Formal Tea Length Dresses
Years ago people went to tea parties and had tea times. Ladies especially would meet each other for tea and to gossip and spread news. People of the same sets in society would have tea at their own homes and at their friend's homes. In some parts of the world this tradition of having tea parties and tea times is still kept for example in the United Kingdom tee time is still observed by many people. This was commonly used as a time of fellowship and enjoyment. This is also probably where formal tea length dresses got their name.
Back before women started wearing pants (trousers), ladies always wore dresses. They had dresses of all types and for all different occasions. They would change their clothes several times a day depending upon whether it was tea time or dinner or luncheon.
Shorter dresses were worn in the day time. This is probably where the length of formal tea length dresses came from. Women wore shorter, less flashy and less elegant dresses to their teas. Teas were often considered to be formal occasions and it was an honor to be included among society. It was usually at these teas where gentlemen callers would engage in conversations with young women that they were trying to court. A tea was considered to be safe territory and appropriate places for young people to get to know each other. It was also a good situation where the parents or chaperones could monitor the situation. In a time before movies and cell phones these situations where the prime choice for young people to gather and socialize and to possibly start a romantic relationship. You know what they say; the old ways are sometimes the best ways.
So when you are trying on formal tea length dress in the store, try to imagine that the dress you have on is one in which you will sit around with your friends and drink green tea or maybe you will drink black tea like they do in Britain. Even better, how about drinking some white tea, this is considered to be the drink of kings.
No matter what you are drinking, it is highly unlikely that you will be sitting around demurely while wearing formal tea length dresses today. Interesting concept, is it not? Nowadays, formal tea length dresses refer to the shorter dresses that young ladies wear to a prom or out on the town for formal occasions. While it is not as elegant as an evening dress, it is still considered formal. These dresses are a far cry from the type of dress girls wore when attending an afternoon tea at a socialite's home. If you like the idea of a formal tea length dress and the history behind it perhaps you should invite some of your friends over and rekindle the traditions of old and hold your own formal tea party. This will be a great time to show off your new dress as well as spend some quality time with friends and family.
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