by Sarah Morrison
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means for many of us, family reunions and friendly gatherings aplenty are the new normal from now until New Year’s. And for those of us also in a new relationship, we may find ourselves fraught with one occasion that is certainly much more daunting than convivial. That is, meeting the S.O.’s parents.
If it wasn’t difficult enough to exercise all of our charm and charisma in one fell swoop, meeting the S.O.’s parents also presents us with quite the sartorial challenge. Now while we wish the coveted stamp of approval could be won on the merits of our own shining personality, the reality is, our outfit can make or break that first impression.
Which leaves us wondering: can we achieve a look that perfectly encapsulates our sophistication without feeling contrived? One that is understated and effortless, all without sacrificing the hallmarks of everything that makes our individual style unique?
Without question, the answer is, a resounding yes.
Paying attention to fit and fabric, alongside our own body type and aesthetic, an outfit worthy of parental approval (and all the more) can become a tangible reality. Need proof? Simply look to these to 5 styling rules practically made for winning over the ‘rents this fall season.
1. Easy Silhouettes
If there ever was a time to embrace the practicality of an easy-fitting sweater or blouse, meeting the parents is certainly the occasion. Clean lines and a forgiving fit evoke a sense of understatement that ensures your personality is enhanced, and not overshadowed by your outfit. To create subtle definition, incorporate a french tuck into a midi skirt or a high-waisted pant.
2. Subtle Texture or Color
Infuse interest and personality into an otherwise fluid outfit by mixing in a healthy dose of unexpected texture or color. Pair a strong belt with a knee-length pleated skirt, throw on a printed scarf in a coordinating tone, or opt for a sophisticated layer in an always-classic plaid or houndstooth pattern.
3. Practical Layering
Show Mom and Dad your commitment to sensible styling by playing with knit-on-knit or mixed media in your first public ensemble. A sleeveless blazer over a cozy turtleneck is forever foolproof, as is layering a buttery-soft leather jacket over a cotton or silk blouse.
4. A Smart Heel Height
It goes without saying the stilettos can take a breather here. And while you don’t have to drift into kitten heel territory, a still-modest 3-4inch heel or ankle bootie can look the part, too. If flats are more your speed, try a slingback version for an ultra-modern update.
5. Refined Craftsmanship
It’s all in the details. Fabrics like merino wool, cashmere, chiffon silk are beloved for their durability, polish, fit, and unmatched level of comfort. Aim to include at least one of these fabrics in your ensemble and you’ll elevate your look, instantly.
Our Sunday Best Weekly
Join our community today for special conversations, smart style guides, discerning trend reports (and more)—brought to you only when it matters the most (we don’t spam, promise).