The Ultimate Thanksgiving-Break Packing Guide

For those of you who’ve opted to head to a college more than a few hours away, Thanksgiving break might be your first trek back to home sweet home in awhile. Turkey Day vacation offers the perfect amount of time to catch up with your family and high school BFFs (and retrieve all those clothes you forgot to bring with you in September).By now, you’re probably masters of trying to fit your life’s possessions into a 10×10 dorm, therefore it’ll be a breeze to pack four days’ worth of clothes into a suitcase. Here’s our must-follow list of what you’ll need at home, what to leave with your parents, and the cold-weather trends you’ll want to bring back.


To Wear At Home: A nice (but not too formal) dress. Whether Thanksgiving Day is an extended-family affair or a quiet time to stuff your face with turkey in front of the football game, it’s always fun to have an excuse to get a little fancy.

Topshop Polka Dot Flippy Dress, $76, available at Topshop.


To Wear At Home: Just one or two pairs of jeans. Don’t go crazy bringing home tons of separate outfits — pick your favorite denim to mix and match with a few tops.

Ted Baker Whistel – Dark Rinse Skinny Denim, $145, available at Ted Baker.


To Wear At Home: One light jacket. There’s no need to bring home your cutest bomber jacket, military style parka, AND trench coat — just pick the one that goes best with everything.

West Coast Wardrobe Collection Sergeant Military Jacket, $78, available at Boutique To You.


To Wear At Home: A cute pair of sweatpants. With everyone home at the same time, it’s always fun to have a nostalgic sleepover with your closest girlfriends.

Aerie French Terry Skinny Boyfriend Pant, $34.95, available at Aerie.


To Wear At Home: A cardigan. Chances are, you’ll be doing a lot of catching up in coffee shops, so it’s best to have easy layering pieces that can make jeans and a tee look more pulled together.

J.Crew Classic Merino Wool Cardigan, $89.50, available at J.Crew.


To Leave At Home: Summer dresses. Sure, a dark gray or maroon dress can look cute under an oversized sweater, but anything with big florals or pastel patterns will feel out of season, even if you go to school in a warmer climate.

Delia’s Open Back Floral Dress, $22.50, available at Delia’s.


To Leave At Home: Sandals. There’s no chance you’ll be rocking strappy footwear in the middle of January, so, with the exception of your plastic shower flip-flops, it’s best to store them at home until spring.

Anthropologie Topology Rope Sandals, $29.95, available at Anthropologie.


To Leave At Home: Denim cutoffs. If you’re going to rock the shorts-with-tights look, lace or silky fabrics just look better, so leave those Daisy Dukes in your childhood dresser.

Rag & Bone Mila Short, $108.50, available at Otte.


To Bring Back: Scarves galore. Nothing makes the chilly walk to your 8 a.m. class more bearable than a big, cozy scarf. If you’re feeling ambitious, use the downtime between Turkey Day courses to even try your hand at a little knitting.

Free People Loop Knit Eternity Scarf, $67, available at Free People.


To Bring Back: Boots. If your parents offer to do a little shopping before you head back to school, boots are the perfect necessary splurge. After all, with all your sandals back at home, you’re going to need something to wear on your feet. 

Frye Engineer 8R, $228, available at Frye.


To Bring Back: Graphic sweaters. Oversized, retro prints are the sweater trend for fall, so raid your mom’s closet for awesome pieces from the ’80s.

Sparkle & Fade Chunky Hand Knit Pullover Sweater, $79, available Urban Outfitters.


To Bring Back: Vintage earrings. Ask your grandmother if she has any pieces she’d be willing to donate to your cause. They don’t have to be made with real gems or precious metals to perfectly fit this season’s costume-jewelry trend.

River Island Vintage Style Stone Earrings, $17.59, available at ASOS.


To Bring Back: Your winter coat. Whether it’s a light fleece or a ginormous down- stuffed, fur-lined monster of a jacket, there’s probably no reason to have had it at school before now.

AE Hooded Puffer Coat, $69.99, available at American Eagle Outfitters.


To Bring Back: Leftovers. If you can find a way to keep them fresh on your return trip, stock up on turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, and stuffing. Your roommates (and wallet) will thank you!

Rubbermaid 18-pc. Premier Food Storage Set, $19.99, available at Target.

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