Gloves were an important accessory for both men and women in the Victorian era.
As was the case with most elements of Victorian life, there were many rules of etiquette regarding the wearing of gloves. Of those below, which one do you think is untrue?
1. Always wear your gloves in a theater.
2. Always remove your gloves in church.
3. Where dancing is expected to take place, no one should go without new kid gloves.
4. Neither ladies or gentlemen should ever wear gloves at table (when dining).
5. You may wear gloves at table if, for some reason, your hands are unfit to be seen.
6. Never offer to shake hands with a lady in the street if you are wearing dark gloves.
7. Do not remove your gloves to shake hands.
8. Great care should be taken to see that your gloves are well made and fit neatly.
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Leave your guess in a comment. To make this more fun, use only your current knowledge rather than performing a search on Google or making a dash for your reference books.
At the end of the day, I’ll update the post to include the answer and leave it in a comment. If you want to know the answer, you could subscribe to the comments on this post.
Have fun guessing!
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Update and Answer
I had such fun reading the guesses left in the comments.
Four of those who left comments guessed correctly: Lacie, Loree, careann, and Gabrielle, who chose #2. The rule in Martine’s Hand-book of Etiquette, originally published in 1866, is, “Always wear your gloves in church.”
For the benefit of those who were curious about #6, the reason Arthur Martine gave for the rule in his book about a man never offering to shake hands with a woman if he’s wearing dark gloves is that he might soil her white ones.
Regarding rule #5, Martine didn’t elaborate on what would make a person’s hands unfit to be seen. I wonder if my age spots would qualify. 🙂
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The royalty-free image above comes from the Victorian Fashions book and CD-rom from Dover Publications that is part of my reference library.