Winter can be fun—if you’re prepared. Among the laundry list of preparatory winter paraphernalia is a good set of gloves, and Gary LLC is vying for your attention with their GaryGloves. The individual project of Mitch Frank, Gary LLC takes inspiration from his childhood interests which include films from the 80s and 90s, the outdoors, mail order catalogs, and the outdoors. According to the site, Gary is “a cross between Mel Ziegler (founder of Banana Republic) and Randall Peltzer (the dad from Gremlins), [he] is a character inspired by the idiosyncratic, charismatic salesmen who were a fixture of 1980s pop culture. Every new Gary LLC release develops Gary’s character.”
Wool Liner Gloves
The Wool Liner Gloves are true to the product description on the Gary LLC website in that they’re composed of a 70% wool 30% nylon knit. But unlike their website, the gloves do not come blank and are actually screen printed with the contents on the wrists. I thought that they would at least be screen printed on the underside of the wrist so that it’s not as visible, but no. In Mitch’s words, “The wool gloves are mil-spec gloves knitted at the military’s glove factory, and in the spirit of gov’t efficiency they are the same left or right!” This quirk of efficiency means that the screen print is on the same side of both gloves. So, when you wear the gloves, one side will always have the screen print facing up. To be fair, the screen print does gradually come off over time.
If you really want peace of mind when re-upping on the Liners, Gary LLC does sell spares and they are labeled as left and right gloves. That might bother some people, but I think it’s hilarious.
These are definitely not cashmere gloves when it comes to hand feel. These knit gloves are pretty rough and scratchy to the touch with a very dry hand (+5 pun points). Compared to other, all-wool gloves like those from Upstate Stock, the liners are not anywhere near as soft. But, with that much nylon knit into them, you can expect these guys to last a long time.
The knit is open enough that when you hold the glove up to a light, you can see through it. As a result, they do let quite a bit of wind through. And, while you can definitely wear these on their own, Gary LLC has made them modular, so you can pair them with any of their leather gloves for double the winter protection.
The Fancy Leather Glove is made of a full-grain steerhide with the flesh side facing outward. The leather isn’t super stiff like you might expect, nor is it as soft as other commonly used glove leathers like deerskin or goatskin. That being said, breaking them in was no problem at all, especially when I paired them with the Liner Gloves. The inside of the gloves feels smooth and comfortable in contrast to the Liners. The flesh side is nice and hairy, and should patina well. The neps do shed quite a bit fresh out of the box, but that eventually stops.
The cinch is really easy to adjust, even with only one hand while wearing the Liners. Curiously, though, the leather on the cinch differs from the one on the Gary LLC website. While the website shows the cinch with the smooth side facing up (a nice contrast with the rest of the glove, in my opinion), the pair that I received had the flesh side facing up.
Sizing and Fit
I sized according to the instructions on the Gary LLC website and found that my hands, measuring at 8 inches in circumference, placed me into a size small. The Liners felt comfortably snug with no gaps in the length of the fingers. The Leather Gloves, on the other hand (+5 pun points), felt somewhat large when worn on their own. Though you can adjust the sizing with the cinch, my hand felt like it was swimming in them. They fit much better with the Liners, which is the intent.
Palo Santo and Sno Seal
Palo Santo may be the scent of hip millennials, but these are meant to actually protect your Wool Liner Gloves from moths while keeping them fresh. So, even with the generous amount of nylon in the Liner Gloves, Gary LLC has thought about longevity all the way through with the inclusion of the sachet of palo santo.
Who are these gloves good for?
Who are GaryGloves good for? If your skin isn’t particularly sensitive, then the wool gloves might be alright for you. Also, if you need a set of gloves that can be worn in a variety of situations, the modularity of the GaryGloves Set helps. You can wear either the Liners or the Leather Gloves on their own, or combine them for maximum winter protection. If for some reason, you’re in it just for the Sno Seal, you do actually save a bit of money getting the set versus buying Sno Seal on your own. At the time of this review, though, that savings is a whopping $3.
The palo santo is a nice touch, but you can also nab a whole bunch of palo santo from a variety of places for a better deal. If you get a pack, you can have enough left over for other gloves you may have, wool socks, or even just use them for incense. That being said, most places offering 2oz. worth of palo santo have prices comparable to Gary.
Given the different options of leather gloves available, it would have been nice to see a few different styles of the Wool Liner Gloves as well. For those who prefer mittens or fingerless gloves, you won’t find any of those here.
My Favorite Part
To be honest, they’re nice but not the most amazing gloves ever. My Upstate Stock gloves are unquestionably better quality than Gary’s Liner Gloves. But with noticeable price gap between the two ($20 vs. $29), there’s also a quality gap to be expected. With that, I find that I’ve actually enjoyed Gary LLC’s much more. Gary LLC has such a subtle sense of humor and I think these gloves are hysterical. If the world’s most deadpan comedian was a brand, it would be Gary LLC. The Liner Gloves aren’t made by some artisan shop, crafting each one by hand (+5 pun points). They’re made in a factory contracted by the government. And in the sake of efficiency, that’s made the Liner Gloves authentic and quirky.
Aside from their most high-end gloves being named ‘Fancy Gloves’, there’s even more subtle humor to be had. The cinch is cut into an arrow to make it easier to understand which way the user should pull. The learning curve for a pair of gloves isn’t very high, but you never know. It does serve another purpose, though. By cutting it into this shape, it makes it less prone to coming undone from the buckle. The inside tag also has its own quirk. Whether purposefully done or a happy accident, the embossed ‘Gary’ logo on the outside goes all the way through the tag.
These gloves are normcore, if that can even be a thing. They’re very regular and so unassuming at first glance. Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll find little details that set them apart in their own unique way.
You can find both the Wool Liner Gloves and the Fancy Gloves for $20 and $85, respectively, at Gary LLC.