The elegance and etiquette of the bridal glove

The elegance and etiquette of the bridal glove

Gloves for the bride. Elegant, flattering … practical, too, if your beautiful 19th-century stone church is a tad drafty. Glove length is traditionally measured in “buttons”, running from the 2-button “shorty”, which ends at the wrist, to the 21-button full-arm glove, which goes right up to the armpits.

The length most often seen in bridal wear is the “opera” length, to the middle of your upper arm. Tradition dictates that these long gloves are not put on or taken off in public. (Too seductive for polite company, don’t you know.)

Well, this presents the bride with a problem: If you can’t take it off, how do you get the ring on?It’s unlikely to fit over the glove, besides looking just plain goofy. Tradition has an answer to that, too, and it means you can’t use a modern glove of spandex or lycra — you’ll have to go with the old-style lace, kid leather, or satin, complete with mousquetaire.

Mousquetaire: handy little set of buttons, which enable you to open the glove at the wrist, fold the glove back, and free your hand. Still elegant, still flattering, and with accessible fingers! Tradition: it thinks of everything!