Well, at least we’ve had a taste of winter. The day I was writing this, the temperature was in the chilly 30s, with ten minutes of snow; just the kind of weather we have been waiting for to do this story about gloves.

Gloves are hot, hot, hot! They are colorful, come in different lengths and are a lot of fun to wear, especially since they are no longer a required by society. With the exception of practical sorts and, of course, those beautiful white kidskin, over-the-elbow gloves that debutantes still wear, gloves had slipped into the background (They are still handmade by LaCrasia Gloves in New York City at 212-803-1600 or www.lacrasia.com). Why have gloves come out of hiding?

L. to r.: Lemon/black leather, $40; Denim blue leather with pearl accent. Both from Portolano, 15 West 37th Street, 11th Floor, 212-719-4403.

“There is a huge trend toward dressing up,” says Carolina Amato, who gave American gloves a super shot of style in the mid-1970s. “Young people are taking more of an interest in their appearance, in addition to those going into the workforce. For the last couple of years there has been an evolving interest in hats and gloves. A lot of women consider them the finishing touch on an outfit, and they are an easy way to update anything in your wardrobe. If you are tired of the same old outfit, add a pair of red or turquoise leather gloves. The color pops and the whole thing looks new again. You can take a bit of a chance with gloves and not be completely overwhelmed. One pair of yellow gloves does not morph you into Big Bird.”

L. to r.: Cashmere rauched glove shown in bubble pink, parrot green and poppy red; Kelly green leather. Both from Portolano, 15 West 37th Street, 11th Floor, 212-719-4403.

Portolano’s Michele Pacino agrees. “Gloves are fashionable right now,” she says. “The styles are right – especially all of the jackets, coats and suits with three-quarter length sleeves.” “The trend for gloves started when handbags evolved,” notes Michelle Longo, speaking for Yves St. Laurent. “They are a huge business for us whether they are fingerless with a mink cuff or Opera-length styles.”

1. Opera length black leather glove with pearl buttons, $325.
2. Shirred black velvet glove, $65.
3. Fingerless black leather driving glove, $100.
4. Gold metallic leather driving glove, $150.
5. Double driver glove in a versatile combination of gray cashmere and black leather, $150. All from Carolina Amato at www.carolinaamato.com.

Vintage retailer, Ron Caldwell, owner of Eye Candy (329 Lafayette St. between Bleeker and Houston, 212-343-4275) agrees. “We’ve been selling a lot of the long gloves,” he says, noting that the shop can barely keep them in stock, especially the very long, white leather gloves that this vintage shop sells for $48 to $68, depending on length and condition.

Red leather lace-up evening glove, $189, and black leather evening glove with red trim and side buttons, $189, from Sermoneta, the Roman glove maker celebrating its first year in New York at 609 Madison Avenue at 58th Street, 212-319-5946.

“A lot of girls are wearing these long, white ones for weddings, today.”  The store doesn’t put these out, because they get dirty from handling, but if you ask, and you are there on the right day, there will be some in back. Otherwise, the long trend includes leather, cashmere, crochet, and hand-knitted gloves, with lots of detail. “The more detail the better,” and many of the gloves, long or short, come from designers including Dior, YSL and Chanel.

New York newcomer, Sermoneta weighs in on this year’s trend for longer gloves, which the Italian specialist does in everything from soft leather or suede to metallic bronze, silver and gold and one long style that is lined with mink. “Accessories are coming back,” says Francesca Formica, “and this year it was definitely the glove.” At Sermoneta that means colorful gloves, 42 different hues this season.

In a quick look ahead, Sermoneta will be featuring driving gloves for spring and unlined styles in all of the colors plus lots of fashionable wrist-length gloves at Carolina Amato.

Petal pink and bark cashmere gloves, also available in red, $145, from TSE Cashmere, by appointment only, 800-487-3692.

Photos by Caroline Owens / Styled by Kristin Klonoski/Jewelry from Family Jewels.

See more Shopping Diaries below:

Week 1: The Passionate Shopper: Animal Prints.

Week 2: The Power of Style.

Week 3: The Passionate Shopper: Running with Leggings.

Week 4: One Blue Blazer.

Week 5: The Passionate Shopper: Seeing Red.

Week 6: Shopping Safari takes in the Meatpacking District.

12/5/06: The Passionate Shopper's 'Tis the Season.

12/6/06: Can't Do Without.

12/7/06: Gift ideas that give back.

12/8/06: Can't Do Without: Real Southern Caramel Cake.

12/11/06: The Passionate Shopper: Nan Kempner: American Chic.

12/18/06: The Passionate Shopper's ... Merry, Merry, Merry Pearl Day.

12/20/06: Shopping Safari heads to Soho.

1/3/07: The Passionate Shopper Re-visits the art of the Thank-You Note.

1/4/07: Shopping Vegas.

1/8/07: Can't Do Without: Littlest Hoodies.

1/9/07: Shopping for Wigs.


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© 2006 David Patrick Columbia & Jeffrey Hirsch/NewYorkSocialDiary.com