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What to Wear to Meet Your Boyfriend's Parents

Updated on September 4, 2016
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You Only Get One Chance to Make a First Impression

There comes a point in your relationship where you should meet the parents. That can be very nerve wracking by itself, but if you care about your partner, you should strive to make a good impression.

Make sure that you express to your partner that you want to know before you meet their parents so that you can put your best foot forward. If they assure you that their parents are very laid back and calm, remind your partner that they have known their parents for a literal lifetime.

First impressions, no matter how much we want to believe that they don't matter actually do. By acknowledging that you are meeting some very important people in his life, you have already taken the first and most scary step.

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Learn About What His Parents Like and Do Not Like

Learn some things about his parents. Don't make it an interrogation when asking him about his parents. Instead, ask about them.

  1. What do they like to do together?
  2. Do his parents have hobbies that they do together or separately?
  3. Do his parents belong to any churches, clubs, temples, or other religious or social clubs?
  4. Do his parents have pet peeves?
  5. Was there anyone he brought home that was a really bad experience for them?
  6. If the answer to 5 was yes, then what happened?

Do not make the mistakes that others made before you. It is okay to ask questions. After all, this man is your boyfriend! A perfect example here is my friend who worked very hard to create a special double chocolate cake and vanilla cream cheese frosting. Her boyfriend neglected to let her know that his father was diabetic and his mother was gluten intolerant. Luckily, he mentioned it on the way to the house and she replaced her sweet treat with flowers. They laugh about it now, but on that evening, my friend was very frustrated with him. Always ask before making food or bringing anything with you.

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Choosing the Outfit

Now that you know a little bit about his parents, their likes, dislikes, and more, next is the place that you will be meeting. If you are meeting for the first time at a social function, like a wedding, a dinner, a reception or similar, this is easy. Dress for the occasion.

I once met a former boyfriend with his parents for the first time at the wedding of his sister that he and I were a part of. I was less than thrilled with the orange, purple and grey dress that she had chosen for all of us to wear, but it did make it easier for planning the evening. I actually brought a separate dress for the reception. When I was asked why I did this, I explained that I wanted to be able to sit and enjoy meeting people and not worrying about a dress that was six inches too long. We all had a good laugh.

Even though everyone else complained about the dress, I was glad that I did not, because my boyfriends' mother said "I am so glad you like the dress. I chose the colors myself."

If you don't have a choice because of something like that, as soon as the event itself is over, there is nothing wrong with changing clothes.

If you are picking an outfit on your own, make the following selections as part of your choice:

  1. What colors do you look your best in?
  2. What styles of clothes look great on you? Are they appropriate to meet someone important in, or to go out to a club. You are meeting parents, not headed out for drinks with these lovely people, even if you do end up going out to a restaurant or something later, do not dress like you would for a night out with your best friends.
  3. What shoe do you wear the best that is also comfortable to wear? I once wore a beautiful pair of heels to a job interview. They were so uncomfortable that by the end of the interview, I was no longer hoping to get the job, but merely to not pass out in front of the lady from human resources. Choose a pair of shoes that fits well, is comfortable, looks good, and complements your outfit.
  4. Make up that is easy to touch up. You want to look polished and presentable. However, after a meal or drinks, you want to be able to touch up your face without it looking like you had a complete makeover in the powder room. I like a really light and natural look with nude lips for the first meeting. A little gloss over the top and you are back in the game.
  5. Check your outfit for spots, stains, tears, rips, missing buttons, damaged zippers, stray threads and anything else that looks out of place.
  6. Try your outfit on with the underclothes that you will be wearing. Stand in a full length mirror. Check out your backside as well. Look for things like panty lines, good fit of garments, matching with total outfit and finally, get the shoes on and check again.
  7. Determine what accessories and bag you will carry and see if all of your component layers match and meld or if your look is confused.


Be Prepared

Be prepared. Add a few safety pins to your key ring, some breath mints to your purse as well as a wet wipe for spills, a few pins for your hair and have fun.

His parents will probably want to know all about you, so be prepared. This is a big interview for them, but you can go a long way to create some goodwill and cheer towards you. Here are some tips.

  1. Share sweet and sentimental stories about you and your boyfriend. Don't share embarrassing moments. This is not the time or place for that.
  2. You will be asked about your family, so have some anecdotes as well as facts.
  3. If you have a smart phone, it is a smart idea to have some family photos loaded into a gallery of just family on your phone. A quick pass through these will give his family an idea of what yours is like. Don't text or take calls, though! I advise you use the airline setting on your phone so that you remain focused on this important first meeting.
  4. If you are meeting at his parents' home as your first time meeting, a gift is appropriate. You can never fail with flowers, so long as you check to make sure that no one in the house is allergic. When that happened to me, I brought a plate of cookies that I made. (After I asked my fella about food allergies of everyone in the house.)
  5. Express how nervous and excited that you are to meet them. If they ask why you are nervous, be honest and tell them that you want to make a good first impression.
  6. Thank them for taking the time to meet you.
  7. Have an agreed time to leave between you and your boyfriend. Even if you are having a wonderful time, it is better to leave on an up note than overstaying your welcome.
  8. I have heard from many friends that the most overused line is "I have heard so much about you" or a person who goes on and on about how wonderful that the parents are. A better option here is to mention something about the parent/s. Some good examples are: "Jim tells me that he really loves that you both are such avid readers. Jim says that he inherited that love from you. I like that about him, and it is something special to me." Don't gush on and on. A simple statement is best.


Meet the Parents

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  • Winnerofworld profile image

    Hari Haran 4 years ago from Namakkal

    This is really nice information for girls. Last time my girlfriend met my parents with ordinary dress.