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What to Wear for Afternoon Tea
The Style Guide for a Longstanding Tradition
Heading on vacation and planning to take tea? Celebrating a milestone and planning to take tea? Needing absolutely no excuse, and planning to take tea? Excited about the experience of taking tea, but also equally excited about getting to play dress-up for said tea? Whatever your reason is for taking tea, I’m sure you’re excited about it and even more excited about getting to put on a fancy frock and strut your way into the tea room. Amirite?
Today’s feature post address tea time attire. We focus on what to wear for afternoon tea and give some tips and tricks to style a look that would be perfectly appropriate for taking tea with the Queen, herself.
Afternoon Tea Dress Code
What exactly is “Smart Casual?”
If you are planning to take your afternoon tea at a traditional tea locale, you will probably encounter a dress code. Generally, the attire requested for guests to adhere to for afternoon tea is “smart casual,” which falls somewhere between business casual and casual. This will usually mean no trainers, t-shirts, shorts or sportswear, with gentlemen being asked to wear a collared shirt, and generally not being required to wear a jacket and tie.
For women, a “smart casual” outfit would be something akin to that which you would wear to a garden party. For example, a tea-length dress (which unsurprisingly received its name from the garb women wore when taking tea) with a flared hem in a floral print styled with simple kitten heels would be a classic look for attending a traditional afternoon tea. Long skirts and maxi dresses offer a more modern take on afternoon tea, but are still chic and stylish options. A flared skirt like this metallic version with pleats (which is SO in right now, btw) paired with a chic blazer or lovely fitted sweater is another appropriate ensemble for taking tea.
And though these styles work well for afternoon tea, you don’t have to wear a dress or skirt to be “smart casual.” Dress pants are another stylish option to wear to your afternoon tea. Just make sure they are tailored well, fit properly and are suited for the season. Then pair your dress pants with a chic blazer and ballet flats or stylish heels to create a look that is perfect for afternoon tea.
Furthermore, for men who plan to attend afternoon tea, a trendy, yet dapper, option can be created with simple black or gray trousers, a white collared shirt, a grey cardigan sweater, and classic brogues to finish the look.
Finally, it is important to always keep in mind the no-no’s for afternoon tea dressing – skin-tight, see-through, too low-cut or too short. Just remember to keep the look classic and chic and you will be just fine!
Now that we have elaborated on tea time dress code, please see the fabulous outfits below intended for afternoon tea.
Style Guide: What to Wear for Afternoon Tea
TEA PARTY LOOKS FOR WOMEN
OUR TOP PICKS
TEA PARTY OUTFIT WITH A TEA-LENGTH DRESS
TEA PARTY OUTFIT WITH A FLARED SKIRT
TEA PARTY OUTFIT WITH DRESS PANTS
TEA PARTY LOOKS FOR MEN
OUR TOP PICKS
CLASSIC TEA PARTY STYLE FOR MEN
When deciding what to wear for afternoon tea, have fun with your looks! Yes, they need to be appropriate for the occasion, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play with beautiful colors, fabrics or patterns to make your look unique to your personal taste. We hope you loved our fashion guide for what to wear to afternoon tea. When you plan to pick your outfit for taking tea, be sure to refer back to our afternoon tea outfit guide with fabulous outfit ideas for your teatime adventures! xo, OFT