What To Wear When Meeting Your S.O.'s Parents

Meeting the parents is never easy. Whether it's the first time or the 500th, presenting yourself to your boo's support network can be an event in and of itself. Between spending time with his or her family and having to deal with the stress of the holidays, it can send even the most self-aware person into a mini tailspin. While your whole world shouldn't bank on the fam's opinion of your stylistic choices, having a mark of approval from your significant other's crew makes life feel that much smoother.

First impressions are all about wanting to put your best self forward, but forget everything you've been told you have to wear. Don't own the perfect silk-blouse-and-pencil-skirt combo? Forcing yourself into something you'd never wear isn't the answer. The most important rule is showing them you (also, not wearing anything too low-cut). But making the right sartorial choices can feel tricky when you're busy brushing up on some icebreakers (bless you, The Skimm).

To save your BFF from an overload of "Is this dress classy enough?!" mirror selfies, we've provided tons of outfit inspiration ahead for this major milestone.
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Don't feel like you have to toss a short dress out the window just yet. Opt for one with a billowy cut to prevent it from feeling too sexy and balance out the skirt length by layering a long-sleeved turtleneck underneath and topping things off with a long coat. Steer clear of knee-high boots in this situation. Instead, choose a mid-calf pair that still provide some coverage. Show off your fun side with accessories that pack in a pop of holiday color.

The Elder Statesman Cashmere and Silk-Blend Turtleneck Sweater, $640, available at Net-a-Porter; & Other Stories Strap Velvet Dress, $95, available at & Other Stories; Mango Handmade Coat, $229.99, available at Mango; Whistles Keiss 3/4 Gaucho Boot, $430, available at Whistles; H&M Suede Handbag, $129, available at H&M.
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For nighttime and dressier events, we've got you covered. Unless it's a black tie event, a black skirt and top combo is a stylish bet. Navigate the dicey waters of deciding how revealing is too revealing with a minimal sweater that still packs in some fancier details (see: sparkles). A pencil skirt with a little flare is the perfect bottom to keep things from feeling stiff and boring. You can play up your inner fashion instincts with trendy accessories, like a mule and mini bag.

Rag & Bone Cashmere Turtleneck, $645, available at Stylebop; Wilfred Patel Skirt $125 $75, available at Aritzia; Trademark Suede Mule, $378, available at Trademark; Charles & Keith Envelope Flap Sling Bag, $73 $59, available at Charles & Keith; Skagen Anita Leather Watch, $195, available at Skagen.
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An easy dress with a modest neckline is a no-fail option when you're looking to impress the parentals. We love this emerald-green number paired with a subtle printed overcoat, a sleek watch, and your go-to black booties (being comfortable will totally cancel out those nerves!). A chain-strap crossbody feels elegant here and is a nice alternative to your everyday tote.
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If the plan for the day is casual, stick to the trusted basics you feel most comfortable in. Feeling confident in a tried-and-true ensemble you already know works will save you one less worry over the occasion. A well-tailored shirtdress is minimal, yet polished enough to prove you're taking things seriously for your boo. Keep everything else just as simple with a classic coat and pared-down jewels.

Mo & Co. Belted Woolen Overcoat, $480, available at Mo & Co.; Maison Margiela Printed Wool Dress, $1,255, available at Stylebop; Topshop Gold Round Toe Ghillie Shoes, $120, available at Topshop; Wwake Three-Step Diamond Triangle Ring, $545, available at Wwake; Anne Sisteron Open Bezel Ring, $435, available at Iconery.
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If your S.O. is being the least forthcoming about the dress code (Is it brunch? Is the place fancy? Do I need to wear heels? What do you mean you don't know?!), the best you can do is err towards being overdressed — and a pant-and-blouse combo never fails. It walks the line of not being too attention-grabbing, while still remaining elegant and tasteful. And have no fear, you can make sheer work. Pair high-waisted pants with a bralette or bustier over or under a sheer top — how advanced you want to get with the layering technique is entirely up to you. Switch out the stuffy pearls every mother-in-law comedy has ever advised you about for unique pearl earrings.

Rochas Sheer Polka Dot Shirt, $855 $462, available at Moda Operandi; Topshop Sweetheart Neck Lace Bralet, $40 $20, available at Topshop; 3.1 Phillip Lim Wool-Gabardine Wide-Leg Pants, $395 $158, available at The Outnet; Zara Mohair Coat, $189, available at Zara; Reiss Rousseau, $295, available at Reiss; Hortense Moon Pearl Earrings, $910, available at Hortense.
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