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What to Wear to a Brunch, Shower or Tea

March 21, 2023

I think there once was a time when appropriate attire for specific events was so much more clear. When people dressed more formally as a rule, we knew, for instance, to wear a pretty dress or suit to most any special occasion. But with the advent of more freedom in fashion, we’ve also become a little more confused about what to wear…where. So this spring I’m breaking it down and offering my tips for what to wear to different places and events. Today let’s talk about what to wear to a brunch, shower or tea.

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Freedom and Confusion

As you could see from the title graphic, I’m sharing two beautiful dresses with you today. But I think we would all agree that women wear everything from dresses to dungarees to these traditional ladies’ events these days. Bottom line, in most instances, you are perfectly free to dress as you choose.

That said, I’m assuming you’re visiting a style blog because fashion is a little more important to you than that. You don’t want to just get dressed for your day; you want to get dressed for your day…at least when it matters. You want to show up to events like ladies’ brunches, baby showers and bridal teas looking festive, respectful and your very best.

So while I show you the two dresses I’ve selected for this post, I’ll also share a few tips for selecting your own attire for a spring brunch, shower or tea.

A Spring Trend Perfect for a Brunch, Shower or Tea

This spring eyelet is popping up everywhere! And what more perfect place is there to wear a little…or a lot…of eyelet than a brunch, shower or tea?

Blue Eyelet Dress for a Brunch, Shower or Tea
eyelet tiered midi dress – also available here (wearing a 10) // gauze wrap // strappy sandals (sized down) // bracelet // earrings // longer necklace // similar pearl necklace option // similar bag

This marina blue is also very on trend and so cheerful. But the eyelet tiered midi dress is also available in white. Of course, you probably wouldn’t want to wear a white dress to such an event if there’s a bride and you’re not her. Ha! The eyelet midi dress is by Maggy London, and they also have this beautiful yellow eyelet dress to choose from.

Blue Eyelet

Eyelet, especially a dress full of eyelet, provides plenty of eye appeal (ha! no pun intended), so I chose to accessorize this pretty frock fairly simply. I wore my pearl ball bracelet and a couple of fairly dainty necklaces. I opted for these blue disc earrings, but looking at them here I’m not sure they were the best choice.

Jewelry with Blue Eyelet Dress

I wore my new strappy gold sandals and carried my white gauze wrap. The sandals are surprisingly comfortable and very easy to walk in. I think gold sandals are always a good idea, but metallics are especially on trend this year. I did size down in the sandals, but I’ve since then tried on my regular 9.5 and I’m not sure I actually needed to size down (as was recommended by reviewers on the website). I also purchased them in the light natural nude shade. Such a smart accessory to have on hand.

Gold Sandals

I would have worn the nude sandals here probably, but they hadn’t arrived yet. And truly metallic sandals are very appropriate on any given day; you don’t have to save them for the most formal occasions.

Do you have to wear a dress to a brunch, shower or tea? Absolutely not. But personally I do like to dress up a little for these special events in a woman’s life, especially if you are celebrating a bride or mother-to-be. I just think dressing up is a way to make that young woman feel valued and special on this important occasion.

Blue Eyelet Dress for a Brunch, Shower or Tea this Spring

Is it rude to be over-dressed for such an occasion if you know others will be dressed more casually? Well, it may surprise you to read that it actually is considered to be in better taste to be a little underdressed than to be over-dressed. But I believe that social grace is meant to prevent extremes, like wearing an evening gown to a simple luncheon. That would be pretentious and silly. However, when it comes to occasions like a bridal brunch or tea, I don’t really think it would be rude to wear a nice dress even if others are attired more casually. And ultimately you need to wear what makes you feel your best.

A Floral Dress is Always Lovely

In the same way that eyelet looks feminine and festive, florals are always appropriate for a spring party.

Floral Dress for a Brunch, Shower or Tea
floral silk blend dress // block heel sandals – Use code SARAHFLINT-BAKAYH for $50 off first pair (more economical options: these and these) // bracelet // earrings // longer necklace // similar pearl necklace option // similar bag

This floral silk blend dress from J.McLaughlin features a feminine tiered skirt, ruffle detailing on the yoke and gently puffed sleeves. You can simply use the tie at the waist to cinch the dress or you could add a belt like this one.

Floral Dress for a Brunch, Shower or Tea

I adore the floral print on this soft navy background.

Again I accessorized with feminine jewelry. And this time I wore my neutral colored block heel sandals for a slightly more casual vibe than the gold sandals would provide. These sandals are very comfortable and classic, but also admittedly pricey. I’ve provided a couple of more economical options such as these and these. But you can also use code SARAHFLINT-BAKAYH for $50 off your first pair of Sarah Flint shoes.

Floral Dress for a Brunch, Shower or Tea

While you don’t have to wear a dress to a brunch, shower or tea, I do think it’s nice to wear something feminine and pretty. So you could opt for a floral shell with slacks and a soft cardigan or feminine blazer.

Floral Dress for a Brunch, Shower or Tea

As usual with events, choose your footwear with the venue in mind. If you’ll be outside for part of the event, it’s always wise to go with a block heel.

Floral Dress for a Brunch, Shower or Tea

Whatever you choose to wear to a brunch, shower or tea this spring, the most important thing you can add is a smile and festive heart. I always get dressed for the occasion the best I can and then, as I drive to the event, I pray for the woman or family we are celebrating. I remind myself that this is not about me, but her and her family. I make it my goal to meet new people, make the guest of honor feel beautiful and celebrated, thank the hostesses and compliment them on their efforts and use my very best manners.

Floral Dress for a Brunch, Shower or Tea

I’ve included my dresses in the shopping widget below. But I’ve also added other pretty dresses and outfit ideas to the collection. And I’ve definitely included some beautiful dresses at lower price points.

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Blessed for My Day

When we attend brunches, showers or teas in the honor of a bride or mother-to-be we have the opportunity to do much more than sip punch and exchange pleasantries with other women. This is a time to encourage, celebrate and even speak a little wisdom. As an older woman we can set an example of graciousness, hospitality and perseverance. Younger women and those who are entering a new season of life look to us for perspective, wisdom and example.

Let’s take the time today to pray a special blessing over those we know who are celebrating these new life stages this spring and summer. Pray for the mothers you know who are helping their daughters prepare for marriage or a baby. Pray for the couples who are entering these times of commitment, but have no idea of the struggles and hurdles they will eventually face. Let’s do more than eat cake and take gifts; let’s give the gifts of encouragement, celebration and prayer.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water That extends its roots by a stream, And does not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought, Nor cease to yield fruit. ~ Jeremiah 17:7-8

xoxo, Kay
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3 thoughts on “What to Wear to a Brunch, Shower or Tea

  1. The dresses are so pretty! Thank you for the quick list of behaviors for a good guest. I do need the reminder to circulate and not just stick with the people I know. Have a lovely week and thank you for your posting.

  2. Lovely, as always. I always seem to be slightly off the mark for nice events, not for lack of trying. I am hoping you cover wedding rehearsal dinners soon :).

  3. Love the dresses, Kay – you look beautiful in both! Best advice is saying a prayer for the hostess or celebrant!