I’m a new reader of your blog but I’m already totally addicted. I really enjoy your fashion tips for every occasion so maybe you can help me with this one. I’ve recently started dating an Asian guy and he wants me to have dinner with his parents. My style usually runs to jeans and a T-shirt while his is a little more formal. I need help please!
Maria, 29/ California, USA
Maria, honey, let’s just take a moment to savor this: OMG, you’re meeting the parents! Your relationship has reached that milestone where you’re ready to bring your possible future in-laws into your little love bubble! Meeting the parents is always a special, and sometimes daunting moment. Raise your hand if you’ve never felt the huge pressure to impress your significant other’s inner circle! (Put it down, liars, we all did.)
As with anything, first impressions are everything. Some people treat meeting the boyfriend’s family like an informal interview. Well, they’re right to do so! The goals are similar enough: in the interview you try your best to impress the boss so you’ll land the job; in dating, you want to impress the guy’s parents so that they’ll like you too. So here are a few tips that might help you pass the probation period and, who knows, get a ring for it!
Just be your self. It might sound cheesy but it’s the best tip one could give you. Bring the real you – the one your honey fell in love with – to meet the parents and they’re bound to fall in love with the same person. Having said that, be on your best, parent-appropriate behavior. When it comes to attire, that means:
- Leave oversized piercings at home, not in your ears, nostrils or brows.
- Bare no midriff and show no thighs. In fact, be careful how much skin you show at all. If the parents are conservative, it may be wise to skip sleeveless and deep V-necks altogether. Ask your boyfriend!
- Find the right fit – skip figure-hugging bandage dresses and way-too-oversized shirtdresses or tops.
- For most parent-girlfriend meetings, fashion-forward style is probably too flashy and intimidating.
- (not attire related but still very true) If you snort when you laugh too hard, try to keep it in check.
These are big no-no’s:
I would love to suggest a few outfits for you Maria, but you didn’t give me anything to work with! I can work a lot of magic when it comes to fashion, but I’m not a miracle-maker or mind-reader. Where are you going – a home-cooked dinner at his parents’ house or a restaurant? What is he wearing? (If you don’t know, be sure to ask first!) What’s your size and personal style? Even so, I’m hoping these options will help you and any other girls meeting their boyfriend’s parents.
Dinner at Home
Going over to someone’s house is usually a low-key affair. So unless they’ve made it known they’re hosting a fancy soiree, you can skip the gown, dear. Remember your manners: don’t outdress your hostess (ask your boyfriend what his mom usually wears) but don’t show up underdressed either. Casual chic is the way to go for a dinner at home. Dark-rinse jeans dressed up with a chiffon blouse and heels state classy-at-home style, while a darling dress is always charming.
A Low-Key Dinner in Your Neighborhood
Unless you’re heading to the local Applebee’s or TGIF, I would go with something slightly dressier for dinner at a restaurant. Again, it’s way better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. An A-line skirt is feminine while a one-piece patterned dress is simple and pretty. Adding a blazer or a cardigan will instantly dress up an outfit of basics.
A Fancy Dinner
Some folks are fancy-pants people and you might be heading somewhere special with an impressive ambiance and luxurious food. In that case, take the time to dress up a little bit – a wrap dress with a long strand necklace is always elegant, while a floral-patterned silk dress is sophisticated. Pumps work better than flats here. Still, no gowns please.
And lastly Maria, remember that attire isn’t everything. The recipe for a good time involves sharing some good stories, bringing a megawatt smile and just being the girl your guy fell in love with!
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