In the world of fashion, there are many examples of function turning to fashion. Garments from bomber jackets to windbreakers have broken through into mainstream style. Accessories from driving shoes to aviator sunglasses have graduated from our practical wardrobes to everyday items.
Driving gloves, however, aren’t quite there. They may be well-made, crafted from the finest leathers and undeniably effective at giving drivers the extra grip and grasp they need behind the wheel, but there’s still something snigger-worthy about these automotive accessories. Which begs the question; how can you wear driving gloves without looking like an idiot?
Learn when to wear them, and keep them understated
You wouldn’t wear an overcoat in your living room, so don’t wear driving gloves outside of your car. It’s a simple start, but a key lesson nonetheless. Even if you’re just popping into a shop, slip them off and leave them in the car — it’s called a ‘glovebox’ for a reason.
And, while driving gloves can be stylish, they must be understated. ‘Cool’ is what you should be going for here — think Ryan Gosling in Drive. His gloves weren’t brightly coloured and studded with diamantés — and neither should yours be. Speaking of action heroes, Daniel Craig’s 007 wore these Dents gloves in Spectre — similar in style to other understated offerings from dunhill and Chester Jefferies.
Dents Fleming Driving Gloves
Dunhill Classic Driving Gloves
Chester Jefferies Driving Gloves
Wear them with classic cars, and keep the styling vintage
You probably don’t need driving gloves. If you can’t confidently steer a car without wearing them, you shouldn’t be behind the wheel in the first place. But, with classic cars — those without power steering — they’re still an acceptable accessory. Not only will they pair well with your vintage motor, they’ll also help you contend with the slightly stiffer steering.
That also means you can lean slightly further into the retro appeal of driving gloves. Rather than the simple, chic black options above, you can go for warmer browns, creams and yellows — such as these perforated gloves from Café Leather. Alternatively, opt for crochet stringback gloves, like these options from Harssidanzar and Dents.
Café Leather Driving Gloves
Harssidanzar Lambskin Driving Gloves
Dents Cotswold Driving Gloves
Don’t try too hard, even if you do want to add a little flair
The first rule of looking cool is not to try too hard. As such, anything with too much flounce or flamboyant detailing should be steered clear of. Your driving gloves should still have a firm foundation in functionality, so don’t go buying gimmicky, novelty pairs just for the sake of it. That said, if you really want to add some individuality to your driving uniform, there are options out there.
Perhaps the most famous are Connolly’s Road Rage gloves. With two yellow strips of leather down the first fingers, they’ll really drive the point home if you’re angry at a fellow road user. Dents, once more, has a lovely understated option — but with some subtle decorative detailing on the knuckles. And Paul Smith, he of the stripes, has added the iconic multi-coloured pattern to the cuff of his driving gloves.
Connolly Road Rage Gloves
Dents Racer Driving Gloves
Paul Smith Stripe Driving Gloves
Want some more functional tips for your wardrobe? A corduroy jacket is this autumn’s most versatile style move…
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