Tea Dresses and Indian Summers

Have you been watching Channel Four’s Sunday night drama, Indian Summers? I’m not entirely sure I’m loving it that much, but the abundance of tea dresses is lovely.

This time of year is perfect for tea dresses. Yes, okay, it’s a wee bit colder than it should be, but but a pair of tights, a cardigan and a coat should help!

Tea dresses are also perfect, in my opinion, for Mother’s Day. I have a mum who is of the generation who loves seeing me in a dress, or a frock, as she might call it. And what nicer thing could you do than get your tea dresses on and go for tea on Mothering Sunday?

Of course, we’re not all into ditsy florals, Liberty-esque prints and pastels. But tea dresses don;t have to be such. Who said all florals were ditsy? Big bold florals might be your thing? They look fabulous on white and black. Perhaps a more modern floral works for you? Mix pastels and bold colours; mix floral prints – be bold with your style. And add a pretty little hat for a final flourish!

tea dresses twoClockwise, from top left: Modern floral dress, £29.99, H&M, white and floral print dress, £65, Debut @ Debenhams, butterfly bag, £32, Star by Julien Macdonald @ Debenhams, garland trim straw hat, £9.99, New Look, yellow floral bag, £29.99, H&M, dark floral dress, £45, JOY, blue sandals, £39.99, H&M

Perhaps you do love pastels, and why not? They are perfect spring shades, perfect for tea dresses, and reminiscent of those vintage times we all seem to yearn for these days (probably just the look though, not the wars, political unrest, and, oh, wait a minute…). Anyway! The palest of baby blues, mint greens, pale pinks, lilacs, lemon yellows all combine wonderfully together. Mix up your pastels and add a white hat with a birdcage veil for a vintage finishing touch!

tea dresses oneClockwise, from top left: Pink leather bag, £220, pastel ribbons dress, £180, both French Connection, mint and white shoes, £24.99, New Look, floral print dress, £55, BHS, white hat with veil, £80, Top Hat by Stephen Jones @ Debenhams, blue belted dress, £49, BHS

Of course, you may run away screaming at the thought of pastels, so stretch the ‘tea dresses’ brief as far as you can with a bold stripe or a geometric print. Make sure your shoes are as bold and wacky, and add a novelty bag, and huge hat for a finishing flouncy flourish!

tea dresses threeClockwise, from top left: Orange and blue shoes, £29.50, Principles by Ben De Lisi @ Debenhams, black and white striped midi dress, £39.99, New Look, black sunhat, £??, J by Jasper Conran @ Debenhams, print shoes, £90, French Connection, graphic midi dress, £39.99, H&M

Of course, tea dresses doesn’t necessarily have to mean dresses. How about separates? Some of us just don’t love the dress, and that’s fine. Try a skirt and a co-ordinating top. Add a cutesy cardigan. You get the idea. Full midi skirts are huge again this season – embrace them! H&M’s yellow floral comes in scuba fabric so will stand out wide – we love it!

tea dresses fiveClockwise, from top left: Yellow floral scuba skirt, £29.99, H&M, embellished top, £45, White Stuff, bow detail cardigan, £35, JOY, embellished box bag, £24.99, New Look, pink V vest, £19.99, H&M, block heel sandals, £25, BHS, floral midi skirt, £35, Red Herring @ Debenhams

Bold florals work brilliantly with plain, lace or striped tops. Co-ordinate, or mix up your colours. Swapping tea dresses for tea dress separates gives you more scope to mix it up a bit! Swapping heels for pastel brogues is both great for your feet, and brings your look right on-trend.

tea dresses fourClockwise, from top left: Japanese blossom print skirt, £39, JOY, green top, £27.50, White Stuff, mint cardigan, £9.99, H&M, stripe linen mix Tee, £20, BHS, floral/geo print midi skirt, £60, Principles by Ben De Lisi @ Debenhams, lace overlaid top, £14, BHS, pink caged sandal, £27.99, New Look

Please note that we always endeavour to feature items that are available in Ocean Terminal, however sometimes items featured may be out of stock, and prices may vary due to seasonal reduction