tea party attire

6 Best Tea Party Attire Ideas

Since tea parties are important social events, they require special attire that will help you stand out and make a perfect statement. The type of attire you choose for your next tea party will depend on the type of statement you want to make as well as your comfort. If you aren’t sure what to wear, this article offers you the 6 best tear party attire ideas.

What’s a Tea Party?

Tea Party

A tea party is a social gathering that’s usually held in the afternoon to celebrate something or someone. At this party, tea, cakes, and other light snacks are served. Many societies around the world cherish the experience of enjoying a cup of tea and snacks in the afternoon in the company of friends and relatives.

Many organizations have also adopted this tradition, with many companies organizing regular tea parties as part of their formal business meetings, office parties, social celebrations, or simply afternoon refreshments. Traditionally, loose-leaf tea was served in a teapot together with milk and sugar.

The tea was accompanied by various simple foods like scones, pastries, biscuits, sandwiches, cakes, fruits, etc. The foods and drinks were served in a tiered procedure. The foods served alongside the tea depend on the season. For instance, solid foods were served in winter, while fruits and berries were served in summer and spring.

Although nothing much has changed, modern tea parties are usually characterized by prestigious utensils like porcelain, silver, and bone china. Tables are typically set with napkins and corresponding dishes. Guests to modern tea parties are coming up with all kinds of attires to ensure that they stand out and become the center of attention.

Tea Party Attire: General Dressing Rules


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Although you’re at liberty to choose what to wear to the tea party, there are general dressing rules you need to follow when choosing your attire. These rules are designed to ensure that you don’t look out of place or make other guests uncomfortable. Here are the main dressing rules for guests attending a tea party.

1. Dress Appropriately

Whether it’s a formal social event or an informal celebration, guests to a tea party are expected to dress appropriately. For instance, men are expected to wear a suit or a nice pair of trousers and a jacket, while women should wear a decent dress with bright colors. If a woman prefers to wear a slack, it should be neat and decent enough to be worn to an office.

Please note that a tea party dress code should be smart casual. Therefore, if you aren’t what to wear, choose something that’s between business-casual and casual. You can also ask your host for ideas on what to wear to the party.

2. Follow the Host’s Request

If the host of the party has a preferred dress code and has made it clear on the invitation card, you should adhere to their request. There’s a reason why they requested you to look a certain way at the party, so be courteous enough to honor their wishes.

Most tea party hosts request their guests to wear clothes that match the overall theme of the party. If you’re not comfortable with the requested dress code, let the host know in advance and inform them about what you’d prefer to wear.

3 Tea Party Attire Ideas for Men

1. Semi-Formal Attire


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Men are normally encouraged to wear semi-formal attire to a tea party because it’s perfectly between business-casual and casual. This attire may comprise a dark suit in soft colors like navy, brown, or grey. You should match it with a sharply pressed shirt in a color that complements the suit.

Add a touch of celebration to your look with a colorful tie. A light gingham tie will complete your look. Choose a typical black or brown pair of leather shoes for your footwear. Also, wear a belt that matches the color of your shoes.

2. Smart-Casual Attire


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If you feel like wearing a suit and a tie to an afternoon tea party is a bit archaic, you can choose smart-casual attire. This attire doesn’t require a jacket and a tie because the idea is to add an element of celebration to your look. It’s supposed to make everything appear effortless.

Suits and ties command a lot of respect and are far too serious for an easygoing event. So, a crisp button-down shirt in a soft color like white and a pair of semi-formal trousers will do. Complete your smart-casual look with a pair of classic black or brown leather shoes.

3. Business-Casual Attire


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Business-casual attire can mean different things to different people. For instance, if you’re in the academia or finance fields, your business-casual attire could mean wearing a full-blown suit and tie. If you’re in the technology field, you may have more freedom with the choice you make for your business-casual attire because your work doesn’t always involve meeting the executives.

Therefore, your business-casual attire for the tea party depends on the type of work you do. However, you can still do a little bit of both business and casual. For instance, you can wear a sports jacket, matching suit, tie, polo, denim, and a pair of brown or black leather shoes.

3 Tea Party Attire Ideas for Women

1. Smart-Casual Attire

Smart-Casual Attire

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This attire is the most common dress code for female guests at tea parties because it’s in between formal and informal. For this attire, you can choose a classic slip dress and a pair of simple high-heel shoes. Depending on your skin tone, you can choose a floral embroidered fit and flare dress and nude mid-length heels.

If you’re a plus-size woman, choose a dress that makes you comfortable and enhances your body. For instance, you can choose a knee-length fit and flare dress and a pair of sports sandals. For a skinny girl, a long-length fit and flare dress and sandals are a perfect choice.

2. Casual Attire


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For casual attire, you can choose a vintage look by wearing a vintage dress. These dresses are usually very dreamy with light colors and floral prints. That way, you’ll lighten up the mood of the party and become the center of attention.

You should wear your vintage dress together with a matching bowler cap or a floppy hat, especially if it’s an informal tea party. A pair of vintage sports sandals is a perfect choice for your footwear.

3. Accessorize Your Attire


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As a woman, your outfit can’t be complete without some accessories. However, don’t overdo your accessories. Choose simple accessories like hats, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and ankle bracelets. The accessories you choose should match your skin tone, style, and the overall color scheme of your attire.

What You Shouldn’t Wear to a Tea Party

Even as you look for ideas on what to wear to a tea party, it’s important also to understand what you shouldn’t wear. Although you want to step out in style and look your best at the party, you should avoid any attire that might make you appear unbefitting and weird.

As noted above, you shouldn’t wear inappropriately to a tea party because you might end up offending your host and other guests. Inappropriate attire will also embarrass you because it’ll make you the focus of the party in the wrong kind of way. You don’t want everyone to be staring at you in a manner to suggest that, “you must be crazy”.

An inappropriate dress code could mean many things, including wearing dresses or shorts that are too short and tight or wearing vests, t-shirts, or sportswear to a tea party. Unless your host requests you to wear any of these outfits, avoid them completely.

Etiquette Tips for a Tea Party


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Whether the tea party is a business meeting or a simple celebration, there’s a way you have to conduct yourself to avoid embarrassing situations. Here are the most important etiquettes for a tea party.

1. Dress Appropriately

The first thing you have to get right when attending a tea party is your attire. Use the above-mentioned ideas to get the best attire for your tea party. The attire you choose should make you look neat and organized.

2. Put Your Personal Items Away

Don’t place your smartphone, glasses, and other personal items on the table. Instead, put them in your handbag and place them on the chair to your left or right. As a man, your personal items like phones and glasses should be in your pocket.

3. Hold Your Pinkie Finger Appropriately

When sipping tea, your pinkie finger should be down, not up. Always hold the handle of your teacup with your pinkie finger down. Also, don’t try to wrap your hands around the teacup.

4. Stir Your Tea Up and Down

When you add sugar to your tea, move the teaspoon in an up-and-down movement, not in circles. This helps to reduce the noise in your teacup. When moving the teaspoon, avoid hitting the sides of the cup to reduce noise.

5. Remove the Teaspoon from the Teacup

Some people tend to sip their tea with the teaspoon still inside the teacup. This habit is always frowned upon at tea parties. So, once you’re done stirring your tea, remove the teabag and the spoon and place them on the right side of the cup or behind it. Also, never use a teaspoon to sip your tea.

6. Don’t Blow on Your Tea

Instead of blowing on your tea to cool it, you should leave it to cool down on its own. Blowing on it makes you look like a savage.

7. Avoid Loud Slurps

When sipping your tea, take small sips. The sips should also be quiet, not loud slurps that will cause heads to roll.

8. Don’t Rinse Your Mouth with Tea

It can be quite tempting to swish your mouth with tea when enjoying a delicious cup of tea with friends and colleagues. But you should avoid it completely. Remember that doing things quietly is one of the most common etiquettes.

9. Eat Tea Sandwiches First

At a tea party, tea will be served in three courses, all on a three-tiered tray. So, start with the tea sandwiches and the savories. The next item to go down should be the scones with jam or cream. Finish with the sweets.

10. Don’t Dunk the Scones into the Tea

Although this habit is now uncommon, some people still do it. Never dunk your scones into your tea at a tea party.

11. Never Lick Your Fingers

After enjoying a delicious tea sandwich, cake, or fruit, you might feel the temptation to lick your fingers. Don’t.

12. Dab Your Mouth

If you want to remove anything from your lips or your face, dab it instead of wiping it. The table napkin isn’t a towel to wipe your face.

13. Use the 4:20 Position

When you’re done with your meal, put the used utensils on the plate at the 4:20 position to let the waiter know you’re done. The forks should be up at the 4:00 position, while the knife blades should be facing you at position 20.

If you don’t want the plate taken away, place the used forks and knife blades in the 8:20 position. The forks should be down at the 8:00 position while the knife blade should be facing you at position 20.

14. Put the Napkin on the Left Side

As you stand up to leave the table, place your napkin on the left side of the setting.

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