The tea dress

With the forecast set to sizzle over the Easter weekend, our thoughts turn to summer, sunshine and our seasonal wardrobes.

I’ve been putting off having a bit of a declutter and rearrange in my wardrobe until the weather started to warm up and spring really felt as though it was on its way. Taking out those more wintery items – like chunky knits and winter boots – and swapping them for those pieces I’ve got folded and stored under the bed.

I always enjoy this process though because you often rediscover items you had forgotten. Those pieces that perhaps were bought many summers ago or others that were a special purchase made last year. From midi dresses to skirts, florals to gingham, you remember past trends too – perhaps the red ditsy florals, broderie anglaise or tortoiseshell buttons we saw so much of in SS18.

Delving into my large laundry bag then, it is always the summer dresses that I look forward to wearing again. Paired with white trainers and a cropped knit or cardi when it’s chilly. Luckily, it seems that the much-loved tea dress is making a welcomed return for the summer season. Inspired by and redesigned over the years, it is a nostalgic and romantic piece of clothing. For me, they sing of long summer days, enjoying al fresco picnics and lazy days at the beach. A tea dress is comfortable yet flattering, and usually floral.

Considered the holy grail of the charity shop or flea market – especially a vintage Laura Ashley or M&S number – the tea dress continues to be tastefully reinvented by the high street too. If you’re yet to find a second hand gem, I’ve included a few of my favourites below which, to me, paint a perfect picture of a beautiful summer’s day.

Montana Flippy Dress | L.K. Bennett via John Lewis | £295

Maude Tea Dress | KITRI | £145

Opal Print Tea Dress | Monsoon | £99

Kachel Wrap Dress | Anthropologie | £135

Sophelia Tea Dress | Jigsaw | £150