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Here’s Why Dolly Parton Is Never Seen Without Her Iconic Fingerless Gloves

Nicol Natale
·4 min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From House Beautiful

  • Dolly Parton is always wearing fingerless gloves and long-sleeved outfits.

  • The country singer may be covering up scars and tattoos.

  • Dolly’s creative director, Steve Summers, said she wears them to hide certain features like her hands and elbows.

When you watch Dolly Parton perform in all of her glory, you’ll notice the country star’s voluminous blonde hair, sparkly sequin gowns, bright pink lipstick, and five-inch stilettos. But what often goes unnoticed is the “Jolene” singer’s fingerless gloves.

Sometimes Dolly’s gloves are sheer, and other times they’re bedazzled, catching your eye when she waves at the crowd or juggles one of her many awards. But no matter what her gloves look like, the Queen of Country always has a pair on.

With the premiere of A&E’s Biography: Dolly on Easter Sunday, fans all over the world are once again wondering why Dolly is never without her signature fingerless gloves. While she hasn’t publicly commented on the mysterious accessory, there are a few theories as to why she has a thing for them.

1. She may wear gloves to cover up scars and tattoos.

Ever notice that Dolly Parton is also always wearing long sleeves? In an interview with Vanity Fair, Dolly commented on rumors that she wears them to cover up her tattoos, emphasizing that she doesn’t like that people make such a big deal about them.

“Most of the tattoos, when I first started, I was covering up some scars that I had, ‘cause I have a tendency to have keloid scar tissue, and I have a tendency where, if I have any kind of scars anywhere, then they kind of have a purple tinge that I can never get rid of,” she said. “So mine are all pastels, what few that I have, and they’re meant to cover some scars. I’m not trying to make some big, bold statement.”

Dolly also told Good Morning America that she wanted to get rid of the purple look from the scars. “I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to kind of decorate these with some flowers or little butterflies or whatever.’”

Dolly’s longtime logo, the butterfly, represents her Dollywood theme park and she even wrote a song about them. “I wrote a song called ‘Love Is Like a Butterfly,’ and it became a big hit in my early years.”

2. Fans say she may have had corrective hand surgery.

Duane Gordon, owner of the Dollymania fan page, said that Dolly has joked about wearing gloves when asked in a couple of interviews, saying that she’s just cold or thought they were cute. Although Dolly has never officially verified the true reason for her gloves, Duane said the country singer began wearing them after corrective hand surgery.

“I can relay third-hand information that she was asked about the gloves by fans while filming scenes for her upcoming movie Joyful Noise and told them that last year she had had corrective hand surgery (medical, not cosmetic) and it left a scar that she’s covering,” he wrote. “Again, I’ve not heard that directly from Dolly or her management, but I’m told that’s the answer she gave privately in Atlanta to those who asked.”

3. She may wear them to hide certain features.

Everyone has one “thing” they don’t necessarily love about their body, and for Dolly, apparently it’s her elbows and hands. According to Dolly’s creative director Steve Summers, the singer wears gloves as a matter of style. “She doesn’t like her elbows,” Steve told InStyle. “[They ask] ‘what’s wrong with her hands?’ She’s 73, and she doesn’t like them!”

No matter what her reason is for wearing fingerless gloves, they’ve never outshined her bright smile, bubbly personality, and legendary music. If anything, they’ve just become a small part of her iconic persona.

Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images

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