3 Easygoing (Yet Polished) Outfits for the Thanksgiving Cook

published Nov 18, 2016
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(Image credit: Susanna Hopler)

We know that the turkey and all the fixings, not to mention your perfect apple pie, take center stage during the holidays. But lets not forget about the cook — that would be you! This is especially true if you’re hosting for the first time and are anxious to make a good impression on your mother-in-law, who is coming, by the way. No big deal, right?

First and foremost, your outfit should never get in the way of what you have cooking. Fabrics that easily wrinkle, whites that are a magnet for stains, or complicated sleeves that might get wrapped up in the mixer are pieces to avoid.

You also want to feel comfortable. Selecting clothing that represents you and makes you feel your best is always the right choice. An effortless but inspired ensemble can be contagious to your cooking, and might just be the ingredient you need to pull off the perfect holiday.

Perhaps you already have something in your closet (you probably do), but if you’re looking for something new, here are three outfit ideas that will make you look as good as you cook.

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Shift Dress & Red Lipstick

Transitioning from top chef in the kitchen to head of the table in the dining room is easy with a shift dress. It has a forgiving silhouette that’s comfortable and chic — and it’s also easy to cover up with your favorite apron to protect from any wayward splatter. If this party look were a recipe, it would be easy as pie!

  • Dear Dots Dress, $398 at Anthropologie: We’re lusting after this spendy number. With its classic black-and-white palette, dropped waist, and short loose sleeves, it’s no-fuss, high-impact. But on a more realistic budget, this Plaid Tunic ($22) at Modcloth won’t have you worrying about turkey splatters. See also: Plaid Artiste Tunic Dress, $50 at Madewell.
  • Martha Stewart Collection Plaid Apron, $22 at Macy’s: Nothing says holidays quite like a loud and proud plaid. You’ll also be super savvy with your well-mixed prints!
  • Rouge Allure Intense Long-Wear Lip Colour, $37 at Chanel: To make those polka dots pop, try smoothing on some bright-red lipstick.

Sweatshirt Dress & Patent Loafers

When you are playing host and you’ve got bigger fish to fry (perhaps literally), the most important thing is to be comfy while still looking put-together. A sweatshirt dress with patent-leather loafers and chunky earrings says I’m relaxed and cozy, but still stylish. If the dress has pockets, even better.

  • 3/4 Sleeve Sweatshirt Dress, $60 at Gap: It may feel like you’ve rolled out of bed, but you sure don’t look it! This dress is the definition of effortless style.
  • The Modern Loafer, $170 at Everlane: These shiny shoes are as handsome as your grandfather’s but perfectly suited for you — comfortable, crisp, and ready to cook in.
  • Leather-Backed Sequin-Petal Earrings, $65 at J. Crew: When it comes to this sparkly stand-out jade pair, it’s go big or go home.

Oversized Sweater and Sneakers

When I think of the classic dinner party, I imagine cooking all day in my favorite sneakers and a comfy sweater, and then quickly running to change into something itchy stiff and formal three minutes before the guest arrive. Well here’s a thought: It’s your party, so wear what you want.

Up your game with stylish and sleek versions of your usual go-to pieces. This look will give you the freedom you need to run around the kitchen like you always do, but put a little pep in your step, thanks to this stylish version of functional fashion.

  • Oversized Sweater, $40 at Zara: This sweater is so cool you wont even break a sweat, no matter how long you’ve been standing over the hot stove!
  • Ankle-Length Leggings, $39 at J. Jill: It’s official that leggings are no longer just for aerobics; dressed up or down, they are just as flexible as anyone wearing them.
  • Ecentrcq Sneaker by Steve Madden, $49 at Nordstrom: Forget jewelry — these sneakers are all you’ll need to brighten your look.

What’s your favorite outfit to cook and entertain in?