A global field guide to design, (life)style and secret finds
est. 2007
  1. Frock on Friday: the perfect Tea Dress

    How are you liking A Week of Tea so far? (I’ve got loads more tea finds to share with you, so it might end up being a slightly extended “week”.) I thought I’d round up the working week with a return to Frock on Friday, and my pick of the perfect tea dresses.

    Now, before the pedants leap on the “comments” button, I realise the dress above is not strictly a “tea dress”, which according to Emily Post in 1922,

    “is a hybrid between a wrapper and a ball dress. It has always a train and usually long flowing sleeves; is made of rather gorgeous materials and goes on easily, and its chief use is not for wear at the tea-table so much as for dinner alone with one’s family.”

    Right. So far, so confusing. Especially since designers and high-street brands have a tendency to slap any old floral-print frock that falls below the knee with the “tea dress” label. And “ditzy”. But I’ve always interpreted it as a frock that falls somewhere between the knee and lower-calf with 1940s-style shirting, sleeves and prints – and this super-lovely pink silk tea dress by Sessun, £195 from Liberty (above) pretty much fits the bill.

    Here are some of my other favourite tea dresses:

    1. NW3 Mr Duck Dress, £169 from Hobbs.
    2. Summer bloom tea dress, US$150 by Soho Mode on Etsy.
    3. NW3 Winter Leaves dress, £149 from Hobbs.
    4. Custom tea dress in yellow lila, US$184 from Soho Mode on Etsy.
    5. Tea Shoppe Dress, US$397.99 from ModCloth.
    6. Vintage landscape tea dress, US$150 by Soho Mode on Etsy.
    7. Cute as a Fox wool crepe tea dress, £345 from Orla Kiely.
    8. ASOS bird print 40s tea dress, reduced to AU$33.91, from ASOS.
    9. ASOS tea dress in floral print with twist front, AU$67.82 from ASOS.
    10. Bluebird midi dress, US$158 from Anthropologie.
    11. NW3 Dandelion Dress, £169 from Hobbs.

    And if you’re after some stellar advice on how to wear a tea dress minus the victory rolls and T-bar shoes (though I rather like them, too!), read this excellent piece by the Guardian‘s Jess Cartner-Morley.

    It’s A Week of Tea on Wee Birdy! You might like to also read about:

    Don’t forget to enter my competition to win a stunning wooden chest of Twinings Tea!