Friends of Long Hill Tea
Back in November of 2022, I was looking for local "high tea" events to attend with my community. A high tea would consist of a picturesque venue with at least 3 courses; one of scones with lemon curd, fresh whipped cream and jam, light sandwiches, desserts, and of course a tea pairing with all of the food items. A Google search brought up the "Friends of Long Hill Tea", which is an annual fundraiser at the end of March for the mostly volunteer organization that runs Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown, CT. It's an extremely popular event and sells out VERY QUICKLY. In fact, you have to buy tickets sometime in January or early February. A few members of my community were also able to get tickets. The organizer of the event was very gracious and put us together in "open seating". I spent a lot of time emailing the organizer back and forth, but apparently the way it's supposed to work is that there's a host who gets 10-12 of their friends to buy tickets to fill out at table. The host brings all the tea serving wear (cups and saucers and little plates) and decorates the table for their guests. I mean that's cool and all, but if I'm gonna go out of my way to dress in lolita and wear my nice clothes, I also don't want to be responsible for doing the dishes afterwards.
Once I knew I had gotten tickets, I pre-ordered the Alice Girl Camellia Blooms Elegant Lolita JSK/Dress in Purple, size L from 42 Lolita.com. The dress includes the white overskirt (which is beautiful in its own right and could probably be used with other dresses). 42 Lolita emailed me right away reminding me that this was a pre-order that would take 1-2 months to make. I told them about the tea event I would be attending and asked if they thought it would arrive to my house in time to wear it to the event. They said yes and the dress came in the beginning of March, giving me a few weeks to try it on and figure out which petticoat to wear with it.
The sizing on this dress is very accommodating because there's shirring in the back as well as a lace up in the back so it will stretch and conform. It was a little challenging for me to close the opening under the armpit, but that's because the fabric is a little flimsy and there isn't a hook to hold it shut while you zip. (These types of things can be added later for more mobility if necessary). I didn't buy the matching high neck translucent shirt or matching bow with this dress because I just felt it was too...distracting for an already gorgeous piece. Instead I got a different translucent ivory shirt that was more of a low off the shoulder neck (which allowed me to wear a lace choker with as an accessory). My other accessories like my KC (headband) socks, and purse are accessories you buy that are meant to go with a lot of different outfits. The shoes are MODO brand and are very comfortable. I wore a very large petticoat (60cm length, 25 cm poof) with this dress. That level of poof probably isn't necessary, but it made for some fun photos, especially channeling Alice from Alice in Wonderland (I'm assuming who the brand is named after).
Everyone in the group absolutely nailed the assignment "elegant classic lolita". I mentioned that I was wearing a purple dress in our community forum, and I guess Jenna and Crystal saw that and incorporated some lavender into their outfits as well. Barbara's skirt (which you can't see), actually incorporates both purple and green, complementing the blue-green in Crystal's dress and the purple in mine. Clover stuck mainly to white and gold, which is very classic. Sarah's dress in different shades of pink just kind of helps us round out the whole color spectrum in an early spring kind of way. I always love to see how everyone puts together their coordinates from head to toe. After a meet, I always feel like I could use one more necklace, or maybe some rings or something to make my outfit more complete.
We got a lot of attention from some of the other guests. A lot of people took our photos, especially when we were leaving as a group. I had a lot of fun, but I don't think I'm going to take on the role of host for their event in following years. I already know it would be too much for me to dress up like this AND set a table for 12 AND pay $45.00 a ticket. Boundaries man, they're important.
I love EGL and alternative fashion and modeling. I am taking two of my favorite hobbies and making them into a story for you to read about.