This heavenly Edwardian tea dress was sold on eBay by USVainen, a past seller whose knowledge of vintage fashion was astounding and whose descriptions were delightful. This seller graciously agreed to let me share her images and words on my site, and I think you’ll enjoy them as much as I have! Check other posts in this section for more from USVainen.
Dreamy Edwardian White Tea Dress. This is a very nice and pristine white Edwardian fine lawn and lace Tea Dress from approximately 1905. The dress has dramatic lace inserts and contrasting linen panels at its pigeon-chested front and more lace panels in the back, on the sleeves, and at the hem. Edwardian Tea Gowns served a special function in Edwardian society – they were to be worn with a small gathering in the morning room (solarium) or on the porch of a summer day (or at a picnic on the front lawn) and were designed specifically “display a woman’s femininity, charm, and grace” (from a 1905 Ladies Home Journal article). It should be obvious that this gown is one of the better quality tea dresses to survive to this day. Tea gowns were a staple in most women’s attire (much as a business suit can be found in nearly every modern woman’s closet – and obtaining gossip over tea was definitely “business” to the Edwardian woman) and the intricacy of the paneling and the cut determined the societal status of the ladies in the group. In nearly all instances, these dresses should be worn with a colorful ribbon at the waist.