Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dressed- to- a-Tea

This week's blogathon topic from Gracious Hospitality is Dressed-to-a-Tea. Fun!

Below are three of my favorite tea outfits (costumes) I've worn throughout the years. The context for each of these is a tea lecture or a tea party I'm hosting.

This photo is from my very first "official" tea party in 2001. The party was a celebration. I had just finished my MBA and was kicking off my tea biz (while I still had a full-time job). The pink outfit was a riot and I loved to wear it when I wanted to play dress up. (Why shouldn't adults have fun with this, too? :-) The apron was a gift from one of my tea party guests.




This photo is from one of my most memorable, and most beautiful, tea parties. I hosted a tea for my Aunt K. She lived in this gorgeous old house that was full with antiques. The table setting for this tea was the loveliest I've ever had! We used pink depression glass.



And this photo is a hoot! I found this Victorianish blouse and skirt at Buffalo Exchange (in Albuquerque). The fur wrap was a yard-sale find. I think I paid $20 for it. I recently found, in the pocket, the original sales receipt. The wrap was sold new in 1935. It came from Lewis Furriers in Sacramento, CA. I'm not one to normally wear furs, but this vintage piece was so incredible, I couldn't pass it up. Does anyone have suggestions for how to store it?

22 comments:

Allison said...

Great photos! Thank you for sharing them!

Linda said...

I just love these photos!

Kathy said...

Darling pictures!
Kathy@ Mimi's Garden

Tea Party Girl said...

Hm, I think I see a little Jackie O in your middle picture. ;-). I don't have a clue about the fur...

Carrie said...

Lovely outfits, lovely photos!

Charli and me said...

Very, very pretty! Thanks for sharing.

La Tea Dah said...

Steph, thank you for the lovely post on dressing for tea. You look beautiful! I especially love the picture of you at the tea you gave for your Aunt K. The setting is beautiful and your attire is perfect for the event. You have found the true 'essence' of all things tea! Thanks for posting! I enjoyed it!

LaTeaDah

Cori G. said...

What fun costumes! I think that growing up deprives us of having fun in our closets. I'm always happy to see other women who like to play dress up. I think I have that same skirt in the last photo. Is it a Gunnie Sac?

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

All three teas are wonderful...your smile is beautiful. I can imagine what a lovely hostess you are. Wish I could help with the fur, but I can't. Do you mind saying what its original price was?

Miss Sandy said...

These are so great! The middle photos looks like you literally stepped back in time, the photo and costume are just magical!

Arleen ~ The Tea Room said...

Steph, what wonderful photographs, each marking a milestone. I love the outfits, and especially love the tea for Aunt K. You clearly are having a great time at each event. Thanks so much for sharing these photographs with us!

Anonymous said...

Dear Steph,

You look marvelous, daaling? I love dressing up too and am especially admiring your gorgeous hats. I wish we could get together for a dress up party!

Here are a few guidelines for taking care of your vintage fur.
My friends have gifted me with several vintage pieces and I wear them infrequently and store them in a dark closet and open the door to air it out every so often.

Do not leave the fur anywhere were bright sunlight can get to it. This will fade out the color before you know it, and furs always fade in a spotty way making them unwearable (inevitably by virtue of how light hits it, it will be faded out more quickly in one place before another). A closet will do. Ideally, you could have it stored in a temperature controlled environment.
Make sure you hang the fur on a good, big hanger. No hooks or racks. It should be hung as if it were sitting on your shoulders. This will make the seams last longer if they do not have stress on them.
No plastic bags or garment bags or suitcases or boxes etc. This will only crush the pelts. Much better to leave hanging in a dark closet. If you want to cover it use a cotton sheet or large cotton pillow case.
No brushing or combing or anything that will cause the fur to shed out unnecessarily. I have had luck with light brushing to get out something stuck in the fur, but anything beyond that will be too much for a vintage fur to handle.

Sweet Necessi-Teas said...

What great photos! I would have loved to have been at the tea in your aunt's house! What fun! Thanks for sharing.

Steph said...

Thanks for all the wonderful comments! There is not tag in the skirt, but it very well could be a Gunnie Sac!

The fur originally cost $325.

Special thanks for the care instructions! :-)

Grace Yaskovic said...

Fabulous post, love the photos!

Pam said...

Your teas look like they were such fun, and your outfits are beautiful! I agree with Vee, that your smile really sets them off perfectly!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Love, Pam

Rosemary said...

Steph - these photos are great! What wonderful outfits to wear to afternoon tea. Thanks for posting this great variety of outfits! Nancy

MEP said...

Dressing up is so much fun! My grandmother left behind about fifty beautiful, fancy hats (each in a hatbox). My mom and I are excited to plan a tea party themed shower where my mom, aunt, cousins, sisters, guests, and I will all wear the hats. We're just waiting for my cousin to get engaged . . . small detail.

I'll be consulting you for tips and tea etiquette when the time comes!

sweetcakes said...

I love the pictures! I especially like the hat that you wore to your Aunt's tea party.

kathi~lavender, lace and thyme said...

I'm ooohhhing and aawwwing at your post, how beautiful everything is. I love your tea setting, how precious you are at your aunt k's and the fur wrap, very beautiful.

marye said...

The pictures are awesome. Great post! :)

ivory spring said...

Hi Steph,

I love your tea party outfits!!!! What fun!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. You are welcome anytime. I just posted a picture of my tea strainer. If you have one and would like to share with blogworld, do email me, okay?

I am happy to meet a fellow dish-aholic! :)

Have a great day!