The way to make adult dwarves wear gloves and shoes is slightly annoying, but it's for their own safety. The dwarves will never acquire proper shoes and gloves on their own, and they like to strip naked randomly when left to their own devices. So, Armok has to instantiate rules in order to enforce this simple dress code. There is no other way to save the dwarves from their own stupidity (or totally innocent frolicking and enjoyment of life, if you prefer).
What Armok had to do to make the dwarves wear gloves and shoes, is:
- Create a military uniform that includes these two items, optionally adding socks for extra foot protection or mittens for extra hand protection.
- Assign all adults to military squads.
- Assign their squads to wear this uniform.
- Draft the squad into active duty once. (I just use the Station command to do this.)
- Wait for everybody to get dressed.
- (You can now deactivate them safely.)
- (Don't forget to activate them again each time their shoes or gloves rot off.)
This method isn't foolproof without micromanagement or automation, because clothing wears out really quickly, especially shoes, and the dwarves have to be activated into the military to know to put shoes on. To make the dwarves do this on their own, Nutscaves is now using an alert that automatically reissues the Station command to a few dwarves at a time, a couple of times a year. Using a scheduled alert like this enrages (or depresses, depending on personality) non-military dwarves, even though they're only on active duty for only five minutes per year and never have to fight anything. (That's said to be a bug Toady is working on.)
I suppose legendary dining rooms and meals are there to help mitigate that sort of thing.