Gloves: Fashion and Language in the 1800s.
The well-dressed lady of the 1800s wouldn’t have dreamed of leaving home without a few absolute necessities, one of which was gloves, and she didn’t remove them except if she eating.
I have to confess, I’d always thought they left them on, but think about eating a tasty tea cake and ending up with a stain. Simply not done! Gloves were expensive, so off they came before anything was popped into the mouth.
It was quite scandalous for a gentleman to touch a lady without out his gloves on. No skin-to-skin contact allowed, you know. Makes you wonder how nearly half the brides in that era were in the family way on their wedding day.
The typical gently-bred lady would own quite an array of gloves: indoor fingerless gloves to stay warm, riding gloves, evening gloves (elbow length and almost always white) suede for archery, and let’s not forget gardening and walking gloves. (I’m picturing gloves trotting along with their thumbs entwined!)
Gloves were frequently made of soft leather, silk, lace, or even crocheted, and some were elaborately decorated. All right, gaudy is a better description.
I knew that fans had a language, but had no idea gloves did as well.
Biting the tip of a glove meant a lady wanted to be rid of someone, but if she dropped both of them, it meant she loved you. A gloved rolled inside out said she hated you, while tapping her chin with a glove revealed she loved another. There are several more meanings, which I’m sure were as easily recognized then as today’s instant messages or Twitter hashtags.
I do have to ponder, though, if ladies were never supposed to remove their gloves, then how did they manage all the little hints with them?
I remember wearing gloves as a little girl, and as I sit hear typing this, I can see a tiny pair of lace gloves draped on a curio cabinet that were my daughter’s when she was about two.
Did you ever wear gloves? Why do you think they went out of fashion?
Pictures courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
A disillusioned Scottish gentlewoman.
Angelina Ellsworth once believed in love—before she discovered her husband of mere hours was a slave-trader and already married. To avoid the scandal and disgrace, she escapes to her aunt and uncle’s, the Duke and Duchess of Waterford. When Angelina learns she is with child, she vows she’ll never trust a man again.
A privileged English lord.
Flynn, Earl of Luxmoore, led an enchanted life until his father committed suicide after losing
everything to Waterford in a wager. Stripped of all but his title, Flynn is thrust into the role of marquis as well as provider for his disabled sister and invalid mother. Unable to pay his father’s astronomical gambling loss, Flynn must choose between social or financial ruin.
When the duke suggests he’ll forgive the debt if Flynn marries his niece, Flynn accepts the duke’s proposal. Reluctant to wed a stranger, but willing to do anything to protect her babe and escape the clutches of the madman who still pursues her, Angelina agrees to the union.
Can Flynn and Angelina find happiness and love in a marriage neither wanted, or is the chasm between them insurmountable?
Collette is giving away an ecopy of one of her Castle Brides series, winners choice. Gloves? Do you wear them? Have a preference?
Award winning, best-selling author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. Author of the Castle Brides Series and Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Collette writes Regency and Scottish historicals and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five mini-dachshunds. Mother to three and a self-proclaimed Cadbury Chocolate chocoholic, Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, trivia, and all things shabby chic. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirky—sometimes naughty—humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels.
Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many
She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.
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