What are Fingerless Lace Gloves?

G. Melanson

Fingerless lace gloves are half gloves or “glovelettes” fashioned from lace which may cover a portion of the fingers or none at all. Fingerless lace gloves first became popular during the mid-1980s as a signature accessory in pop and punk fashions. Another variation of this style of glove is the fingerless mesh or “fishnet” glove, which may be worn singularly as a fashion statement or as a pair. Fingerless lace gloves experienced a fashion comeback at the beginning of the new millennium along with other 1980s accessories, such as low-slung belts, off-the-shoulder tops, crucifixes, animal prints, and jelly bracelets.

Fingerless lace gloves can be an excellent bridal accessory.
Fingerless lace gloves can be an excellent bridal accessory.

Lace fingerless gloves were a big component in Madonna’s first major tour, “The Virgin Tour” of 1983-84. She wore them alongside lace-up wedding boots, giant hair bows, mesh tops, and other accessories to complete her overall “boy toy” brand. The singer’s signature style inspired legions of fans to copy her look at this time, who were then branded “Madonna-bes.” Madonna’s 1980s counterpart, Cyndi Lauper, was also known to wear lace fingerless gloves.

The first sign that lace gloves without fingers were making a comeback came in the early 2000s, when they began showing up on fashion runways in Europe. Since then, fingerless lace gloves have been seen on such celebrities as Lindsay Lohan, Lady Gaga, Rhianna, and Paris Hilton. Although they’re most common in black or white, fingerless lace gloves are available in a wide variety of colors, including neon blue, yellow and pink. They may be cropped at the wrist or extend to the elbow, and some styles also feature frills, embroidery, appliqués, or bows.

A less-trendy version of lace fingerless gloves are sometimes also worn by brides. Bridal fingerless gloves typically cover the area from the elbow to the palm, and attach to the middle finger by a loop of fabric. Unlike the synthetic lace fingerless gloves usually found in trendy clothing and accessory stores, bridal lace gloves are often fashioned from quality fabric such as Battenberg lace, and feature stretch satin on certain parts of the glove. They may also feature intricate floral patterns or come with a matching lace veil.

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Discussion Comments


@Grivusangel: I remember those gloves! I had a pair of the black lace mitts, which had fingers that came halfway up my fingers. I know some of them just covered the back of the hand and the palm.

They were more attractive than legwarmers, at least. Those were truly hideous.


These were also a must-have prom accessory in the 80s. If your dress was dark, you wore black gloves and if it was light in color, you wore white gloves. Dyed to match lace gloves were also right up there with dyed to match satin pumps for bridesmaids at a wedding.

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