These days, we don’t often wear gloves in our everyday life. But it’s important to know the basics about gloves as they go hand-in-hand with racing fashion (sorry, couldn’t help myself).
In this post I’m going to help you select racewear gloves and show you some of the best places to buy online.
Here’s what we’ll be covering. Feel free to skip ahead to a specific section:
The History Behind Gloves at the Races
Women have been attending the races since 1861, in the days where refined and elegant fashion was coming out of Paris and women were dressing for a sense of occasion.
Image credit: Carnival Films
A popular fashion icon amongst women of the era was Queen Elizabeth II and she just happened to be passionate about horse racing.
She even owned some, attending the races regularly and cementing a style standard by wearing mid calf length dresses, hats and accessorizing with pearls and gloves.
This style was quickly adopted by all women who frequented the races.
In the years between then and now, Fashions on the Field was introduced at Flemington Racecourse in an effort to entice more women to the races.
The competition was designed to find the best dressed woman. To enter; hats, stockings and gloves were considered necessary attire.
This tradition has prevailed, with gloves being a standard (but not compulsory) part of race attire.
Racewear Gloves: A Finishing Touch to Your Outfit
In my opinion, gloves complete an outfit. They also create an additional point of interest.
When being judged in FOTF, I always think the more ‘put together’ your outfit looks, the better. Judges take note of every detail so you need to demonstrate your styling skills from head to toe, to hands!
Image credit: Myer Blog
You can use your gloves to tie in colours. For example, if you have some red in your hat, but no where else, use your gloves to bring it in.
In this photo, I tied in my maroon necklace with my half palm gloves. I didn’t have maroon anywhere else in my outfit, so I decided to use maroon gloves to balance the outfit.
In the next photo, I had a black and navy outfit and wanted to lighten it up a little bit. I used my belt and leather gloves in a rich tan colour to do this. Also (would you believe) I found that gorgeous horse brooch belt for $3 at a pop up cheap shop! Lucky.
Image credit: Mr & Mrs Smith Photography
Kacey used her gloves and millinery to add a pop of red to her Stradbroke Cup Race Day outfit, which has the theme of black, white and red!
Image credit: @giddyupfashion80
If you’re looking for millinery in addition to your gloves, I encourage you to check out Millinery Market, the first online marketplace for buying and renting millinery!
But What if Gloves don’t Work with my Outfit?
Gloves don’t always work with an outfit, no matter how much you might want to wear that beautiful soft skin half palm glove. If it doesn’t suit your outfit, then don’t wear them.
Sometimes they can look too heavy or overdone, and you might try on a dozen different pairs only to find something still isn’t quite right. And you know what? That’s okay too, lots of ladies win FOTF without gloves so it’s just about balancing and seeing what suits best for your outfit.
An alternative to wearing gloves (if you think your outfit looks a little heavy with them) is to hold them in your hand against your clutch.
Image credit: @richshawphoto
Image credit: @airs.and.graces
Choosing Season Appropriate Gloves
Gloves aren’t just for the cooler seasons. It all depends on fabrics.
Although wool and felt should be left for Autumn/Winter Racing, see below what fabrics should be worn in each season.
- Autumn /Winter: felt, wool or suede
- Spring/ Summer: fine lace or cotton
- Trans seasonal: leather
Popular Glove Types for Racing Fashion
Gloves come in many styles and lengths. The most popular styles end at the wrist or the elbow (elbow length gloves are typically for, but not limited to Autumn/ Winter) and the half palm glove has become popular, especially with some really interesting laser cut styles.
Half Palm Gloves
In case you’re wondering how elbow length gloves work with race outfits, here is Angela in some black leather gloves with her Stradbroke Cup outfit.
They don’t look too heavy as she’s created balance by wearing them with her white blouse with cut out shoulders.
Here is Kacey taking a Summer dress through to Autumn fashion by adding black opaque stockings, elbow length gloves, a fur collar, enclosed shoes and executing it perfectly!
Image credit: @giddyupfashion80
The China representative, Elisha rocked elbow length gloves at Spring Carnival.
Gloves with a Modern Twist
I love when ladies get experimental with their gloves! I’ve seen a few unique pairs rocked in FOTF, they always stand out and add an extra something special to an outfit.
Image credit: @emilypeachypink, @airs.and.graces, RSN
Be careful though, if you have a lot going on in your outfit already then a nice plain pair would be a better option.
Where to Buy Race Day Gloves
Buying In store
There aren’t a lot of glove stores in Australia, seeing as they aren’t a common every day accessory.
David Jones and Myer do stock a basic range of gloves- I’ve purchased some nice black leather wrist gloves from there for $50, but the range is very small.
Millinery stores sometimes stock gloves too.
If you’re after vintage gloves for a vintage themed outfit, you could also have a look in a few antique stores. I saw these elbow length gloves the other day for $35.