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How to Dress for Afternoon Tea and 5 Things You Should Know Before Going

How to Dress for Afternoon Tea and 5 Things You Should Know Before Going


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Skirt by Harlowe and Graham(similar)| Full midi skirt • Gap • $59.95 and Auberta Pleated Midi Skirt Navy • Missguided • $40
Heels by Cinti (similar)| Alexander Wang ‘Lovisa’ pumps • Alexander Wang • $495
Bag Kate Spade (similar)| kate spade new york Tote – Cobble Hill Peters • Kate Spade • $398

Chicago things and what to wear

NOTE: This article has been updated for the winter season. See “What to Wear to Afternoon Tea: The Winter Edition”.

Our brand new series “The Local Tourist” features Chicago’s well-known attractions and hidden gems as seen through the eyes of a local.The first spot on this local tourist’s tour? Afternoon tea in Palm Court at the Drake Hotel. You can read all about it here.

If that article has inspired you to call a friend and head to High Tea, here are some suggestions on what you should wear and 5 things you must know before going.

What to Wear to Afternoon Tea

This isn’t prom night or a wedding reception. When selecting what you’ll wear keep it lady like and simple. I love dresses and recommend a simple frock that makes you feel refined. Here are a few more of my favorite looks:

What to wear in chicago

Ways to Wear Mixed Prints

What to Wear to Afternoon Tea

5 Things You Should Know Before Going

Tea can be Pricey

Traditional high tea in Chicago will cost you from $30-$100 dollars per person prior to gratuity.

Cancel Your Appointments

Tea service runs two hours on average. Make sure you’re able to relax and enjoy the experience. Don’t schedule Afternoon Tea if you’re pressed for time.

No Matter the Day, Reservations are a MUST

Always secure a reservation no matter the day or the size of your party. Space can be extremely limited.

No Jeans

Never wear denim or overly relaxed clothing to Afternoon Tea.

Don’t Come Full or Starving

Afternoon Tea was created as a time to snack and spend time with friends in between meals. Typically, it’s best not to arrive starving but remember to leave room in your appetite for the delectable treats.

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  • Mayri

    Are you talking about afternoon tea or high tea? They are not the same thing…

    • Good question, Mayri! While both are English traditions, Afternoon Tea is the one we’re discussing here. High Tea was established more for the working class and featured heavier meal items like chicken and fish. Afternoon tea was reserved for the upper class and includes light sandwiches, scones, and cakes. I find both are sometimes used interchangeably.

  • I’m a fan from afar, but this article inspired me to gather a few ladies in the Mil for high tea at the Schuster Mansion. We’re all excited to try something new, so thanks for the idea.

    • Love it! Let me know how it goes, girl. And thank you for reading this site!

  • Teatodler

    Are gloves appropriate?

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