Yesterday I had a 'high tea' at a wonderfull location in Amsterdam: the teapot museum. The room was filled with all kinds op teapots and other kinds of antiques. I was with a group of stylish vintage loving ladies so all the more reason to wear as fabulous as possible an outfit.
So what do you wear at tea time? I took my inspiration from some 1930's magazines and the spread above struck me as very appropriate as it features some ladies having tea. You can see they are wearing outfits that are quite dressy.
Another page from a magazine shows dresses and a hat for 'het thee-uurtje' (the tea hour), a fixed time at the end of the afternoon. In books from the period they have even made drinking tea into the verb 'teaen', which would translate a tea-ing.
The dress I choose for tea-ing yesterday is a long time favorite: a late 1930's plum dress made of lace. A lace dress seemed appropriate for having tea as several of the pictures above feature lace dresses.
I bought it in a vintage shop in Antwerp about 5 years ago.
I wore a pale pink silk slipdress underneath because it shows off the pattern of the lace and the way the dress is contstructed. The fabric is quite unusual, not a traditional lace fabric.
Below are some more pictures from vintage magazines, featureing lace dresses, that inspired me:
In the last picture one of the women is carying a fox over her arm. You often see fox fur used as an accessoiry like that. Foxes were not really worn for warmth in the 1930's they were more of a status symbol, that could easily be combined with a thin summer dress. Most of the time I wear mine over one or two shoulders. This time I wore it over my arm, the most impractical way ever.....but hey everything for the right look.
I bought the fox at the Waterlooplein flea market in Amsterdam. It has all its four legs and is lined with crêpe fabric.
So then there is the hat, hats were not worn at home but when visiting or going out it was common (although young women could go out barehead for less formal occasions). Hats got rather quirky in the mid 1930's. The hat I wore is a shining example of thos. It matches my fox as it has a piece of fox fur attached to it. I'm not 100% sure I wore it the right way. As there is no label or other indication of what is front or back I tried it in several ways, this seemed to work best.
Next to the fox fur the hat has a big felt bow. The side has two horizontal slashes that are reattached with decorative stitching. A very quirky hat indeed. I found it on 'Markplaats' (the Dutch equivalent of Ebay, sort of) and had to have it.
Another favorite piece of this outfit is the leather purse. It has an eveloppe shape and has to be carried in your hand. Together with carrying around a fox you can hardly do anything else as you don't have a free arm left. Si perfect for pretending to be a lady of leasure with nothing to do but go and have tea...(do note the pretending, keeping up appearances is key ;))
The purse looks very simple and rather timelessly modern but also very Art Deco.
I always love matching little purses!
Lets hope for Sunny days!