Motoring accoutrements: What to wear while driving

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

Driving a good-looking car is awesome, but like fine wine and cheese, the drivers styling needs to be tastefully bonded with that of their vehicle.

 

Gloves:

As any classic car enthusiast can tell you, old cars aren't renowned for their warmth, especially during the winter months. Thus, a pair of gloves is almost essential. Not only will they keep your oil-stained hands warm, but they also offer the driver a better purchase on the wheel and allow them to fulfil their racing driver fantasy. Many styles are available including the string-back (see fig. A) for warmer climates or the 'full-leather' option for a more 'classic' look. Do note, however, that to avoid looking like a total uneducated buffoon, driving gloves should not leave the vehicle under any circumstance. After all, most vehicles are equipped with the aptly named 'Glovebox'. As aforementioned, pairing can also be a crucial decider in which style of glove to opt for. For example, those sporting a Jensen Interceptor and some serious facial decorum may opt for the more caddish glove. However, those with a taste for an older vintage in-vehicle, say, for example, a Bugatti Type 13, may opt for something a little heavier, such as the gauntlet style glove


Fig- A

 

Shoes:

As a great man once said, "I am no suede moccasin wearing wheelman... In fact I often wear wellington boots". The correct footwear can be crucial to ones driving ability. For example, a delicate Italian driving shoe may be suited to those who zip about Monte Carlo in an Alfa Romeo, but the Range Rover captains of rural Shropshire may not see the appeal. For most, however, a simple pair of brogues or oxfords should suffice- paired with the correct formal wear of course. For cars with a narrower pedal box, a Series 2 Morris Minor, for example, boots ought to be avoided for obvious reasons.


 

Goggles:

A long-forgotten piece of apparel by most, those with a suitably vintage, often pre-war automobile, cannot understate the importance of a sturdy pair of goggles. Not only do they offer protection from wind, insects and the giblets of unfortunate badgers, they also liken the helmsman to a fighter pilot- an admirable comparison indeed. However, with the advent of windscreens and the like, the goggles have been pushed to the wayside. Despite this sad fact, the aforementioned deceased eyewear may still prove a valuable weapon in the driver's arsenal, especially those fortunate enough to have a convertible.




 

Hats, Caps and Helmets:

A drivers wardrobe is not complete without a broad array of caps, hats and helmets to don their head whilst behind the wheel. This field can be difficult to navigate, as the suitable range of headgear offered by most outfitters can cause confusion and disarray! When choosing a hat, it's important to first equip one's metaphorical (or literal) 'thinking-cap'. Those tearing up the countryside in a Series Land Rover may well opt for the traditional "Flatcap" to tie in with the heritage of their surroundings. Note, that this style of cap is also favoured by those who enjoy galavanting across the Cotswolds in a Triumph TR3 for example, as it offers superior grip to ones head at speed. For city and townfolk, whose primary objective is to navigate to the nearest tearoom, one may consider the "Fedora" (no, not the "Trilby", often misidentified by creepy internet 'niceguys') or other broader rim hats of the same ilk, for optimum 'doffing' ability. Always consult your local milliner before buying a hat, as they can likely point you in the correct direction. Helmets are best suited for those who endanger themselves and their car at various sporting events across the country. That said, the drivers of cars that aren't restricted or plagued by these new-fangled 'roofs', may also see fit to adorn a helmet when driving.





 


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