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What to wear when meeting your boyfriend's parents

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Meet the parents

You have a great new man in your life and now the time has come that you have been dreading. He wants you to meet his parents!
Mother and grown son

If you have been dating your boyfriend for a while now, it's probably time to meet the parents. Though you might not be looking forward to it, meeting your boyfriend's parents doesn't have to be a harrowing experience.

You have heard all the horror stories about his overbearing mom who treats him like a baby. You don't want her to think you are stealing her son away. So, how do you make a great first impression? Well, this one case when appearance does matter. It's important to dress and act appropriately when meeting his parents for the first time.

Wear a dress

Unless you are going to be playing sports, you can wear a dress to almost any event. Whether you are having dinner at his parent's house, going out to a restaurant, or meeting up elsewhere, it's always best to wear a dress.

Choose a style that is suitable to the locale. For a family dinner at home, a simple, knee-length dress is most appropriate. For a more formal occasion, you may consider a longer skirt. Select a figure-flattering style that doesn't cling too tight. A mini-dress is normally not suitable for the first time meeting his parents. No matter how classy your mini-dress is, his mom will say the skirt was too short.

Dress classy, not trendy

Stick with classic pieces rather than the latest trendy looks. But don't get trapped into looking stuffy. Leave your business suit at the office. A simple shift dress or A-line skirt is much more appropriate. You can't go wrong with a black dress for evening, but don't be afraid of color. Pastels or even jewel tones are terrific choices. Just don't go too bold with wild colors or loud prints.

Don't wear too much makeup

Though you want to look good, don't pack on the makeup. Keep your makeup natural.

Use foundation to even out your skintone but don't lay it on thick. Light eye shadow with a coat of brown mascara is probably heavy enough for the eyes. Pink blush and lip gloss are just perfect. Pink conveys innocence.

Coordinate with your partner

No, you shouldn't wear matching sweaters. However, you should at least complement his style. If your boyfriend is wearing a suit, you shouldn't be wearing jeans and a sweater.

Add vintage jewelry

If you have a favorite vintage piece of jewelry from your mother or grandmother, now is a great time to wear it. Not only will it be a wonderful conversation piece, it will also show you care about family.

Carry an interesting bag

Show a little bit of your personality in your choice of handbag. Don't pick anything too outrageous but your handbags and accessories are a great way to show off your style. Bold colors, metallics and patent leather handbags are always good selections.

Bouquet of flowers

Avoid the hot topics

Avoid talking about religion, politics and of course, sex. There's no reason to get into a headed debate about the Presidential candidates or the right to bear arms at your first meeting with his parents.

Keep the conversation light but interesting. You shouldn't have to worry much about topics of conversation, as his mother will probably have plenty of questions for you.

Smile and say, "thank you"

A big smile goes a long way. Even in awkward moments, you can get through it with a smile. And don't forget about the common courtesies of "please" and "thank you." If you are visiting his parent's home, bring a bouquet of flowers or some homemade cookies with you.

Afterwards, send his parents a thank you note. The most important thing about meeting your boyfriend's parents is to relax and let your glowing personality shine through!

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