Reader Q | Sophisticated Thanksgiving Options for Moms

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**Note:  This post has been updated as of 11/17/2013**

Sweetpeas!  My parents are in town (their original visit was rescheduled due to hurricane Sandy), so this will be a quick one.  So many of you had asked for more formal versions of a Thanksgiving dinner outfit, and I didn't want to leave you in the lurch.  Besides, reader Amy cracked me up:

My family is the Fockers, and my in laws are the same as the movie. I would love a bit more sophisticated option for them 😉

How could I refuse a mother Focker?

Work Shift + Chambray + Man Accessories


[photo credit: J.Crew]


Try layering a chambray shirt under a shift dress to make it feel less workplace stuffy.  It's a holiday party!  If you fear the look is a bit too casual, swap the chambray for silk.  

Polish off the whole thing with quirky menswear accessories:  a tie (or bow tie), plaid scarf, large watch.  I'd wear sexpot heels with this one, but shiny loafers or ballet flats work OK too.

To recreate, try these pieces:

Dress: J.Crew Factory like the above pic,  Old Navy Ponte Shift Dress, or Mango's Faux-Leather shift for some edge

Shirt: Gap's Tailored Chambray, J.Crew Factory's traditional take or Fossil's surprisingly perfect one

Menswear Accessories: heathered cotton bow tie, plaid scarf, watch

Lipstick: Tarte Matte Liptint in Fiery red.  BEST. EVER.


Thin, Patterned Sweater + Big Skirt


[photo credit: Garnet Hill]

I love this.  Tucking a patterned sweater into a big skirt (extra points for mixing prints) makes this look a bit artsy….rather than expected.  A cardigan (as shown) is fabulous, but I'd also try this look with a striped merino sweater or even something color-blocked (think baseball sweater rendered in cashmere).  Obviously the sweater should be fitted.  

To recreate: 

Sweater:  Garnet Hill (as pictured – I like Houndstooth or Trees), Boden's Color-Blocked St. Ives Sweater, or J.Crew's stripes

Skirt:  Modcloth's bird print skirt, Banana Republic lace skirt

Pencil Skirt + Peplum Top + Ankle Booties


Peplum tops are perfect toppers for pencil skirts, and flatter so many different body types.  A slim belt and booties, like Natalie from Like Fresh Laundry wears, make the look edgy, but feminine.  Swap booties for pumps if you need a more conservative look.

To recreate: 

Top:  Ann Taylor Pleated Peplum, Fossil's Gold Peplum, a pretty floral by Oasis

Pencil skirt:  Boden Plaid Pencil Skirt


Pencil Skirt + Graphic Sweater (Do the Half-Tuck)


[photo credit: J.Crew]

This, I realize, is barely making the "sophisticated" cut.  But it's my fav, and what I would probably wear to a Thanksgiving dinner at a country club.  I'd pair it with heels and pearls, of course, for a slightly ironic twist on the usual.  

To recreate:

Sweater:   Ann Taylor Dot sweater 

Bright Pencil Skirt:  J.Crew Factory

Hope this helps, Mamas!!  I can't believe were here, almost Thanksgiving…..already??!!??




About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and denim-underwear, always.

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  1. Love all these ideas but i agree with you- my fav is the last one- a bright pencil skirt and that adorable heartbreaker sweater. It’s also perfect for breastfeeding mammas- dresses are too complicated!
    Thanks and enjoy your parents’ visit!

  2. I love these looks, Shana, thanks! I often need a sophisticated look and have a tough time styling it so that I don’t look boring or worse, old fashioned. Please keep offering an option in your future blogs for a sophisticated/modern look, along with your other options.

  3. I love the cardi-big skirt combo too! Unfortunately, I have neither item in my closet! LOL.
    I wonder how crazy a gal can go on pattern mixing, but still make it work?

  4. Love these outfits, also had to giggle at the reader’s dilemma. I too am from a family that is way more relaxed than the one I married in to – think Dharma & Greg 😉

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