How to Dress Perfectly for an Afternoon Tea Party in London

What to wear to an afternoon tea party

Introduction to What to Wear to an Afternoon Tea Party

As someone deeply passionate about culinary arts and hospitality, I’ve attended countless afternoon tea parties across London. Knowing what to wear to an afternoon tea party can make all the difference in feeling confident and enjoying the experience. My very first afternoon tea was a memorable affair, and it taught me the importance of dressing appropriately for the occasion. According to a recent survey, 60% of attendees feel more confident when they dress appropriately for afternoon tea. In this guide, I’ll share tips and insights on how to dress perfectly for an afternoon tea party, ensuring you feel both comfortable and stylish.

Understanding Afternoon Tea Etiquette

What is an Afternoon Tea Party Called?

Afternoon tea, often referred to as “low tea,” is a British tradition that dates back to the early 19th century. It was introduced by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner. Today, afternoon tea is a delightful social event featuring tea, sandwiches, scones, and pastries. Understanding the significance of afternoon tea can help you appreciate the occasion and dress appropriately.

Seasonal Dressing Tips

What to Wear to Afternoon Tea in Winter

Winter afternoon teas are particularly cozy and elegant. When considering what to wear to afternoon tea in winter, think about comfort and warmth without compromising style. Opt for materials like wool, cashmere, and velvet. A chic wool dress paired with tights and ankle boots can be both stylish and warm. Don’t forget a fashionable coat and a scarf to complete your look.

What to Wear to Winter Afternoon Tea

For a more specific winter afternoon tea look, consider layering. A turtleneck sweater dress under a tailored coat is both sophisticated and functional. Choose darker, richer colours such as burgundy, emerald green, and navy, which complement the season. Accessories like a stylish hat or gloves can add a touch of elegance to your outfit.

General Dress Code for Afternoon Tea

What to Wear to an Afternoon Tea Party

When attending an afternoon tea party, the dress code can vary depending on the venue and occasion. Generally, semi-formal attire is a safe choice. For women, a knee-length dress or skirt paired with a blouse works well. Men can opt for dress trousers and a smart shirt. Avoid overly casual clothing like jeans or sneakers, as they might seem out of place.

What to Wear for Afternoon Tea Party

For different types of afternoon tea parties, you can adjust your outfit accordingly. For a traditional setting, think classic and elegant. A floral dress or a skirt with a lace top can be perfect. For a more modern or themed afternoon tea, you can experiment with contemporary styles and bold accessories. Always aim for a polished and refined look.

Special Occasion Dressing

How to Dress for an Afternoon Tea Party

Special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries call for a touch of glamour. Consider wearing a sophisticated dress with intricate details, such as lace or embroidery. Heels can elevate your outfit, but ensure they are comfortable enough for a potentially long afternoon. Men can opt for a blazer over their smart-casual ensemble to add a formal touch.

How to Host Your Own Afternoon Tea Party

How to Throw an Afternoon Tea Party

Hosting your own afternoon tea party can be a delightful way to share this tradition with friends and family. Start with a beautifully set table, including a tiered stand for the treats and fine china for serving tea. Plan a menu that includes a variety of sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and an assortment of pastries. Creating a welcoming atmosphere with soft background music and elegant decor can enhance the experience.

How to Throw and Afternoon Tea Party

Attention to detail is key when hosting an afternoon tea party. Send out invitations that match the theme of your tea party, whether it’s a traditional English tea or a whimsical garden tea. Consider providing a dress code suggestion to ensure guests feel appropriately dressed. Thoughtful touches, such as personalised place cards and fresh flowers, can make your tea party truly special.

Embrace the Afternoon Tea Tradition

In conclusion, knowing what to wear to an afternoon tea party can enhance your experience and help you feel confident and stylish. From understanding the tradition and etiquette to selecting the perfect outfit for each season and occasion, these tips will ensure you’re always dressed to impress. As someone who has explored numerous afternoon tea venues in London, I encourage you to embrace this charming tradition and make the most of each delightful gathering. Enjoy the elegance, the conversations, and of course, the tea and treats!

Picture of Ali Ubaid
Ali Ubaid

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