In the Edwardian era, the glossy glacé finish was popular on full-dress gloves which continued to be worn for the most formal of occasions.  As for gloves appropriate for the informal new dinner jacket, many etiquette guides said nothing on the subject while the others offered up a wide variety of recommendations.  Grey suede was the most popular suggestion but there were also references to white and tan colors.  Sanctioned materials ranged from deerskin to chamois to reindeer to mocha (goatskin with a suede-like finish).  To allow a snug fit at the wrist, the bottom of the gloves were slit and fastened with one or two buttons or clasps that were sometimes described as “patent”.

The lowering of social standards brought about by World War One meant that full-dress dress gloves became limited mostly to balls and ushers at formal weddings. White kid was still the most popular version and white mocha still a common alternative.  For black tie, the preferred options were white or grey, usually in buckskin.  However, many published authorities remained silent on the topic and Emily Post books specifically prohibited the wearing of gloves with a tuxedo.

Summer 1930 London - white gloves are worn indoor with black tie and white tie - note the double button on the black tie dinner jacket and the 3 button waistcoat on the right

Summer 1930 London – white gloves are worn indoor with black tie and white tie – note the double button on the black tie dinner jacket and the 3 button waistcoat on the right

Formality was struck another blow by World War Two, with etiquette maven Amy Vanderbilt noting in 1952 that “today the white kid gloves, ultra-correct for indoor wear with formal clothes, are seldom seen, although some fastidious men don them for dancing, to avoid having to place a moist hand on a woman’s bare back.” Grey continued to be the dominant choice for black-tie dress gloves, either in mocha, chamois or buckskin.  These trends remained largely unchanged until the 1990s at which point etiquette and sartorial authorities ceased including gloves in their descriptions of evening wear.  Notably, one of the last such references recommended that for white-tie affairs the gloves simply be held in the left hand, a complete reversal of the original proscription of this practice.