Woman's gloves, ca. 1860-80 In the 19th century gloves were an indispensable accessory for women. They were worn for day and evening wear. Wealthy women owned many pairs suited to different occasions and carefully chosen to match particular outfits. Strict rules applied to the wearing of gloves. A woman would be considered undressed if she left the house ungloved and it was customary, for instance, to keep gloves on in church, at the theatre and at balls but to remove them before dining.