Saturday, April 12, 2008

Vintage Dress for Tea

There were many directions I wanted to take with this post. But after some consideration, I decided that my favorite 'dress for tea' should be my first post on this subject. And that dress would be 'vintage' --- especially vintage 1950's. This era brings thoughts of traditionally proper dress --- hats, gloves, and full skirts --- with the addition of the pretty pictures in my minds eye of my mother, as she was in her 20's during the 50's and could wear a petite size 2. Remembering these times and interpreting them to the perfect attire for a proper afternoon tea takes me to my favorite shop, Elm Street Antiques, and I've decided to share some of what they offer as examples of my favorite attire for tea.

Of course a hat is always required for a proper lady. A satin bow and of course a tad bit of netting makes it even better! This chic little shift was very fashionable in this day and the sleeveless look was stylish to the max.

This beautiful young lady in the previous picture is prepared to enjoy a tea-time at the grand opening of Elm Street Antiques. Paula and Terry even made sure that a proper 'tea table' was set near the serving table that was filled with tea treats of every sort. Can you sit a spell?

A proper tea-time hairstyle would never be worn 'down' but rather in a perfect knot at the nape of the neck or in a darling bun. Pin curls are an added bonus!

This picture from Paula's and Terry's shop reminds me of one of the first teas I ever attended. It was a Mother's Day Fashion Show and Tea that was put on by the 'girls club' at the high school I attended. My classmates and I each modeled our mothers' wedding dresses (or the wedding dress of a cousin or aunt if out mother's wasn't to be found). Most of us had parents who were married sometime in the 1950's. Attended by mothers and their daughters, a proper and elegant tea table was set for all to enjoy. I was in grade 9 at the time and remember feeling somewhat 'strange' wearing a wedding dress down the runway with my girlfriends. But, what fun we had!

Bits of lace and satin, hats and bows, pin-curls and red nail polish, gloves with pearl buttons, bright yet muted colors, and bits of lace all work together to create a look for tea that I find most cozy and relaxing --- gentle and warm. Other fashions may come and go, but to me this vintage style reflects the essence of a proper tea because it takes me back to time in my childhood. And those were the times that I was forming the values and ideals that have followed me through life. Vintage 1950's --- the best!

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~ Here's waving to you, Paula!
Thanks for letting me share the pictures from your shop! ~


  1. I enjoyed reading about '500s teatime fashions.

  2. That's cute, Carrie!

    While I certainly enjoyed your tea time fashion statements, I want to thank you for making this a bit more flexible for those, like me, who have never actually attended a "proper tea" "properly attired." Yes, this week could get interesting!

  3. What a fun walk down memory lane with you! Nancy

  4. Anonymous11:36 AM

    What lovely vintage pieces! I especially like the armoire bursting with satin, tulle, and lace. Very nostalgic.

  5. Anonymous6:14 PM

    Beautiful and fun! Your model is so sweet. It would be fun to do a vintage tea sometime dresses and all...

  6. Your tea parties are so cute. My niece and I frequently have parties in a similar fashion. We had a japanese tea party and we even made kimonos to wear. It was great fun.

  7. Anonymous6:52 AM

    How delightful, your tea model is precious :). The vintage shop is very beautiful and your history lesson has put a smile on my face. If I could, I'd take each young lady I know and make her dress up for afternoon tea :). Very lovely.

  8. Anonymous10:40 AM

    Oh my goodness how fun it would be to model your mother's wedding dress! I absolutely loved your post and I can see why vintage was an inspirtation to you.

  9. What a beautiful post. I love all the touches you have added for dressed for tea. I especially love that gorgeous table set for tea, and your mother's wedding dress. karen

  10. What a lovely setting for a tea and the clothes are so fun and really help set the tone for such a delightful event.

  11. Anonymous2:02 PM

    Gorgeous Gowns! And what a lovely young lady!

  12. What a wonderful treat to visit one of your local shops and see such a precious model all decked out for tea!

    How fun it sounds to dress up in wedding gowns and have tea! What a really great memory!

    As to the quote you mentioned on my post, no I never had the pleasure of visiting there but wish I had. I actually stumbled across the quote while searching for something else and I loved it. Thank you for hosting and for visiting.

  13. I am so envious! I would love to have attended the grand opening of Elm Street Antiques. Just look at the vintage dresses in the armoire. Hop over to my blog to see some of my fantasy tea dresses!

    What a wonderful post. Thank you!

  14. I actually read this post on Sunday, but was in a hurry and didn't comment. I love all of your ideas for tea outfits, from the beautiful vintage picture, to the armoire bursting with goodies, and especially the beautiful young model! How special to be able to visit an antique shop and share their treasures. Thank you again for all the effort on your part to host this blog-a-thon! Lots of love, Pam

  15. I've enjoyed all your Tea-related posts. You're so creative and have put a lot of yourself in each theme! I hate admitting that I didn't really have anything to contribute, except for my appreciation for it all... Perhaps all this inspiration will rub off on me and I will make the time to savor all that comes with taking a cup of tea...

  16. I have never enjoyed a blog a thone more, this is so much fun each week!!!

  17. Your blog is always beautiful, and so well written. But of course I just had to come back to this post and clap my hands because you know it's right up my alley! One of these days I'm going to try some of these yummy recipes you share! Thanks for all of your hard work~


Thank you for commenting on my blog post. I am always happy to hear from blog readers. Your words encourage and inspire me. I am glad you stopped by to share conversation, recipes, ideas, and thoughts on creating a welcoming home.