high tea outfit

Do you like dressing up? Then a tea party is a great opportunity to do exactly that! Why? It requires a certain level of sophistication and class, especially when it comes to attire. Putting on the right high tea attire makes it easy for you to fit in with the party theme. Also, it shows you respect the occasion, host, and other guests. Not to forget about boosting your confidence. If you want to turn heads, choose accessories and comfortable clothing that shouts elegance, refinement, and grace.

Invited for a tea party but don’t know what to wear? Fear not! I will help you know more about the high tea dress code and what you should and shouldn’t wear. So, read to the end.

high tea dress attire

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What Is High Tea?

Generally, high tea is a light meal usually enjoyed in the afternoon and typically consists of scones, sandwiches, and pastries. High tea in the U.K. is a special event during which friends and kin show up neatly dressed to have stimulating talks while enjoying yummy finger food. In other words, it’s a fancier version of afternoon tea.

Your next question might be, but what is the main difference between afternoon tea and high tea party? Typically, high tea takes place in a formal setting, while the afternoon is more informal. Given that high tea is a formal occasion, you will need to put more effort into how you look and dress up nicely.

Women’s High Tea Attire

Wondering how to dress to impress as a woman for a tea party? Here are some tips.

Wear a Dress

Planning to make a statement with a wicker bag? A dress is arguably one of the easiest ways to wear a wicker bag. Choose midi-length dresses in timeless silhouettes that are ladylike without being boldly sexual.

Technically, when selecting a dress, consider one that fits well, flatters your shape, and just shouts feminine. Choose classic dresses with any wild print or pattern. Secondly, I would advise you to choose light and vivid colors for your tea party.

high tea attire

 Image source: Pinterest

If you are going for a high tea party in a warmer season, why not choose a cotton or linen dress? If it’s during the chilly season, velvet or tweed may suit better. Alternatively, choose something vintage-inspired. After all, a tea party is an excuse to dress up in something you would not wear regularly.

Put On a Hat and Fascinator

Traditionally, women have worn their best hats at high tea parties. Choose a stylish fascinator, derby hat, or cloche to enhance your style. It is all right to keep it on the whole time, especially when you are at the table. But check out the high tea dress code requirements on your invitation, though most tea occasions do not call for wearing one. Alternatively, you can also wear a small-brimmed hat or a pillbox hat.

Choose the Perfect Bag

This might appear like I am a bit biased, but my ideal accessory for a tea party is a wicker bag. A wicker bag has that timeless, whimsical quality around it. And these are the two words that describe a high tea party perfectly.

Do you have a pink flamingo or wicker watermelon purse? These two will match well with your pastel party dress or any other afternoon tea outfit. The goal here is to stand out. After all, a tea party is an excuse to be a little extra!

high tea attire

 Image source: Pinterest

Choose Shoes Wisely

Typically, tea parties are hosted outdoors. Therefore, you require practical footwear that’s ready for the challenge and complements your high-tea dress attire. You will want to be able to move freely while interacting with other tea party guests. Go with simple, comfortable kitten heels or flats.

Do not wear high stiletto heels, which might sink in the grass. And for heaven’s sake, make sure you have FUN with your footwear. Go for bold pop colors or animal prints that match your handbag.

Wear Gloves

Wearing gloves to a tea party is optional. If you want to feel fancy, follow the traditional path and wear a fabulous pair of gloves to a high tea party. But remember to remove them before the tea service starts. Why? One of the glaring faults in a tea party setting is wearing gloves while eating or drinking. Choose a pair of lace or satin wrist-length gloves that match your hat and dress.

Wear Appropriate Bottoms Up

Don’t like wearing dresses? Then, it’s alright to wear trousers or a skirt. The key is to ensure your skirt touches just above or below the knee. Go for a fitted pencil skirt, a skirt with a flared hem, or a maxi skirt. Also, tailored trousers can be suitable for a tea party. However, be careful with the fabric and fitting.

high tea dress code

 Image source: Pinterest

Regarding the top, you can combine any of these appearances with a blouse or a simple collared shirt. You may choose a bright or printed blouse if you wear a solid-colored skirt and pants. But if you wear a printed bottom, add a neutral top to refine your look.

Hair and Makeup

Your high party attire won’t be complete without putting on makeup and styling your hair. However, the key is to make it simple yet elegant. Try to avoid anything too bright or fancy, as tea parties are generally conservative. So, choose natural or soft makeup tones, with a light lip color and some mascara.

Your hair could be either pulled back or left loose. You can throw in a pinch of uniqueness with a hair accessory, for example, pearl pins or some fine headband. Or, you could choose soft, loose curls or waves to make it less formal.

Men’s Tea Party Attire

Just like women, men also don’t need to dress up formally when attending a high tea party. They should go for smart casual. So, what can you wear?

Collared Shirt

A collared shirt is suitable for any tea party attire. Go for preppy pastels and delicate floral prints that feel fitting if the party is held in a garden. A tie is not compulsory. Also, you might want to bring along a sports coat to help keep warm on an early spring afternoon.

high tea dress code

 Image source: Pinterest

Dress Pants

Avoid wearing wear jeans, chinos, or casual trousers since they aren’t suitable for a tea party. Instead, wear your collared shirt tucked into a pair of dress pants. But don’t look dull by wearing black! Choose a beautiful navy or chocolate brown pants. Have a party during summer? Go for a light-colored and breathable outfit, such as tan linen slacks.

What You Should Avoid Wearing

Not every clothing option works. In particular, some things are better avoided for this specific setting. While choosing a high tea outfit for a high tea party, stay away from:


Thinking of making a statement with your LBD at a tea party? Well, that’s not a good idea! Save it for cocktail night parties and instead go with a bright, bold color scheme. Usually, black comes off as formal and too serious, which isn’t the case for this lively daytime event. You can opt for:

  • White
  • Pink
  • Navy
  • Cream or Ivory
  • Grey
  • Blue
  • Green

high tea outfit

 Image source: Pinterest

Overly Sexy Dresses

Tea parties are considered high-class events. So, do not wear body-con dresses, low-cut V necklines, and short skirts to avoid showing too much skin. Rather, look for more subtle ways of adding a touch of sexiness to your style.


Even though it sounds great to wear shorts while attending a tea party during summer, don’t fall for that temptation. It is essential to wear full-length pants. You can choose lightweight cotton or linen; this way, you’ll be comfortable regardless of the weather.


Dressing for a high tea party is all about being yourself and having fun. Follow your inner desire to curate an outfit that makes you glow with confidence while remaining true to your style. With these tips, you are now ready to make a great impression while attending a high tea party.

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