What to wear for afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is a British pastime, and a delicious one at that, characterised by dainty finger sandwiches, beautiful fine china and, of course, tea! In Britain, we have long since loved tea and the tradition of going out for afternoon tea is just one of the ways we celebrate it. Of course, afternoon tea isn’t just about tea - it’s also a popular social event, particularly among ladies, and finding a lovely afternoon tea outfit is very much part of the activity.

Ensure you are looking your best the next time you indulge in sandwiches, scones, sweet treats and delicious tea with our Lily Ella women's outfits for afternoon tea, which are sure to wow your friends. We’ve even paired each ladies outfit with a type of tea so that, whatever your favourite blend, you can select your outfit to match.

Ladies blouse and midi skirt

A classic combination that ladies have been wearing to afternoon tea events for years, you simply cannot go wrong with a high waisted, long skirt and a tailored blouse. Elegant and flattering, these outfits are best created using complementary colours to create a stylish outfit that looks and feels complete.

At Lily Ella, creating this combination of a ladies blouse and a high waisted skirt is simple, thanks to the beautiful pairing that is our Blaydon blouse and Wylam skirt. A match made in heaven, the denim blue blouse is effortlessly easy to upstyle. Simply tuck it into the pastel toned Wylam skirt and you have a stunning ladies outfit for afternoon tea - no effort required! In true Lily Ella fashion, both pieces of this outfit are made from 100% cotton and benefit from extra features you’ll surely love. Whether it’s the front diamond pin stitching on the blue ladies blouse or the asymmetrical statement patch pocket on the floating midi skirt that has caught your eye, we can’t blame you for falling in love with this mellow afternoon tea style.

Tea pairing: Pair this soft, pastel-toned afternoon tea outfit with Chelsea garden tea. A simple white tea with beautifully sweet undertones to bring in that hint of summer sunshine.

Linen trousers with a longline blouse

Synonymous with the light, warm breezes of summertime, the relaxed and comfortable fit of linen trousers paired with a longline blouse is the perfect addition to our list of women's outfits for afternoon tea. Particularly fitting for afternoon tea held out in the sun, either at home in the garden or in the outside space of a traditional tea cafe, enjoy the summer in this stylish afternoon tea outfit.

To recreate this style of outfit at Lily Ella, we’ve taken our simple linen mix cotton trousers and paired them with our bold Bywell blouse. Both lightweight and comfortable, the simple white of the linen mix trousers allows the beautifully bright teal of the longline blouse to shine. Brightened up even further by the recurring red notes of the ladies floral blouse, this truly is an outfit made to be shown off in the sun. Wear buttoned up or loose with a simple t-shirt of a similar tone depending on the weather.

Tea pairing: Make the most of this light, summer afternoon tea outfit by pairing it with a burst of fruity flavour. Pick your favourite fruity tea or, if you don’t have one, try creating your own which happens to be our personal favourite: passion fruit and mango green tea.

Floral dress with a straw handbag

What is more traditional than going out for afternoon tea? Very few things, we think, but a beautiful floral dress is certainly a strong contender. Pair that lovely long summer dress with a simple straw handbag and you have a classic summer outfit that is perfect for wearing to afternoon tea with the ladies.

Indulge in classic British colours of blue, white and red (with hints of pink thrown in for good measure) with the stunning Geraldine dress. Featuring a simple yet elegant silhouette, this long floral dress has a gathered waist and gently puffed sleeves which subtly flatter every body shape. You’ll also be sure to make a statement thanks to the contrast colouring on the hem and cuffs. Finish off the summer-ready style with the simple St Ives straw bag and some neutral toned sandals.

Tea pairing: For a traditional British coloured, floral dress, there can be only one pairing. Match the Geraldine dress with a simple and smoky Earl Grey tea.

Simple pink dress and matching necklace

The last look on our list of afternoon tea outfits strips things back to the basics, and for good reason. Afternoon tea may still be known to some as a high-class, sophisticated tradition, but this quintessential British outing has become increasingly popular and has developed into a fun, inclusive activity for all. Elegant, traditional outfits are no longer a requirement, so why not dress down a little?

For the perfect, simply styled ladies outfit for afternoon tea, we recommend our Boldon dress in pink. Designed in a classic fit and flare shape, our pink maxi dress is effortlessly flattering. Also featuring a round neck and short sleeves, this longline dress can be dressed up more with the Fortuna necklace, which is strung with silver grey glass beading, or styled more simply with the St Ives straw bag.

Tea pairing: Pair our simple, pink afternoon tea outfit with something similarly light and understated: black tea infused with rose petals.

Build your own afternoon tea outfit with Lily Ella

Whether you’re going for formal afternoon tea or something more laid back, create the perfect afternoon tea outfit for the occasion at Lily Ella. WIth plenty more to choose from than just the afternoon tea outfits displayed above, discover our full collection of summery blouses, floral dresses and stylish accessories for women and create your own perfect, summer-ready outfit.