What to Wear to Thanksgiving Dinner

Hi Deborah,

Thanksgiving is coming up fast. What should I wear to Thanksgiving dinner?  We have a small, low-key dinner with my sister and her family, but I still want to look fashionable and pulled together. Can you give me some ideas for Thanksgiving dinner outfits that are casual, stylish, and comfy? Thanks, Sue

Hi Sue,

Even though your Thanksgiving dinner will be small and understated this year, it’s nice to hear you want to celebrate in style. Life is too short to be frumpy! This Thanksgiving, seize the holiday spirit by saying no to sloppy sweatpants and boring slump-around clothes. Try these suggestions for Thanksgiving dinner outfits that are casual and classy.

1. A Sparkly Top

A low-key celebration doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. Sweaters are always comfy, so why not wear one with some personality?

A sparkly top is always so festive this time of the year. This glamorous, brown glittery top with the front tie is stretchy and comfy. It’s perfect for a casual dinner when worn with a pair of jeans or black pants.

Add some sleek suede booties and some fun, dangly earrings, and let’s get the party started. This also comes in a beautiful wine color and can double as a holiday top at Christmas time!



Casual Thanksgiving - Sweater Dress

2. A Soft, Warm Sweater Dress

If you feel like wearing a dress for Thanksgiving dinner without formality, this colorblock sweater dress is a great choice.  I love sweater dresses because they are so comfy and make me feel like snuggling up by a friendly fire.

Tall, flat, classy leather booties look sporty chic with a sweater dress. Imagine how fab you’ll feel sitting around having a glass of wine with your company in this modern, easygoing Thanksgiving outfit.


Casual Thanksgiving - Red Top

3. Silky Blouse

Another way to dress for Thanksgiving dinner begins with a silky blouse. This year feminine blouses with big ruffles sleeves are trending. This gorgeous berry-colored blouse looks very romantic and also hip with sexy skinny jeans.

Add a pair of comfy flats for around the house, and you have a Thanksgiving outfit with a cool rock and roll edge.


Casual Thanksgiving - Cardigan

4. Cozy Cardigan

Animal print + jeans is always a winning combo. This tiger stripe cardigan is warm and inviting, worn with a basic turtleneck and these sexy flare jeans. Be sure to wear booties or anything shoe with a heel to get the leg-lengthening effect of flares.


Casual Thanksgiving - Jumpsuit

5.  Jumpsuit

Whether you are the host or guest at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner, this loungey jumpsuit will make you look and feel fabulous. A wrap front neckline and flowy wide legs make this jumpsuit comfy and figure-flattering.

Add a leopard scarf and contrasting brown flats for a beautiful fall look.

shop the look

6. Leggings

Leggings are the comfiest thing you can wear when you want to snuggle up on the couch, chat and drink apple cider, or whatever your pleasure. Wear black leggings with an oversized, drapey cardigan. Then, top off your look with these chic leopard print mules.

shop the look

All these Thanksgiving outfits are easy and foolproof. Relax and enjoy, and have yourself that extra piece of pumpkin pie!

P.S. If you are traveling home for Thanksgiving, here are some ideas for what to wear on the plane.

Join the Conversation

29 thoughts on “What to Wear to Thanksgiving Dinner

  1. I let your what to wear Thanksgiving oûtfots.My favorite is black jumpsuit. I had brought black jumpsuit In 2021 and put in closet so I have something on standby. It came from Cato was less then seventeen dollars.

  2. Beautiful sweater! That is my favorite. ! I have a gray one that is long with lace at the bottom and ties in satin bow at the v’d back neck. Probably wear it but will keep my eye out for a cream one like you posted . I agree about alittle bit pricey?

  3. I love your wide range of outfits. There is something for everyone. I especially like the sleeveless turtleneck since I get warmer while cooking. I could not see where the turtleneck was from.
    Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Because Thanksgiving is now just my mom, my husband and me, it is very casual. Since I’m cooking, I wear sneakers so my feet are comfy and while we wear jeans, they are our nicest pairs with a dressier top. Don’t forget the apron if you are cooking, so you don’t have to change clothes at the very last minute.

  5. I like these outfits. Joie makes such pretty things. They are a little pricey, but I splurge every once in a while or try to snag something by them on sale. I own the Kendra Scott earrings pictured above. They are very pretty and lightweight. I live in South Carolina and I would wear these outfits for Thanksgiving. The poncho is the only thing that looks like it’s for very cold weather. Thanks for putting these together. I love seeing entire outfits with links for where to buy!

  6. I’ve found some great and reasonably priced sweater dresses/tunics at Old Navy! They even have petites. Be sure to search the Web for discount coupons before you order or go.

  7. The ideas are all so very cute, but most people probably cannot afford spending $200-300 alone for one piece of clothing…myself included. It would be nice to see the same alternate version in a price range that is affordable to the average person. We shouldn’t have to spend that kind of money just to look and feel beautiful!

    1. You can always find substitutes of higher price clothing at lower price stores. I’ve been doing it for any years. And, at 71 I feel I always look like a million in my clothing. Just remember to always dress your body and not what looks good on someone else. Happy shopping!!! Viki

  8. Great article: chock full of good suggestions for a stylish holiday gathering. We always ‘dress up’ – even if I am cooking for 20. After all it IS a party – coming to the table in sweat pants is not an option.

    1. Every outfit here can be closely “replicated” with finds from consignment shops, discount stores, and online sources. The individual pieces are not expensive, and you may have components of each in your closet already! Shop Ross, TJ Maxx, Target, J.C. Penny’s and Marshall’s for fashionable clothing and accessories that don’t break the bank.

  9. I sometimes marvel at these extremely warm outfits for several reasons. Most houses are very warm at least 70 degrees….Most older women run warm anyway so who wants to wear a sweater, jeans and a scarf INSIDE? Many people live in the Southwest or in California even where the highs on Thanksgiving day are in the high 70s. I feel like there is a lot of reality being left out in these suggestions for Fall dressing at times. There should be also suggestions that include the realities of the above scenarios.

    1. Hi Erica, These outfits were created with Northern Climates in mind, but you make a good point. Next time we will have to include some sets for my Southern readers. These outfits would be far too hot for Florida or California, and if you were experiencing hot flashes too – you’d get more cooked than the turkey! Thanks for your input! Cheers, Deborah

  10. Okay, these are all so darling that I’m ready to go to all the relatives and eat numerous meals :) while wearing each one of these outfits :)
    I especially love the long turtleneck with leggings!

  11. Love all the options! As the hostess I think the sweater dress is the best option as I won’t get my sleeves in the mashed potatoes! Even though I live up north the shirt dress is a good alternative as it still gets hot in the kitchen!

    1. Hi Lisa, You’re right. A lighter shirt dress may be a better choice for the hostess/cook who is certain to be dishing out the dinner over a hot stove, but it would be a fabulous dress to wear if you were going to Thanksgiving dinner as a guest. Imagine yourself walking into the party in this cute outfit! Talk about turning heads and so comfy too! Cheers, Deborah

  12. I have the same concerns as the reader below. It’s pretty much always summer where I live. I’d love to wear boots, tights, and sweater dresses but I would swelter, especially with hot flashes added to the equation. How do I stay comfortable while looking seasonally appropriate?

    1. Tunics in light fabrics or long sleeveless vests for Sutherin’ ladies in warm climes. A classic (long belted) white shirt with jeans/leggings or a pretty plaid shirt which designers are showing this season. Wear a light silk scarf in seasonal colors vs a heavier scarf – and tie loosely versus cinched up around the neck. Ditto leggings in thinner material and wear the booties – just don’t buy the ones lined with shearling. Booties are imminently more stylish than flip flops for fall. Use the same jewelry, the same flats, the same great looking bags and there you are: dressed to wow.

  13. These are great suggestions as long as you live where it is cold. It will be 85 degrees for my Thanksgiving Day…no sweaters, turtlenecks, or ponchos for me! I would really appreciate you addressing seasonal styles for the different parts/weather of the country. It is sometimes a challenge for me to wear and enjoy the seasonal fashions when the season change is not evident in the weather….how to look appropriate to the season and also the weather. Thank you and happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi Ann, check the answer I just gave Eva about shirtdresses. That is one good option. You make an excellent point. I spend part of my winters in Florida so if your are there full time or somewhere else warm, I can see how you would need suggestions. I will work on that and bring you some posts in the next couple of weeks. Cheers, Deborah

    1. Hi Marilyn, good question. Many people are confused. Tights are generally footed. Think of a thick opaque stocking or opaque leotards. Leggings are not footed. You can have different thicknesses of leggings. Some are as thick as an oapque tight with the foot cut out, and other leggings are a heavier knit almost like a pair of pants. Of course there is everything inbetween.
      The heavier, bulkier your top the thicker your legging. For example if you wore a long, blousy shirtdress you would wear light-medium weight opaque leggings. If you were wearing a long chunky sweater you’d be better off in medium-heavy weight opaque knit leggings. I hope that helps. Cheers, Deborah

  14. These are great suggestions for Thanksgiving Day outfits. Relaxed fit knit dresses or tunics over tights or tapered stretch waist pants are perfect to look good and feel you can still breathe after dinner. Just be sure the room temperature won’t be too warm.

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