Thanksgiving outfit ideas: Here's what to wear to kick-start the holiday season

Struggling with Thanksgiving outfit ideas? Let these street-style influencers inspire your holiday look...

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When it comes to Thanksgiving outfit ideas, what to wear for the big day can often fall behind all the other plans. From booking travel, organizing your diary, and deciding who’s making the pumpkin pie, there is a lot to do for Thanksgiving, but don't let your style slip to the bottom of the list. After all, this festive holiday is another great excuse to dress up. 

Deciding what to wear for Thanksgiving can be challenging and relies on a few different factors. First up, your Thanksgiving outfit ideas need to take into consideration the kind of celebration you’ll be a part of. “Thanksgiving can be everything from a black tie event to jeans and a sweatshirt with family around a great big table,” says fashion columnist and influencer Emily Jane Johnston. “Everyone does it differently which is half the magic. At the end of the day, no matter how you celebrate, it’s about being with family.” If you’re not sure about the dress code ahead of the day, check in with your friends or relatives to see the kind of mark they’ll be hitting with their outfit.

The second thing to consider is the weather. The start of the holidays will almost definitely coincide with a sharp drop in temperature, so you’ll need to wrap up accordingly, meaning fall outfit ideas should be in full swing. Knitwear, tights, and boots all have a place in your Thanksgiving outfit - just make sure you’ve got some lighter layers too to avoid sweltering as everyone gathers around the table. 

Thanksgiving outfit ideas - all the inspiration you need ahead of this festive holiday

When it comes to Thanksgiving outfit ideas, we've pulled together some failsafe formulas that won't let you down - however you're celebrating this season. Remember, the most important thing is to feel comfortable and confident in what you choose as you should feel relaxed and happy on the day itself.  

1. Printed midi dress

thanksgiving outfit ideas printed midi dress

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A floral midi dress is a failsafe piece for any kind of occasion. The longer length means the hemline will help you avoid a wardrobe malfunction, which is especially handy if you’ll be spending any part of the day helping to entertain little ones. Look out for V-necklines or tapered waists to prevent your best dresses from becoming too shapeless. As for the pattern, instead of bold, bright blooms stick to more muted ditsy, wintery florals. Flashes of color woven into the print will prevent the look from feeling too moody, especially when accessorized with a statement bag or fun shoe. 

A styling tip… Pick one color from the print and use that to coordinate your layering pieces or accessories. 

Fashion editor recommends… 

2. Co-ord

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A co-ord is a great way to look and feel instantly put together and will make those Thanksgiving outfit ideas a breeze. They’re convenient if you’re a different size on the top or bottom too, helping you get the best possible fit. Keep it casual in slouchy silhouettes and busy prints or dial up the glamour with a tailored two-piece suit. Both options can be dressed up or down, either with the addition of a smart wool coat and heels or by layering with a simple t-shirt and trainers. Even better, you can wear each piece separately as you soiree your way through the holiday season, making a co-ord excellent cost per wear. 

A styling tip… Something as simple as tucking in your top can completely transform the feel of your outfit, suddenly showcasing your waist and adding instant polish to a look.

Fashion editor recommends… 

3. Jumpsuit

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If there’s one trend we’re truly thankful for, it’s the flattering jumpsuit. And most specifically, the boilersuit. This all-in-one piece has huge styling potential and is a great option if the idea of wearing a dress feels too girly. One of the big denim trends 2022, jean fabric is the obvious choice here, and the darker you go the fancier it will feel. Light denim can be very casual, so is only really appropriate for more laidback celebrations. Equally, there is plenty of cord and knitted options for all budgets, for a textured take on the trend. Wear with box-fresh platform trainers or slip-on heeled mules. 

A styling tip… If your jumpsuit doesn’t have a built-in belt, don’t be afraid to add your own. 

Fashion editor recommends… 

4. Skirt and sweater

thanksgiving outfit ideas jumper and skirt

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If you thought the arrival of fall meant automatically relegating all of your summer clothes to the back of your closet, then think again. Combining a skirt with your best sweater (or layering a jumper over a dress so it feels like a skirt) is a smart way to make brighter and lighter pieces appropriate for the colder weather. For synergy through your outfit, stick to matching or coordinating tones. If your skirt or sweater has more than one color in it, match to the most dominant shade. 

A styling tip… Heeled knee-high boots will make a midi skirt feel extra elegant. 

Fashion editor recommends… 

5. Colorful dress

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Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and celebrate everything you have, and bright colors exude the excitement and joy of the occasion, making for great Thanksgiving outfit ideas. When it comes to colorful dresses, lean into the season and event, with oranges giving a nod to fall while red and blue reflects the American flag. 

Alternatively, rip up the rule book and just choose a color you feel fantastic in, whether that’s green, yellow, or pink. Silky fabrics are continuing to be popular, and feel expensive for party season, especially in vibrant, vivid hues. Create a color clash with a jacket or coat in a contrasting hue or use neutrals like camel and navy to temper your look. 

A styling tip… Taking your hair color and skin tone into account when choosing a bright dress will help you find the right color match. 

Fashion editor recommends… 

6. Pants and a top

thanksgiving outfit ideas pants and a top

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Some Thanksgivings are more relaxed than others, and if your family like to dress up, then your trusty jeans and sweater look might not make the guest list. Luckily wide-leg pants are still very much on trend, allowing you to team comfort with a seriously flattering silhouette. For extra interest, when it comes to what to wear with wide leg pants, choose a pair in a bold hue or boasting a pretty pattern and team with a block-color slouchy knit for a simple and sophisticated look. A French tuck (tucked in at the front, out at the back) will create definition between the two pieces and draw attention to your waist. 

A styling tip… No time to get your new trousers taken up ahead of the holiday season? Adding a heel will elevate your outfit and give you extra height. 

Fashion editor recommends… 

7. Plus-size

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It goes without saying that if you’re plus-size, there’s no reason why you can’t choose your look from any of the Thanksgiving outfit ideas above. The only difference comes when stores don’t offer an inclusive range of sizing. Luckily, more and more brands are making the shift, broadening the amount of choice on offer for everyone. So, whether you feel your best in a pair of tailored trousers and a blouse, a floaty midi dress, or a snuggly knit and leggings, you’ll be able to find a reliable fit. 

A styling tip… Unfortunately not all shops carry a range of sizes in store. Try browsing online instead for a better selection. 

Fashion editor recommends… 

8. Petite

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If you’re petite, finding clothes that don’t overwhelm your frame (or leave you with a hefty tailoring fee) can be tricky. Shopping the best petite dresses from dedicated petite ranges is your best bet, as these designs will have been specifically cut with smaller frames in mind. They’ll not only be shorter on the hemline and arms but often have details like a higher waist and narrower shoulders too. Petite figures can get lost under voluminous styles and busy prints, so adding a belt or opting for a lower neckline can help break things up. 

A styling tip… A pointed shoe will elongate your legs without the need to wear high heels. 

Fashion editor recommends… 

What is the best color to wear on Thanksgiving?

When it comes to the best colors for Thanksgiving outfit ideas, there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules. But, if you’re looking for inspiration when building your look, then thinking about the time of year is a nice place to start. “This is the one day a year where I stick to colors that reflect the season,” says Emily. “Think of an autumnal forest - if it’s found there, it’s perfect. I leave bright colors on the hanger for this special day.” 

Warm, cozy colors like oranges and reds are a great base for your outfit and will look chic with more neutral shades of biscuit and beige. Equally, if you feel most confident in bold brights or an all-black outfit, that’s ok too. Feeling comfortable and confident as you spend time with friends and family is the most important part of the day. 

Jess Beech

Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is a former Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.