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You're going to a tea house with some friends and you aren't quite sure of the protocol. Do you have to wear your best dress? If so, you're in trouble because you haven't owned a dress since you were five years old and discovered tree climbing. Will a really nice pantsuit do? Relax. While it is certainly nice to dress up for tea, it is also nice to dress up for church services and weddings and you probably have noticed more than one person at both events in ragged cutoffs and faded t-shirts.
In fact, if you wear a fancy hat, white gloves and a long, full skirt reminiscent of the Victorian era, you'll probably find yourself sticking out like a sore thumb. Unless it's a special event, such as a traditional garden party tea, a pretty skirt and a nice sweater are on the dressy side for most tea house gatherings. A pair of khakis and a sweater or blouse will make a very presentable outfit.
Once you've been to your first tea, you may find that your most important wardrobe concern is whether your waistband is loose, because most tea houses offer quite a variety of delicious sandwiches and pastries to go with their perfectly brewed teas.