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Gloves On or Off When Shaking Hands Outdoors

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

When wearing winter gloves outside, do you remove your glove or leave it on when introduced to someone and they extend their hand to shake yours? I always remove my glove to shake the other person's hand; is that proper?


Gloves Off

Dear Glove Off,

If you feel more comfortable removing your gloves before shaking someone's hands when outdoors, then that is fine. Generally, it is not necessary to remove gloves when outside in wintry weather in the United States.

However, there are exceptions. For example, in other countries it is considered very rude to leave gloves on when shaking hands even if very chilly outside. Apparently, U.S. President Bush's a faux pas while visiting Slovakia was widely publicized in that country. According to an expert in Slovak manners and protocol, Deana Lutherova, "Bush's failure to remove his black leather gloves when greeting the country's president, prime minister and other dignitaries was unheard of here." (

It's important to know the customs and business protocol when visiting other countries.