What to Wear for Thanksgiving (and other holiday events)

Thanksgiving is a difficult holiday to dress for because there are so many factors to consider. How dressed up should I be? What kind of shoes do I wear? And these things depend on other things such as what kind of activities you might be doing, whether you’re staying at home or visiting others, and how they expect you to dress. Keep in mind, you don’t want to disappoint grandma, not even someone else’s.

So here are some tips and questions to help you narrow down the perfect outfit for this year’s festivities.

  1. How formal is the occasion going to be?

Some families like to dress up for Thanksgiving dinner while others prefer to keep it casual. Make sure you know beforehand what to expect so you’re not over or under dressed (unless you’re like my sister who wears a skirt or dress to everything because that’s her style).

  1. What sort of activities will you be engaging in?

This is important because your clothes are functional, not just fashionable. If you are likely to be sitting at a table or on a couch most of the day, wearing your nice shoes is an acceptable choice. If everyone is going for a long walk or plays an outdoor game of some kind, you may want to wear shoes more suitable for that. Jeans are great for any activity you may engage in, but nice pants or a short dress, not so much.

A good option here is to bring an extra pair of tennis shoes or something so you’re ready no matter what. Another option is to volunteer to stay indoors and watch your baby cousin or take nap because maybe it’s wet outside and those suede shoes are not here for that.

  1. What’s the weather forecast?

Most of us stay indoors for most of the day on Thanksgiving, but a long walk around the neighborhood, or house hopping may require a coat if it’s snowing. Or maybe you shouldn’t wear your thickest sweater if it’s going to be 80 degrees out.

Once, while spending Thanksgiving in northern New Mexico with family and friends, it snowed much more than expected and we went on a spontaneous tubing adventure. It’s a good thing I had my biggest coat that day or I would’ve been frozen. Either that or potentially drowning in someone else’s coat.

  1. How comfortable do you want to be/ can you be?

This is more of a personal choice, but an important factor to remember particularly for this holiday. If you like to be comfortable, keep this in mind when choosing your outfit, if you don’t care whether the neck of that dress shirt is too tight or how stretchy your pants are, wear whatever you like.

Whether you are driving and for how long will also factor in here. For a long(ish) car ride, you want to be as comfortable as possible but if you are also expected to dress up it may be important to choose clothing that doesn’t wrinkle too easily and is more versatile.

Other tips:

  • Don’t wear white. Unless you like living on the edge, it’s just easier to avoid the potential mess.
  • Black is slimming, so if you are concerned with your figure, this is a good choice.
  • Men: Joggers are great. They’re often more comfortable than jeans, but still have potential to look nice depending on the material and what you wear with them.
  • Women: A slightly flowy dress, such as a shift dress is your best friend. You can look cute and still be comfortable af.
  • Wear/bring socks. If you think you will take off your shoes, wear or bring socks. This one is mostly just to be considerate of others, but also keeps your feet warm.
  • Casual yet polished is usually a good in between for anyone, so if you’re unsure, jeans with a nice button-down or sweater and good shoes almost always works.
  • Be thankful and have fun! No matter what you’re wearing, happy and thankful looks good on everyone.

More ideas and visualizationGrinch mem

For Men:


For Women:



Written by Serena Mickens


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