A conversation from the Girls’ Town archives:

Miss Karen:
I was wondering what you pettes thought about gloves. I confess I do not often wear a hat as they never seem to suit me (what am I doing wrong?). But gloves are something a girl can always wear and they make an outfit look so utterly up-to-date. I often feel a pair of gloves can make all the difference between a so-so appearance and a quite real one. After all, most inhabitants of the Pit really don’t seem to know what gloves are – they think they are things to keep one’s hands warm. Do any other pettes share my belief in the importance of gloves?

Miss Victoria Mayhew:
In an etiquette handbook from 1963 (which corresponds roughly to what we would consider Infra-Quirinelle), Miss Amy Vanderbilt, an expert if ever there was one, advises all ladies to wear gloves out of doors. In fact she says that while many maids dispense with wearing a hat except on formal occasions (weddings and the like), gloves ought to be mandatory no matter what. How else are we to protect our hands from the dust of the road, the sun and the elements, and keep them not only lovely but clean?

Miss Nicola:
I quite agree with Miss Mayhew, gloves should be worn and a wide variety are available. Quite often thin lace or cotton gloves can be found for the warm days of summer, as well as the more familiar woollen gloves for winter. I remember reading an etiquette book which said that gloves should be worn outside at all times, but a maid can take them off inside if she so desires.

Miss Petrouchka:
I am completely in agreement with these thoughts about gloves. A nice pair of gloves can transform an outfit and make it clear that one is wearing up-to-date clothes seriously rather than as a sort of pastiche, if you know what I mean.

Rosalind Russell, that most superior of brunettes in at least one of her films wears her gloves even for eating, and I seem to remember that one of those delicious pin-up artists (was it Zoe Mozert?) always wore white gloves when she painted her delightfully erotic girl-pictures.

Now that is style, is it not?

Miss Johannah:
I have to agree that gloves can make almost any outfit look real. I have a few pairs, but I really need to wear them more. I feel like such a lady with them on.

Miss Mariana:
In my southern travels I saw a curious pale and dark-eyed blonde who wore a wonderful serpentine gold ring with an emerald outside her black glove. What do my blonde friends here think of that?

Miss Annalinde:
Much has been said about gloves recently and the way they add realness to an outfit and confidence to a girl. One of my favourite references to gloves comes in the Aristasian novel The Feminine Regime. In this scene Lavinia is in great distress because her friend Amanda is about to be taken away from her by her (Amanda’s) mother. Nonetheless she is won over by the mother in the first instant of meeting her, owing to her grace and feminine poise. Note how the glove seems to epitomise these qualities:

But she must turn her attention to the lady to whom she was being introduced. What a consummate Mummie. No wonder Amanda loved her so. What a chic, upright, Imperial Mummie … Lavinia took the outstretched hand, a firm hand encased in the thinnest, softest black leather driving glove, that left one’s moist, adolescent hand smelling of fine leather and good scent and grown-up femininity…

Does this not express something of the inner mystery of gloves?

Miss Johannah:
I had the most lovely day. I walked to the library dressed all in up-to-date clothing. I wore a pretty rose print sundress and a light sweater to protect my arms from the sun. I topped off my outfit with a cartwheel hat and white gloves. It was a beautiful day and when I closed my eyes I could imagine that there were real motor cars passing me on the streets. Someone asked me why I was wearing gloves, to which I replied, “I’m a lady. I wear gloves.” This seemed to answer their question and impress them.

I felt beautiful and confident. It was as though I had just stepped out of Quirinelle and at any moment could step back in. It’s amazing how wearing real clothing can make me feel so much better. I feel protected. It’s as though my little sphere is strong enough to repel the Pit.

I just wanted to share this with all of you.

Miss Annalinde:
Referring back to the conversation on gloves (I love the way these conversations never end in Girls’ Town) I wanted to say how much I agree that gloves are the making of any outfit. With a neat and stylish pair of gloves, even the most everyday jacket and skirt is transformed into something up-to-date and utterly un-bongo. Gloves are not just an item of clothing, they are a statement. They are the number one Pit-killer accessory!

And referring back again (how I love referring back) to the mention of a ring worn over gloves – what of bracelets worn over gloves, as in this delightful picture of three Quirrie magnificats.

Now you may say I have departed from our premise of gloves as everyday wear – reverting to our seemingly insatiable penchant (can a penchant be insatiable?) for long dress gloves. Very well. I append also an example that is daywearesque and practical to a T – or should I say for a tea – and yet as stylish and elegant as can possibly be.

Here it is – a perfectly classic leather glove paired with a chunky Art Deco bracelet – guaranteed to make the simplest jumper and skirt look utterly real and equally chic.

Miss Karen:
With the advent of the pink see-through Gamebaby, and relating to the discussion on gloves – not pink see-through gloves – at least, they have not been mentioned though they can be very pretty – well, that brings me to my point as a matter of fact. Miss Dorothy in Thoroughly Modern Millie said – of I think a colourful car – “Machines, like gloves, should be either black or white.” Now what do you pettes think of this doctrine? It would, of course mean that the white Gamebaby would be your only choice, and then what about gloves? Must they be either black or white? In other words, are we hand-in-glove with the delightful Miss Dorothy, or do we think she is talking through her hat?

Miss Lindie:
The advantage of black gloves or white ones is that they go with just about anything, but this blonde would not like to feel restricted to them, and must confess that she used to own a pair of pink, see-through ones . The objection to pink, see-through machines is that they show the rather too-utilitarian innards of the mechanism. I trust that one’s hands are not considered in that light. I am afraid there is nothing very utilitarian about my hands, though I did have a try at sewing a while back.

Miss Kay:
I saw some time ago a real film in which some one driving a burgundy Bentley was described as “a bit flash”. The implication being presumably that the car should have been black – or at least white. This was in Vintesse, whence, of course, Miss Dorothy also hails from. Possibly this is a rather austere Vintesse upper-class point of view. As with Infra, it often seems that the provinces with the jinkiest reputations can also be the most austere at times.

It may be that some brunettes adhere to these rules, and possibly even some blondes. But I can hardly imagine a blonde in my native Quirinelle who would restrict herself to black or white gloves, or who would forgo the very possibility of owning a delightful pink automobile.

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