A stupid title for this post would be: If you aren’t dressed, you are the turkey. This is why we edit.
I was going to do a post about why one should dress for Thanksgiving. And I was going to pepper it with pictures of people who are examples. And do you know, aside from a few pictures promoting a line of clothes for Thanksgiving, you can’t find them?
Which makes my point even moreso. The argument for casual clothes has always been comfort and I have always rejected that argument because if one shops and sizes correctly a suit is as comfortable as jeans. And my own family notwithstanding, I would have thought more people dressed for Thanksgiving. I assumed my situation was atypical, I have family in 4.500 square foot houses in Connecticut STILL drinking who-knows-what out of a mason jar with a mullet to watch the Macy’s parade on Thanksgiving, but that has to the a glitch in the Matrix, right?
If you search “traditional thanksgiving 1950’s” and you start looking for well dressed men (women’s article coming tomorrow, everybody calm down) one picture repeats itself, and it ain’t cause of some brilliant SEO-ing. Here:
I got desperate (as one FB member told me over the weekend, I take this stuff too seriously) so I took a look at what Mr. Lauren publicizes for his family’s Thanksgiving wear. Cynicism abounds when I look at stuff like this so I kind of figure all of these publicity-department-issued family pictures of celebrity family Thanksgiving shots are orchestrated and for actual dinner they are in draw strings. How was I to know that the draw strings are front and center now??? Here, this is what I mean:
I have worn a tie to Thanksgiving pretty much every year since high school, and here’s why. Thanksgiving is a day off, but it is a day off to celebrate gratitude. If you take gratitude seriously (and if you have time and resources to read this then you have enough abundance in your life to show gratitude) then you should dress respectfully for it. Mason_Mullet notwithstanding, even the other members of my extended family don’t dress for Thanksgiving. “It’s a day off” is the rationale. Ok, but you dress casual every other day, so if you are gonna drape something different on yourself, you by definition have to dress up.
Perhaps you navigate these waters better than I. I remarked a few Thanksgivings ago about how a little formality at Thanksgiving is probably called for. The response was some 2nd-glass-of -Mason-Jar-eye-opener declaration of non-snobbery, the bizarre but clung to opinion that if you dress up for anything other than a funeral or a wedding then you think you are better than everyone else, and that a hoodie at the table is “more real.”
Sure it is more real, if spending time with your family and an expression of communal thanks is so stressful that you need to stick your hands into sweatpants after dinner is more real. And I am the guy who argues that the deli guy wearing a tie is Ivy. It’s not airs, it’s honor. You are not REALLY more true to things than I am because you can’t ever tuck anything into anything, you are REALLY more disrespectful than I am.
Of course, making allowances for the times and the company you keep is appropriate at Thanksgiving, and showing up overdressed to highlight the contrast between you and your less-grateful kin is a mistake. One I have seen made. When I say “seen made” – I mean I made it and saw it. But still. This is why the classics are the classics. An OCBD with a knit tie and a sweater or sweater vest with khakis is at least showing an effort, and you can still toss a football in it.
I am going to do a deeper dive for 2021 appropriate Thanksgiving wear – let me know if you find anything?