono | A (Vintage) Lingerie Addict’s Diary

The Purple Kimono | A (Vintage) Lingerie Addict’s Diary

Purple Vintage Kimono | Velvet DeCollete

I’m a huge fan of dramatic garments with trailing hems and sleeves. It could be that they make me feel like one of Tolkien’s elves, or it could just be that I’m short so anything long tends to be a bit… trailey. Either way swishing around in a voluminous robe makes me feel elegant.

Naturally this Kimono and I get along just fine. When La Vonne from Tock Tick Vintage pulled it out as a modesty robe at a photoshoot she wasn’t expecting me to adore it. In fact it wasn’t even for sale.  Luckily for me La Vonne is a total sweetheart and surprised me with it at our next photoshoot!

With no tag or makers name, I have little knowledge about this garment. I can tell you it’s a printed synthetic fabric. The seams are encased and the center back seam has a white contrast casing running the length of the kimono. The deep bright purple looks amazing with black lingerie.

In these images I’m wearing a leather belt with a small flared peplum over the hips. Mixing and matching new and vintage pieces with contrasting textures creates an eclectic style that brings vintage pieces into the modern era.

purple vintage kimono | Velvet DeCollete

Purple vintage kimono | Velvet Decollete

Photos | Duke Debonair
Model, Hair, MUA | Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 2 comments

The Romantic Starway Nightgown | A (Vintage) Lingerie Addict’s Diary

For someone with almost no downtime, I sure am obsessed with clothing designed for it. Lingerie and sleepwear in particular. The overt femininity of  their fluttering ruffles and tiny rosebuds makes me swoon.

But all this smooth satin and rustling lace spends far too much time in my wardrobe. So I’m starting a visual diary of my vintage and modern lingerie addiction. I hope you enjoy their prettiness as much as I do, and are inspired to bring your own rarely worn gems out of the closet!

white 5This Starway nightgown is a flowing gored design made of bri-nylon.  A  flower basket design delicately printed in the centre front blossoms with pastel lace daisies – a motif echoed in the fine floral lace defining the neckline and underbust seam. Soft ruffles frame the neckline, armholes and hem.

The gathered yoke bust allows for a comfortable fit on a range of bust sizes even on a size 6-8 nightgown.

While innocently white and modest in coverage this nightie is just translucent and clingy enough to maintain some romantic allure. (Which is kinda nice in a world of red crotchless panties and brazenly sexy babydolls).

Starway is a New Zealand made sleepwear brand. My sleuthing didn’t turn up any background info, so if you know anything please about the company please enlighten me!

white 4

white 1

Photos | Duke Debonair
Model, Hair, MUA | Velvet DeColette



Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, PINUP, 4 comments
Monday Style Tip No.3

Monday Style Tip No.3

inspiration, Monday style tip, fashion, tip, advice, style, style file, beckon couture, clothing, vintage, pinup, help,red lips, lipstick, compact, mirror

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 2 comments
Monday Style Tip No.2

Monday Style Tip No.2

inspiration, Monday style tip, fashion, tip, advice, style, style file, beckon couture, clothing, vintage,  gloves, manicure, chipped, emergency, pinup, help,

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, OTHER, 0 comments
Monday Style Tip No.1

Monday Style Tip No.1

Mondays aren’t great. In fact, they’re often far from inspiring. But does it really need to be that way?


Okay, I don’t have a cure for Mondayitis, but I am bringing you a fresh style tip to help you through the start of every week! Like caffeine for your sense of style. (Consider it a reward for getting out of bed. )

proper foundations

Stylishly yours,

          Velvet  x

Posted by velvetdecollete in OTHER, 0 comments
Why I Use Vintage Notions

Why I Use Vintage Notions

Notions are the decorative or functional trims and closings on your clothes. If you wear vintage clothing you may have noticed these tiny touches are a little different; A carved button, handwoven lace trim, that hook & eye kissing at the top of a metal zip, they’re all available new but vintage ones are just …. nicer.

So much nicer that I hunt them out to use in my reproduction garments. Not only do they add legitimate vintage elements to a design, but I find they are often better quality than their modern counterparts. ( I’ve never had a 1960’s hook and eye unbend but modern ones sure have! )


Buttons are my biggest weakness. From the 1920’s through the 1960’s buttons were wonderfully inventive. Novelty buttons in glass, carved shell, molded plastics and wood displayed all shapes,designs and colours imaginable. The right buttons can instantly lift a dress from cute to oh-my-god-I-have-to-have-it, and I just adore them!

Some trims that are hard to find new because they simply aren’t used that often nowadays. All my circle skirts and full skirted dresses have a wide braid referred to as Horsehair in the hems to maintain shape and movement – not something you’d often see in a mainstream skirt. Leaded cord to help garments hang correctly was used by Coco Chanel, but isn’t stocked by many  modern haberdashers. Even seams were finished differently, with pinking shears leaving an attractive zig zag edge in place of unsightly overlocking.

The packaging on my old haberdashery is a nostalgic reminder of yesteryear and the importance of home sewing. Needles are meticulously packed in paper envelopes while Newey’s Hooks & Eyes claimed worldwide fame (really?). Sewing materials were salvaged, saved and re-used and notions were pricier than today’s common brands. I really enjoy the detailed packaging – complete with notes and prices scribbled by former owners – and I hope you’ll enjoy this very brief glimpse onto my sewing box…

vintage sewing supplies 1vintage sewing supplies 4vintage sewing supplies 3vintage sewing supplies 2






Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 3 comments