Happy Friday friends!
Can you even believe Thanksgiving is next week?!
I can’t — especially because Aaron’s side of the family gives Christmas presents at Thanksgiving because it’s the only time we’re all together. So you can probably guess what’s on my agenda this weekend — yep, wrapping presents. :)
Meanwhile, my side of the family doesn’t do Christmas presents anymore. When my mom got cancer last year and my family was going through a hard time (more on that story here), we realized that simply being together was the gift we wanted to share.
So, when it comes to the holidays, our experience is flipped — we kick off the holiday season with presents and end it with simply being together, sharing a meal. I love it that way.
Anyway, since we’re spending next week celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with Aaron’s family, I’ve got holiday outfits on the brain.
I think this one is going to be my Thanksgiving day outfit. It’s neutral, but it’s still got a little nod to the holiday with that pumpkin shirt peeking out. It’s got layers I can add or remove for different activities or temperatures. And most importantly, it’s comfortable — each layer is nice and loose and my jeans are stretchy. :)
I’ve been wearing this sweater at least once a week lately, but I’ve been kind of struggling with how to mix it up. Every time I’ve worn it, it looks eerily like this outfit — and while a winning outfit is always great, I wanted to push myself and style it differently.
Enter side zippers.
I didn’t really care about the size zippers when I got the sweater — except I did care that they are lined with fabric, meaning I never feel a cold zipper on my skin. But it turns out, those zips are pretty nice to have around, when it comes to mixing things up.
I simply unzipped ’em, popped on a colorful base layer, and I had a whole new look. I’m excited to try it with a plaid button down too.
So tell me, what do you think you’ll wear for Thanksgiving day? Any of you celebrate Christmas at Thanksgiving too?
And here’s an interesting question: how do you approach gift giving with your families? For many people, it’s an important love language, but for others, it feels like it’s simply adding clutter — how do you approach it in a way that’s respectful and honoring of our differences?
P.S. Since we’ll with family all next week, I’m taking a break from blogging to be present with them. So that means no new posts next week. I hope you have a wonderful week and a happy Thanksgiving. It seems like so not enough to just type it out, but I’m so grateful for you guys. From the warmest place in my heart, thank you — thank you for supporting me, encouraging me, challenging me, and just being here to walk this journey with me. Have a happy holiday and I’ll see you Monday the 28th!
• • •
Liked today’s outfit? You can shop it and support Unfancy at the same time by using these affiliate links:
01 | Sweater by Topshop (Fit note: I’m wearing a 6) | similar (under $50)
02 | Tee by Madewell (some colors still available) | similar by Madewell in a v-neck
03 | Jeans by Madewell (on sale) | similar (made responsibly)
04 | Ankle booties (old by Sam Edelman) | similar by Madewell | similar by Fortress of Inca (made responsibly) | similar (under $40)
05 | Bag gifted by ONA | similar with zip top (made responsibly) | similar with open top (made responsibly)
We’ve pretty much given up gifts on both sides of the family, although I usually send my dad and step-mom a gourmet food basket for Chanukah. My husband sends checks to all his nephews and nieces, although most of them are adults. The holidays are very stress-free for us, just celebrating whatever good things are happening in our lives. Happy Holidays, caroline! Thanks for gifting us with your blog!
Barbie Beauty says
Nice fall outfit caroline once again love the purse, as for holiday gift giving with families i usually get each person a personalized holiday gift
Two donate says
Couldn’t agree with you more.
Sheila Joy says
I love the peek of orange underneath your sweater! This outfit is still chic and minimal, with a nod to the holidays. I’m not sure what I plan to wear on Thanksgiving yet, but probably something cozy! x
rosa Paiva says
That’s so similar to my experience during the holidays: my side of the family still give presents, my husband’s side doesn’t. And it’s always my side first (we have a scheduled day that is not the 24th of December) and then Christmas eve (since that is when we celebrate it in Brazil) with just being together, laughing and eating delicious food! I love it and I’m glad to be able to enjoy both perspectives.
I am grateful for you and this blog too!
Have a wonderful time with your family!
I personally loooove buying presents! It’s my way to show my family&friends that I care about them. The number of people who will receive a present for Christmas is very limited (10), no grand-aunties and not-so-close friends. This makes it much easier to find nice, usefull, personal gifts.
Love your blog!
Kind regards from Germany. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving (at least not in November), but this weekend all over the country beautiful Christmas Markets open.
Hi Caroline, first of all – I’m wishing you a happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your time off with your family. My family is definitely more traditional, we feast on Thanksgiving and give gifts on Christmas. However, I am the only minimalist in my family, so more and more often I’ve been gently reminding them to only get things that I truly need (via wishlist) or get experiences or consumables. I think it definitely keeps the Christmas vibe but still respects my love for an uncluttered space. :) I try to give gifts the same way. It definitely requires a bit more work, but since my love language is gifting, I’m committed to making Christmas a fun holiday for everyone without forsaking my personal values.
Sounds like a wonderful holiday!! And I love your outfit. The warm colors you have been using recently are so inspiring. The way you pair everything up, it kinda works as a third piece. Like beyond just a top and bottom. I have been trying to bring that sort of thing into my outfits recently too.
I am hosting family for a few days this Thanksgiving and I have so much to do!! I have to figure out a couple outfits soon before I forget to do laundry and end up just wearing my pajamas all day or something haha. We are also taking family photos while everyone is all together so it is super important to plan something nice.
Do you have any advice on what to wear for cooking / running around all day but also would look nice for pictures?
Laura @ http://www.thriveorsurvive.us
Stefanie Murrer says
A few years ago, my Mom visited me the first year after moving to TN from VA (she currently lives in NY) and we had Thanksgiving together, then decorated for Christmas together and had our “Christmas” the next morning. It was such a beautiful memory and we got to do all our favorite traditions together. We typically rotate visiting my family an my husband’s family each Christmas as it gets expensive to travel to both locations each year and we usually don’t have all that time off from work either.
I absolutely LOVE giving gifts, but when the holidays come around, I feel like it’s so forced and just out of obligation at times. It also adds up when there are 8 little nieces and nephews who probably won’t remember a gift anyway. Last year for my husband’s family, we suggested drawing names so it would be a little less. We were all together that year for Christmas so it was fun. But as we’ll be visiting with my family this year, we just had to be a little out of the box and ask that since it can be a lot to mail presents (and since we’ve received a few broken presents anyway), that we’d rather just exchange gifts the years we’re together. We offered that if they still REALLY wanted to exchange gifts that it would be more modest since we had a lot of traveling this year. They were receptive to the first option, so we’re really grateful. I think you just have to be honest but it can be so difficult if you don’t necessarily have that relationship or if people don’t really understand living more minimally.
I always used to tell my family that we’d only prefer consumable gifts since we lived in a smaller place but it’s still relevant. That way we receive things like food items, movie tickets, or this year we’re all going to do something together and start that as a new tradition (ice skating or bowling potentially :P)
Our family decided to say no to presents many years ago. For me it made the difference between the holidays being a time of stress and the holidays being a time of relaxing with family and friends, and choosing which activities were most meaningful. Now every year, I take the time to journal and reflect on the year past and my goals for the next year – something I never had time to do before. On those same lines, though I will miss your blog next week, I am so happy that you are taking a break for yourself to be fully present with your family. Not every one does that but it’s so healthy and sane. Have a beautiful week! (Oh – and I love the outfit too btw).
Marie Therese says
This looks like such a comfy and cozy outfit for Thanksgiving. I like that it’s so casual. Fancy outfits always make me nervous, especially around cranberry sauce. ;)
Liza pogrebnyak says
Caroline, beautiful outfit: you look so put together and fresh! I love the sweater, but I see it’s hand wash only. I wanted to ask, how do you go about washing it? Can it stand being thrown in the washer on cold?
I also look for sweaters that can be machine washed on cold, unless they are cardigans that don’t have to be cleaned after each wearing.
This is such a great look for Thanksgiving! I’m still trying to decide on what I’ll wear…I’ve been thinking about a little black dress, but I may go the more casual route. We’ll see!
Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Gift giving can be pretty stressful, which is probably why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Time spent with family playing games, watching football and eating a delicious meal together always make for happy memories. However, my husband and I just yesterday started talking about what to give as Christmas gifts this year since we are becoming a lot more conscientious of our finances. I try to do a few homemade gifts that are unique and usable (like one time I made my sister and her family an advent calendar that they now use every year). As long as I find a balance between time and money spent, I’m happy. As far as Thanksgiving goes, I haven’t figured out my outfit yet, but there will definitely be stretchy jeans and sleeves that can easily be rolled up while I get my hands dirty in the kitchen. :) I Hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving and Enjoy your time with family <3
Tanya E says
Great outfit, I think you can do layering, you know! Love the colour of the tee with your bag and boots, it really pulls it all together. I have a similar jumper in burgundy and have played with the zips to vary the silhouette too.
In the UK, so no Thanksgiving here,but we do have lots of family birthdays this time of year so quite busy. With some of my partner’s family, we only give to the children which stops there being quite so many presents. I try to do some early present shopping in little bits, so it spreads it out.
Love your outfit! Looks like the holidays are going to be a casual event. Enjoy!
My family gave up exchanging gifts a few years ago (my suggestion, and no one misses it). It’s just stressful before the holidays and it’s often just moving clutter on to another person. There will be presents for the nieces and nephews though, and that’s totally ok. I don’t feel comfortable withe the exchanging part. I much rather have the birthday kind of present giving where no gift in return is expected and you only concentrate on choosing a present for one person.
So on Christmas Day it is just a nice meal with the family:-)
This is such a cute and cozy look for Thanksgiving! I can’t wait to see my family and spend time with them!
I think taking a break is such a good idea! I hope you have a wonderful holiday week! <3
I don’t live in the US and I’m forever wishing we did Thanksgiving here. I think it’s a wonderful start to the holiday season and you can spend Thanksgiving with one part of the family and then Christmas with the other, like you do. So I always live vicariously through all the US bloggers come the last week of November :)
I love getting presents, maybe it’s childish but to me it’s not about monetary value or whatever, to me it means the person spent some time thinking about me and what I would like which is super sweet. I especially love surprise presents. Anything that will make me smile. Also books. Strictly fiction.
We also have an understanding about presents, we try to get things that are useful. As in it has to be something you get to use, nothing that has to be displayed on the shelf and dusted repeatedly. And when I have enough of something (e.g. this year that’s thermal wear) I tell people not to get me that – to avoid having more of what I don’t need.
What kind of presents (if any) do you like getting, Caroline?
Have a lovely family time. xo Kat
That outfit is so great!
I LOVE that you don’t give gifts anymore. I feel like every year I sit trying to rack my brain for ideas when we could just spend time together. What a wonderful way to celebrate!
Is your sweater cream? Online it’s the only close looking color but the pictures make it look a bit different than just cream? Looks great!
I think the grey is sold out. There originally was a grey color.
My family gave up all material gifts when I hit puberty and I actually like it that way. Now in my thirties I’m exhausted and overwhelmed by the gift giving chaos and clutter of my partner’s family… Having to pretend I appreciate gifts I didn’t want in the first place and that aren’t my style and that I don’t have space for… and having try to buy gifts for people that don’t need anything and can buy whatever they actually need / want. Personally I’d prefer just being together over some good food… or at least sticking to experiences or something you can eat / drink. I just feel like the world is drowning in stuff…
Be honest and say it! Sometimes the other side is feeling the same way too :) or if not it pays off to be honest, in my humble opinion!
The peek of pumpkin is an excellent touch! I have to say, I love the other outfit too. Enjoy your holidays.
Hi Caroline! Love your outfit, as always you look pulled together. I was wondering, is your sweater a UK or US size 6?
Regarding gift giving, the list of giftees is small this year – only the closest circle and trying to keep the gifts experiential or useful. It’s a challenge! Will miss your blog but thank you as ever for your sharing your thoughts (from an oft silent reader!)
I am in an unsettled place right now with gift giving. I absolutely love finding gifts for people, and I think I do well at picking out something they will like. But it can be a large drain on finances and make others feel oblidgated to give something in return (even though we all know it’s not necessary). My side of the family just asks what you want and then gets it for you, so in one sense it’s nice because it comes from a genuine heart and doesn’t add to the clutter, but still feels very obligated. My husband’s side of the family loves to shop and find “deals”. Often their joy is found in the thrill of the hunt and the gift has little to do with you and more to do with how much of a steal it was. Sometimes I think just banning gift giving altogether would be great, but doesn’t that defeat the whole idea of a true gift? So I’m left unsettled this year about giving and receiving gifts. Perhaps with another year of reflection I’ll be more in tune by next Christmas :)
Gift giving really isn’t my thing (I find it stressful to find gifts for people), and I really don’t want anything. I’d rather just hang out, eat, watch movies – you know, relax and enjoy ourselves. My partner’s family is very much about “deals” (my MIL actually leaves the price tags on stuff so you know how, ahem, little she spent), and it’s usually stuff that I don’t really want or need. Christmas feels like an obligatory ritual, really. My family, I think, is more focused on the “tradition” of giving gifts. They can’t imagine NOT doing it. I suggested doing either no gifts or Secret Santa this year (there aren’t any little kids in my immediate family yet), and both ideas weren’t exactly warmly received. So I told them my partner and I would just bow out of the gift exchange, and I got called a grinch. Maybe that wasn’t the right thing to do (although I did it as compassionately as I could, and of course THEY can still exchange gifts if they want), but I do think it’s important to set your boundaries. I’m working on accepting my grinch status. :)
Liesbeth Verlinden says
Gone through a similar situation with the in-laws. Hubby and me tired of buying for (and receiving from) everyone! Everyone always asking us what we want exactly, te day before the party as they’re inside some store 8-(. We have everything we want, thank you! Have stopped buying for all but the hosts and the (2) kids. Have not been able to stop them from buying for us though. Feels not right, but don’t want to get manipulated back into the old routine…
I love the zips (and as a prego-lady, I’m definitely thinking how that does seem to make that sweater do-able even for me….)
We are definitely more traditional and as I’ve grown and experienced different families, it has become clear that gift-giving is a way my parents like to express their love, and that was passed on, to a certain extent, to myself and my sister. She is SO good at knowing how find gifts people would really find meaningful and neat, while fitting her budget. Overall though, we have done less with gift-giving since we both grew up. This year, we have a little one on the way (a January baby), so I think the wheel is turning again. Family definitely wants to help get us baby gear this year, and I imagine next year there will be some conversations about how we as parents want to handle giving gifts (I’m sure it will be a delight to see the holiday from a little guy’s eyes, but as far as gift giving I know my husband’s side of the family approach things differently, so it will be a conversation to have!)
My side of the family has sort of given up on gifts. I usually just hand out lovely bottles of champagne and wine. However, my husband’s side of the family is all about gifts, which can be hard, considering I don’t want extra “stuff” lying around.
Lovely holiday outfit!
Pleather leggings and an oversize burgundy sweater is going to be my Thanksgiving outfit–comfortable, autumnal, chic, and good for concealing a bloated belly… Happy holidays!
Wildfire Charm says
I actually love the side zippers on this sweater. It makes it a little bit different and unique. I love the little pop of mustard showing through it. Very lovely, comfy outfit x
Love the outfit. All those nice warm tones that you’re so perfectly adding!
I think we will do gifts a little different this year – on person gets and gives only one, and I love it. Because as you said – it’s a love language, but clutter can so easily arise..
Luckily I have a small family and none of us are wanting for anything. My sister and I do not exchange gifts and haven’t for years. My parents give us money and we in turn give our parents gift cards to places like Starbucks and Barnes & Noble. My two-year-old nephew is the only one who gets gifts. Since his still young, I usually get him a gift card so my sister can buy him clothes or just buy him some cute clothes myself. My sister and her family live in an apartment so they don’t want any clutter. Clothes can be worn and then either donated or stored when outgrown.
I like the Icelandic tradition I read about where people give books on Christmas eve.
Liesbeth Verlinden says
The sweater does look very different this way, nice bonus!
We have settled on a compromise regarding gifts with the family, but it’s so complicated I don’t feel like explaining it all here, especially since I’m still not very happy with the end result… nice to know there’s plenty of (aspiring) minimalists out there having the same struggle though.
Years ago, we decided as a family to stop giving gifts to everyone and instead we choose to draw names for stockings. Each year we have one family member to keep in mind and collect thoughtful small gifts to fill their stocking and surprise and delight them. It definitely eliminates stress and challenges everyone to be creative. We still give gifts to the little ones but keep it low key.
elizabeth jung says
You look great as usual Caroline. Only you can put these simple cute put together looks.
We switched to consumable gifts or specific requests and it has made the process much more enjoyable. No worry about clutter for us(or those we give gifts to. We used to do local artisanal food products when we lived near family but now that we are overseas I tend to make things with our children’s art like postcards or calendars. (Flat is easy to mail) and for all the little people in the family, we do books.
My family has recently started doing non-traditional gifts. One year we took a vacation together, last year we went on fun outings together and this year we drew names and are all making our gifts for each other. It’s fun to spend more time with each other and focus on Jesus, the true reason for the season!
Amelia Wasserman says
My husband and I always do Christmas with my family and there are around 20 of us. Gift giving has always been hectic and a huge stress even though we make everyone’s gifts instead of purchasing. This year we chatted with each member separately the first week of November to let everyone know we won’t be giving any gifts this year. We explained that it is more important for us to make memories and be together. Everyone was very supportive and some were inspired to do the same.
that madewell tee looks amazing but it states “handwash” – i think thats a definetely no-no for me.
With my mother in law gifts are stressfull to me. She wants to give gifts and money to our kids and us. She does not have a lot of money and it feels sad she will spend them on stuff we do not need want or have room for in our not so big house with three kids. We request consumables and experiences but usually she just adds that too and still buy stuff. And consumables often ends in like four big grocery bags of stuff we normally would not consume… And she always answer something about her right to spoil her grandkids and how we want to take away the fun for her.
Andrea Handojo says
I want to live in that sweater! I love the zips on the side. It makes it so unique. It’s been cold here in SoCal (well cold for Socal that is). I’m going to be bundled up in layers during Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Mirelle Onukwube says
I was in the market for an investment-worthy pair of new skinny jeans and decided to check your blog before purchasing. I came across the link on your blog posts for Mott & Bow and I ordered a pair. *HOLY MOLY*, they are the most comfortable, best looking, best quality jeans I have ever owned. I had been a big J Crew jean person as well as Joe’s. I got the high rise ones in the really dark wash since I occasionally wear them to my office on casual Fridays. I am in love. Thank you for pointing me in the right direction!
I literally “binged-read” (not sure if that’s a word?) all your posts from the very, very beginning. Crazy, right? Well, I should say this was over a two week span, so maybe not that crazy? I remember coming across your blog when you first just started your capsule posts (not sure how), and somehow in present day, I found myself on your blog again; wanting to organize my wardrobe. I’m so glad I did. I feel like I’ve been able to make the best of all my clothes by mixing and matching what I already have, and for the most part, it’s been working! When I shop now, too, I’m more conscious of what I buy and how the clothing piece will work with what I have right now in my closet. You’re an inspiration, and I look forward to reading your future blogs. This time, I won’t binge since I’m subscribed so I’ll get the update. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Caroline! : )
Lauren H. says
My family does a budget friendly secret santa competition on the year we spend Christmas together. After the gifts have been passed out, we keep the fun going with a secret ballot on who gave the most “creatively thoughtful” gift of the year and who had the most creative gift wrapping. Last year my husband won by giving my sister a family heirloom law textbook signed by some prominent DC lawyers. I won the gift wrapping award by wrapping my brother’s gifts in cat calendars. At dinner, a trophy and some crowns are passed out to the winners.
On the years that we spend Christmas with my husbands family, my family forgoes gifts in favor of making a donation in the name of our “secret santa” picks. Each person picks their favorite charity and tells the family about it. We all get to learn about the passions of each family member, we keep current on the important issues around the world, and our money is well-spent on a worthy cause.
I love this tradition and it makes me feel close to my family, even when we are far apart.
Anna Oates says
I really love the side zippers and love the way that you’ve decided to make use of them. I have a few sweaters with zippers and I always keep them zipped! I might have to reevaluate that. As for gifts, I’ve gotten so I do smaller gifts with a lot of personal value, or at least that’s my goal. I still love getting and giving gifts because I think it’s fun to say “this reminds me of you” but gifts are definitely the least important part of the holidays without a doubt!
Love reading your posts. I’m still waiting for your messy braid tutorial. It looks like you have nailed it — I want to learn! Please :)
Leather Bags says
Very Beautiful Outfit…
Your tutorials are really worth a read.. :)
Love this outfit! Grey and rust feels just right. I’m sure you’ve done one before, but would you do a “Caroline’s current jeans line-up post”..?! You’ve always got great ones, and I tend to struggle with how many and what types to go for.. Help needed!!