Tea dresses come out to play as summer finally arrives POSTED BY LTS Christine 06.12.12
There are very few constants in fashion (other than the LBD, of course) and this makes it even more surprising that something as gentle as the tea dress has survived for so long. Its very name reminds us of a quieter, more leisurely era. This may be one of the reasons why the fashion world keeps falling for the charms of the tea dress, in updated forms, every summer.
One tall celebrity who wore the look beautifully this week in New York was actress Emily Mortimer, in a delightful Stella McCartney dress. The simple, flattering cut, with a modest high-neck and short length, was perfect for a warm, relaxing afternoon.
The navy blue was off-set with colourful and quirky military motifs – giving the dress a welcome edge. To tap into the trend, we’ve found just the thing: this printed tea dress with a vintage feel and bags of whimsical charm from our tall clothing collection. The classic capped sleeves and flattering wrap design are slimming and versatile – perfect for hazy days spent in the sun and easy to layer up as autumn approaches.
As to what a tea dress should look like, there’s nothing precise about it nowadays. It’s a term that tends to be applied to floaty chiffon, silk, or crAªpe de Chine frocks – possibly floral, even sheer and translucent; cap-sleeved or longer; neither too short, nor too fitted, but gently cut, with a 1930s feel.
Following this thread, accessories should be kept simple at all times. For laid-back leisure, what could be better than wearing some pretty ballerina pumps in a contrasting colour? Or keep the look lady-like and girly in these nude sling-backs from our tall clothing collection.
The unstructured look dates back to the original, 19th-century tea gowns, which allowed corsets to be removed or loosened when women relaxed at home. So, you could look at the modern incarnation of the tea dress as an escape from tight-fitting skinny jeans!
Bearing this in mind, the tea dress doesn’t necessarily need to be worn on smart occasions (although they do look fab at summer weddings and garden parties). Instead, why not embrace the comfy tea dress at home or on a casual day out? They’re perfect for slipping into when you can’t think of anything else to wear.