High teas are quite positively one of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon! Giving a nod back to the romantic days of F Scott Fitzgerald and champagne afternoons at the Ritz Carlton, a high tea is just the place to dress up with your favourite ladies and enjoy a delicious afternoon tea. When you’re seated at a table full of tiered cakes and finger sandwiches accompanied by French champagne (or tea from fine china) part of the fun is being as dressy as the delicious sweets in front of you. Whether your high tea is taking place in a luxurious restaurant, a café for a special occasion or for a bridal shower event, you are guaranteed a glamorous afternoon. Here we’ve got your outfit sorted for what is sure to be an ultra luxe afternoon.
The High Tea Dress
If you’re looking for all things glamorous and feminine, high tea afternoons are definitely for you! This is a time that calls for the prettiest dress you can possibly find and of course to die for accessories too. When you’re looking for the perfect outfit, keep your colour palette light and look for styles with textured or printed fabrics. This will keep your look right for an afternoon event, rather than a night occasion.
For the ultimate high tea dress, you can’t go past a luxe lace number like Self Portrait Azalea Lace Dress. Self Portrait has a number of must-have lace styles that are equal parts feminine and sophisticated – exactly what you’re looking for in a high tea outfit. If sleek is more your style, opt for a fitted style like the Cameo Collective Kiss Land Dress which accentuates the figure in a striking way. The abstract print on this style keeps it fresh and perfect for a day time event. Pair your dress with strappy heels in either nude or a complimentary colour to your dress and don’t forget to have a little fun with accessories as well. This is your chance to dress up and show off your femininity and glamorous side after all!
Is It Ok Not to Wear a Dress?
When you look at the traditional high teas that took place in the UK, women were in extravagant dresses with bustles, lace, silk, satin and beautiful details. While that was that common dress for the upper class of a bygone era, a certain level of formality has remained for contemporary high tea events. Ball gowns are out, but leave the active wear at home and opt for something you’ll feel feminine in.
Dresses are no longer the only option for women (thank goodness!) so yes, it is ok not to wear one. Just remember to keep your look elegant and do take the time to dress up. Choose styles in quality fabrics with feminine silhouettes like the Diane Von Furstenberg Blithe Jumpsuit and avoid anything too short, low cut or with too many cut outs. Elegance is key, after all this is a centuries old tradition with an unwritten dress code that we should gracefully honour.
What Do I Wear to a Relaxed Venue?
High tea celebrations are becoming increasingly more popular. I can’t keep up with the amount of Bridal Showers or Mother’s Day high tea afternoons I’ve seen splashed across Instagram recently and the trend is only gaining more momentum. This infatuation of the afternoon tradition has shifted the event from only prestigious hotels to an event enjoyed anywhere by everyone. You’re just as likely to find your local café holding a special occasion high tea as you are the Hilton!
It is important to remember that anyone or anywhere hosting a high tea event will have put a lot of thought and effort into the afternoon. With that in mind, it is important that you as the guest still dress the part. Your host will appreciate the effort you put in and in the worst case, you’ll be the best dressed person in the room which let’s face it, isn’t too bad at all! If you’re feeling it really will be more of a relaxed or informal afternoon, opt for a low heel or even a strappy pair of flats to tone down your look. A light wrap or jacket depending on the season will also help relax your look while still letting you flaunt your favourite tea dress!
Enjoy indulging in finger sandwiches, scones, mini desserts and all the glamour that a high tea afternoon promises!