Updated December 2021
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Buying guide for Best women’s leather gloves

Practical and personal, women’s leather gloves aren’t just for keeping your hands warm and dry. They’ve been an essential fashion accessory for hundreds of years. As we’ve learned from countless episodes of shows like Downton Abbey, how and when to wear gloves – and not to wear them – was an important element in moving about in high society.

Today, leather gloves have a more utilitarian focus. Women wear them to keep their hands warm, to improve the grip on a steering wheel, and to protect hands from the cold. Yet leather gloves retain a stylish aspect in addition to their practicality, allowing women to look sharp as they stay warm.

Not everyone puts a lot of thought into purchasing gloves, perhaps choosing warmth or color over other factors. However, different leather gloves have distinct characteristics, styles, and functions.

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Points are decorative lines (sometimes one, usually three) stitched along the back of the glove.

Key considerations


The first thing to do is figure out your glove size. Leather glove sizes are based on the circumference of your hand (measure around your palm) and increase in increments of about half an inch per size. Common glove sizes include the following:

  • Extra small (XS): 6 inches

  • Small (S): 6 1/2 inches

  • Medium (M): 7 inches

  • Medium large (ML): 7 1/2 inches

  • Large (L): 8 inches

  • Extra large (XL): 8 1/2 inches


Classic terms for women’s gloves aren’t used much anymore, but the corresponding lengths are the same. Most leather gloves sold today fall within the following lengths:

  • Wrist: These gloves reach either just to the wrist bone, covering the heel of the hand, or an inch longer.

  • Gauntlet: The main characteristic of this type of glove is the longer, loose cuff, which is sometimes folded These gloves can range from just longer than wrist length to halfway up the forearm.

  • Coat: These gloves aren’t as long as their counterparts were decades ago. They have a longer length than wrist gloves, reaching one-quarter to halfway up the forearm, with a wider opening to accommodate the arm.


There are several different types of leather used to make gloves, with varying qualities of softness, suppleness, and durability.

  • Cowhide: Much thicker than other leather options, cowhide is used in gloves for more casual wear, which doesn’t require fitted styling.

  • Deerskin: Strong yet supple, deerskin has a more rugged, rough appearance.

  • Goatskin: Coarser than lambskin but durable and hard-wearing, goatskin is used in lower-priced leather gloves.

  • Lambskin: Soft and supple yet thin, this is the leather of choice for many brands of women’s gloves. Lambskin requires very little breaking in.

  • Sheepskin: Depending on the quality, sheepskin makes a very strong, thin leather that breaks in well.
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Did you know?
PU leather is made by laminating split leather with a polyurethane coating to make it look like top-grain leather. It is increasingly used for inexpensive women’s gloves.

Women’s leather glove features

Women’s leather gloves incorporate several options that increase their practicality while maintaining their fashionability.

Touchscreen: The fingertips of touchscreen gloves incorporate a patch of conductive fabric that transfers electric current from the wearer to the touchscreen on a smartphone, tablet, or another device.

Driving: These gloves are normally made of tight-fitting, unlined leather that doesn’t interfere with hand movements. They’re designed to provide a good grip and enable the driver to “feel” the road.

Reinforced: Some glove styles have reinforcing leather along the fingers and covering the palm.

Mixed grain: These are gloves made with different leather textures and finishes incorporated into the construction of the shell, such as smooth leather in the palms and suede leather on the backs.

Mixed materials: Many women’s leather gloves are lined with fabric or wool for comfort. Sometimes the fabric or wool is incorporated in the outer shell along with the leather.

Color: Gloves range from “natural” (the color of the tanned leather) to a full range of casual and chic colors from yellow, orange, and scarlet to green, blue, and purple – you name it.

Trim: Key design elements go into the trim of a leather glove, including buttons, zippers, or distinctive stitching along the side seams. Gauntlet cuffs may be trimmed with fur, faux fur, or an attractive, eye-catching fabric.

Cuffs: Glove cuffs may be left open or have elastic or buttons at the wrist bone, or have a strap to adjust the fit. Some gloves with knit lining have a ribbed-knit cuff.

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Expert Tip
Buying gloves as a gift and don’t know the recipient’s size? A glove that is size 7 or 7.5 (M or ML) is close to the average size of most women’s hands.

Women’s leather glove prices

The type of leather used, the lining, and overall styling all play a role in determining the price of a pair of gloves. In general, women’s leather gloves range in price from about $24 to $200 and up.


The lowest-priced leather gloves range from $24 to $35 and typically have a synthetic or lower-quality wool liner.


Gloves in the middle range of $35 to $65 offer a wide variety of options, such as cashmere lining, more supple leather shell, and a wider choice of colors and designs.


The most expensive gloves range from $65 to more than $200 and include designer brands, the softest leather, and features such as touchscreen fingertips and high-quality lining.

"The main parts of a glove are the palm, back, thumb, fingers, sleeve, and cuff."


  • Break in your leather gloves. Tight-fitting leather gloves might be slightly uncomfortable the first few times you wear them. As the leather conforms to your hands, they become much more comfortable.

  • Take care of your leather gloves. Air them out after each wearing so that the interior dries completely. Wipe down the leather shell occasionally with a damp cloth, not a paper towel.

  • Never dry leather gloves with heat. Don’t put them in a clothes dryer or place them on a radiator or other external heat source. This will cause the leather to dry out and crack.

  • Keep your leather gloves soft. Treat your gloves periodically with a neutral leather conditioner.

  • Avoid prolonged or repeated contact with wet surfaces. The leather will discolor at the contact point.
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Suede gloves can be spot cleaned, then brushed gently with a soft-bristle brush to keep the texture looking uniform.


Q. Can I waterproof my leather gloves?

A. Sure. Treating gloves to make them water resistant can really extend their life, especially if you plan to wear them everywhere and in any kind of weather. But be aware that applying a waterproofing agent may change the color of the gloves.

Q. I see women’s leather gloves made of Nappa leather. Is it real leather?

A. Yes. The difference is in the tanning process, which uses chromium or aluminum sulfate to make almost any leather (including thick cowhide) softer and smoother. Nappa gloves are durable and supple, often comparable to lambskin, but are priced much more reasonably.

Q. How can I prevent leather gloves from stretching out of shape?

A. Properly fitting gloves that are well cared for should last for years without stretching out of shape. Be sure to purchase the right size for your hands – too small or too large can stress the leather at points the glove designer didn’t intend. Protect your gloves from liquids and let them dry out naturally if they get wet.

Q. How do I clean the lining of my leather gloves?

A. Just as you treat the exterior. Spot clean any dirt or stains with a damp, soft cloth and let the interior of the glove dry thoroughly. For a deeper clean, take the gloves to a dry cleaner that is able to treat leather.

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