Where Style Meets Comfort: What to Wear this Thanksgiving


One of the things I vividly remember about childhood holidays is my brothers and I being dressed up like we were headed somewhere all kinds of fancy. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve (circa 1994-1997), I slept with my hair in those god-awful sponge rollers and I just couldn’t wait to wake up and put on my new swaggy Thanksgiving dress.

Fast forward to more recent Thanksgivings, where I can be found doing the following:

  1. Drinking a mimosa
  2. Prepping in the overly-crowded kitchen helping my mom and aunts perfect the Herriges family gravy
  3. Drinking a Moscow Mule
  4. Hovering over the kitchen island, sneaking bites of turkey as my dad carves
  5. Drinking a glass of wine
  6. Cleaning up after the meal
  7. Completely horizontal on the living room floor
  8. Trying not to get hit by the Catch Phrase disk thrown by my godfather, Uncle Tom (I guess I know who I get my competitive demeanor from)

Do any of the above activities call for a crushed velvet dress and matching bow? Not exactly.

Figuring out what to wear while you prepare, serve and demolish turkey isn’t exactly an easy feat. Thanksgiving day is all about indulging and relaxing with loved ones, but I’m not suggesting that you throw in the towel and show up to Aunt Susan’s house looking like you just rolled out of bed. Ahead, I’ve rounded up some Thanksgiving outfits worth copying that will keep you comfortable without sacrificing style.

There is no slumber quite like that of a Thanksgiving nap, and a faux fur jacket doubles as both a fashion statement and a cozy fireside blanket. Try pairing yours with some light denim to keep your look casual, or over a thin turtleneck for easy on-and-off layering.

I always like to dress up a little more than usual for a holiday, even if I’m just staying in with family. But, comfort always reigns supreme. It’s no secret that high hems just aren’t options for us Midwesterners during the cool months. Lo and behold, the over-the-knee (OTN) boot. A flat OTN will not only fight off goosebumps but also provide a dressy vibe without the hassle of a heel. The key here is to take the look down a notch by mixing in a more casual top, like a turtleneck sweater. Not ready to commit to the mini? There are tons of midi skirt options that offer a bit more coverage.

I’m usually a chunky turtleneck and pants type of Thanksgiving gal… but this year, I’m thinking about trying out a comfortable jumpsuit. To stay warm, take it in one of two directions: layered over a thin long-sleeved shirt, or under your leather jacket. I’m currently on a mission to find a jumpsuit with a drawstring belt–a must-have for loosening and making more wiggle room for that extra helping.

They don’t call it “sweater weather” for nothing. So why not milk it for all its worth. This head-to-toe sweater set is about as close to pajamas as you’re going to get, (yet it still feels perfectly put together), and won’t have you reaching for that extra change of comfortable clothes you packed. Meeting up with friends after the family festivities? Take this look from day to night by swapping your sneakers for a pair of ankle booties.

What better way to get into the holiday season than with an ode to the traditional Thanksgiving colors. According to my coloring, I’m a “summer” color type (thanks to my Norwegian roots), but I can’t help but drool over all the burnt orange, red and brown pieces I’m seeing this season. A silk duster is a perfect way to upgrade your white t-shirt without adding too much weight.

There’s nothing more food baby-friendly than a flowy maxi dress. While you might typically associate breezy, floral dresses with summer, there are plenty of ways to make them feel at home throughout fall. Swap your sandals for a pair of boots or loafers for a fun masculine-meets-feminine look. Ganni and Dôen are two of my favorite brands currently nailing the moody-colored maxis this season.

I’m not one to rock leggings outside of the gym, but if there is one occasion to make an exception for what some believe to be a fashion “faux pas,” it’s Thanksgiving. Come November 23rd, ELASTIC WAISTBANDS ARE YOUR FRIEND. There are tons of substantial, spanx-like legging options (HI, Girlfriend Collective) that suck you in like your favorite pair of skinny jeans. The best part? They will expand with that extra help of stuffing. Pair with an oversized boyfriend sweater and add some block heel booties and nobody will know you are repurposing your athletic wear.

Skinny jeans and Thanksgiving dinner don’t exactly go hand-in-hand. If you are anything like me, I really test my limits as to how many helpings of my family’s famous mac ‘n cheese I can handle (did you know that cheddar cheese actually has more tryptophan than turkey??). This year, opt for a more forgiving, trouser-style pant–the next best thing to your sweats. You can never go wrong with a thick blanket scarf, which is perfect for repurposing as a pillow upon entering into the food coma. I love playing around with different scarf styles like the shoulder wrap or the loose wrap.

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Madeline Nachbar is a Marketing Manager and freelance lifestyle writer. On the weekends, she enjoys reading and writing about the latest and greatest in fashion, seeing her favorite bands in concert, traveling, or checking out the newest restaurant in town. She lives in Northeast Minneapolis with the three men in her life: her husband Eric, and her two cats, Harry and Lloyd. 

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