A pair of plus size opera gloves are the perfect complement to most women's formal evening attire. Not necessarily worn for warmth, these evening gloves add a touch of elegance as well as comfort for plus size ladies who want to cover up their hands and arms with something other than dress sleeves or traditional hand gloves.
About Opera Gloves
Opera gloves are formal evening gloves that reach past the elbow (usually 19 to 23 inches long). They date back to the early 16th century when Queen Elizabeth I of England reportedly wore long white gauntlets. A few years later, Queen Mary of England wore a similar pair in a painted portrait.
Over time, wearing over-the-elbow gloves was considered fashionable, even mandatory, especially during the Victorian and Edwardian eras when women were required to wear skin-tight long gloves at all times, even while bathing. Kid opera gloves, made from the skin of baby goats, were the most popular styles. The gloves opened at the wrist with a button or snap closure.
Types of Plus Size Evening Gloves
Today, while not as common as in days past, opera gloves are still a symbol of elegance. Women of all sizes wear them with formal gowns such as wedding, bridesmaids and prom dresses, or with more casual attire such as a Halloween or lingerie costumes. Of course, they are the perfect accessory to wear to an evening opera performance.They come in various colors and lengths, with or without fingers. While you can still find some made from leather, you will commonly find opera gloves in:
- Acetate/nylon combination
Most importantly, opera gloves come in different sizes. In the past, these evening gloves only fit an average size woman's hand and arm, meaning those who needed larger sizes either made do with smaller gloves or simply did without. However, times have changed. You can find opera gloves in misses sizes as well as plus sizes.
Why Wear Opera Gloves?
Today's plus size woman wears opera gloves for various reasons. Besides the formal look, these gloves can make a fuller arm look longer and more sleek than if left uncovered. However, if worn incorrectly or if the glove is too small, you may find your upper arm feeling tight and bulging out over the top. You certainly don't want this to happen as this could not only stretch the glove out of shape but tear it as well! Other reasons to wear opera gloves include to cover up:
- Blemishes or other skin issues
- Tattoos on the forearm
- Un-manicured nails
- Your hands and arms warm in cooler weather
Opera gloves look great with sleeveless or cap-sleeve dresses, although can can wear them with short sleeves as well. You can wear jewelry over them, such as rings, bracelets and watches, but that is at your own discretion. Too much, in this case, can be overkill.
Buying Plus Size Opera Gloves
Only a few online retailers carry plus size opera gloves. However, because you are not purchasing them in person, you will not be able to try them on first. Be sure to read each website's return policy in case the gloves don't fit well or don't match your outfit. Opera gloves for plus size women can be found at:
Caring for Your Opera Gloves
Evening gloves are delicate and need not be worn frequently. They will stay cleaner and last longer this way. However, if you do need to launder them, carefully check out the manufacturer's washing instructions. Don't assume that just because they are made of fabric they can be thrown in the washing machine. Many times, these types of gloves hold up better if they are dry cleaned.