NWR: How do I indicate attire for a tea party?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
Member
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Given the crowd indicated I would assume they’d know what proper attire is.

Post # 4
Member
2893 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

The wording I have seen used is “High tea” which would indicate a level of formality above jeans and flipflops.   I would also think about for the background of your invite using a picutre that could indicate the level of formality, such as women in the kind of outfit that you are thinking, or a very nicely set up tea table.  

Post # 5
Member
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Yeah I would guess ladies in that social circle would get it. When you’re a rich important housewife in a culture that values formal attire you don’t go to a party in flip flops. My first thought is “mad men style” but not sure they’d get that. Depending on where you live, maybe “1950’s style tea party” or maybe have pearls on the invitation paper? I’m trying to think of words that would also invoke a “fancy brunch” feel, since I think that’s similar. Hmmm

Your party sounds like a blast!

Post # 6
Member
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Misswhowedding:  I didn’t see this response before mine. “High tea” sounds perfect. Or maybe “upscale tea party” if you think high tea is too specific. 

Post # 9
Member
2913 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Wynn Las Vegas

If I were invited to an afternoon tea, I would assume I need to wear a sundress or cute skirt, etc. I am a total tomboy, so if I am going to assume that I would think most people would. 

Post # 10
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Actually, I rather suspect that you aren’t serving “high tea” in the sense that it is understood here in England. High tea involves a cooked course – poached eggs on toast, say – as well as bread and butter and cake. It’s a meal that is usually served slightly past teatime and is intended to bridge the gap between lunch and supper. However, one can eat high tea dressed as informally as one likes so the description of the meal is no indication of any preferred dress code.

I think if you simply put “afternoon tea party” on the invitations, the likelihood is that your guests will dress according to your and their expectations. It’s clearly not a jeans and t-shirt event yet not one that warrants cocktail dresses. 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  .
Post # 11
Member
2529 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

Overjoyed:  Maybe on your invitations you could share a photo of an old-fashioned tea party, and trust that they’ll get the idea?

ETA: or even say: “In England (if that’s where you’re from), ladies generally wear spring dresses, and sometimes fancy hats and gloves to tea.” Or whatever (I’m American, so I just made that up, ha ha).

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  gingerkitten.
Post # 12
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

In England …. ladies generally wear spring dresses, and sometimes fancy hats and gloves to tea.

I know I do! I mean you only have to check my avatar to see what we always wear for tea in England.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by  .
Post # 13
Member
1110 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’d honestly love to take high tea someplace. But I generally enjoy getting dressed up and feeling fancy. This sounds like an excellent idea!

Just word it as “high tea” and they’ll get the hint that it’s a slightly dressier occasion that necessitates more business casual attire.

Post # 15
Member
2419 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Overjoyed:  Harrods has clearly gone downhill faster than I’d assumed! Fortnum & Mason do not make this elementary error in that they offer  “classic afternoon tea or high tea”.

Actually, it occurs to me that putting “classic afternoon tea party” might be an excellent description on your invitation too. 

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