Thanksgiving Dinner Fashion & Etiquette
By Laura Lee Rogers / Red Dirt Couture
I can think of nothing as festive and all-American as a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner! I am aware, however, that for many Thanksgiving Dinner may take place at the home of a friend, family member, or, perhaps most nerve-wracking of all, a significant other’s house. Everyone knows his or her own family’s quirks and traditions. However, if you are not enjoying Thanksgiving dinner at your own home, you will undoubtedly be exposed to other people’s potential wackiness. Being fashionable encompasses many things- especially politeness- even in the midst of the Thanksgiving dinner from hell. This week I have complied a helpful Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner, which should help alleviate your fears and allow you to be seated at any Thanksgiving dinner table with the utmost confidence and decorum.
What You Should Wear
Of course, the dress code for any event is the decision of the Hostess. However, you may not get any Dress Code Guidance from your Hostess. I have, upon occasion, been told by friends whose homes I was visiting, “Oh, just wear anything, we won’t care.” Anything? Does that mean I show up in a ball gown and mink stoles? Might I show up in Gym Attire? Please, folks, if you are bringing friends home for Thanksgiving, clue them in about how dressed-up your family gets!
We live in a time where casual is USUALLY acceptable- especially in East Texas. Here is a fool-proof Thanksgiving combination.
2. A detailed, yet easy to wear, black blouse will go a long way! You’ll still look like you put effort into the outfit, yet it’s so simple to match with everything. A loose fitting shape won’t ever feel uncomfortable after such a huge meal! clearly I always have food on my mind : )
3. Try a comfortable tie sweater. It’s a great silhouette, with just a touch of detail, and it is just so adorable. You’d have 100 uses for a sweater like this, plus it will stay trendy for many seasons to come.
4. Throw on a pair of detailed, I love studs! ballet flats and you’ll be as comfortable as can be! Whether you’re helping out in the kitchen, chasing after small children or relaxing watching the football game, ballet flats are perfectly comfortable the whole day.
5. For your accessories, why not try a statement necklace? A great conversation piece, and totally beautiful, we love the way this looks with a black top. It’s the easiest way to dress up an outfit! Then throw on some stackable rings, a watch, and paint your nails a nice dark color.
First, even though you might be travelling long distances to arrive at the holiday table, this does not give anyone license to be grumpy, moody, or snippy upon arrival. Yes, of course I-45 was a jam packed stretch of Hell. No, no one wants to discuss this at length. And please do make every effort to leave early enough so that you will actually arrive when you are supposed to!
“Weird” Thanksgiving Foods, Etc.
While I do appreciate originality (and have, myself, made the departure from the traditional sit-down turkey dinner), I believe that anyone planning to branch out should make this matter known when the invitations are issued. If you plan on replicating down to the most minute detail the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving feast, you should, similarly, warn your guests, who might be surprised to find salt cod on their plates.
Ladies, should you find yourself at a Thanksgiving dinner at which any food crimes are perpetrated, you must still try to be a good guest and attempt to eat what you are served- even if it is wasabi-brushed coconut turkey kebabs. Be polite, and know that next year, you’ll have quite the horror story to Tell. Most Thanksgiving dinners feature several different dishes, from which even the world’s most picky eater should be able to fashion an ample meal.
All Guests absolutely must refrain from making editorial comments on the meal as it is served. (“Dear God, are those MARSHMALLOWS on the Sweet Potatoes? Ugh, I think I’m going to be Sick.”)
Behaving at the Table
Of course, all normal rules of table manners apply. Get your elbows off the table, use your fork and knife properly, don’t drink from the finger bowls, etc. If the food is passed around, take a small portion of dishes that appeal to you and offer the platter or bowl to the person seated beside you. Do not, upon spotting the yeast rolls, reach across the table; grab the basket, and yell, “YES! THE ROLLS ARE ALL MINE, AND NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE ANY!” Just remember that gluttony is most unbecoming.
Again, if you are bringing guests to your house, please do fill them in on any family traditions they may encounter. Guests, however, must play along with any sort of tradition, whether or not they have been given advance warning.
Be Prepared and have something short and sweet ready to say just in case you’re asked to say a blessing or share something you’re thankful for. Similarly, if you fancy yourself an orator, and you are dining at someone else’s house, do not usurp the floor from the head of the host family. Nobody really wants to hear your toast in the form of a villanelle, or elaborate sermon on the meaning of Thanksgiving. So please, just pipe down, Cicero.
For some reason, on the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day, practically every family in America goes all Kennedy- Clan- Wanna-Be and plays football on the lawn. It is perfectly acceptable to politely decline and watch the festivities from the porch.
In conclusion, I want to wish you all a very fashionable and happy Thanksgiving that is pleasantly devoid of rudeness!!