Congrats! You’re in a committed relationship and are officially in it for the long haul. Gone are the days of spending major holidays apart — this year, bae has invited you to meet the parentals. Aside from the rush of initial stress that comes with being introduced to your significant other’s extended family, the real conundrum is figuring out what to wear. (Classic fashion-girl crisis, we know.) To play it cool with a librarian-chic cardigan and a pencil skirt or to show up dressed to the nines in your church-going attire? Or perhaps neither. If you want to be seen as wifey status, there are certain wardrobe essentials that simply won’t fly — you won’t find any deep plunging necklines, midriff-baring tops or lace-up bodysuits on this list. Scroll down for 26 looks that are guaranteed to impress your S.O.’s parents, without trying too hard, at the Thanksgiving dinner table.
1. J.Crew Pintucked Pencil Skirt in Houndstooth Jacquard ($138): Play it safe with this anything-but-boring houndstooth pencil skirt that pays tribute to your inner hostess with the mostess. Between lending an extra hand in the kitchen and tuning in to some football, you’re game for it all. For maximum impact, just throw on a pajama-style shirt and glitter-flecked heels.
2. Zara Long-Sleeved Frilled Blouse With a Bow ($70): While first impressions do matter, your killer sense of style should never fade to the back burner. Turn up the drama with this party-ready chartreuse bow-neck blouse that can stand on its own. That and some black culottes (or a prim-and-proper pencil skirt, if that’s your jam) will more than suffice once dinnertime rolls around.
3. Topshop Tall Gold Metallic Pleat Midi Skirt ($130): Equal parts festive and fun, this swishy metallic pleat skirt shows you’re all about partaking in seasonal traditions. Dial it down with a vintage embroidered sweater and backless mules, or channel a luxe look with a thin black turtleneck and classy pearl studs.
4. & Other Stories Night Fever Velvet Boots ($195): Run, don’t walk, to snatch up a pair of these brilliant magenta velvet boots that will lend a rocker ‘tude to even the most conservative of Thanksgiving looks. If there’s one thing you and your boo’s mom will be bonding over, you best believe it’ll be your shared affection for shoes.
5. ASOS Jumpsuit in Premium Jacquard Stripe ($98): Don’t you dare settle for a predictable LBD when you know this snazzy jacquard striped jumpsuit is so much more YOU. To avoid revealing too much skin, simply toss on an after-hours-approved blazer and skip your going-out stilettos in favor of a conservative pair of ankle-strap steppers.
6. Kate Spade Flutter Sleeve Sheath Dress ($298): Some say little black dresses are blasé — we prefer to call them timeless and ready to mingle. This relatively unassuming LBD is just the thing to reach for when the dress code for Thanksgiving reads blurry at best. Leave the indecision behind by classing it up with some chunky block heels and a flashy cocktail ring.
7. Elevenses Velvet Joggers ($118): It’s 2016, and wearing velvet joggers to meet the in-laws is officially deemed acceptable. Mind = blown. But actually, you’d be surprised at just how profesh (and unbelievably comfortable) these plush athleisure-inspired bottoms are when paired with an off-the-shoulder sweater and ugly-pretty glove shoes.
8. Kate Spade Blot Dot Midi Skirt ($348): Cue the heart eyes: A Thanksgiving get-together-turned-dinner-party calls for your Sunday best. (Yes, your grammie’s pearls will be in order.) Since you only have one chance to win over your partner’s fam, pulling out all the stops is a no-brainer. Channel your inner Grace Kelly with this ladylike ink blot print midi skirt that will straight-up stun with pom-pom-embellished party heels and a lace blouse.
9. Wilfred Lourdes Blouse ($195): Nothing says family-appropriate like a vintage-inspired silk blouse that shows you’ve got class (and killer style). Tap into your bohemian sensibilities by tossing this statement piece on alongside throwback flares and chunky clogs for a one-of-a-kind look.
10. J.Crew Ruffle Silk Button-Up in Vintage Champagne ($110): You mean you don’t already have a ruffled tuxedo-style button-up on standby? Girl, you best be investing in this vintage champagne shirt STAT, as it’ll more than likely be serving as a focal point to your Thanksgiving #OOTD. Pair it with wool trousers, a box pleat skirt or alongside a velvet pinafore dress for major brownie points with you-know-who.
11. Finders Keepers Odom Knit Dress ($150): New rule: If you can wear it to the boardroom without getting into hot water with HR, then it should pass with flying colors once it’s time to swap handshakes with your new extended family. Layer this powder blue knit sweater dress over a crisp white shirtdress and slip into some suede mules, for a cozy-chic look that will even hide your Thanksgiving food baby.
12. Eri + Ali Cropped Lace Sweatshirt ($88): You gotta love it when your better half’s family has just as much of an appreciation for low-key Thanksgiving plans as you do. While your off-duty sweats obvs won’t be cutting it, this fancy cropped lace sweatshirt is a different story. More cocktail-ready than lounge-worthy, it’ll look like a million bucks with leather joggers or slinky metallic wide-leg bottoms in the equation.
13. French Connection Allegro Poppy Ruffle Dress ($258): Too much romance? No such thing. This poppy ruffled dress sends exactly the right message. The long-sleeved silhouette and knee-skimming length serve as a reminder that modest is hottest when it comes to playing up your girl-next-door image. Fend off any potentially chilly temps with noir tights and velvet ankle booties.
14. Babaton Pacey Dress ($115): After traveling for hours on end to bae’s hometown, the last thing you should have to worry about is a wrinkled dress (this girl doesn’t have time to pull out the portable steamer). Introducing the wear-everywhere A-line frock with major around-the-clock appeal. While it can be worn on its own, we especially love how it looks layered over a lace top for a little extra pizzazz.
15. & Other Stories Lace Dress ($145): When you’re playing for the final rose (sorry, Bachelor speak right here), a DDG lace dress is non-negotiable. This romantic burgundy number flaunts a timeless fit-and-flare silhouette and frilly mock collar that reads sophisticated AF. Go ahead and grab your daintiest minaudiere clutch and lace-up ghillies to round out the look.
16. J.Crew Scalloped Heels in Festive Plaid ($248): Show up wearing these charming shiny ponies and there’s a 99-percent chance you’ll receive compliments from your S.O.’s mom, grandma and sister (who will more than likely want to take them out for a spin). Between the seasonal tartan print, scalloped trim and modest block heel, these beauties are guaranteed to make a lasting first impression.
17. Floreat Oralie Skirt ($128): Obsessed would be an understatement. No need to waste any more time trying to style the *perfect* look — we’ve uncovered the most fuss-free combo yet. Pair this metallic motif print skirt with a slouchy knit sweater, metallic ankle boots and some celestial-inspired danglers for a nighttime-approved ensemble.
18. BaubleBar Eirini Crystal Drops ($36): Simply elegant does it with these crystal drop earrings that are sure to lend a little extra somethin’ somethin’ to whatever you’re wearing, be it a cable knit sweater or a twirl-worthy frock. When in doubt, tuck these glam stunners into your purse for safe keeping, just in case you feel a smidge underdressed around the dinner table.
19. Reformation Smocked Georgette Blouse ($200): Trading small talk for the first time with what could be your future in-laws is not the time to whip out the lace-up bodysuits and deep V-necklines. Instead, err on the conservative side with this Victorian-style smocked Georgette blouse that would be fit to meet the queen. If black slacks feel too boardroom-ready for you, a pair of high-waisted dark-wash skinnies (leave the distressed and ripped denim at home, folks!) will take on an after hours-ready appearance.
20. Topshop Gorgeous Glitter Shoes ($85): Dress to impress from your head to your toes with a set of these gorgeous glitter steppers with a major side of sass. It doesn’t matter if you’re rocking a sweeping floor-length gown, a leather mini or rolled-up boyfriend jeans; these fancy steppers will take any outfit up a notch.
21. Zara Cropped Layered Jumpsuit ($70): None of this “trying too hard” nonsense with overly fussy separates. This one-and-done layered jumpsuit in a gorgeous jewel tone is not only refreshingly simple, but it can be styled in two seconds flat — a win-win for us lazy girls. Slip this hero piece on alongside a pair of ankle boots and swipe on some lip gloss for a polished look.
22. English Factory Woven Sleeves Top ($70): Surely the parentals — especially your boo’s trendsetting mother — can appreciate a little alternative edge. Let it be known that this crisp button-down, complete with daring shoulder cutouts, will spark a conversation at the dinner table. Pair with an accordion-pleat skirt and dangling chandelier earrings for a head-turning look.
23. Moulinette Soeurs Blooming Bow Dress ($188): Nope, there’s no such thing as overdressing when it comes to impressing the parents for the first time. When there’s catering, dancing and a five-course Thanksgiving dinner involved, it’s safe to say a soiree-ready botanical print gown is absolutely in order. Cinderella-esque glass slippers wouldn’t hurt either.
24. BaubleBar Andra Choker ($68): When the dress code for Thanksgiving dinner reads black tie, you have free rein to style this bejeweled choker as you see fit. Sure, it’s a bold move, but when teamed with something classy — say, an ultra-feminine silk blouse or an ankle-grazing velvet slip dress — the end result just may surprise you.
25. Ted Baker MAJIDA Antique Stripe Full Midi Skirt ($315): Be still our heart: We’ve uncovered the prettiest, most sophisticated midi skirt in existence. (Bonus points: The antique stripe print will lend itself well to many a hostessing duties this season.) Play up your inner Blair Waldorf by injecting some Upper East Side charm a la a tie-neck blouse, a timeless car coat and some bow-topped steppers.
26. Sezane Harry Trousers ($140): It’s NOT too early to reach for your prized seasonal tartan print trousers. Throw in a cream-colored fisherman sweater and preppy cognac loafers for a Parisian-chic look that will never steer you wrong. In other words: You’re a keeper.
Which of these style essentials top your list for meeting your S.O.’s parents for the first time? Follow us on Pinterest for more style inspo!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.