Black Glove Symbolism: What Does It Mean?

Gloves have been around since the 14th century and have been used for all manner of things including warmth, protection and fashion. So it’s not surprising that they carry a lot of symbolism

A black glove, in particular, signifies a somber or serious occasion. That’s why black gloves are typically worn to funerals. Below, I discuss the various symbolic meanings of a black glove. 

What Do Gloves Symbolize?

What Do Gloves Symbolize?

Historically, gloves were worn mostly by notable people in society like judges, popes, and bishops. Later, gloves became a fashion statement to express class and elegance, starting with the Queen of England. 

There were even gloves adorned with jewels and embroidery to further set apart the wearers. 

So gloves have always been a statement piece of authority, class, wealth, elegance and beauty. 

Today, gloves are mostly used for practical reasons like protection and warmth. But they are still popular as a fashion piece. 

Wearing gloves for aesthetics expresses the same symbolism of elegance and beauty as they did centuries ago. 

Does Glove Color Matter?

In most situations, the color of the gloves doesn’t matter. People mostly pick a glove color based on what clothes they are wearing that day. 

But in some contexts, the color of the gloves is important. 

For instance, most brides wear white gloves to symbolize purity. They also go well with a white wedding gown. 

At a funeral, black gloves are the standard to symbolize the somber mood of the occasion. 

In literature, art, and films gloves of different colors and styles are used to symbolize various things like virtue, fear of other people, seduction, hard work, danger and more. 

What Do Black Gloves Symbolize?

What Do Black Gloves Symbolize

The black color, in general, symbolizes power, mystery, sophistications and strong emotions of anger or sadness. 

Wearing black gloves can make you appear more mysterious, smart or sophisticated. They also create an air of danger or make you appear as someone who is quick to anger. 

A character in a book or movie who wears black gloves will instantly stand out as someone to watch out for. 

A black glove is also a symbol of power. If you want to assert yourself in a situation, black gloves are perfect. 

There’s even some history of black gloves being used to indicate power, black power to be specific. 

In a 1968 Olympics medal ceremony, two African American athletes received their medals while wearing a black glove. They then raised the gloved hand to symbolize black unity and protest racial discrimination in the US. 

Black gloves can also symbolize grief or sadness. Hence the reason they are worn at funerals. So you may want to rethink wearing black gloves to a wedding or party. 

When To Wear Black Gloves?

Any situation or occasion where you’d like to appear as powerful, elegant, sophisticated, smart, or sad are appropriate for wearing black gloves. 

Examples include the office, business negotiations, a date, the opera, a formal dinner, a remembrance and so on. 

Other Meanings of A Black Glove

  • A black glove on its own can symbolize a hand. You can find this symbolism in books and films. 
  • A lone black glove can indicate the absence of someone beloved. It’s a symbol of loneliness or heartbreak. 
  • A black glove can also be a symbol of throwing down a challenge. That’s where the phrase ‘throw down the gauntlet’ comes from. People used to throw a gauntlet (a type of glove) to challenge someone in hand to hand combat. 

Did you like the article? If so, please leave a comment below. You can also read about other interesting topics, e.g. windows symbolism and more about other symbols.

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