What to Wear to Those Random One-Off Thanksgiving Events

For all those weird in-between get-togethers.
Publish date:
Social count:
For all those weird in-between get-togethers.
Image via elle.com. 

Image via elle.com

Of all the holidays, I think Thanksgiving is generally the least demanding, fashion-wise: You just need something comfy enough for cooking and backyard football, but cute enough for photos. Your typical thanksgiving is just you hanging out with your closest family and maybe your SO or BFF, who love you at your scrubbiest, so it's not like you're bringing your A game. 

That being said, the holiday weekend is long and full of people who want to spend time with you, so curveball events, like a party with high school friends or dinner at friend of a friend's of a friends, can be particularly difficult to tackle - especially if you're traveling back to your hometown, when you want to impress but you're not working with your full sartorial arsenal. 

This is for all those random, weird, one-off thanksgiving events that the weekend my bring you - and exactly how to dress for them. 

The High-Risk Thanksgiving


Products: Bag, sweater, jeans, jacket, lipstick, booties

Whether this is a potluck at your boss's place, meeting your SO's parents for the first time, or volunteering on the morning of with your parents' church friends, this is the Thanksgiving event that requires you to impress the folks around you. Your look, therefore, should be casual, festive, and polished - the most frustrating trifecta to nail, especially when you're potentially living out of a suitcase. 

My best advice for you if you have a "high-stakes" event is to keep it simple and stick with what you know and love, such as a cute and festive sweater paired with sleek black jeans and buttery leather accessories, like cognac booties and a fun bomber jacket. Adding a maroon velvet bag gives the look a luxe, holiday-perfect touch, while a deep plum lipstick brings an edgy and fashion-y element that keeps it from being too #basic.  

The Black Tie Thanksgiving


Products: Dress, bag, eyeshadow, lariat, heels, nail polish, eyeliner

Whether your family pulls out alllll the stops for the holidays or you somehow got invited to Blair Waldorf's Thanksgiving dinner party, formal Thanksgiving events are more common than you think, and a bit tricky to dress for. 

A trendy cocktail dress in a classic jewel tone, like the navy cold-shoulder option shown here, allows you to show off your style while still being event-appropriate. Choose killer but neutral accessories, like a cute pair of  lace-up heels, a dainty lariat necklace, and a luxe handbag, to add interest without detracting from your dress. Since the event is a little more formal, you can do a little more with your makeup look. Try a purple-y smokey eye or a more pronounced cat-eye.  

The Lit Thanksgiving


Products: Dress, vest, earrings, bag, perfume, tights, boots

The Wednesday night bar crawl, the Black Friday shopping spree/boozy brunch, the house party with high school friends: this is the Thanksgiving event where you'll be seen and you want to look good (without looking like you're trying too hard, of course). Being festive is not a must, but it's a plus - ditto to a hint of sex appeal. 

A plaid shirtdress is a great place to start - it's versatile, comfortable, and screams fall, but also allows for a bit of leg, especially when paired with uber-trendy over-the-knee boots. (A pair of sweater-knit tights will help temper the sexiness of the boots, if you want a subtler look or some extra coverage.) Luxe details, like dangly earrings and a fur vest, give the look a sophisticated vibe, while a silver and patent-leather bag adds an edgy element that keeps your hands free (to hold your snack plate, of course). A pinky-nude lip and minimal makeup round out this look. 

What do you think?

What's the dress code for your family thanksgiving? What thanksgiving events are traditions for you or your family? What are your go-to outfits for when you're traveling and want to look put together? Let me know in the comments below! 

Related Stories