Fashion Style Tips

What To Wear To High Tea

21 February 2018

“What are you wearing tomorrow because I have no idea?”, sounds like the conversation you had with your girlfriend last week right?

A high tea outfit demands a certain kind of attention, but it’s hard to know what that means when you’ve never been. When surrounded by your besties and possibly a grandmother or two in tow, as well as those dainty little cupcakes, you don’t want to throw-off the dynamic of the room by walking in looking like a you’re ready to go grind it up at the club. On the other hand, you don’t want to look like you’ve just walked out of your grandmother’s wardrobe either.

Yes, almost as important as the jam to cream ratio on your scones, your high tea ensemble is a foray into the more ladylike quarters of your wardrobe. Although the hotel setting might scream formality, that doesn’t mean you have to be boring or conservative…

So put down that vintage cardigan and big puffy skirt (seriously, right now!!) and listen up ladies! You gotta think chic darling; comfortable – yet fun. We’re channelling the long-reigning it-girl, Olivia Palermo and the ‘fash pack’ bloggers like Gary Pepper and Harper and Harley. Still panicking about to what to wear to your fancy AF high tea? Here’s a little help from us to you (dw you can thank us with those cute fluffy egg or cucumber sandwiches later).

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Once reserved for just the noblest of society, high tea is just that – a fancy afternoon tea where you’re served tea (nah dahh), scones, pastries, cupcakes, etc. It’s set in a fancy AF room, sometimes with a view – and sometimes, if you’re lucky, there will be some champagne. Basically, it’s an excuse to dress up, gossip and scoff fancy food (yummm).

The Fashion Dos

When attending a high tea, there are a few ‘dos’ that will ensure you have a great time, and look the part.

  1. Wear a feminine dress…
    Perhaps the most important part – it’s all about the dress! We’re talking frills, lace, blush pink, tulle…be a princess for the afternoon and pull out those girly AF dresses you never get a chance to wear. Honestly though, any colour is fine (as long as it’s not fluro!).

    Remember, you are aiming for elegance and decorum. Wear something that isn’t too tight or revealing, and aim for  a classy look, with the dress hitting just above (or below) the knee – similar to these styles: Floral Days Dress in White Floral or Never Start Lace Dress

    And make sure to walk in with a twirl! Cause darling, you are going to look fetching!!

  2. Wear a light knit with a fitted skirt or pants and vice versa…
    So you’re not a dress girl? That’s okay. When going for a two piece look (especially good in the colder months), It’s all about playing with proportions. If you go for tight on top, then we suggest it be free flowing on the bottom (a good option if you plan to stuff your face like we would). Or go the other way around – loose up top and fitted down low. If you do want to break this rule, it’s fine – just keep thinking Kate Middleton, Kate Middleton to ensure you stay on track.

    Choose classic materials like soft knits and silky shirts that are a little oversized. Try an off the shoulder knit for something different. And when it comes to the bottom, for heaven’s sake, avoid jeans or shorts! We’re talking skirts and dress pants ladies! We are not trying to look cute…(well, just cute) Remember, you are now a lady of respectability and good breeding, dress like it!

  3. Think about your shoes…
    Pick midi heels or dressy flats. You’ll be inside an elegant tea room with swish carpet, hence it’s not the time for sneakers. Forgo anything too high so you can walk from the dessert buffet back and forth comfortably. You DO NOT want to be the gal who face plants into the desserts tray…(trust me)

  4. And the extras!
    If you feel a little plain Jane because you’ve had to dial down your style to suit the setting, add some earrings or a dainty necklace.  Carry your nicest yet smallest bag. Hats can stay at home unless you insist on a cute baker boy hat (lol) and wear light makeup with a little lipstick, it’s sophisticated so you’ll look way more polished. Oh, and I don’t know about you but i’d say this is the PERFECT occasion for blush!

And the don’ts

  1. Do not wear denim unless you’re talking white jeans because they’re a little preppy and therefore, appropriate

  2. Put away those Birkenstocks and Adidas Stan Smiths (any sneaker really). The converse in a dress look might have been cute at your year 10 formal but trust us, this isn’t the time to let out your inner millennial I’m-so-cool-and-different hipster. You are not going to the gym, nor down to the local shops, so dress like it! Plus, it’s a chance to dress your feet up a little… Take advantage for god’s sake!! Treat yo’ self to some new feet glam!

  3. Refrain from wearing anything too sheer; even if your bra is pretty it’s not the place to be admired and frankly, the look will be wasted – save it for date night.

  4. Although they’re super functional and cute (and we love ‘em!), please DON’T wear a playsuit. This is a grown up setting, so save it for the next festival.

  5. Try not to wear anything you have to adjust constantly… keep your hands on your tea ladies! I don’t care how cute that strapless number is, if you’re gonna spend the whole afternoon hitching it up your chest, it’s NOT a good idea.

Annnnnd… Read-y, Set-y, TEA!

And there you have it, those are the dos and don’ts of high tea fashion. Now go forth and shop because after these tips we declare you ready to go out and find that perfect new dress (and of course, with the right heels, bag and accessories to match). Happy lunching ladies!