WHAT TO WEAR TO HIGH TEA
Sipping tea from pretty vintage China and sampling from tiered platters of petite treats is a delightful way to spend an afternoon with the girls – and certainly an occasion to dress the part.
A decidedly feminine tradition dating to 17th Century England, high tea today is cause for elegant celebration, popular with ladies of all ages honouring a special baby mama, bride to be, or birthday girl.
Take your fashion lead from the classic setting and fancy food on offer, and have fun with this opportunity to don your most ladylike attire for the day.
Teavine House Manager and resident fashion expert, Jane Sagi, shares her tips on what to wear to high tea.
DRESSED TO A TEA
Why not take inspiration from the delicate floral designs of the vintage teacups and wear your prettiest dress to match?
The lighter colours and sweet prints of the spring/summer fashion palette are ideal for your afternoon tea outfit, best complemented with beautiful, timeless accessories.
“A fabulous day dress is your best fashion friend when dressing for high tea,” Jane says.
“Something feminine, fun and floral will always work well.
“Remember you will be seated, so ensuring your dress is not too tight or too short means you will feel comfortable to indulge in all the delicious treats to be served with your high tea,” she says.
Floaty fabrics, natural fibres and textures and lace all look fantastic for a special daytime occasion, and consider also steering towards midi or longer lengths for skirts and frocks.
Think glamorous and elegant – and save the little black dress for later in the evening!
SHE WEARS THE PANTS
While upper-class ladies of old-world London donned elaborate silk gowns with bustles and intricate detail, today’s high tea can be enjoyed in a much more relaxed manner, perhaps in a beautiful garden setting like on offer at Teavine House on the Gold Coast.
Yes, pants are definitely an option, although your hosts love to see guests dress for the occasion, so choose a chic pant suit or even a floral jumpsuit over the denim.
“If you don’t like wearing dresses, then go with a light wool suit or perhaps a silk shirt with loose pants for a timeless look that is chic and yet comfortable,” Jane says.
“Look for styles that create a feminine silhouette. Neutral colours, or florals and delicate prints in quality, breathable fabrics are most suitable for a spring or summer high tea date.
“Do avoid tailored suits and heavy fabrics,” she adds.
ALL THAT GLITTERS
Jane says hats need to come off for high tea, so ladies can add extra glamour with stylish hair accessories and classic up-styles.
Flower crowns crafted from fresh blooms are a stunning finishing touch to a daytime outfit that is perfect for high tea, and have become a very popular accessory for ladies celebrating bridal or baby showers.
“A gorgeous pair of kitten heels add a glamorous touch to your outfit,” says Jane, who adds to avoid anything higher when it comes to heels.
“A wedge heel or strappy sandal is a great option with a high tea dress or pant suit, and will certainly be more flattering and comfortable as you are walking through the hotel or restaurant.”
Keep jewellery and accessories elegant and classic – “remember, less is more, particularly if your dress has a large or colourful print”, Jane says.
Adding a light cardigan or wrap is a good idea for carrying your look between seasons.
One final tip – remember your hands will be on show as you sip from pretty tea cups, so don’t forget to book a mani before you head out to sample a beautiful array of freshly baked scones, petite delights and all the glamour and fun of your high tea experience!