Massachusetts Daily Collegian

The decision to wear gloves, mittens or glittens

By Ryan Ford

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becky bokern/flickr

becky bokern/flickr

Despite the temperature’s recent habit of picking up a few degrees here and there, the weather is still pretty cold. People wearing warm coats, hats and scarves can be seen milling through campus every day. However, there is one winter necessity that most people tend to overlook: gloves and mittens. While some prefer one to the other, there is a compromise for those who are torn between the two. The rarely noted combination of gloves and mittens, colloquially known as “glittens,” is a wonderful option that goes hand-in-hand with any winter outfit.

So why pick up a pair of glittens if gloves or mittens are already in your arsenal of winter defense? Well, few accessories have the same kind of versatility. Some vests and jackets are reversible, but at the end of the day that vest, reversed or not, is still just a vest. The glitten is one of few accessories that can be added as a transformative piece to your wardrobe. On a whim, one can go from the comfort of a mitten to the flexibility and freedom of a glove. Try doing that with a hat.

Let’s talk about gloves. Gloves are fantastic: they enable mobility of the phalanges and give an air of sensibility usually reserved for dignitaries. In weather that would render bare hands useless. They are the catalyst for marvelous activities like counting, giving high fives, pointing and, of course, retrieving items from one’s pockets. Glove owners hold this knowledge readily to defend their anti-mitten decision.

On the other hand, mittens offer a different type of snow security. All of the fingers safely guarded under one roof gives the feeling of strength and unity, while the thumb stands out as a vanguard against winter treachery. A thumb that, on command, will snap to attention and give a righteous thumbs up. There are few ways to give as satisfying a confirmation of goodwill as a mitten-clad thumbs up.

The glove and the mitten are both excellent options in their own right, but the combination of the two is fantastic. Like any other winter accessory, glittens come in great patterns and styles. It is, however, important to note that some companies sacrifice warmth for glove-to-mitten versatility, so beware. Navy blue, black, gray and other solid or muted colors are a great starting point for anyone looking to try out these bad boys. Fox River makes an excellent pair in an oatmeal color, and with great attention to detail. The top half can be pulled back to reveal fingerless gloves, and there is even a pivot for the thumb for total freedom. Urban Outfitters sells glittens in an array of colors and patterns, from the classic Fair Isle style to simple stripes or solid colors. If you have some spare time and are looking to save cash, join InStitches, the UMass Knitting and Crocheting Club, and make yourself a personalized pair.

Although it is just the beginning of the semester, work will pile up in no time, so there is no sense in wasting time contemplating whether or not you are a gloves girl or a mitten man. Compromise is what this country was founded on, and the same goes for any stylish wardrobe. Dressing well – and warm – is all about the details. Do yourself a favor and grab (or knit) a pair of glittens today. Stave off old man winter while looking the coolest on campus, hands down.

Ryan Ford can be reached at [email protected]

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