The Best Winter Gloves For Dodging Frostbite
The weather outside is frightful. Which means that aside from it now being socially acceptable (encouraged, even) to drink hot wine at 11am, it’s also time to make sure you’ve got a quality pair of gloves to hand.
There’s nothing stylish about frostbite, so the quicker you rummage through your knitwear drawer, remember that, “oh yeah, I lost one of my gloves at that hideously overpriced winter-themed pop-up,” and buy a new pair, the better.
While we can’t help you avoid suffering the same fate this year – only mitten string can assist with that – we can help you pick out the best pair possible for the chilly months ahead.
Winter Gloves Buying Considerations
Like that other cold-weather essential, the winter scarf, there aren’t a great deal of definitive rights or wrongs when it comes to picking a style of gloves. For the most part, it comes down to personal preference.
It does, however, make sense to buy a pair of gloves that go with the rest of your wardrobe. So, if you’re all about that black tracksuit, then go for more of a technical style. See out the 9-5 in a suit? A smart leather pair is likely the wisest purchase.
When it comes to the hand-warming properties of gloves, it turns out you can have too much of a good thing. “For everyday wear in the city, I would avoid cashmere-lined or shearling gloves as they can give too much insulation,” says Mr Porter style director Olie Arnold.
As a general rule, the fabric that your gloves are made of will largely be dictated by the style. Even if you wanted to, you’d struggle to find a pair of kitted driving gloves. It’s almost as though designers know what they’re doing.
Hear the words coloured gloves and you likely think of Ronald McDonald or the guy who did your prostate exam. Neither are particular strong style icons, so the expert advice in unsurprising. “I would suggest choosing classic colourways such as navy or grey so they can be worn with a variety of outfits,” says Arnold.
If you do want to venture away from the usual shades, pick something from the autumnal leaves palette (think dark greens or browns) and you won’t go wrong.
6 Winter Gloves Styles To Consider
Unless your ride is a classic car, power steering means you don’t need the extra grip which driving gloves were created to provide. With that in mind, there are two important principles to remember when considering a pair. Firstly, avoid anything fingerless at all costs. And secondly, if they follow the classic style with cut-out knuckles, only wear them in the car – it’s called a ‘glove box’ for a reason.
No longer just for snotty-faced six-year-olds, mittens are all grown up, and are now even the style of choice for streetwear brands like Virgil Abloh’s Off-White. Go for a technical fabric like hi-loft fleece or a chunky ribbed knit and wear them with more relaxed pieces. Suit + mittens = man child whose mum dressed him for his first day in the office.
If your look leans towards the athletic end of the scale, you can get away with sporting a proper pair of technical gloves, even off the slopes. Often crafted from weather-resistant materials like Gore-Tex, stick to dark, muted colourways if you’re worried about them looking like they’re part of your ‘super-wacky, you guys’ ski season look.
When it comes to knitted gloves, your main concern should be the fabric composition. Because gloves are such a small item, there isn’t much difference in price between the natural and man-made fibres, but there is in terms of function and sustainability. Wool is warm, breathable, sustainable and biodegradable (so when you lose one in the hedgerow, you don’t have to feel as guilty about it). Acrylic, wool’s main competitor, will keep your hands moderately warm, but it will also make them sweat.
What was once the preserve of full-scale tech nerds and the phone addicted has become mainstream. Although, admittedly, with wildly varying levels of attractiveness or ability to actually work. As well as fingertips that let you carry on tapping at your tech, look out for gripper palms. That way, you can stay stylish while swiping through Spotify’s misguided song suggestions on the walk to work.
The smartest of all hand-warmers, leather gloves are the ideal winter investment (providing you remember to not leave them in the back of a taxi). Suede, on the other hand, might not the best for throwing snowballs, but is as warm as leather and has the added benefit of working on the casual side of smart-casual.
How To Wear Winter Gloves
You don’t have to wear gloves during the winter, but it seems daft not to. The question, of course, is what you wear them with.
“Gloves are one of the basic requirements of a winter wardrobe that can be frequently overlooked,” says Arnold. “You may not shape an outfit around them, but nothing elevates a look quite like a pair of quality leather gloves.”
Though they won’t ever form the foundation of an outfit, be mindful that they can change how one looks. Take black leather gloves: worn solo with a black suit, you’d like either a hitman for hire or the sort of man who has an armoured basement and resides in an area where there has been a spate of women going missing. Neither is a particularly desirable look. So, do not, for the love of anything you hold dear, wear them without an overcoat.
Best Winter Gloves Brands
British heritage brand Dents is so into gloves that it has even has a museum dedicated to them. Crafted in Wiltshire, where the company was founded in 1777, and using traditional methods, each pair of Dents leather gloves is cut by hand. For smart or driving gloves, there is no better place to go.
Winter accessories from Uniqlo, the unofficial masters of brilliant basics, are predictably great. Along with the Japanese brand’s reasonably priced cashmere styles, many of its winter gloves feature its famous Heattech fabric that works with your body to generate heat and retain it.
Swedish label Hestra, named after the small town in which the family-run brand is based, has been making gloves since 1936. In fact, it only makes gloves. Which means you can guarantee a pair that are sleek enough for the city but warm enough for the slopes.
The North Face
After collaborations with the likes of Supreme and Junya Watanabe successfully positioned it as a fashion-y brand, it can be easy to forget that The North Face is a bonafide outdoors label. Pick up a pair of the US brand’s Thermo Ball Mittens which, sartorially, do the same thing as Off-White’s for half the price.
Craftsmanship and quality reign supreme at heritage mill William Lockie. Dating back to 1874, the brand’s super-soft gloves are knitted in Hawick, a town in Scotland famed for its knitwear industry. Grab a pair spun from the finest Mongolian cashmere and that mitten string will soon start to look like a good idea.
Based in Gardabaer, Iceland, it’s little wonder 66 North has excelled at making outdoor clothing since 1926. The brand has a strong selection of handsome mittens (no, that is not an oxymoron). And because they’re designed to be worn in minus temperatures, you can guarantee they’re going to be cosy.
From its sleek technical-inspired gloves to its timeless designs made from premium leather and organic cotton, high street hero Weekday has pretty much all of the gloves. A good place to pop into if you’re trying to decide on a style.
Scandi brand Wood Wood has more than a few pairs of smart-looking technical gloves in its rotation. But it’s the inspired use of insulating and sustainable recycled wool for its ribbed mittens which earns the Danes a spot on this list.