What to wear to high tea: Dress code, attires + complete guide

what to wear to high tea attire

If you have no idea what to wear to high tea, these attires will swoon people away!

My best friend recently launched his new store, and when he invited me to his high tea party, I was like, whaaaaatttt is that?

I mean, I knew that it had something to with tea and the word ‘high’ gave me an idea that it won’t be anything casual. Which btw is absolutely true!

But how to freakin’ dress for something that elegant and classy? What should be the perfect high tea attire that would turn heads? What would the dress code be or would there be any?

There’s just so many questions, right? I had them too. Which is why I did my research and found the right outfits for you to enjoy this extravangt party in full style!

So let’s get started!

What is a high tea party?

A high tea party is basically when you take the class and sophistication of afternoon tea and turn it up a notch. Think fancy finger sandwiches, petit fours, and delicious scones with clotted cream and jam. And of course, let’s not forget about the endless pots of tea!

It’s all about the details – from the decor to the table settings to the menu selection. To put it in plain English, a high tea party is an ultimate way to treat your friends or family like royalty and show them a good time. It’s an expensive and special soiree.

What to wear to a high tea?

what to wear to a high tea attire
Courtesy: @thewkndfashionista

You cannot expect less than soft and sophisticated attires for high tea. Thankfully, the answer is not complicated. You want to strike a balance between casual and dressy.

Dress up like you’re going to brunch with the girls or a day at a nice garden party. A flowy dress or skirt and blouse combo are perfect for ladies, while men can opt for slacks and a button-down shirt.

Leave those yoga pants, sequin skirts, and sneakers at home. The theme usually is soft romance. Just picture yourself in a vintage British movie and you’ll get an idea.

As far as accessories go, go simple but elegant – think pearl earrings or a dainty necklace. And don’t forget your fascinator! It may seem over-the-top, but trust me, it adds that extra touch of class to any high tea outfit.

What is the dress code for a high tea party?

what to wear to high tea attire
Courtesy: @beauthyful

High tea parties are semi-formal events, so you must consider that while deciding what to wear to high tea. Traditional etiquette dictates that ladies wear a dress or skirt falling below the knee, paired with stockings and closed-toe shoes. Accessories such as a hat or gloves are also encouraged. Gentlemen should wear a collared shirt and trousers, with optional additions such as a blazer or tie.

But who likes traditional? Until it’s not a royal event…

Generally speaking, the high tea dress code has changed with time. Yes, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dress conservatively- think chic sundresses and blouses for women. Things like maxi dresses and blazers can also work well. You can also go for above-knee skirts and dresses but not too mini. Hats and gloves are optional, but oh dear, do they look lavish.

Can you wear jeans to afternoon tea?

Oh, honey, nobody wants to see your buttcheeks hanging out at afternoon tea. It’s important to respect the traditions and customs of tea time and leave the denim for a more casual setting. If you wanna wear something that is not a dress, you can go pair blazers with pants and skirts, and for a more casual setting (like that of a friend), you can even go for shorts – not denim, though.

So leave those jeans or leggings or overly casual bottoms on the shelf and come stun in something a little more refined. At least then, your outfit won’t be the main topic of conversation instead of the delightful snacks and delicious drinks served at afternoon tea 😉

What shoes to wear to high tea?

Shoes are easy.

Avoid sneakers or flip flops, opting instead for flats or dressier sandals since you’ll likely be sitting for most of the event. But if you really want to rock those heels, just make sure they’re not sky-high stilettos that’ll have you teetering on unstable ground (sorry, I had to throw in a tea pun).

Can you wear open-toed shoes to high tea?

Closed-toe shoes or sandals are more traditional and considered more formal, so it’s just appropriate to add them in your high tea attire. However, this is just a general guideline and it’s always best to check with the host to see what kind of setting it would be (casual, semi-casual or formal) and what is preferred.

Do you have to wear a hat to high tea?

Hats are not necessary but are a great accessory to add a touch of royalty and luxury to your high tea outfit.

What are high tea etiquettes?

what to wear to a high tea attire

Since high tea is a formal event, there are a few etiquettes you must keep in check for a delightful evening.

  • Too revealing clothes are not appreciated, like low cuts, mini skirts, skin-tight or see-through. You main purpose should be to look rich and classy.
  • When wearing a dress or skirt, choose knee-length and below. We have so many options like tea length, ballerina, midi, and maxi lengths.
  • Don’t wear overly long heels, they are not formal. And definitely steer clear from sneakers.
  • Hats and gloves are optional, but if the event asks for them, I’d say go for them!
  • High tea is a semi-formal affair, and it’s important to be on time.
  • You must also use your utensils carefully. You’ll want to start with the outermost utensil and work your way in. For example, if there’s a salad fork and a dinner fork, you’ll want to use the salad fork first. And if there’s a soup spoon and a dessert spoon, you’ll want to use the soup spoon first.

12 high tea attires you must try!

Now that we have got everything figured, let’s see all the outfits for high tea that’ll make you the star of the show.

1. Maxi dress with a blazer

What to wear to high tea: Dress code, attires + complete guide

How freakin’ beautiful is this? I love the matching blazer and heels ensemble, it speaks class!

2. jumpsuit

What to wear to high tea: Dress code, attires + complete guide

If not dresses, jumpsuits are a safe bet. There are many sophisticated styles, and they go pretty well with hats and gloves as well.

3. one shoulder top + ruffle skirt

What to wear to high tea: Dress code, attires + complete guide
Courtesy: louisemontgomery

If you wanna mix and match, a subtle high tea attire would be a midi skirt and slim-fit top. Nude heels and makeup would go beautifully with this piece.

4. printed maxi dress

What to wear to high tea: Dress code, attires + complete guide
Courtesy: @cleonajah

Don’t wanna take the trouble of finding the right outfit? Just pick a printed maxi dress from the wardrobe and you’ll be good to go! Did I mention espadrilles are my newfound love?

5. tweed blazer pantsuit

What to wear to high tea: Dress code, attires + complete guide
Courtesy: @valerie.n.eats

Remember when I told you that the dress code for high tea is semi-formal, and you can definitely go wearing blazers and pantsuits? This is what I meant! It’s so business casual, and I love the color.

6. blouse + maxi skirt

What to wear to high tea: Dress code, attires + complete guide
Courtesy: @juliaberolzheimer

For a bohemian romantic look, match your puffy sleeve blouse (which gives a very vintage feel) with a printed long skirt, and you’ll get ready for high tea within seconds!

7. ruffle blouse + skirt

What to wear to high tea: Dress code, attires + complete guide
Courtesy: @itsdimplekaur

How about spelling boujee and sexy for all the guests? I love this voluminous blouse paired with wrap over skirt. And can we just fall in love with that fascinator?

8. sweater + satin skirt

What to wear to high tea: Dress code, attires + complete guide
Courtesy: @fashion_jackson

I am a big fan of slip dresses. They are such versatile pieces, and you can style them for any occasion. Literally. Look at this sweater over a dress, for instance. Isn’t it elegant?

9. button down shirt + printed skirt

What to wear to high tea: Dress code, attires + complete guide
Courtesy: @divyaboppana_

If the setting for your party is a bit more casual, a simple button-down shirt and printed skirt will play really well.

10. printed midi dress

What to wear to high tea: Dress code, attires + complete guide
Courtesy: @shravanivohra

Or you could pick a beautiful printed midi dress with flats and a huge hat to make a subtle statement with your high tea attire!

11. blouson dress

What to wear to high tea: Dress code, attires + complete guide
Courtesy: @professionaltraveler

Blouson dresses look so darn cute, it’s unbelievable! And these are just what you need to add a touch of casual sophistication to your outfit for high tea.

12. tea length dress

What to wear to high tea: Dress code, attires + complete guide
Courtesy: @xosarahsahara

And what’s better than a tea-length dress actually made for events like high tea? This high tea attire is exactly what a royal tea party would look like. With gloves and hats and a perfect-length dress, it’s just so pretty!

Wrapping up what to wear to high tea

High tea is a great opportunity to get together with friends and enjoy some good food and conversation. And with these tips, you’ll be sure to look great while doing it! Just remember to choose an outfit that is comfortable, accessorize appropriately, and wear comfortable shoes. With those three things in mind, you’ll be sure to have a wonderful time creating your high tea attire.

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