So You’re Meeting the Parents? These Outfits Are Sure to Impress

The holiday season is officially upon us! This means lots of food, shopping, friends, family and… Meeting your significant other’s family. Now don’t panic. Although the prospect may seem extremely intimidating, especially when doing so during the busiest time of year, there is one guaranteed way you can impress them as soon as you walk in the door: your outfit.

The key to any successful meet-the-parents look is that you look sophisticated, stylish, down to earth, presentable and appropriate, in an effortless sort of sense. I promise I’m not setting you up for failure. I know those probably sounded like the most complex and unrealistic expectations ever, which is why I’ve compiled three looks that are perfect for all the various situations you may meet the family in.

Scenario #1: Family Gathering at a Home

This is probably the most common situation given that the holidays are typically all about cooking and relaxing (or at least attempting to). The key to this look is that you don’t dress up too much. Since it’s at a home, chances are you’ll be sitting on a couch or the floor for the majority of the night, and possibly even playing with some kiddos or pets. Therefore, leave the bodycon dresses, tight leather pants, crop tops and statement jewelry at home. The last thing you need is a baby cousin pulling on your dangly earrings all night or your leather pants ripping when you sit down. My recommendation is to keep it simple by wearing a pair of skinny jeans, a nice sweater (turtlenecks are my favorite right now) and booties (the ideal shoes when going someplace where you may or may not take off your shoes). This way, you can still appear fashionable while also remaining comfortable and tasteful.

Shop the look: Susana Monaco, Madewell, Steve Madden

Scenario #2: Family Gathering at Restaurant/Other Public Place

Depending on the location, this may call for a more dressy outfit than if you were to be at someone’s home. In the case that it is at a nicer establishment, I would suggest wearing a nice skirt or dress, however, still stay away from tight leather pants, short skirts/dresses and 5-inch or higher heels. Your best bet is some form of flowy/trapeze dress, tights and booties. The tights are especially important if you live anywhere remotely cold in order to avoid the “oh, your legs must be so cold” comments that may or may not be alluding to the fact that your dress is slightly too short. Try to look to the following outfit for some inspiration to ensure you are dressed up enough without looking like you want to steal the show.

Shop the look: Free People, Urban Outfitters, Sam Edelman

Scenario #3: Airport or Other Form of Transportation

If you and your significant other are traveling for the holidays and you have the pleasure of meeting the parents immediately after a plane ride, road trip, etc., you have the challenge of looking nice while also realistically looking like you just traveled. The perfect travel outfit could consist of boyfriend jeans (the baggier fit is much more comfortable for traveling), a plaid shirt (the button down makes it appear nicer while the plaid pattern dresses it down), a cardigan and booties (clearly booties work with every outfit). This outfit allows you to have a relaxed look without resulting to leggings and sweatshirts so that you still appear put together and presentable when it comes time to meet everyone.

Shop the look: Club Monaco, Rag & Bone, Madewell, Rag & Bone

Written by: Bethany Stokoski