The designers of Officine Autodromo's Stringbacks were inspired by that distant age when the intersection of wooden steering wheels and palm sweat made motorists unsafe at any speed and glove boxes weren't primarily for manuals and insurance information. During that era, a driver's choice in hand wear said as much about him as his car. Though leather-clad wheels and heat are now the norm, these driving gloves are handsome enough that you'll want to wear them even when you're walking.
Made from drum-dyed leather and cotton, the Stringbacks get their name from the crocheted cotton (the "strings") on the back of the glove that lets the hands breathe and maintain a reasonable temperature whether the car is warming up or the sun is blaring through the windshield. The supple leather on the palm grips any type of wheel (or subway pole) with surprising adhesion. We found that the Stringbacks gave us a bit more control behind the wheel. Even on a winding road, our knuckles never turned white – not that anyone could tell through the dark cotton.
We didn't take them off after we parked. Because the gloves are short, they can be worn with any sort of jacket – leather being the prime candidate – without clogging up the cuffs. The woven backs are a visual surprise that often elicits nods of admiration. If you do take them off, you'll want to put them in your pocket instead of the glove box. [$110; autodromo.com]