What to Wear to a Family Reunion at Thanksgiving

The holidays are here, which for many of us, means a family reunion. People fly in, guest rooms get fluffed, parties are planned, and occasionally, some feathers get ruffled. It’s basically a family party and you want to look your best.

Whether it’s a winter gathering, holiday dinner or summer barbeque, family reunions call for you to wear something that makes you feel terrific. What you wear will tell your family who you are now, how you feel about yourself and how you want to be treated.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is almost always a sit-down occasion so pay attention to what’s above your waist. That’s what will be most visible across the table. Choose a top in a flattering color that makes your eyes sparkle. Earrings, necklaces, and even bracelets show over a dinner table so wear flattering ones that you love. Find a long-wearing, stay-on lipstick (my favorite in Fascination) that will last through all or most of the meal.

What to Avoid

  • Clothes that bind, tops that gape and shoes that pinch.
  • Loud bracelets that jangle every time you move your arms.
  • Heavy perfume. Go light on the fragrance so you don’t overpower the people sitting near you.
  • very long, loose hair that may end up in your neighbors’ dinner plate.
  • extra long or voluminous sleeves that end up in your food and make it hard to reach for things.

Outfit Ideas

  • a soft tunic sweater, leggings, flat booties, sparkly necklace
  • a sweater dress, opaque tights, ballet flats, hoop earrings
  • crisp white shirt, dark wash bootcut jeans, leopard print ankle boots, statement earrings
  • straight leg jeans, cashmere sweater, statement bracelet, and simple neck scarf
  • cotton wrap dress, low heels, pearl earrings
  • cotton or silk tee, skinny jeans, duster cardigan, knee boots

You can find tips on pant length here, and how to wear them with ankle boots here.


If you’re given a dress code, follow it. Don’t be that person who stands out by looking inappropriate.

Is your family getting together for Thanksgiving this year?


The winner of the cashmere giveaway has not responded so I am choosing a new one.

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.





  1. I think you’re right, that a loud charm bracelet filled with charms that have family significant is the perfect thing to wear to a family gathering.

  2. Loud bracelets…haha…I have a beautiful gold charm bracelet, fully loaded and noisy. I’m definitely wearing that on my wine drinking arm along with a nice dark colored sweater and black pants. I will be on dishes detail so that’s when the bracelet comes off. I’m not hosting but I’m contributing. Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. I am usually busy cooking all day so I wear a blouse or T-shirt with short or 3/4 sleeves. The dress code for the men in my family seems to be red flannel shirts on Thanksgiving.

  4. Brenda is right. Canadian Thanksgiving in October is usually a family affair. For that reason, it seems to be more laid-back and casual, no hype. We get a three-day weekend, not four. It’s not at all part of the Christmas holiday season — no Black Friday in October. I kind of like this much separation from Christmas. And yes, shoes off at the door — never worn in the house unless they’re indoor shoes that don’t go outside, and the host grants permission.

  5. Excellent tips Jennifer! Particularly the one about extra long voluminous sleeves. Regarding Thanksgiving and for myself since here in Canada it is celebrated in mid October; immediate family is only involved unlike that of Christmas when it is usually a few days of celebration with out-of-town family house guests as well.

    P.S.: As for shoes; most Canucks remove their outdoor footwear when entering a home so it is not unusual to see a bin of slippers at the door no matter the celebration otherwise more often than not, it is sock or hosiery feet … ☺.

  6. First i want to let you know that you and Tania are two of my favorite bloggers!
    Thank you for the suggestions on Thanksgiving outfits! We will have Thankgiving at a local hotel buffet which is lovely. Family with us ages from 2 to well over 80!
    Then a week later a dinner at my house to get all of us together with visiting family from Massachusettes, we have been in Alabama 32 years and this is our first time to get everyone together here.

  7. We’ll be at my daughters for Thanksgiving and because I live a half mile away I’ll be helping I think. I won’t be formally dressed but new dark wash straight leg jeans and a cashmere sweater…..not certain if jewelry or scarf. They have twins now 15 months old, and I may be Nanny/sous chef. Lol.

  8. LIke all your ideas except the white blouse of shit!r,suggest a print instead! Gravy and liquids have a way of landing front and center on m! Prints don’t show as much if there is a mishap. W’re always included at our sons Mother-in–laws’ dinner. Great fun, she has a huge family . Hope you and yours have a wonderful reunion.enjoy your blogs!

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