I don’t often wear dresses. I’ve written previously about frilly, flouncy, feminine clothes not really being my thing. So I suprised myself last weekend when I swung by Primark on a visit to my in-laws, and came away with a green, floral tea dress! It was the colour that lured me to it! As you well know by now, I have a slight addiction to green…
And talking of green, how perfectly does my Naomi ring in Fern Quartzite from Lola Rose go with the dress? I was lucky to be gifted this ring by Lola Rose, which I chose from their Semi-Precious Jewellery range. It was a hard choice as there are some gorgeous statement rings in stand-out colours.
So back to the dress… What actually is a tea dress? Something you wear to have tea in? Well, yes… in the mid 1800s, ladies would dress in a lightweight, unstructured gown that fell between the knee and ankle to host or attend a private tea party. Known originally as as tea gown, these days it has evolved into the ever popular midi-dress.
With Spring just around the corner, a tea dress (as we shall call them for the purpose of this post!) is the perfect item to invest in. To be honest however, my dress from Primark wasn’t an investment as such… it cost £15! Such a bargain, which I will wear lots – even now whilst we eagerly await warmer weather.
A tea dress is a perfect style or us ladies in Club Forty. It’s fun and on-trend and will suit most shapes. Generally this type of dress has mid to long sleeves and it is fairly loose fitting, sometimes with a belt or gathers around the waist. So it’s a very easy item to wear, forgiving on the figure and versatile too.
A tea dress can be dressed up or down and looks great with all kinds of footwear from trainers to heels, ankle boots and even DMs for that classic 90s grunge look! Belts can be added or removed to change the structure too.
I started my research on tea dresses at H&M and stopped there as they had so many options to choose from. Here’s a selection of my favourites:
Spotty dress – H&M
Pleated, floral dress – H&M
Ochre, patterned dress – H&M
Crêpe dress – H&M
Puffed-sleeved dress – H&M
As I have an aversion to looking too saccharine, the way I like to style a tea dress is to dress-it-down and toughen the image somewhat. So that means adding chunky boots, a biker jacket or a pair of trousers!
Right now I like to wear my tea dress over jeans. My favourite jeans to team with a dress are cropped flares. Mine are a couple of seasons old from GAP, but this style is everywhere right now. As I’ve said before, the best thing to do is play around with different jeans or trousers to see what works best with your hemline and your legs. It’s all about getting the proportion right!
As you know from my previous post on winter layering, I also like to pop a roll neck under a dress. I like the 70s look and feel of a roll neck and long boots with a tea dress. It’s a great style solution for getting wear out of your Spring dresses now, whilst it’s still so chilly.
For more style inspiration and to see how the uber fashionistas wear their tea dresses, check out my Pinterest board: Tea Dresses. You’ll notice that white boots are a popular addition to a tea dress… have you succumbed yet to the white boot trend? Have a read of my previous post for my view on white boots.