How to Measure Vintage Gloves Sizes

I recently bought 11 pairs of vintage gloves at an estate sale. Upon getting them home I realized how different vintage gloves were from modern ones. Finding the correct size can be difficult.

Modern gloves are generally stretchy and come in Small, Medium or Large. Vintage gloves come in numbered sizes like 6 1/2 or 7 based on hand measurements in inches.

How To Measure Your Hand:
1. Use a flexible tape measure
2. Wrap around your hand at the knuckles
(generally somewhere between 6-10 inches)
measure glove size

Glove Length
The length of gloves are measured in the traditional French measurement of “buttons”. Where the glove ends of course depends on the length of your arm but below is a general guide.

8 button = wrist length
16 button = three quarters length (elbow length or slightly below)
18-22 button = opera length (slightly above the elbow)
30 button = full length (almost to the shoulder)

Vintage gloves often run very small. Back then a size 8 was considered “large” which is now more of the average size. Also vintage gloves are generally made of kid leather or cotton and have very little stretch.

Gloves were very popular and part of almost every outfit up thru the 1960s. They were high quality with stitching on the outside. The most common color being white or beige. A rainbow of colors to match any outfit could also be found but usually was not for everyday wear. After the 60s most women wore gloves at formal occasions like weddings, dances, tea parties or church services. Wrist length gloves are sometimes referred to as tea length.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Glove Crazy « Vintage13's Blog

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