dolly patron wearing gloves

Get the Scoop on Why Dolly Parton Always Wears Gloves

You may have seen her dozens of times, but have you ever noticed that the legendary Dolly Parton always wears gloves? It’s not just a fashion choice either. As it turns out, there is a deeper and more meaningful reason behind her unique accessory.

In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating history behind Dolly’s iconic gloves and why they’re so important to her. We’ll see how they have served as a reminder of her humble beginnings and have become an integral part of her identity. From their beginnings in her parents’ home in the foothills of Tennessee to the bright lights of Broadway, get the inside scoop on Dolly Parton and those famous gloves!

Why Dolly Parton Wears Gloves?

When most people see Dolly Parton wearing her signature long, ornate gloves, they assume it’s just part of her signature look. But the truth is, she’s been wearing them for decades, and there’s a meaningful history behind why she does it.

Dolly Parton has spoken about her gloves in various interviews throughout the years, noting that she began wearing them as a teenager as an ode to her mother. Her mother was a seamstress in East Tennessee, and sewed all of Dolly’s outfits when she was growing up. As a tribute to this skill—so that dresses never ran short—Dolly would wear long white gloves so that no skin was ever exposed to show extra length on the arm.

Today, while many of the gloves are handmade specifically for her by an array of designers, she still wears them out of respect for her mother and the hard work she put into making sure Dolly was always in style.

Along with being an act of remembrance for Dolly’s mom, the sparkling white gloves also stand for inner beauty and grace—something Dolly has been preaching about for years. Her iconic look serves as a timeless reminder to always carry yourself with grace, and respect your history.

How to Complete the Dolly Parton Look With Gloves

The Dolly Parton look is unique and instantly recognizable. Her signature style has become a staple for fans around the world. The look includes large hair, bright colors and her signature eyeshadow – and never forgetting those memorable gloves.

Gloves are an integral part of Dolly Parton’s signature style, but why does she always wear them? According to Vogue, it’s because of her lifelong commitment to always look her best. Wearing gloves helps her achieve this goal by hiding any signs of age on her hands. Plus, they also help to keep her hands clean while she travels or interacts with fans in public.

If you’re looking to complete your own Dolly Parton look with gloves, there are lots of options available. You could opt for a classic opera glove in a vibrant color like pink or yellow, or stick to something more understated like plain white cotton gloves. With all these options at your disposal, you’ll be sure to find the perfect pair that fits your style!

Types of Gloves Worn by Dolly Parton

Did you know Dolly Parton wears different types of gloves? While the country superstar was known for her bright, colorful fingerless gloves in the ‘80s, these days she’s usually spotted with white or black elbow-length gloves. In fact, you’ll rarely catch her without them!

But why does Dolly Parton always wear gloves? The answer lies in the 3 different types of gloves that she wears:

Fingerless Gloves

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 11: Dolly Parton leaves the ‘Late Show wWth David Letterman’ at Ed Sullivan Theater on January 11, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

The most iconic type of glove she wears is the fingerless one. She often pairs it with bright and colorful ensembles, making her look even more vibrant. Plus, it adds a touch of drama to her overall look! According to an interview with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, “I like my hands to be free but yet I want to wear something fancy… so I thought ‘well OK, I’m just going to wear these little half-gloves and then I can have the best of both worlds.’”

Elbow-Length Gloves

dolly patron wearing elbow length gloves
Photo credit: Getty Images

Dolly Parton is also fond of wearing plain white or black elbow-length gloves as part of her more formal dress code. These are usually seen on red carpet events and shows. When asked about it[1], she said that it all began when she put on a long glove by mistake and people started complimenting the look. She ended up loving the classic style and has been wearing them ever since.

Bridal Gloves

dolly parton wearing bridal gloves
Photo credit: Getty Images

The third type of glove that Dolly Parton loves to flaunt is bridal gloves! These are usually ivory or cream colored lace gloves bearing intricate details around the wrists.

What Do the Gloves Mean for Dolly?

When it comes to Dolly Parton, her gloves may have a deeper meaning then you would expect. To some, the gloves serve as a reminder of the hard work, perseverance, and resilience that characterizes Parton’s career.

On a more practical level, experts have hypothesized that the gloves may protect her hands from any potential germs or other illnesses that she may encounter while signing autographs, interacting with strangers and shaking hands during performances and interviews.

Parton has also stated that she wears the gloves because she believes they look classy. In 1993, she told The Advocate: “I think it looks rather elegant when you wear white kid gloves onstage. I never thought about the costume aspect; I just thought about how nice it looks with whatever you’re wearing… I do believe in looking classy onstage.”

Parton has also spoken about how wearing gloves is part of her persona—and tapping into her “Dollywood” brand—so much so that she sells replica versions as part of merchandise on her website. Interestingly enough, many of Parton’s fans have tried to mimic her signature style and incorporate this dainty detail into their stagewear for performances and special occasions alike.


Dolly Parton is constantly reinventing herself, and her signature gloves are part of her look. From keeping her hands soft and smooth, to protecting her hands from germs and dirt, to hiding her tattoos, there are various reasons why Dolly is nearly always seen wearing gloves. Her fans also love the accessory and often wear gloves themselves as a tribute to Dolly.

No matter the reason for wearing them, Dolly Parton’s gloves have become an iconic part of her look. Her style of always wearing gloves may have sparked from a practical need, but it has become an essential part of her superstar identity.

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