What to Wear to a Tea Party

If you’ve been invited to a tea party, you might be wondering what to wear. While this will largely depend on the venue and occasion as well as host expectations, afternoon tea attire is usually ‘smart casual’. This typically means no sports-branded trainers, t-shirts, hoodies, shorts or gym wear. It’s nice to get all spruced up for the afternoon, so here are some ideas. And while we’re on the subject of tea parties, don’t forget to book your tickets to see The Tiger Who Came to Tea, one of the best family shows currently touring the UK.


Afternoon Tea Dress Code for Men


Loungewear and a baseball cap simply won’t do, so you’ll need to fish out some smart shorts or trousers, and a short or long-sleeved shirt depending on the weather. Loafers or boat shoes are a good choice of footwear and if it’s cold you could opt for a smart V-neck pullover to pop over your shirt. Don’t worry, a suit jacket and tie are not necessary and would probably be a step too far for a tea party. Save the posher items for a dinner party or a day at the races.


Afternoon Tea Dress Code for Women


Many women choose to wear a floral or brightly coloured floaty dress or maxi dress to a tea party teamed with a matching bag and shoes. This is perfectly fine but spend a little time thinking about your footwear. While heeled shoes can look elegant, they might not be practical if you’re going to be outside on grass. If it’s cold, you might also want to wear a denim jacket or cardigan or a beautiful scarf to complement your dress.


If you’re really not a frock kind of girl, then don’t worry. Smart jeans or tailored trousers teamed with a nice blouse or shirt can look just as good. Avoid wearing t-shirts, hoodies, denim shorts or anything overly casual.


Afternoon Tea Dress Code for Kids


This all depends on the occasion. If you’re having a tea party to celebrate a child’s birthday, you may want to go overboard and choose something fancy. Little boys can wear chinos and a nice shirt with smart shoes, or dungarees with a short-sleeved top and a sun hat if it’s a bit warmer. Little girls can wear beautiful dresses with matching accessories or maybe little culottes and a pretty top if you want something a bit more practical.


If you’re simply bringing your little ones along as guests then choose nice clothes but make sure they’re comfortable. Collared t-shirts and smart trousers/shorts are fine. No tight skinny jeans or overly formal suits, however.


If you love a tea party, don’t forget to book your tickets to The Tiger Who Came to Tea. It’s one of those family theatre shows that will leave you smiling and the kids are sure to love the interactive entertainment. Family shows in London don’t get much better than this, but you can also catch the production in other cities across the UK such as Poole and Bath.