Help! What Do I Wear To Meet The Parents For the Holidays?

Unless an A-line dress and pearls are your go-to (and power to you if they are), navigating the waters of what you should wear when meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time can be, well, choppy. The irrational tailspin and panic of hoping they deem you a worthy parter for your other half can block any reminders that they're looking forward to meeting you, not your clothing.

But while you’re there to knock 'em dead with your amazing personality, first impressions, by nature, do stick. We're all up to speed on the general set of rules to adhere to when diving into the process: minimal cleavage, nothing too tight, save the bold colors and patterns for a later date. Skipping over your leather mini skirt, however, doesn't mean dressing like a nun. It's all about finding a balance between keeping up with your fashion-forward taste while also keeping things subtle until you get to know them better.

Calm your fears with four first meeting scenarios ahead. From a quick coffee to their annual company dinner, we've pulled together some helpful advice in how to dress to win over your S.O.'s parents' hearts. You've got this!

Informal Lunch/Brunch
The best possible scenario involves meeting the parents in a more relaxed setting. If the environment leans more casual, like an early lunch or coffee, dress according the vibe. They'll likely be dressed in day-to-day outfits, so forego overthinking it with anything too dressy. Keep your look clean with simple pieces like wide-leg jeans and a sweater.
Wilfred Lorin Sweater, $125.00 Buy
Jesse Kamm Sailor Pant, $395.00 Buy
By Far Neva, $523.66 Buy
Home For The Holidays
Here's the big one. If your other half is bringing you to their home, be it for the weekend or just for the evening, the lines become a little blurred. If your S.O. isn't as forthcoming with details about the dress code, find a happy balance between dressy, simple, and best of all, festive. For these situations, opting for a dress or skirt with a medium hem is a good rule of thumb. It'll come across as dressy for the dinner portion but still allow you to curl up your legs on the couch if their family is a more of "pictionary after dinner" kind of group. A pretty set of sandals paired with a statement sock will keep up that in between line of being dressed up without looking "buttoned up."
Tibi Color Bock Silk Midi Bias Dress, $895.00 Buy
Rachel Comey Slimming Ankle Sock, $46.00 Buy
& Other Stories Rhinestone Heel Sandalette, $125.00 Buy
Out To Dinner
Occasionally, the first meet-up involves a more formal affair, whether it be a four-person reservation for a pre-holiday dinner, a country club party, or even just having tea in their salon if they're a mega-power couple. Keep your outfit as cleavage-free as possible, but again, don't forget to be yourself. Skip the ho-hum LBD for a dress that's formal while still packing in some personality. Wrap dresses, ankle-skimming dresses, and anything long-sleeved are good bets for any of the above situations. Top off the look with staple accessories like black pumps and a clutch to keep it muted.
Rixo London Margo Embellished Embroidered Georgette Midi Dress, $470.00 Buy
Whiting & Davis Canteen Wristlet, $255.00 Buy
Mango Velvet Slingback Shoes, $79.98 Buy
A Younger Sibling's School Recital
Heading home with your boo may require the meet happening at an extraneous activity. It may involve a younger sibling's holiday recital, their town's local theater rendition of the Nutcracker, or even an evening at the annual Christmas fair. A fitted trouser and blouse pairing will help to keep your outfit lose, comfortable, and adjustable to any and all situations. Ditch the idea of impressing in staggering heels and choose a pair of pretty flats ready for any unexpected terrains — school hardwood floors, dirt parking lots, or otherwise.
Topshop Blouson Bed Blouse, $60.00 Buy
Rebecca Vallance Mortimer Pleated Polka-dot Silk Wide-leg Pants, $400.00 $198.00, Buy
Malone Souliers Zelda Faux-pearl Embellished Backless Satin Flats, $595.00 Buy
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