Thank you to Belgian Dandy for this excellent article!
What are driving gloves:
- 3 most important functions: grip, increased feel/control and protection.
- Originally worn to keep hands clean when driving a motor car.
- Also to protect from wooden veneers from the wooden steering wheel.
- Some models are fingerless.
- Made of soft thin leather, in a very thight fit, to not interfere with the hands movements. Mostly in deerskin, lambskin or Italian leather.
- Unlined and with external seams: for better feeling and sensitivity of the drivers’ touch.
- The give better feedback to the driver.
- Holes in fingers and palm for ventilation.
- Open knuckles and back for maximum flexibility.
- Short cuffs and stud fastener.
- They leave room for an unobstructed view of the drivers’ chronograph.
As Dorothy Levitt, the fastest girl on Earth, in 1906 said: “Never wear woolen gloves, as wool slips on the smooth surface of the steering-wheel and prevents one getting a firm grip, but wear gloves made of good soft kid.” This hasn’t changed since then.
The best and finest driving gloves are hand-sewn, and made from Peccary leather. Peccary leather is the worlds’ rarest and most luxurious leather for gloves. Buttery soft, hard wearing, difficult to sew, which make it a very time consuming and skilled process, which makes the expensive as well.
So, why do we need them ?
- They are the link between you and your car, kind of like a ‘liaison’
- When you own a convertible.
- When you own a stylish old-timer.
- When you have a race or sports car.
- When you’re a sportive driver.
- Just because they compliment your beautiful car.
- They offer a more solid grip onthe steering wheel.
- They add to the comfort of driving, especially on longer trips.
- Because they simply are an essential part of the driving experience.
- They add to the mystique of manliness, and make a powerfull image.
- They bring status to the look you want to achieve.
- And,…They can always keep our hands (a litlle) warm when needed.
So, how do we wear them ?
Of course you wear them when you drive. They can become a nice ritual, just after starting your V8 engine.
You can always leave them in the car. You can tuck them away in your pockets.
But the might be used as a stylish fashion-accessorie as well. Lately they’ve been spotted in vests and jackets instead of a pocket handkerchief. The add a bit of ‘sprezzatura‘.