Celebrities are falling in glove.
Opera gloves, the classic Victorian accessory once considered mandatory attire for proper etiquette, are no longer reserved for galas and ritzy society events. A-listers are now embracing the ladylike, elegant formal accoutrements in a variety of fabrics for drama on the red carpet, outings and social media.
Fit for a princess, Kate Middleton looked regal in Alexander McQueen, a recycled gown she wore to the same event in 2019, and black gloves extending up to her bicep at the BAFTAs on Sunday.
But the trend isn’t limited to royalty, Jane Austen films and “Bridgerton.” Last week, Anne Hathaway wore long leather gloves with a Valentino gown for the Berlinale opening of her film “She Came to Me.” And Jennifer Coolidge channeled old Hollywood glamour in Dolce & Gabbana by pairing black gloves with diamonds à la Marilyn Monroe at the Critics Choice Awards last month.
“I have been in the glove industry for the last 33 years, and it’s certainly the biggest revival since the ’50s,” Deborah Moore, CEO of Dents of England, a purveyor of gloves since 1777, told The Post. “Now is the time for the ‘Great Glove Affair.’ “
Moore said sales of opera-length gloves have “increased substantially in the last 12 months” because “now you can wear anything for any occasion.”
Katie Sue Nicklos, CEO of Wing & Weft Gloves, NYC’s last specialized glover in the Garment District, told The Post that the accessories “are always en vogue,” but she has also recently seen a spike in interest.
“We’ve seen a steady rising demand in gloves over the past two years,” Nicklos said. “Adding a pair of gloves to your wardrobe can make you the star of the party.”
Formerly known as LaCrasia Gloves, the shop has been open since the ’70s and is a go-to for stylists dressing celebrities. Recently, they were tasked with making custom gloves to match Bebe Rexha’s Moschino Grammy dress that oozed glamour.
“Gloves are a great way to add icing to an outfit on the red carpet and classic long black leather gloves are always a safe choice,” Nicklos added.
Genevieve James, creative director of Cornelia James, which makes gloves for the royal family, also noted an upturn in sales in the past 18 months.
“Opera gloves are transformative, they have enormous leverage,” James told The Post. “They turn any event into an occasion and a dress into a statement.”
But, decorum be damned, the gloves have come off about expectations for wearing long, elbow-length evening gloves. The TikTok generation has embraced the trend — the hashtag #OperaGloves has 3.4 million views — for formal occasions and everyday outfits.
Kendall Jenner paired her evening gloves with her lingerie for sexy Instagram snaps, but later in January, she went classic wearing black latex gloves and a neon-green Victoria Beckham dress. Her sister Kim Kardashian also wore a pair for Dolce & Gabbana’s spring 2023 campaign with tights and a corset.
While covering skin, opera gloves seem to amp up the sex appeal for some stars, like Bella Thorne’s Catwoman-esque latex black gloves at New York Fashion Week on Feb. 14, Doja Cat’s full latex look at the Grammys and Megan Fox’s white satin outfit for a Grammys after-party.
Meanwhile, Beyoncé has been wearing elbow-length gloves for well over a year, first as part of a stunning yellow number at the 2022 Oscars and most recently for the Grammys.
Cornelia James’ website notes that evening gloves historically have been a “symbol of wealth and social status … reflective of rank” since the “most expensive materials were reserved for the wealthiest.” Queen Mary II is said to have started the trend in the 17th century — and insisted on wearing new gloves every day.
The trend reached royal heights in the years following, only waning during the World Wars as many ditched lavish non-necessities. Flappers, however, rebelled against the economic downturn in the Roaring Twenties and accessorized with gloves, the glove maker said, and there have been “niche revivals” in the past 100 years, as seen in film and on runways.
“Imagine Audrey Hepburn ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ without the gloves,” James told The Post. “It’s just another little black dress. With the gloves it becomes iconic and emblematic of an age but always relevant, always contemporary.”
She suspects the reasons for today’s interest stem from pop culture and dressing up post-pandemic since there’s “no easier way to add impact” than with a glove.
“Free from the shackles of COVID, everybody wants to live a bit. Parties and weddings are both very much back on the agenda,” James said, adding that “Bridgerton” and “The Crown” — both of which Cornelia James made gloves for — “certainly helped along the way and created a vibe.”
Nicklos said that fashion mavens love “a nod to the past,” and gloves are “ripe for personalization and creativity.”
“It’s an unexplored area for expression, which makes it an easy accessory to turn to when the standard red carpet hits are getting a little stale,” she said.
Whether it’s a rebellion against today’s economic climate, nostalgia or simply a necessary accessory of post-pandemic glamour dressing, the trend is here to stay whether celebs wear them or not.
“It’s always glove surge time,” Nicklos said. “There are these blips on the radar, like Kate … I love when a blip happens because new clients who have never thought of gloves before get interested and excited.”
Even Gen Z seems to think so, as evident in viral TikToks.
“This is your sign to buy Opera Gloves,” one fan wrote.
“Gloves are consistently interesting and classy,” Nicklos said. “They never go out of style.”