Tea length wedding dresses: The low down

Image by www.stephtout.blogspot.com

Melanie from Silver Sixpence gives us the low down….

First of all lets start with what is tea length? Well the definition of a tea length is a skirt or dress that falls above the ankle but below the knee and has also been known as a midi or prairie skirt.

Although the style had been in and out of fashion in previous eras, it was in the 1940s that the Tea Skirt or the midi reached it’s peak of popularity appearing in the design of almost all of women’s everyday outfits. By the 1960s the hem length began to shorten again and this style started to become outdated.

As with everything in fashion, styles come and go and tea length skirts are now back and as big as ever including in bridal fashions. Despite their popularity in the 1940s / 1950s among day wear and cocktail wear, the majority of brides still chose a traditional floor length gown, although today the modern day bride is steering away from the long ballgown and choosing a fun full shorter length gown.

A tea length gown really does flatter almost every figure including shorter girls as well as tall girls. When I create my tea length vintage inspired gowns I generally find that the mid calf length is the most flattering and although most people would cringe at the thought of a hem finishing at the widest part of their legs, as the majority of tea length skirts are also very full and often worn with a petticoat, it really is quite flattering.

 The other fantastic thing about this length of gown is that the shoes become a huge feature of the outfit and it gives brides an opportunity to show off a pair of really stylish heels or even add a splash of colour. Although flat shoes can be worn with a tea length skirt it is always my opinion to go with at least a slight heel as it can add definition to the calves and really changes a brides posture.

When choosing a more straight design in a tea length skirt I would recommend selecting a hem length that finishes in a more narrow part of the leg than the middle of the calf unless you have a figure of a model. Generally it’s best to opt for just above the calf or just below it where the leg is starting to narrow and certainly team it up with a pair of heels.

Some brides are of the opinion that a tea length gown feels less formal than a traditional floor length gown, which is somewhat the case but in my opinion it is all about fabric choice and accessories. To make a tea length gown more formal brides can select a fine lace overlay for the entire gown or even a sheer organza over the skirt and team it up with some breathtaking jewellery.

We are finally getting to a point where more mainstream bridal stores are starting to stock a small range of shorter tea length gowns among their very traditional gowns, however for those who really would love to invoke the feeling of an authentic vintage style gown Silver Sixpence offers not only a growing range of ready to wear gowns with a special emphasis on shorter dresses but specialises in creating completely custom gowns inclusive of a full made to measure service for Brisbane brides or in one of their standard sizes for interstate / international brides.

All images are gowns created by Silver Sixpence