Tea Party Dress

A Guide to Tea Party Attire: What to Wear and What Not to Wear

Tea parties, with their charming and elegant aura, are not just social events but a living testament to a rich historical tradition. Originating in the 19th century, the custom of afternoon tea was popularized by the British, particularly Anna, the Duchess of Bedford. This tradition, involving a late afternoon gathering to enjoy tea, sandwiches, scones, and sweets, has transcended time and is now a part of various occasions, from bridal showers to social gatherings, and sometimes simply for indulging in a bit of old-world charm.

When attending a tea party, your attire should reflect the elegance and sophistication of the event. Here's a comprehensive guide on what to wear and what to avoid to ensure you look your best.

What to Wear to a Tea Party

Dresses and Skirts
    • Fit and Flare Dresses: Opt for dresses with a fitted bodice and a flared skirt. This silhouette is classic and feminine, perfect for a tea party.
    • A-Line Skirts: These are universally flattering and can be paired with a delicate blouse for a polished look.
    • Tea-Length Dresses: These dresses fall between the knee and the ankle and are ideal for maintaining a sophisticated yet relaxed vibe.
    Blouses and Tops
      • Lace Blouses: A lace blouse adds a touch of elegance and can be paired with a skirt or tailored pants.
      • Silk Tops: Soft and flowing silk tops bring an air of luxury to your outfit.
      • Pastel Colors and Florals: Choose soft, pastel colors or floral prints to keep the look light and festive.
        • Ballet Flats: These are comfortable and stylish, perfect for an afternoon gathering.
        • Kitten Heels: If you prefer a bit of height, kitten heels are a great choice, as they provide elegance without sacrificing comfort.
        • Low-Heeled Pumps: These are also appropriate, especially if they complement your outfit.
          • Hats and Fascinators: A small hat or fascinator can add a touch of vintage charm. Ensure it's not too large or flashy.
          • Pearl Jewelry: Simple pearl earrings or a necklace can add a classic touch without being overly flashy.
          • Elegant Handbags: A small, structured handbag or clutch will complete your look. Avoid oversized bags.
            • Light Cardigans or Shawls: A light cardigan or shawl in a coordinating color is a practical and stylish addition if it gets chilly.

            What Not to Wear to a Tea Party

            Casual Clothing
              • Jeans and T-shirts: These are too casual for the refined atmosphere of a tea party.
              • Sweatshirts and Hoodies: These items are too informal even on a cool day.
              Overly Revealing Attire
                • Mini Skirts and Low-Cut Tops: These can be inappropriate for the elegant setting of a tea party.
                • Sheer Clothing: Unless properly layered, sheer clothing can be too revealing.
                Overly Formal Attire
                  • Evening Gowns and Formal Dresses: These are too extravagant for a tea party, which calls for a more relaxed elegance.
                  • Heavy Makeup and Bold Colors: Keep your makeup light and natural. Bold colors can overshadow the subtlety of the event.
                  Sporty Footwear
                    • Sneakers and Flip Flops: These shoes are too casual. Opt for something more refined.
                    • High Heels: Extremely high heels can be impractical and uncomfortable for a daytime event.


                    A tea party is a delightful occasion that allows you to show off your unique sense of style with grace and sophistication. This guide is not about strict rules, but about helping you navigate the tea party etiquette while expressing your personal style. By choosing attire that is elegant yet comfortable, you can enjoy the event while adhering to its timeless traditions. Remember, the key is to strike a balance between refinement and ease, ensuring you look and feel your best. Whether you're sipping tea in a garden or an elegant tearoom, your outfit should reflect the charm and elegance of this beloved tradition.

                    Back to blog
                    1 of 3