It is time again for the Gracious Hospital-i-Tea Blog-a-Thon! Here's the idea for this week: Share ideas for dressing up for afternoon tea. Is your favorite tea-time outfit a silk caftan, flannel jammies, or a dress with proper hat and gloves? Do you enjoy wearing tea prints to tea? Or do you prefer something more elegant? Lace and ruffles? A feathered hat? Long pink gloves? Satins and silks? Cotton comfort? Jeans and a t-shirt you say? That's okay --- share it all here. Pictures of you in tea-time costume are welcome! But, if you are not brave enough to share a picture of 'you', simply share something you think would be FUN to wear to tea. Remember, a tea can be anything from a formal afternoon tea --- to tea in the park with a friend. It's whatever it means to you!
I don't have any one particular way of dressing for tea. For many of the tea party themes I've given here in my blog, I've suggested dressing certain ways though. It can be fun to have a dress-up tea party but I enjoy just as much a casual tea where everyone wears jeans.
So I thought I'd show how I'd dress for a fantasy tea. I love white lawn dresses, popular from just before the last century. What could be fresher for a Spring Tea Party! I couldn't find a photograph online that I could use showing lawn dresses but I found a family picture where every female wears one. If you click to enlarge the picture, you'll see that while the dresses all look similar, in fact they each have very different details. Extra ruffles, pleating, bows and touches of lace all add to the charm of these lawn dresses. You can even notice that the hemlines of the dresses were different. The young girls are in short skirts while most of the others have skirts that sweep the ground. The interesting exception is Aunt Hope, on the far right, whose skirt is much shorter. Maybe she was more sophisticated as she was attending nursing school in Philadelphia at the time.
We often think of wearing hats for a tea party. I wanted to show a few rather spectacular hats worn by real women. Honestly I don't know how they did it! These fashionable ladies are my husband's great aunts and his great grandmother. These are winter hats and wouldn't match well with my white lawn dress but unfortunately, I couldn't find photos of any spring hats.
I don't know how many actual tea parties these ladies attended but I'm sure there must have been lots of occasions where tea was served.