Whether you’ll be dossing at the park with a cosmopolitan in a can or in a faraway land, escaping the midday sun from beneath a palm tree, one thing’s for sure – summer is approaching. And fast. So, now that you’ve done the hard work filling up your calendar with plenty of alfresco parties, rooftop soirées and midsummer weddings, it’s time to start planning your summer wardrobe. Well dear reader, as your sartorial sage, we’re more than happy to be of service with that. Introducing: the Cornelia James summer guide to styling the biggest accessory of 2022. Whether you’re looking for elegant gloves for sun protection or a fabulous formal pair for endless balmy evenings, our Swiss and sueded cotton gloves will ensure your dearly begloved stays on hand throughout. So, without further ado, here’s how to bring your very favourite accessory from the depths of winter and out into the sunshine.
Summer gloves for daytime formal
First and foremost: what are the best summer gloves? Why, we’re so glad you asked. It’s the classic cotton glove, of course. Eternally stylish, the cotton glove is synonymous with daytime formal dressing – and for good reason. No matter how simple your sartorial canvas is, the act of popping on a pair of women's summer gloves is often all you need to elevate an ensemble. From weddings and church ceremonies to tea parties and the races, allow us to break down the finest of warm-weather occasions to showcase your trusty pair…
Gloves for sporting events
From the races to Wimbledon, the sporting world comes alive in the summertime. And, thanks to strict dress codes and formal traditions, it's the perfect opportunity to debut your summer gloves fashion. Whether you'll be heading to Royal Ascot, the Kentucky Derby or the Melbourne Cup, our curated collection of race gloves will be on hand to supply your outfit with a fabulous, formal boost. The best bit? You won't overheat in a cotton pair, so regardless of your plans (getting involved or watching from the sidelines with a glass of Pimm’s), you'll be calm and collected throughout.
Gloves for weddings
What’s that we hear? Ah, the all-encompassing chime of wedding bells. With statistics demonstrating this summer to be a record-breaking season (with many couples finally resuming their pre-pandemic plans), the hunt is on to find summer gloves for ladies. But what are the rules regarding gloves at weddings? Well, for the bride's mother, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ rule – the general consensus is to aim for an elegant, understated and appropriate look. Traditionally, it would be important to complement the wedding party’s colours with your outfit, so this might be something else to consider when choosing a pair of gloves from our Mother of the Bride collection. Likewise, bridesmaids are also expected to tie into the colour scheme with their outfits. That's why we've curated our collection of bridesmaids gloves in a range of wedding-appropriate colours. As for guests, picking a pair from our formal wedding gloves collection should be a walk in the park (or down the aisle) – just look for formal dress styles in lightweight fabrications. For sleeveless outfits, opting for a slightly longer length can also provide that classic look.
Gloves for formal ceremonies
In the same vein as the above, the elegant cotton glove is a perfectly appropriate way to elevate your modest ensemble whilst attending church and other places of worship. From baptisms and Holy Communions to ceremonies and services, your Sunday best need not be frumpy with the addition of a well-made glove. We like to think of it as a wardrobe cheat code.
Gloves for tea parties
When not attending weddings or catching tennis balls, we’ll be spending the rest of the summer in peals of laughter with our nearest and dearest – all whilst looking jaw-dropping, naturally. For the most sought-after date in our diary, the humble tea party, we’ll be basking in the warm weather with a pair of lightweight summer gloves. Luckily for us, this provides the perfect opportunity to tap into the more experimental nature of the current glove trend. Why not try cotton with lace or tulle with sueded cotton? Mixing your textile palette is a fun way to balance au courant fashion affairs with a touch of timeless magic.
Summer gloves for everyday
The Cornelia James ethos? It’s all about finding the magic in the everyday. And that’s precisely why we adore summer gloves. Whether out and about gathering fresh fruits from the local farmer’s market or jetting off on your daily commute, nothing boosts one’s daily morale like putting your best foot forward – or should we say, hand? A sartorial power move, taking the cotton glove out of its typically formal context and styling it for everyday wear is a daily ritual that helps you look, and most importantly feel, like you’re showing up as your best self.
There are also a plethora of practical reasons to embrace a daily glove this summer. For one, our Swiss cotton is lightweight and remarkably breathable, meaning you won’t break a sweat when dashing around in the midday sun. For weather that’s slightly more unpredictable (we’re a proudly British brand, after all), our sueded cotton is heavier with a lightly brushed handle, providing a durable option for grey days. Fabric choices aside, summer gloves are ideal for keeping your hands clean when clutching at handrails, shopping or chartering public transport.
Summer driving gloves
Although sunburn is unlikely when sat in a car, this doesn't stop UVA rays from potentially causing harmful skin damage through the windows and windshield. Does this mean you should give up those countryside cruises in the sunshine? Not with the help of our summer driving gloves. In fact, this style offers both protection and comfort, as it was originally designed to cushion the hand during long drives. See, sensible and aesthetically pleasing. What could be better?
Alongside our militant ten-step skincare routine (which includes plenty of SPF, of course), we also rely on our collection of cotton gloves to add another protective layer against harmful sun rays. Both our sueded and Swiss cotton gloves provide UPF 50+ protection, meaning the fabric will significantly reduce your exposure to UVB and UVA radiation. Oh, and equally importantly, the entire range is also washable at home – as you’ll come to learn below...
Caring for summer cotton gloves
As we strive for a more sustainable future, investing in pieces that will stand the test of time is the most conscious way to navigate the trend cycle. And, as summer is an annual occurrence, why not go for the very best of the best? Here’s how to make our classic collection an everlasting addition to your accessory lineup.
Our sueded cotton has been grown from pure Supima cotton in the San Joaquin Valley, California, before being knitted into cotton jersey and brushed to provide a sueded handle. As such, you should avoid scrubbing when cleaning your pair. Instead, gently hand wash them in warm water with pure soap flakes whilst repeatedly rinsing through. After cleaning, allow your pair to dry naturally without wringing, tumble drying or adding artificial heat. Before they are completely dry, pull them back into shape and away you go.
Also grown from pure Supima cotton in the San Joaquin Valley, our Swiss cotton is knitted into pure jersey in Fehraltorf, Switzerland. Sounds good? Well, this handy fabrication is about to sound a whole lot better, as it can also be machine washed. There are rules, of course. Please only do this on a delicate setting and, if possible, put your gloves in a 'delicates' bag to protect them. Take care not to overfill your tub, and bear in mind that bows and trims are delicate.
With all that being said, we think you’re now more than ready to find your perfect match for a season of cool drinks and fabulous outfits.