I love wearing dresses. I wear jewelry almost daily–nothing expensive, but I like a little flair. I grew up watching old movies, in which the characters always looked polished and even a simple dinner party called for a cocktail dress and jewels. There was a time, when I was little, when I decided to change my clothes for dinner each and every night. Then my mom got mad at me about the excess laundry.

Anyway–I’m not naive. I know that was then and this is now. I know (from experience) that being too far overdressed can be awkward and embarrassing. I also know that, since I spend most of the holiday in the kitchen, it’s completely impractical.

I’ve had a few misfires over the years. There was the sweater dress that just about killed me from heatstroke. There was the low-cut shirt and short skirt that led to a passive-aggressive argument with my grandfather about whether fifty degrees was cold, the word “empirically” smacking back and forth between us. There was the too-small elastic-waist skirt that looked so lovely but started cutting into me before I had even made the mashed potatoes and so I ate dinner in jeans.

There is something informal about the family Thanksgiving. There’s the idea that one should wear one’s stretchy pants and football jersey–but I don’t like football and I try not to over-stuff myself. There’s something formal, too: special place settings, centerpieces, the Thanksgiving pageant or toast–but when I cook, our feast takes place around lunchtime, which makes it inherently more casual.

Miss Sheri advised a nice top with leggings. My daughter says I must wear a dress. I’m always open to new ideas, so I’ll ask you: what do you wear on Thanksgiving?

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