Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The quest to find the ultimate tea dress!

We all love a 40s style tea dress - and i think this is because they make the best of almost every figure. 

A well cut tea dress is very flattering for curvy ladies and yet enhancing for those less well endowed. It is certainly my favourite style of dress and i have several in my ever growing vintage collection (blushes).

I think a tea dress needs to be good for dancing in! As a swing dancer myself and knowing many of our customers enjoy a parade round the tea dance floor, I often consider a dancers' needs in designing some of our frocks. A swirling skirt and easy sleeves are a must - plus fabric must be appropriate.

So for years I have been trying to find the best cut. Waist or empire? High neck, tie neck, sweetheart?or a simple darted bodice? I have come to the conclusion that one must have several styles in our wardrobe as there are just too many gorgeous features that simple cant all be included in one ;-)

I have been collecting images and researching, buying originals where possible and have come up with the following definitive list of features that every tea dress from The House of Foxy MUST have:-

1. A demure neckline - never too much cleavage or too low cut. Leave that for the wiggle dresses! 
a 40s original example neckline

2. Gathers/ruching above or under the bust.
There may be a yoke at the shoulder with gathers above the bust, or an under-bust seam with gathers making a more empire shape at the top of the bodice.
I have found a few more simple styles that gather simply into the waist seam.
original example: pleats below bust and into shoulder yokes
3. Fabric MUST be rayon or silk.
Synthetics or cottons don't drape or ruche the same and just dont look right. Prints are important - not too busy as this with disguise the styles lines too much which would be a shame.

Love this original - looks like silk

4. A swing skirt.
Lovely in panels but must skim the hip and create a decent amount of swing (but not a full skirt).

5. A short or cap sleeve.
\We know many of our customers love to dance so we often bear this in mind when designing many of our dresses - we like to be able to raise our arms and then there's the perspiration to think of ;-) So, a small cap, flutter or petal sleeve is perfect for this style of dress

petal sleeve - allows arm to raise 

In our opinion, a tea dress is more demure than wiggle styles - but is the most feminine whether worn Land Girl style with wellies or with a pair of killer heels ;-)

**To see our current tea dress styles - please click here

Our Autumn Tea Dress Styles - coming soon

A new design...

This is a new design we are working on - which adheres to all the above rules.

It is gathered above and below the bust to create a flattering silhouette and gently skims the waist and hip into a 7 panel swing skirt.

It has a higher neckline which is very authentic for the late 30s/early 40s fans amongst you and is in our own exclusive  vintage repro print.

This dress was inspired by this little vintage beauty: http://tinyurl.com/owhrktc 

Also coming soon are shown below:-

1 comment:

  1. oh I love it....I might have to purchase this when it comes out!