With the advent of hyper-styling and an almost ‘anything goes’ attitude towards fashion, a few occasions remain where certain style edicts still apply, one being the high tea.
High teas conjure images of flowers, frocks and femininity and your look must accompany the occasion and your surrounds and above all choose a style that says ‘elegant chic’.
A high tea provides you with the perfect opportunity to bring on 'the pretty' and the ultimate style accoutrement to champagne and delicate nibbles is a gorgeous frock in a pretty and feminine style. No other outfit fits the occasion more appropriately and if you choose a ladylike frock with a nipped-in waist, a fitted ‘pencil’ or flowing skirt, delicate neckline and pretty sleeve, you may enter Best Dressed with confidence.
Soft fabrics of silk, chiffon and lace are best as are beautiful brocades and polished cottons in floral or delicate graphic patterns or pretty pastel hues. For a little extra chic you may wish to add a few subtle embellishments such as sequins (but beware overkill).
If a 2-piece ensemble is more your style, then apply all the style rules above to your top and skirt and you will be sitting perfectly pretty whilst sipping your Perrier-Jouet.
Pants are also suitable option but strict rules apply, i.e. soft tailoring in fabrics that flow in wider leg or 'palazzo' styles.
Vintage-fashion is also a popular style for high-teas (think Mad Men) in full-skirted 50's style frocks or figure-hugging “Lana Turner-esque’ styles. Complete the vintage-look with a string of pearls, dainty gloves and a pretty hat.
High-tea accessories should be elegant; 'delicate' jewellery such as pearls, crystals or fine silver or gold and please leave all chunky, ethnic or boho styles at home. A hand-held clutch or small envelope-style bag in metallic or embellished finishes add a pretty statement.
For winter high-teas a classic pump is the perfect piece de resistance or for summer soirees opt for an elegant sandal.
Beauty rules for high teas are strict; aim for radiance with soft contouring and subtle illumination in soft shades such as nude, pink and apricot. Finish off high-tea beauty with soft red lips and lots of fluttery lashes. Avoid overdone makeup and save the glitter and winged eyes for Friday night clubbing.
Hairstyles should be elegant and groomed; a lovely chignon, Veronica Lake waves, or a fashionable pony-tail are perfect choices.
So what are the fashion faux pas for high teas? Sharp tailoring, mini skirts, garish satin and too much skin.