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A Cozy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving will be the first year since 2001 that my husband and I will not be traveling to Ohio to celebrate with his family. Instead, for the 4th Thursday of November, we’ll be staying home and preparing a simpler meal. We are disappointed, but there are advantages to a lower key holiday. No long

This Thanksgiving will be the first year since 2001 that my husband and I will not be traveling to Ohio to celebrate with his family. Instead, for the 4th Thursday of November, we’ll be staying home and preparing a simpler meal. We are disappointed, but there are advantages to a lower key holiday. No long car trip, not having to remember to pack everything for everyone, not having to sleep on an air mattress, or jockeying for turns in a guest bathroom. Who hasn’t elbowed their brother-in-law out of the way to get the first shower before the hot water was all used up?

To take things in stride, I’m leaning into staying home and thinking about cozy alternatives to dressing for Thanksgiving. Here are a few lowkey outfit ideas for staying home and staying comfortable.

For those of you who usually hold a more formal celebration with family, you can still dress up even when you’re just staying home. Instead of a cocktail or day dress, opt for a black smock dress in a jersey fabric. A tiered jersey shift wears like a t-shirt but has more structure and feels dressy while being comfortable. Banana Republic has a tiered swing dress in black or olive green that you can wear on its own or layer with leggings and a cardigan. Asos.com has both long and short-sleeved smock dresses; however, I’d recommend a long-sleeve midi dress with fuzzy socks for maximum coziness.

Normally, I would advise against sweater dresses for big family gatherings as a full house tends to get overheated — those don’t call them “sweat”-er dresses for nothing. But with fewer folks around the table, you may actually need an oversized knit frock to keep you warm. Anne Taylor has fair isle sweater dresses that are perfect for fall and will see you into winter. But really, any richly textured dress will warm up your wardrobe as we face a hunkered down holiday season. If you prefer a more defined silhouette, then check out J.Jill’s tiered A-line sweater dress. This scoop-necked, fine-gauged knit will keep you comfortable at home, but it also has enough polish to keep you classy when you eventually go out and about.

If you normally wear jeans and a sweater for your Thanksgiving gathering, consider flipping the switch and go with a snuggly ribbed knit set. Target has some great matching joggers and sweatshirts to keep you comfy over Thanksgiving. And there’s also the brand Cuddl Duds available at Kohl’s; the name says it all, right? I’ve been eyeing up their top, pant, and sock sets but can’t decide between pink fair isle or gray plaid; I may have to get both. What’s attractive about a “set” versus knit separates is that it feels like you are putting effort into getting dressed, even though these pieces can double as sleepwear.

Speaking of sleepwear, don’t rule out spending this Thanksgiving in your PJs. Of course, I’m not actually suggesting you wear what you wore to bed for whatever your celebration looks like this year. Instead, turn up the at-home glamour with a pair of silk pajamas, or what I like to call “glam jams”! J.Crew has a luxurious set in tulip pink, or check out their tartan and buffalo check sets for more autumnal flair. Victoria’s Secret has a satin and rhinestone button PJ set for some additional glam in your jams. Lean into the luxury and style of these plush pajamas with your finest jewelry, a bold red lip, and a dry martini.

Of course, you can’t get comfier than with t-shirts, leggings, and soft cardigans. I love the idea of long-sleeved message tees like Life is Good’s “thankful & grateful” shirt, with fleece leggings and grandpa style cardigan from LL Bean. The Tee Shirt Place has a variety of graphic Thanksgiving tees, ranging from funny to heartfelt that will work with either cotton or performance fabric leggings and a knubby handknitted style knit like Garnet Hill’s braided-rib cardigan. If you prefer a “hard” pant, then swap out leggings for fall-friendly corduroys from Levi’s or Landsend. A corduroy pant is also great for a post-meal walk, keeping you warm and comfy.

If you feel like embracing not only the cozy but also the silly, why not don a plush animal pajama one-piece? Walmart has jumpsuits for the whole family! Pandas, lions, penguins, dinosaurs, even unicorns. You can really have a lot of fun while also being utterly comfortable. Consider putting on a little animal play with your kids and sending videos to family and friends you would normally celebrate with for Thanksgiving.

While we will very much miss being with extended family, Aunt Laurie’s pies, the endless rounds of euchre, and our annual family portrait, it is a comfort to know that everyone is safe and healthy. And it’s a bit of a relief to have a lower-stakes holiday, where we can laze about and spend the day being comfy and cozy. Whether or not you’re also staying home or attending a smaller gathering than usual, consider some of the outfit ideas above and embrace hominess, snuggles, and comfort.

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