How do you define tea length dresses?
You’ll know a tea-length dress right away when you see one because of where the hemline falls. Traditionally, a classic tea-length dress ends anywhere between the middle of the calf and the ankles. However, modern designers also consider dresses that end just below the knee as tea-length dresses too. This style has always been common wedding attire for mothers of brides or grooms since they feature beautiful, flowing fabrics in cuts that have flattered family matriarchs for centuries. Originally, the dress takes its name from the “tea gowns” of the 19th century that well-to-do ladies wore at home to dine with their families.
Today, some people have a tendency to confuse proper tea-length dresses with cocktail dresses. However, designers only intended cocktail dresses for evening wear; that’s why they normally look much more flashy with bold, dark colors and low-cut necklines that you would expect to see on Hollywood’s red carpets rather than at a fancy wedding. Tea-length dresses are the epitome of classy attire for mothers at any formal event that takes place in the daytime, especially for weddings.
Why are tea length mother of the bride dresses so popular?
Any woman who walks into a dress shop asking for, “Mother of the groom dresses, tea length, please,” will receive a host of choices of lovely gowns that soft, simple and elegant. For example, chiffons, cottons and organdy in simple designs often work well for the occasion. Generally, designers will use fabrics that breathe well, feel light on the skin and are, therefore, the most comfortable to wear. Comfort is extremely important in the attire of the parents because clothing with a relaxed fit will help them feel more at ease, even when stressful wedding mishaps may occur. While some think only the bride and groom are the most nervous on their big day, the truth is that their mothers are often more likely to worry about all the little details of the event than the “happy” couple.
Plus, let’s not forget that the flowing style of these dresses give women more space to dance with the guests at the wedding reception too!
Here’s how to choose mother-of-the-bride tea length dresses:
Firstly, consider getting a dress that complements the bridesmaids’ dresses. While it doesn’t need to match exactly, it helps to pick something at least in a complementary color to their dresses so that you’ll get better-looking wedding photos.
Assess your body type. For women who want to make their waistlines look a bit smaller, go for a dress with pleating or diagonal ruching around the waist to bring out your curves more. Women with a full bust line can consider dresses with asymmetrical halter necklines or diagonal-cut tops with one large strap over the shoulder that provide tasteful coverage while looking highly fashionable. Tall ladies can make the most of their height by picking a tea-length dress with a big, full skirt and a bold pattern on it. Petite women look best in gracefully slim-fitting, A-line skirts that aren’t stiff or very full with v-necklines.
Tea-length dresses have sleeves in all lengths to suit winter, fall, summer or spring weddings, and they look great with a matching jacket when the weather becomes cooler.
Avoid embarrassment by following the proper dress-etiquette rules for the wedding party:
- Remember that a tea-length dress should make you look like a proper woman of timeless beauty and style. Therefore, don’t choose a racy dress to look like you’re competing with other family members for the limelight. Your dress should make you feel confident, not insecure.
- Talk to the bride before buying your dress to make sure it matches the overall wedding’s theme and color scheme. You don’t want to stand out like someone who just got their wedding invitation yesterday.
- Start shopping six months before the wedding to avoid the unnecessary stress of last-minute shopping amidst the other wedding plans. This way, you’re also allowing valuable time for tailoring and re-adjustments to your dress too.
You can accessorize mother of the bride tea length dresses in these ways:
One of the greatest things about wearing a tea-length dress as the mother of the bride or groom is that the simplicity of this style allows for maximum accessory options! Drape a beautiful, matching stole in sheer fabric around your shoulders like a classic film star. Don a hat that can be your main statement piece; you’ll find inspiration looking at what the Middleton ladies and duchesses wore at William and Kate’s royal wedding. Combining your tea-length dress with the perfect heels, handbag and jewelry will transform you into a vision whom everyone will be happy to meet at the wedding.
What are the latest styles of tea-length dresses for the mother of the bride or groom?
British designer Joyce Young, who’s a big fan of tea-length dresses, recommends dresses in different complementary colors depending on the date of the wedding. For example, she likes a sophisticated amethyst shade of purple or deep red-wine colors for winter weddings in 2016. Overall, gentle tones of ice blue, ivory or blush-champagne are trendy and flattering colors for mothers to wear at any time of year. Lace tops with sheer, elbow-length sleeves are definitely high-style in 2016.
This year, Brides.com is showcasing lots of navy-blue, black, metallic and creamy peach shades of dresses in their top picks for mothers of the bride or groom. Their editors love styles of tea-length dresses with slightly flared skirts in satin or lace with cap sleeves for warmer weather and sweetheart-style necklines.
Are you ready to start shopping for a tea-length dress?
Get some ideas about the styles that you like by typing “Mother of the bride dresses tea length” into a Google search bar. Then when you select the image-results page, you can scroll through the photos to see which ones speak to you and click on the links to their websites.
Jump-start your search right now by checking out some of our favorite online shops for tea-length dresses for mothers:
1. JJ’sHouse.com has dresses with matching accessories and shoes all in one place.
2. Nordstrom has tea-length dresses with fresh designs for a spring or summer wedding that suit mothers of all ages.
3. TBdress.com has great discounts and bold signature styles too.
4. Macy’s has a great selection of casually elegant tea-length dresses that any woman would feel comfortable in.
All in all, tea-length dresses are the best choice of wedding attire for mothers, grandmothers and many other special guests. When you find the right combination of color and style to flatter you the most, you’ll look marvelous and have a dress that you can save for other special occasions too.