What To Wear To A Tea Party?

Q. Can you please help me with what to match with a straight black (plain) dress that I am wearing to a friend’s “Second Annual Tea Party.” The dress has a wide black belt, and I would like to know if red shoes would match well or if I should stick to black. Also, I’d like to find a cute hat to match, but am not sure about what colors to include in the hat – I don’t think wearing ALL black is what I want.

As for the gloves, I will probably wear black lace or shear gloves, but have no idea what length would be best. The dress is sleeveless. Do you have any suggestions? It would be much appreciated.

A. Adding color is a must. Red heels or sandals would help give the outfit a little “kick” whereas wearing all black would appear quite somber for a girly tea party. Sandals or pumps in just about any color or pattern will help lift the black. As for a hat, it suddenly is becoming harder to find a cute hat when stores are beginning to fill up with Fall clothes and accessories, but a wide brimmed straw hat with a pretty ribbon will do the trick. Or skip the hat and choose a headband in a pattern that can pick up the color of the shoes and break up the monotony. As for gloves, stick to wrist length styles since it is a day event and opera length or 3/4 are meant for dressier occasions.

Eric Javits Squishee® Straw Cap L Erickson Wrap Link Headband

Cotton-gathered headband 63325 Na6488

left to right:

1. Eric Javits Squishee® Straw Cap, $150 at nordstrom.com

2. L Erickson Wrap Link Headband, $45 at nordstrom.com

3. Cotton-gathered headband, $19.50 at jcrew.com

4. Classic straw hat, $49.50 at jcrew.com – add a colorful solid or print wide ribbon

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