I don’t know about your relatives, but mine never pass up a chance to say, “Well, that shirt was an interesting choice!” or “You leave the house looking like that?” or “Please let me take you shopping.”
When was I younger, less sure of myself, this was a real knock to my self-esteem. Now that I’m an adult and haven’t had a feeling in years, I no longer care what anyone thinks of my decades-old hoodie or Star Wars leggings. In fact, I’m at the point in my life where the more outrageous the outfit, the better. If you are also at that point, here are some outfits from literature you can wear to Thanksgiving dinner for maximum amounts of “You’re wearing that?”
1. Gatsby’s pink suit from The Great Gatsby. Not only would Gatsby’s vivid, rose-colored suit horrify my Great-aunt Linda, it would also communicate to everyone present that I am “new money.” Since the vibe I’m currently giving off is “no money,” I’ll take it.
2. Hamlet’s mourning ensemble. The most relatable bit in the entire play is when Hamlet is moodily moping around wearing all black, and Gertrude, sighing heavily, tells him to go change. This exact scenario played out COUNTLESS times throughout my stormy adolescence, and I didn’t even HAVE a treacherous uncle who murdered my father to marry my mother and steal the Danish crown.
3. Hester Prynne’s scarlet letter. What better way to command attention this Thanksgiving than by having a big red A for adulteress emblazoned across your chest for all to see?
4. Scarlett O’Hara’s dress made out of curtains from Gone With the Wind. The ultimate power move is showing up to Thanksgiving dinner wearing drapery.
5. Holden Caulfield’s red hunting hat from The Catcher in the Rye. My grandfather is strongly of the opinion that hats shouldn’t be worn inside, and especially not at the table. “This isn’t a hat,” I will say. “This is a symbol for Holden’s vulnerability, his need for isolation juxtaposed against his yearning for companionship.”
6. Enjolras’s red waistcoat from Les Misérables. If you, too, want to invoke the red-hot fervor of an ultimately doomed revolution, simply don a red waistcoat and hoist the French flag high.
7. Offred’s white bonnet and floor-length red cloak from The Handmaid’s Tale. This is a really good way to get people to stop talking about your wardrobe choices and START talking about the various ways in which women are disenfranchised when the government seizes control of their reproductive rights.
8. Miss Havisham’s tattered old wedding dress from Great Expectations. Nobody will be making pointed comments about your private life or your distressed jeans when you’re asking someone to pass the mashed potatoes while looking like a jilted lover.
9. Scout’s ham costume from To Kill a Mockingbird. At the very least, this one is sort of on theme, and no one can say otherwise.
10. Luna Lovegood’s roaring lion hat from Harry Potter. This has the double advantage of being 1) extremely shocking and 2) distinctly loud. If anyone starts asking you what your plans are after graduation, simply give them a booming hat roar and watch as what could have been a potentially uncomfortable conversation simply peters out forever.