Can Opera Gloves Be as Functional as They Are on-Trend?

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It may be the “Bridgerton” effect seeping into the fashion world, but it seems as though opera gloves are everywhere right now. And by everywhere — we mean both on and off the runway.

Given their clear historical tie to class and status — in Victorian times, they were considered a mandatory form of etiquette in among the upper class — it may not surprise you that Kate Middleton wore black opera gloves on the 2023 BAFTAS red carpet.

Kate Middleton in Alexander McQueen at the 2023 BAFTAS. Photo: Getty Images

And she wasn’t alone. Ugandan-British actress, singer, composer, and playwright, Sheila Atim, glided down the BAFTAS red carpet in a metallic silver Prada ensemble that featured matching silver opera gloves.

Sheila Atim wears a Prada ensemble at the 2023 BAFTAS. Photo: Getty Images

While bold seemed to be the flavour of the day, the stars didn’t discriminate, with actress Hong Chau opting for more subtle opera gloves — in transparent mesh.

Hong Chau at the 2023 BAFTAS. Photos: Getty Images

This accessory choice shouldn’t come as a surprise.

High-profile brands such as Victoria Beckham, Erdem, Louis Vuitton, Jacquemus and Dolce & Gabbana have been foreshadowing the re-emergence of opera gloves for months, with all of them styling their spring/summer 2023 runways with multiple pairs.

Victora Beckham spring/summer 2023. Photo: Getty Images

And, most recently at Paris Couture Fashion Week, Mugler showed multiple sets of opera gloves as part of their Haute Couture spring /summer 2023 runway collection.

Ziwe, walking for Thierry Mugler Paris Fashion Week – Haute Couture Spring Summer 2023. Photo: Getty Images

Basically, we’re just telling you that opera gloves are in. But how can we wear them in a functional way?

In a world that demands us to be constantly on our phones… it’s hard — we won’t lie. They’re not the most practical accessory while rushing around the busy streets of fashion-forward cities, answering last-minute phone calls, booking Ubers and pay-waving for your takeaway coffee.

But no one ever said that fashion was always functional, right? Functional fashion has its place in the everyday, but so does looking (and feeling) fabulous.

If you opt for a slightly lighter material, like these Dyspnea Soprano Gloves ($99) or these Mugler x Wolford elbow-length gloves ($363) — the typing and general grabbing of things will be a little easier.

It’s definitely a skill. But, Dearest Gentle Reader, fashion is about broadening your horizons. Perhaps, wearing a pair of luxurious opera gloves to your next big event could be a reason to keep off your phone and be in the moment.

You never know, you might enjoy it.

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