Are you freaking out about what to wear when you meet your partner's parents? If you haven't met your beloved's family yet, then you're probably on tenter hooks – especially if the upcoming holiday season has been designated as The Perfect Time. You don't want to scandalize your partner's parents with clubwear, but neither do you want to look so prim and proper that you don't even resemble yourself. Let me help you figure out what to wear when you meet your partner's parents so you can own your own style and still make a stellar impression.
1. Research the Parent Situation
Knowing what to wear when you meet your partner's parents requires knowing about the parents themselves. Think about everything your lover has told you about them up to this point. Leading up to the big reveal, don't be afraid to ask questions about them either. You need to find out if they're strict and conservative or liberal and laid-back. Ask your partner about their likes and dislikes, pertaining both to fashion and other topics, such as music, movies, books, and so on.
2. Consider the Occasion
Where will you be meeting, and what's the occasion? If you're meeting at their home for a regular dinner, you can be a little more relaxed yourself. If you're meeting at their home during a holiday, however, you'll want to dress up a bit more. Are you meeting at a restaurant? Then follow the dress code for that particular place, but err on the side of dressy, just to be safe.
3. Try on Timeless Pieces
Timeless pieces will always stand you in good stead. Think about a little black dress, a beautifully cut coat or cardigan, flawlessly tailored trousers, and similar items. You don't have to step out in a Chanel suit and pearls, and you can still use accessories to add pops of color and personality, but classic clothing items rarely fail.
4. Look like a Lady
I know this sounds archaic, but I don't mean it like that. If you're not completely demure, don't fake it. I'm not asking you to simper or defer to your partner either. I'm simply saying to be ladylike in your clothing, makeup, and hair choices. If you rock red or pink hair, that's awesome, it's you, but you can create a lovely hairstyle for the event. Take your own personal style and simply refine it for the occasion.
5. Keep Makeup Subtle but Gorgeous
You can wear as much or as little makeup as you like, up to a point. Just make it appropriate for the occasion. For instance, a family dinner isn't necessarily the place for black smoky eyes and tons of mascara. Instead, why not do a smoky eye in a more natural or neutral color palette? If you decide to go out with a red lip, keep everything else minimal.
6. Skip the Skin Show
Your partner's parents don't need to see the goods. While flashing a little cleavage is okay, and while it's perfectly fine to draw attention to your legs, you know there are certain dos and don'ts. Don't wear a mini skirt and a midriff baring top. Stay away from any camel-toe situations and don't wear a top or dress with a neckline cut to your belly button.
7. Creature Comforts
Above all else, you need to be comfortable. If you never wear dresses, don't start now; you don't need to impress your partner's parents using false pretenses. Choose a gorgeous suit or pair of trousers, whatever makes you feel comfortable. Don't rock six inch heels if you always wear flats. Pick out an outfit that flatters you and fits your style, because it's better to be comfortable than constantly picking at your clothes.
See? You don't have to completely reinvent yourself – and indeed, you shouldn't. If things are serious enough that you're meeting each other's families, you can't misrepresent yourself. You might spend the rest of your life attending family affairs with the in-laws, pretending to be someone you're not! Who needs that?
Were you nervous when you met your partner's parents? Give up some tips on how you alleviated your anxiety.