Fabulous, flirty 1950s tea-length wedding dresses are back and they make a statement like no other. If you’re not sure a long strapless gown is right and you’ve got the legs for it then rock your wedding with this short, chic retro cool style. A tea length-dress is flattering to every figure and here’s why.
Images by: left, Vivien of Holloway | right, Naomi Neoh
The ‘tea-length’ refers to the hem but there are many different neckline, underskirt and sleeve variations to make every dress different. The short tea length wedding dress is a very feminine look with a flattering skirt length, sitting just below the knee or just above the calf. Think Grace Kelly and 1950s prom dresses with voluminous underskirts; they’re flirty and fun.
Tea length dresses don’t all have underskirts, they can skim the hips and fall into a neat line, creating a slim silhouette and a well-defined waist. Ideal for a more informal wedding and a nice way to add a touch of vintage without going too far back in time. There is a tea-length style that is flattering to every shape:
Curvy, bosomy figures look best in v-shaped necklines with a cinched in waist and a full skirt to accentuate curves. Add a shrug or bolero jacket to cover arms if you like.
Slim, boyish figures look best in Audrey Hepburn style high necklines with horizontal lines and shorter skirts to show off slender, shapely legs. Wear a padded bra to balance your hips if you like.
Where to find tea-length dresses
We love Vivien of Holloway and Candy Anthony’s 50’s inspired gowns. The oversized ribbon tied into a statement bow at the waist, the floral corsage and the layer upon layer of underskirt make this dress, and the wearer, so ‘film star glam’. Alan Hannah, Charlotte Balbier and Leigh Hetherington all had tea length dresses feature in recent collections.
Images by: left, Charlotte Balbier | right, Stephanie Allin
Accessorising a tea-length dress
Best teamed with knock-out heels (and why not go for a 1950s peep-toe shoe?) these short wedding dresses are to be found with all manner of neckline – from halter-neck to sweetheart. Small shrugs and bolero jackets look divine with this style of dress, as do short and birdcage veils and fascinators.
Catering for voluptuous, curvy women, Eternity Bridal's Cara Mia Woman collection offers stunning plus size bridal wear. With gowns from size 14 to 28, they are specifically designed to flatter full figured…
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.