Food and Wine Mavens: What To Wear To a Feast

What did you wear on Thanksgiving? What are you going to wear to all the upcoming family feasts this holiday season? I was interviewed on this very subject by the blog Food and Wine Mavens. Read the full article below for my advice and more!

    What To Wear To a Feast

Happy Thanksgiving! Let’s face it… you are going to overeat today. Most likely, there will be too much food spread out in front of you — a feast by most standards. If you were alone, you’d just curl up in your sweatpants with a drumstick in your hand but alas, you’ll be amongst others (that’s what the wine is for). So get ready to feast! I’ve done the research on what to wear.

Feast Fashion : Dos and Don’ts
Q: I asked the experts: “Should you wear a comfortable mumu to dinner? (Actually, it’s spelled muumuu.)”
A: The resounding answer: NO! Go fab, not drab but most importantly, go with an expandable waistline and durable, dark fabric.

Washington D.C. image consultant Ketura Persellin explains “a feast by its very nature is a lavish, special affair and proper attire is called for! Muumuus and sweatpants are not what’s called for.” Author of The Complete Guide to Lightweight Travel, Barbara DesChamps agrees, “A mumu is not very attractive.” Style experts recommend these for women:

The Hot Muumuu

Jenn Hoffman, stylist for Fashion Emergency and The Style Network (also previously on Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice”), recommends “Wear a hot mu-mu. I’m serious. That’s what I plan on doing this year. Find a sexy, short dress that is also big and pair it with sky-high heels. Your hot mu-mu will hide your expanding belly, but your sexy legs and skyscraper heels will make it look like a fashion choice, not a gluttonous necessity.”

The Maxi Dress

Hoffman also recommends trying a flattering maxi dress. They range from casual to formal. UK fashion consultant STYLISA agrees, “I find that empire-line dresses or maxi-dresses are great, if you intend to feast. Empire-line dresses are fitted around the bust area, but flare out from underneath the bust, so you can hide a multitude of sins (and eat to your hearts content). Maxi dresses, are the ultimate feast fashion, as they flare all over. If I am going to a party where there are going to be cupcakes, I always wear a maxi-dress.”

No Brainer: Don’t wear a shear maxi dress like Lady Gaga.

The Wrap Dress

NY Stylist Alexandra Suzanne Greenawalt says to “Think dresses that expand, move, and stretch like a wrap dress.” Author DesChamps offers another option: “An adjustable wrap top and matching wrap skirt. Both can be adjusted in real time at the party.” Didn’t expect to eat so many biscuits? A quick trip to the ladies’ room and your dress or two-piece outfit can be appropriately adjusted.

Designer Laura Dawson recommends her wrap dress with killer cleavage so that no eye will stray to the belly, whatever it may be doing during feasting.” While fashion stylist Shaunya Hartley reminds us to watch out for food dropping into your cleavage. Although if you forget your tupperware, I think this could be a good spot to store leftovers until you get home.


Greenawalt also recommends trying on Caftans but beware of choosing the right fabric. DesChamps explains, “Some caftans are elegant if the fabric is soft and flowing, not stiff.”

Dark colors

“Avoid evidence of red wine, gravy, etc. with colors that mask your sins…I mean stains.” advises Hoffman. “Because I have spit, spilled, and slobbered red wine on light-colored apparel, I recommend basic black. Women, get out that simple, black frock.” recommends Jo-Ann Ross, wine educator. Jewelry designer Marie-Lise Lachapelle also thinks you could just pull out your most comfortable LBD because it’s all about the accessories anyway. You’re also welcome to check out the bold necklaces I design for Soularwave.

Durable fabrics

“Guests shouldn’t wear fragile and easily damaged clothing,” Persellin advises. Greenawalt agrees “Avoid anything that’s really hard to care for in terms of clean up like silk. Instead, look for a washable cotton lycra dress.” Hoffman notes “You and your dining partners can all thank Lindsay Lohan and other young Hollywood actresses for the return of Lycra.”


Stylisa once “made the mistake of wearing a corseted dress to a really fancy dinner once…I was in agony by the end of the night, and had to leave early. I looked great but felt awful.”

How else can you prepare to look fabulous in the face of gluttony?

According to preeminent surgeon Dr. Yanek Chiu, it is a myth that you should stretch your stomach out by eating before a big meal. (Darn, that’s how I always prepared for big meals.) Dr. Chiu explains that your stomach is capable of expanding to accomodate a large amount of food and doesn’t need to be pre-stretched. Eat little in the morning as you know you’re going to shovel it in at dinnertime and you don’t need any more calories for the day.