This is how you can get Holly Willoughby’s gorgeous tea dress style from just £15

Holly Willoughby's dresses

Holly Willoughby knows when she's onto a good thing. Her love of the humble and extremely flattering tea dress has brought to our attention just how many high street versions there are right now - with loads on sale too!

The best thing about tea dresses is that no matter whether you’re tall, petite, curvy, busty or athletic, we guarantee there’s a tea dress that suits you. The nipped in waist, V-neck, empire line and fluttering sleeves are flattering regardless of your shape and size.

Second best is cost per wear. Tea dresses can easily slot into your wardrobe, regardless of the season. Wear in summer with sandals or backless mules, pair with ankle boots and a biker for autumn, and come winter just add tights and a chunky knit.

There are so many high street versions available and depending on your legs, you can chose from short, midi or maxi versions. Remember you want the hemline to hit a relatively small part of your leg. Most tea dresses have capped or ruched sleeves that are perfect for hiding upper arms. Dresses with a ruched center are also suprisingly slimming.

It may seem counter-intuitive that gathered folds of fabric are slimming, but the ruching draws the eye toward the center of the body, or toward a narrow part of the body.

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As the shape is so classic and feminine, you can go a bit wild on the print. Pretty florals are traditional but we love bold florals, a mismatched print and coloured leopard print versions too.

So why is it called a tea dress? In the mid 1800s, ladies would dress in a lightweight, unstructured gown (originally as as tea gowns) that fell between the knee and ankle to host or attend a private tea party.

In the 1930s, as pockets were pinched by the economic decline, clothes that could be worn for multiple activities began to emerge. While one would not wear one’s house dress out to run errands, ‘Day’ dresses were marketed as perfect for a day full of different activities. Day dresses could be worn “from a shopping tour or business, to an important luncheon, tea, or matinee date,” or for “bridge with the girls, dinner, church on Sunday, or an informal evening.”

These Day dresses had “wide shoulders, slim fitted waists, swinging lines", hence the ‘tea dress' that we (and Holly) all know and love was born.

A photo posted by on

A photo posted by on

Here's our edit of the 10 best tea dresses for all figures. Happy shopping!

Tea Floral Red Empire Dress, £15, Studio.co.uk

Tea Floral Red Empire Dress, £15, Studio.co.uk

A cheap and cheerful option.

VIEW NOW: Tea Floral Red Empire Dress, £15, Studio.co.uk

Animal Print Tea Dress, £10.50, Kaleidoscope

Animal Print Tea Dress, £10.50, Kaleidoscope

Wrap styles are most flattering for very large busts.

VIEW NOW: Animal Print Tea Dress, £10.50, Kaleidoscope

Flattering Floral Dress, £45, Joe Browns

Flattering Floral Dress, £45, Joe Browns

Longer arm style for more coverage.

VIEW NOW: Flattering Floral Dress, £45, Joe Browns

Blue Vanilla Mint Green Floral Tea Dress, £22, New look

Blue Vanilla Mint Green Floral Tea Dress, £22, New look

Similar to Holly's Ghost dress.

VIEW NOW: Blue Vanilla Mint Green Floral Tea Dress, £22, New look

PETITE Ditsy Floral Waisted Midi Dress, £39.50, M&S

PETITE Ditsy Floral Waisted Midi Dress, £39.50, M&S

Perfect for petites!

VIEW NOW: PETITE Ditsy Floral Waisted Midi Dress, £39.50, M&S

French Connection Esi Crinkle Floral Print Midi Tea Dress, £67.50, John Lewis & Partners

French Connection Esi Crinkle Floral Print Midi Tea Dress, £67.50, John Lewis & Partners

Great for leg slimming- the sheer panel disguises knee's and calves.

VIEW NOW: French Connection Esi Crinkle Floral Print Midi Tea Dress, £67.50, John Lewis & Partners

Oasis Merci Floral Patched Midi Dress, £55, Simply Be

Oasis Merci Floral Patched Midi Dress, £55, Simply Be

Best for plus sizes.

VIEW NOW: Oasis Merci Floral Patched Midi Dress, £55, Simply Be

Selena Print Vintage Tea Dress, £69 (was £125), Kitri

Selena Print Vintage Tea Dress, £69 (was £125), Kitri

Slimming print and flattering puff sleeves.

VIEW NOW: Selena Print Vintage Tea Dress, £69 (was £125), Kitri

Betty Floral Tea Dress, £42, Monsoon

Betty Floral Tea Dress, £42, Monsoon

Perfect for plus sizes.

VIEW NOW: Betty Floral Tea Dress, £42, Monsoon

Brianna Dress, £69.30 (was £99), Ghost

Brianna Dress, £69.30 (was £99), Ghost

Holly's go-to brand has a great sale!

VIEW NOW: Brianna Dress, £69.30 (was £99), Ghost