Driving style. Sports car drivers not only share a passion for car design and driving. Also driving style matters to them. Whether it’s their driving skills or the way they are dressed while driving, or both, sports car drivers like to make a statement.
Nevertheless, driving gloves are an underrated asset when it comes to driving and to making statements about style. Originally used to keep the hands of chauffeur’s clean and later to gain grip while steering race cars, nowadays they are merely used for the latter by … race car drivers.
Driving gloves aren’t that popular with sports car drivers for road tripping in general. Probably because fast driving often is impossible and steering of the modern luxury sports cars is quite light and precise already. Bends and Curves road tripping thinks driving gloves should get more attention of sports car drivers. Because, once they have experienced driving their sports car with the aid of gloves, they probably don’t want to go back to bare hand driving. Not only for the extra grip and feel, but also for style’s sake.
When it comes to style, we want to know what founder and resident Arbiter Elegantiarium of Gentlemans Gazette, Sven Raphael Schneider, thinks. He has been sharing his passion for classic style and fine living with Gentleman’s Gazette readers since 2010. With Fort Belvedere he designs and sells style for gentlemen. In his own words: “We help men to be gentlemen and look the part.” Gentlemans Gazette stands for “Classic men’s style, not fast fashion. Backed by history, not trends. Quality, not quantity.”
Part of gentlemens style when it comes to driving are driving gloves, in his opinion. That’s why he designed Fort Belvedere driving gloves. Bends and Curves road tripping was given the opportunity by Mr. Schneider to take them to the test. This testing will for instance take place during the Lotus memorial road trip “Stelvio 20 Years Revival” (12th September – 14th September 2019 in Livigno, Italy). But a first try out was done recently and here you can read some test notes.
Fort Belvedere driving gloves arrive in a solid and luxurious box when they are delivered at your door. Keep in mind that you order a product from the United States; you could be charged with VAT if customs check the parcel.
The look is sophisicated, the feel is luxurious. Especially the Racing Green gloves that were sent to us by Gentlemans Gazette are super soft. The black ones are a bit less soft but on the other hand, this pair can be used to operate the touchscreen of your smart phone and sat nav system.
With the helpful ‘Determine your glove size‘ video the glove size you need is determined easily. This is quite important, because driving gloves which are too small will be uncomfortable on your hands soon after you start using them and lead to cold fingertips. When they’re too big you’ll experience a lack of grip on your steering wheel. And they will look silly on you.
We used the racing green driving gloves while driving on small and winding roads mostly within speed limits in sunny weather (25 degrees Celsius / 76 degrees Fahrenheit). No extreme test, just easy and comfortable driving. Indeed, the mrs was driving along!
The unlined gloves with outside seams – to avoid pressure on your fingers or even blisters – are thin enough to guarantee good connection with the steering wheel, and thick enough to ensure sufficient grip. Small perforations along the gloves take care of ventilation and prevent – at least in these circumstances – your palms to become sweaty.
These properties aren’t unique for driving gloves. It’s what they are made for. No, it’s the style of the Fort Belvedere driving gloves that makes them stand out from the crowd. We’ve asked Sven Raphael Schneider to shine a light on that.
“The leather comes from Ethiopian lambs. It is popular meat there and the leather is a by-product. Due to the conditions they live in, the leather is very good. The rawhides are selected by our Italian tanner, and dyed and tanned in Italy. From there, it is sent to Hungary where experienced glove makers make our gloves by hand, one by one.”
“All of our designs are 100% unique to Fort Belvedere and you cannot find them anywhere else. We decide on the specific colors, the look, the fit, finger length, buttons, and every detail of each glove. The green one has a handwoven white leather arrow back. For the touchscreen one, we could not have done this because of the perforation holes that are already in the leather.”
The price of these gloves is above average, that’s without a doubt. They will set you back for $160 (today about €145). However, besides doing what they are made for, it will bring you top of the range leather driving gloves, handmade with a unique design. When it comes to style, they are hard to match in our opinion, even by Italian brands. No animals died for the sake of the gloves and the origin of the leather is known (keep away from cheap leather products folks).
These driving gloves will be on the road with us for the next few months, both the super soft racing green ones as well as the black touch screen ones. So keep an eye on our posts!
[Bends and Curves road tripping doesn’t receive a commission if you purchase Fort Belevedere driving gloves through one of the links in this article (or at all). Gentlemans Gazette has sent us two pairs of driving gloves for reviewing, without editorial influence in this review.]