A vintage tea to welcome Carly

This week Circa welcomed a new sales lady, Carly from The Lindy Charm School for Girls. It seemed like a good opportunity to introduce her to some vintage lovers as well as the Circa coterie, for High Tea at the Park Hyatt.

What I found particularly interesting, of course, was what everyone chose to wear – Vic dressed in 1930s, Candice wore a ’40s inspired printed 1980s frock and most of the rest of us were somewhere in the 1940s or 1950s with the exception of Jules, who wore a sweet 1960s inspired creation of her own.

Looking around at the diverse outfits, I couldn’t help thinking that here were a variety of dresses that were originally intended for a particular type of occasion and yet in the 21st century all are appropriate for an afternoon of tea and cakes. It’s one of the aspects of vintage that I love the most: how easy it is to create your own personal style.

Tim and I were early, so raised a toast to the impending afternoon:

Most of the ladies arrived in quick succession and took their places around the table – it was especially nice to be able to introduce people who knew each other online but were yet to meet in person.

Julie from Ballarat Vintage Style, wearing a gorgeous nylon late ’40s picnic dress, Kesenya from Alice Jeans in a floral party frock (love the red beads) and Jules from Poppet wearing one of her own designs, soon to be available from Poppet Vintage hopefully.

Circa’s new lady Carly in a fabulous 1940s cocktail dress, with Esther (also Circa) in a late ’40s picnic dress.

Hubby Tim Hamilton with Maria from Vintage Suburbia in another of those ever popular picnic dresses, this one from the early ’50s. Perfect for afternoon tea! Maria accessorised it with a great floral bag too.

Candice from Super Kawaii Mama in a bold 1980s floral with Claire from HarbourMaster – wearing a silk ’50s party dress.

Marianne from Esme and the Laneway in a cute ’40s day frock, Victoria (from Circa) in ’30s floral rayon afternoon dress and Eszter from Kitty’s Drawings in a 1950s cotton print sundress.

Tamasein from Underground Cinema in an early 1940s dinner dress (I have dozens of these and I never get tired of them) and Fiona, burlesque dancer Foxtrot India (and also Circa) in a 1950s petticoat and polka dot skirt.

Now you’re probably wondering what everyone’s dresses look like in full? Here’s a group shot minus a few who had to leave on time – the rest of us seemed in no hurry as it was such a lovely way to spend an afternoon!

Thank you to everyone who came: it was wonderful to see you all and we must do it again soon!


  1. Everyone looks completely divine! You must have made quite an impression all gathered together in your vintage finery!

  2. Thank you! We got lots of comments (all favourable of course) from staff and other diners. One waiter asked what the occasion was, so I enjoyed being able to say “oh, no, we always dress like this”

  3. Thank you for such a lovely afternoon Nicole. I didn’t get out my camera on the day as I was too busy talking so thanks for putting the photos up for us to see!

  4. I’m always the one with questions! I’ve never heard of the term ‘picnic’ dress. Presumably its a summer day dress, but perhaps there are some other key factors/elements involved?!

  5. Sarah, I call them picnic dresses because to me, they look like you should be sprawled on the grass with a champagne flute in hand – but really they’re just lovely light floral frocks 🙂

  6. Ha ha! I totally ‘get’ that! Preferably with a full gathered skirt that you can arrange elegantly around you, maybe?

    There’s just so many dress terms that I’m trying to learn (many of them quite recently coined I’m sure) such as wiggle, goddess, secretary, patio, hostess, scooter and so on. Its hard to keep up!

  7. Hi Nicole long time lurker,but feel like you gals are family,expecally Candice and yourself,you all looked devine.I so wished I had like minded people in my town so we could get togther for high tea. Cheers and thanks for the inspriation that makes me make an effort

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