How To Dress For An Afternoon Tea party

There’s nothing like gathering at an afternoon tea party for polite conversations, laughs, and great snacks. Dresses and accessories are all a part of the mix, but somehow the hats always manage to steal the show. And, incase you were wondering how to dress for an afternoon tea party,  here are a few pointers to help you put it together.

Tea parties can occur at various times throughout the day, and the dress code changes depending on the tim. For my recent, afternoon tea party, I wore a white fascinator, (which you can view, here) or below left, with a peach dress. ( Funny thing is, I don’t have any pictures in my dress, because I was busy photographing everyone else. But, you can see it here) However, I love everything about this ensemble, below right, which is more along the lines of  the quintessential, pastel tea party wear. See pinterest for some great ideas.

Tea Party hats


Go all out like Yolande Nicholls in her fabulous Fascinator

Hat – Not a necessity. However, if the hosts says its a requirement, then you should comply. The type of hat runs the gamut. From fascinators to wide brims. Depending on the venue location, the type of hat varies. If it’s midday and the sun is out, use a wide brim hat to keep the sun out of your face. Of course, if  it’s indoors, any type of hat is ok. This is traditional requirements, but in today’s bold and colorful fashion world, it’s anything, fashionable goes.

Colors: Since the parties are usually held in the spring and summer, it’s said, that pastel colors like, peach, pink, and beige are better suited for that time of year. Again, I do believe, that rule has been tossed out the window, since in recent years, I seen black and red being worn at tea parties. Times change, people change, and thus, traditions change.

Dress: Again if the hosts says it’s formal or semi-formal, simply comply. But, if no mention is made about dress code, you should assume it’s semi-formal. Wear a dress, dress suit or loose fitting pants.

Gloves & Accessories: Certainly not the least, but last to be mentioned are the gloves and accessories, which  should unify the outfit. There should be no stark contrasts in colors. All wear, from head to toe should be well organized and cohesive like this.

I collected this information from people who know a thing of two about tea parties, (myself not included), and from a wee bit of internet research. If you know some proper etiquette and protocol for tea parties, leave a comment below. We’d love to learn from you.


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