There are several good glovemakers in the UK. Examples include Pickett’s and Dent’s. The former of these are high end glovemakers who supply the various Pickadilly retailers and tailors of London. Due to this fact, they are rather expensive and for the most part inaccessible to mere mortals such as us. However, there is an alternative glovemaker that not only produces gloves for us that are of almost (if not on par) the same quality as the said glovemakers but also are very reasonably priced. The glovemaker in question is Messrs. Chester Jefferies.
Founded in 1936, CJ’s are probably the country’s leading manufacturers of quality gloves. You will not get the same service from low end glovemakers and you’ll probably be charged an arm and a leg from the high end ones.
So, what makes CJ’s the glovemaker to go to for your gloves? Let me explain the various stages of ordering.
When you wish to order a pair from them, you are first given a choice of styles to choose from. By a choice, I mean almost a hundred. There are gloves for any situation and for man, woman and child. Gloves for dress wear, gloves for driving, for theatre, for ceremonial, for flying, for shooting, etc. Each section contains several different designs to choose from to suit your needs and budget.
Styles that are offered mainly fall into two categories: machine-made and hand-made. Mostly, machine-made gloves have the raw edges on the inside whilst hand-made ones are always on the outside. The latter costs a bit more due to the extra work and time involved (they take a few more weeks to make).
After you’ve chosen your glove design you get to choose what leather you want to use depending on which design you want. You can have capeskin (plain or sueded), hogskin, lambskin, deerskin, etc. The hogskin (or preccary) is the most expensive. It is rather soft and yet hardwearing and has a very beautiful pattern on the surface:
Deerskin has a nice surface whilst capeskin is the standard leather that you see in normal gloves. After the leather has been selected you can now choose the colour of the leather. Some have only a limited number of colours but capeskin has the most. Some gloves can be made with two different colours of leather.
After you’ve chosen the leather you are also given a choice of lining (if applicable, gloves are not lined by default). You get to choose from silk, cashmere/wool, chamois, cotton fleece, coney fur, etc. The choice would affect the fit of the glove. Indeed, a thicker lining would make a closer fit. There are two categories of linings; entire and slip. The entire linings encase the entire hand whilst a slip lining does not encase the sides of some of the fingers (these parts are called ‘fourchettes’. One could specify them to be added in). Some linings can be made detachable.
You now select your size and fit. You need to measure the circumference around the hand at the knuckles with the hand flat (not clenched). However, you need, in my experience, to take into account the lining of the glove. For thick linings such as cashmere/wool, you would use your normal measurement as measured (in my case, my glove size is 7 1/2″). But if your glove is unlined or have a thin lining then it makes sense to reduce the size by 1/2″ (in my case, 7″) for a closer fit. Don’t go for the S, M, L, etc sizes as you want a sized glove for them to fit well. Next, you choose your gender which will determine the length and girth of the digits, etc. If you are a man and have rather slender fingers (or want a tighter fitting pair of gloves) then you might want to select women as the gender.
The ‘points’ option should be checked if you want the three gathered lines at the back of the gloves. These basically slightly tighten the fit a bit but mostly it is used to make the glove look ‘finished’ so are not essential. However, IMO gloves look better with them as most cheaply made gloves do not have them.
After this, there is a sandbox where you write down any other specific requirements you wish to be observed such as unsual finger sizes, request for a more tight fitting, etc.
In regards to sizing, you can request the bespoke option which requires you to send in your hand tracings to them and they will create a pattern for you so that all the glove they make for your thereof would fit perfectly. There is an initial charge of £20 for this service. If your gloves are slightly loose when they arrive, you can send them back for them to be altered slightly without charge.
Of course, they could make gloves to your design or specifications that are not listed on their site. For example, lemon chamois gloves for morning dress. These must be ordered through e-mail or telephone.
The cost ranges from a mere £36 to £90. The quality and fit is very good indeed. So I do recommend you have a go with them and see what you think. I’m certainly going to order a few more in the future!
What colour should the gloves be for men? Here is a guide for men:
- White tie = white doeskin* (unlined; with MOP button wrist closure if possible)
- Black tie = grey/white doeskin (as above)
- Morning dress/black lounge = lemon chamois or grey/old-lavender** doeskin (as above)
- Lounge/informal = brown/tan/etc leather (any, lined or unlined)
- Tropical/summer = very light brown/sandy leather (any, unlined)
- Winter = dark drown leather (capeskin, lined fur or cashmere)
- Casual = any colour, any leather (lined or unlined)
- Livery/military = white cotton/doeskin (unlined; sometimes with MOP wrist-button closure)
- Funeral = black leather (capeskin, lined or unlined)
For formal dress gloves (i.e. morning dress, etc), I recommend the ‘City Gent’ pattern with a tighter wrist, or a pattern with a buttoning wrist.
* doeskin (a very light and thin leather that is sueded on both sides)
** old lavender (grey with a hint of purple)
Chester Jefferies have recently added a pair of hand-sewn lemon chamois gloves with MOP wrist-button closure to their range!
No doubt, I may have some hand in making people aware of these gloves (through this blog and style forums) and so they have become popular enough to warrant them making it available as a standard purchase model!