You know that old saying, “It fits like a glove”? Well, my question is, which glove? I have discovered this saying to be a bit misleading. On my recent quest for gloves I was trying to figure out what style, size, and length would suit me best. No one told me about this oh-so-clever measuring system that is unique to gloves called button length. Button length is an antique French unit of measuring glove length. One button is equal to just slightly over an inch. Typically button measures start at the bottom of the thumb to the top of the glove. With this measuring system in place the glove itself will always be about 6 inches or so longer than button length. Having uncovered this new measuring system I also found that gloves can be a number of lengths, much more than the two or three I thought existed.
2 Button – These gloves, also referred to as “shorties”, are typically wrist-length and just barley hit the tip of the wrist measuring 8 to 9 inches.
4 Button – Similar to the 2 button, these are 10 to 11 inches and cover the wrist, coming slightly over the forearm.
6 Button – This gloves length usually falls about mid forearm reaching 12 to 13 inches.
8 Button – Also known as the “three-quarter length” glove, the 8 button is 14 to 15 inches and comes all the way to the upper forearm.
12 Button – Measuring about 18 to 19 inches in length, this is the first size that reaches just over the elbow, hence the reason it is also referred to as “elbow length”
16 Button – There can be no mistaking this glove length, it is the classic opera glove that measures 22 to 23 inches finishing more or less at mid bicep.
21 Button – The longest of them all is the 27 to 29 inch set of gloves that fully covers the arm from top to bottom. These gloves are more traditionally worn with sleeveless or strapless dresses.