• Sep 01, 2020

Tea Length Dresses and Outfits

As we all know, dresses and skirts come in a variety of lengths with the hems falling at different points on your leg. From mini and maxi to cocktail and floor, there’s one to suit your personal style and comfort level. 

Tea length is the term used to describe a garment that sits below the knee and above the ankle (more specifically, mid-calf). 

This term has been around for approximately 150 years, but where exactly did it come from? Read on to find out its interesting origins.

A Brief History

Tea gowns emerged in England and France in the 1870s, at a time where etiquette manuals and lady periodicals were increasingly being published. This material influenced middle class women to revive teatime and wear whimsical gowns to their at-home five o’clock tea. Tea gowns were midway between a wrapper and a ball dress, featuring long flowing sleeves, a train and luxurious fabrics.

Tea length gowns gave women something lighter and more comfortable to wear when entertaining.

Tea gowns could only be worn within the confines of your home during the afternoon, until the 1900s were they extended into evening wear—either at one's own home or to outside events at the homes of close friends.

In the 1920s, the style of tea gowns shifted to being lightweight and made with sheer silk and metallic thread (this style is most reflective of the modern tea length dress we know today).

Tea Length at Living Silk

Here at Living Silk, tea length is our most popular length, so almost all of our off the rack garments are tea length. This means you can easily show off your shoes as part of your outfit and won’t trip over an excessive length of fabric. 

Tea length dresses and skirts are ideal for the Mother of the Bride / Groom particularly for a Spring / Summer wedding at the beach, in a garden or park, a country, cocktail or formal wedding.  Tea Length is the perfect length for dancing the night away at one of life's most special occasions.  

Discover our elegant tea length dresses and skirts today.

Be sure to follow us on our Instagram for behind-the-scenes content!