OK, so think you’ve met the man who may be ‘the one’, and it looks like he’s thinking the same because he’s suggested you meet his parents – Eeek!
What to wear!
His parents liking you is often an important factor at this stage of a relationship, so you definitely want to make a good impression.
How you look will form a large part of how you’ll be perceived and the first impression is that ‘all important’ one as it sets the tone of things to come. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the only thing that matters, there’s your behavior, body language and conversation to consider as well, but starting off with a great visual impression will certainly set the foundation for you to prove your other qualities.
So, how do you know what to wear when you meet his parents?
Here’s some questions to answer before combing through your wardrobe:
Where are you going?
If you’re having an intimate family dinner at home, you might want to dial the glam down and dress a bit more simply. This is also not the time to flaunt your figure or breasts with a sexy little number. Meeting at a restaurant will give more leeway when it comes to dressing up but keep the sexy numbers at home and opt for something a little sophisticated.
What time are you going to meet up?
A casual brunch calls for a daytime, chic look. Evening occasions will be dressier, and this is where your LBD might be more well-suited.
How do you want to come across?
I suggest that it’s classy, friendly and likable. His parents will be hoping for someone who looks like she’ll be stable, reliable, friendly and easy to get on with. To do that, you’re best to steer clear of pieces that are too structured, styled, revealing, trendy, or too conspicuous.
How do you show a bit of personality?
Going for a classic, stylish look doesn’t mean sacrificing your personal style. In fact, it’s always good to show off a little of yourself.
The best way to show off your personality is through prints, accessories or clever styling. Not gaudy statement pieces or skin-tight garments. Think about how you can add an interesting twist or an unusual accessory to a classic outfit. Looks like these are often admired and can act as conversation starters that may show an interesting side of you or prompt a story about your lie or experiences.
The Nitty Gritty
Tom Ford said, “Dressing well is a form of good manners.” Manners and etiquette are absolutely vital to making an amazing impression with his parents. Dressing appropriately is your first step to establishing a good relationship with his family.
Before we get into styling tips and ideas, let’s first establish some basic ground rules:
- Avoid high slits, low cleavages, and ultra-low open backs. You want to wow them with your class and wit, and not show off your assets in a negative way.
- Now is not the time to wear your platform party heels. Heels are okay, in fact, great to wear, if they’re of the more classic kind. I recommend pumps, low or mid heels, or simple ankle booties for the daytime.
- Wear something comfortable. You don’t want to be fidgeting at the table because it may seem rude. Comfortable doesn’t mean dressed down. It just means that you should wear something that fits nicely and doesn’t constrict movement. A meet-the-parents dinner is not the time to break in new shoes or wear that dress you love but you can’t eat in.
- Don’t wear heavy makeup or experiment with messy-chic hair trends. Prim and proper is best. Wear your hair down or wear in a neat ponytail during this pivotal occasion. As for your makeup, keep it natural looking and simply elect to enhance your natural features. Leave the messy bun, clumpy lashes, and smoky eyes at home.
OK, so now you have an idea of what NOT to wear, here are a few guidelines for what to wear:
Whether it’s a casual lunch or brunch at the hottest spot in town, it’s always a good idea to wear lighter and more feminine pieces for daytime. Don’t accessorize your look too much, and keep everything day appropriate. Dress casually, but make an effort to look a little bit more polished than usual. Skinny jeans (no distressed denim this time), a nice sweater, ballet flats or chic ankle boots are a great idea. Conservative yet feminine pieces like shirt-dresses, a pretty sundress worn under a cardigan or structured jacket, ruffled tops over cropped trousers are also other great options.
Large Holiday Family Gathering
If you’re meeting the parents in the context of a larger family gathering, you should aim to stand out—in a good way. Embrace color and print, but like with everything else, don’t go overboard and keep moderation and conservative style top of mind. A red sweater over a knit skirt, or maybe a polka dot silk blouse with jeans and colorful flats are some ideas to stand out in style. A classy or interesting statement necklace with a monochromatic outfit is also a great way to get dressed and get noticed in a crowd.
Intimate Dinner at Home
Since this is a more personal venue and space, don’t be too fashion forward. Be chic, but be simple and comfortable. Opt for understated jewelry, and show off some personal items. Wear soft medium colors instead of anything too bold. Given the intimate setting, now is the perfect time to don jewelry or accessories that have a good story behind it. They can be an excellent conversation prompt.
Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3
Fancy Evening Party
Dress to impress everyone at the party, but never forget the number one people you’re trying to impress—your boyfriend’s parents. A little black dress always works for a fancy evening affair. However, be cautious in how you style your cocktail dresses. Don’t be too over-the-top with accessories, and let the elegance of your dress do the talking. Like I’ve previously mentioned, avoid revealing silhouettes or tight fitting pieces, dresses that drape and skim your figure nicely are best. A fit and flare dress that ends at the knee is a safe bet. Classic heels and jewelry should finish your look off nicely.