open poncho Thanksgiving outfit

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas | What To Wear to a Casual Dinner

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Even though Thanksgiving is a holiday, it tends to be one of the most casual ones. With eating our weight in green bean casserole and crashing on the couch to watch football all day, we’re not exactly fighting to be wearing a cocktail dress. An ideal casual outfit for Thanksgiving is comfortable, easy, and yet just stylish and festive enough for the holidays. Do such outfits exist? You betcha. Check out these festive outfits that are polished but not overdone to help you figure out what to wear to a casual dinner (or lunch) this Thanksgiving!

How to nail a casual yet stylish Thanksgiving outfit for lunch or dinner

  • Look for elevated silhouettes in comfortable pieces

Dresses, wrap tops, skirts, and button-downs are all generally fancier pieces making great options for a holiday or dinner. But when you find these traditionally classy pieces in comfortable materials such as knit or relaxed fits such as slightly oversized, it dresses these pieces down enough so you can wear them to a casual event and feel comfortable!

  • Look for clothing items in fall colors

A sweater is just a sweater. A sweater in orange, purple, brown, or green is now a fall sweater. Any sweater, cardigan, dress, or any piece really, instantly becomes a perfect Thanksgiving option when you pick it in an autumn hue.

  • Add a scarf

Maybe you’re like me and you have a lot of neutrals in your closet, but not a lot of burgundies, green, or orange. Easy solution- take an existing outfit you have and just add a fall scarf! A scarf can instantly add that cozy factor and add some color and print for Thanksgiving. Even if you don’t already have one, it’s a lot easier to commit to a $15 plaid scarf than a $40 orange top you’ll never wear.

Casual wear is so nice for Thanksgiving because out of all days we want to be comfortable, this is the one that matters most. Being comfortable yet stylish will help you enjoy celebrating with friends and family and also help you to feel confident in the way you look and feel!

For a casual dinner, think, well, casual. Skip the pencil skirt, long gown, high heels, and dress shoes, and reach for your favorite casual pieces, whether that’s knit pants, stretchy skinny jeans, leather leggings, or a graphic tee. Here are 10+ outfit ideas to get you started!

1. little black dress + tights or leggings + ankle boots

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas casual dinner

Yes, a little black dress can be casual! Just choose a relaxed silhouette and flowy material, like a t-shirt dress, a-line swing dress, or even better, a knit sweater dress.

If the only comfortable “little” black dress you have on hand is a maxi dress, no worries. That still counts. Black always looks classic and elevated, perfect for a dinner, yet the relaxed material keeps it casual too.

2. sweater dress + shacket (shirt jacket) + boots

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas casual dinner

You can never go wrong with a sweater dress in fall, but especially for a Thanksgiving lunch or dinner. Adding a shacket (shirt jacket) to this look gives it a slightly modern and trendy edge. For a trendy look, pair with lug sole boots and if you want to go more classic, pair with ankle boots or loafers.

3. jumpsuit + flats + cardigan

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

A jumpsuit is a good choice for easy one and done dressing. A jumpsuit can be dressy, but it can easily translate into a relaxed outfit too.

For cold weather, pair your jumpsuit with a chunky cardigan and flats. A jumpsuit is a good idea for warmer climates as well. Just ditch the cardigan and you’re good to go!

4. plaid pants + sweater + coat + ankle boots

what to wear to a casual dinner

Plaid is a go-to print for festive fall dressing. With an elastic waistband, you’ll not only feel great, but you’ll look great too.

Pair your printed pants with a sweater and classic coat for smart yet casual dressing.

5. jeans + sweater + utility jacket + lug sole boots

thanksgiving outfit ideas

When it comes to casual clothing, you can’t go wrong with a cozy sweater. Choose a chunky knit sweater for cozy vibes, a cashmere sweater for a luxe feel, or a sweater with interesting details to elevate your look.

Pair your sweater with nice jeans (no rips) to keep this look stylish enough for a dinner. Dark jeans are always a great go-to and bottoms in a dark color can come across as a little more elevated, upgrading the whole look.

Boyfriend jeans are slouchy so they come off as more casual too. But pick whatever your favorite pair of jeans are! You can throw on a leather jacket for an edgy twist or a utility jacket for a fall vibe.

6. plaid skirt + cable-knit sweater + boots

what to wear to a casual dinner

If you can’t wear a plaid skirt in fall then when can you?

Pair your preppy piece (bonus points for an elastic waist) with a cozy cardigan and knee-high boots for a stylish Thanksgiving-appropriate look!

7. leather leggings (or leather pants) + tunic + cape coat + mule slides

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas

A turtleneck sweater tunic adds a chic look to this outfit, dressing up the leggings. This versatile piece can be layered over a long sleeve shirt if your weather calls for it. Or if you’re celebrating in places like Texas and California, you can look chic in a sweater without overheating!

Leggings are on the more casual side, but when it’s paired with the tunic, it’s a great choice for easy but chic dressing. Top it off with a classy cape coat if you’re heading out.

8. knit pants + button-down + loafers

what to wear to a casual dinne

A nice-looking outfit without having to actually put on pants? Yes, please. These knit rib pants get a little upgrade when paired with an oversized button-down.

Pass over the structured tops and look for a relaxed fabric so you can stay comfortable. If you’re afraid of any gravy spills, ditch the white button-down and opt for a different fall color, such as copper or dark green.

9. floral dress + knee-high boots + tights

what to wear to a casual dinner

Florals in fall? Now, that’s groundbreaking! Breathe some new life into your ditsy floral spring dress and make it work for a Thanksgiving lunch or dinner by pairing it with dark tights, suede knee-high boots, and a fall element, such as a fedora.

10. leggings + long sleeve top + open poncho

thanksgiving outfit ideas for a casual dinner

This is my favorite casual dinner outfit because it’s comfortable and stylish, all without trying too hard. Start with your favorite basics, such as your cotton long sleeve tee and comfy leggings. Then add a classy open poncho on top. You can even try belting it too if you want to dress it up a bit.

For the ultimate casual look, choose an open poncho/shawl in a comfortable material so you can be cozy. Skip acrylic and polyester and look for more premium fabrics. This outfit combo would look great on a woman over 50 too!

leggings | long sleeve top | poncho

MORE OUTFIT IDEAS

Matching knit set

You know what they say, two is better than one. A matching set is a great thing to wear for Thanksgiving because not only is the knit material comfy, but matching pieces will instantly make you look (and feel) more put-together.

Orange Pull-on pants

For comfy yet elevated dressing, look for pull-on pants in a knit or satin material. Pair with a cozy cream-colored sweater and mule slides and you have yourself a perfect outfit that fits the bill for what to wear with a casual dinner!

Tiered Dress

A tiered dress is a pretty flattering and forgiving silhouette, flowing over your body instead of clinging to it. Perfect for those food babies! Pair with tights or leggings and knee-high boots. Scarf and hat optional.

Now that you’ve got your Thanksgiving outfit covered and you know what to wear to a casual dinner or lunch, it’s time to think about Christmas. Whether you find yourself having a casual dinner party at home or a formal dinner party with friends, I have outfit ideas that can work for both!

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Thanksgiving outfit ideas
what to wear to a casual dinner
Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.