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Credit: David Prince

Thoughts, p. 12

The Simple List, p. 14

Editor’s Note, p. 27

Your Words

  • This Month’s Question, p. 30
    What matters to you most in a leader?
  • No-Obligation Book Club, p. 34
    What book should be on the president’s nightstand?

Trends Worth Trying

  • Color of the Season, p. 37
  • The Most Wearable Trend Right Now, p. 38
    Elegant polka dots
  • Forever Find, p. 40
    Patchwork dresser
  • Object of Desire, p. 42
    Eye-shadow gallery
  • 10 Finds for $50 or Less, p. 44



  • New Uses for Thanksgiving Gadgets, p. 47
  • Problem-Solvers of the Month, p. 48
  • Ask Real Simple, p. 50
    Refresh my memory: What is the electoral college again?
  • Start With, p. 52
    Stuffing mix
  • 4 Ways to Jazz Up a Napkin, p. 54


Life Lessons

  • Good Read, p. 57
    Writer Alysia Abbott on the challenges of raising an autistic son—and how she learned patience from a surprising source
  • Modern Manners, p. 63
    Real Simple’s new etiquette expert, Catherine Newman, on holidays with divorced parents and more
  • Expertise, p. 69
    Five ways to focus on what people are saying


The Guide


  • The Long and the Short of It, p. 77
    The best skirt hemlines for your body type, plus styling tips from the experts
  • Real Steals, p. 89
    Chic, minimalist pieces for less than $100


  • Pretty Smart, p. 101
    The latest beauty products and tips that save time, money, and your sanity
  • Beauty With Brains, p. 109 
    Can I fade my dark spots?
  • Road Test, p. 114


  • Oops, I Did It Again, p. 123
    Solutions for every holiday stain—from cranberry sauce to tree sap
  • Road Test, p. 134 
    Dish soap


  • 15 Minutes and You ’re Done, p. 137
  • Gut Check, p. 141
    How your gut functions as your “second brain,” and tips for keeping it healthy


  • How to Pay Off Your Mortgage, p. 153
    Five smart strategies for eliminating mortgage debt (the last in a four-part debt series)
  • Moneywise, p. 159
    Ways to save on furniture; apps and websites that help you dine out for less; tips to spot fake online product reviews



  • Secrets to a Spectacular Centerpiece, p. 166
    Inventive Thanksgiving table displays (dreamed up by three pros) that mere mortals can replicate
  • How to Say Grace, p. 174
    Minister Kate Braestrup reveals that the most powerful way to express gratitude is also the simplest
  • Ain’t Life Grand?, p. 176
    Glamorous, Jazz Age-inspired styles that translate beautifully to modern-day
  • She Runs This Town, p. 184
    Four inspiring mayors who are bringing real change close to home



  • From Our Table to Yours, p. 194 
    Real Simple’s food department shares beloved Thanksgiving recipes destined to become your own family favorites
  • Road Test, p. 205 
    Potluck supplies
  • Start Here, p. 207
    Delicious, make-ahead appetizers to give your guests a taste of what’s to come
  • Quick Takes, p. 214
    10 ideas for pie
  • Best Cellars, p. 217
    A dozen popular wines worthy of your holiday toast
  • Things Cooks Know, p. 221
    Thanksgiving strategies, techniques, and tips, from the Real Simple test kitchen to yours
  • Five Easy Dinners, p. 223
  • Nutritional Index, p. 234 



Credits, p. 236
Where to buy products featured in this issue

Discounts & Deals, p. 246 
Exclusive savings on personalized gifts

Clip and Save: Real Simple to Go, p. 248