Much like a job interview, first impressions are important when meeting your beau’s parents for the first time. And like a job interview, this can be one of the most nerve-wracking meet-and-greets around. Throw in the pressure of the holiday season, and it’s full anxiety overload. If you’re coupled and worried about coming face-to-face with a new clan this season, take a deep breath and make a great first impression with these 18 must-have wardrobe staples. From ladylike silhouettes to party-appropriate sweaters, read on for our tips to help you look dazzling.
1. Feminine Lace: Sure, a plain pencil skirt is always a safe bet, but we love the idea of embracing your feminine side with a touch of colorful lace. Try this angelic lace skirt ($173) to add a bold bit of color to an otherwise blah outfit. (via Gal Meets Glam)
2. Steve Madden Leopard Heels ($99): Don’t embarrass yourself in too-high heels that you can barely walk in. If you’re meeting your SO’s folks in a situation where heels are required, the safest (and chicest) route is to stick with three-inch heels. If you’re looking to pump up your look, try a leopard print.
3. Bold Colors: A bright, jewel-toned ensemble not only shows your festive side, but it also proves you’re one creative lady who isn’t afraid to be different. Couple this vibrant skirt ($364) with an equally rich-hued blouse to copy the look. (via A Little Dash of Darling)
4. Spotty Swing Dress ($84): You can’t go wrong with a stylish figure-flattering dress. To keep it from being too boring, choose a sweet print like polka dots. To jazz up the look, spring for a bold lip and sharp pumps.
6. Mittens Sweater ($430): Planning a casual coffee date and don’t want to be overdressed? Opt for a charming sweater, like this playful Chinti & Parker one, and pair it with your favorite jeans for the ultimate cozy look.
7. Glam Details: Don’t be afraid to make a splash with killer accessories like this fashion editor. Statement necklace? Check. Leather paneling? Keep it feminine with a flirty skirt. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up flowers. (via Nicolette Mason)
8. Antler Necklace ($36): Show off your holiday cheer with this dainty antler necklace that can be worn year-round. Bonus points if you get one as a gift for your love’s mom.
9. Metallic Sweater: Dressing to meet your SO’s parents at a holiday party can be tricky. We think sequins are always appropriate, but this metallic sweater ($84) is a unique alternative and packs just as much sparkle. (via Atlantic-Pacific)
10. Tan Suede Bootie ($70): For those occasions when classic pumps are a bit too formal, go with a comfortable ankle boot. While we’re huge fans of the standard black version, these tan suede boots will keep your look casual but flirty.
11. Black Jumpsuit: Much like the LBD, you just can’t go wrong with a black jumpsuit ($65). Dress it down for daytime activities with strappy sandals and a colorful necklace, or dress it up with a powerful red lip. (via With Love from Kat)
12. Speckled Silk Scarf ($45): This beautiful one-of-a-kind gold-speckled scarf will add interest to even the simplest of outfits. Wrap it, knot it or use it as a shawl to keep stylishly warm.
13. Winter Vest: We get that the last thing you want to do is wear a bulky winter coat when meeting your boo’s folks for the first time. Take a cue from Poppy Delevingne and think outside the box — err, closet — with a shearling vest ($119) instead. (via Vanessa Jackman)
14. Grayson Bar Bag ($265): The addition of studs to an otherwise prim bag adds a hint of rocker-chic to your look. Key takeaway? Play up your accessories!
15. Ladylike Coat: Don’t be afraid to reach for your favorite pair of blue jeans, but may we suggest pairing them with a ladylike coat ($87) for a polished finish? This pastel hue classes up even the most destroyed jeans. (via Hello Fashion Blog)
16. Matte Lip Tar Trio ($25): Make a statement… with your lips. These satin-finish lip colors can be layered for a bold shade or lightly applied for a sheer hint of color. Plus, these bad boys don’t fade, so no worries on excusing yourself to reapply your lipstick.
17. Midi Skirt: Wear a mini and you risk looking too sexy, wear a maxi and you’re taking a chance with being overly casual. What’s a girl to do? Thankfully midi skirts ($43) are having a moment. These chic mid-length, full-bodied skirts are perfect for pulling off this season’s demure ladylike trends. Sass it up with a graphic print or a bold color. (via Wear and Where)
18. Boucle Moto Jacket ($28): Don’t even think about throwing on a leather jacket, which can come off a little too edgy for a date with the parents. Instead, go for a fab take on the classic silhouette with a boucle finish. We have a feeling Coco Chanel would approve.
Did this must-haves list quell your fears of meeting the parents? Did we leave anything off our list? Tell us in the comments!