meeting boyfriends parents

“What To Wear When Meeting My Boyfriend’s Parents?” The Do’s and Don’ts!

In Fashion Trends & Advice by marketninjas

Meeting your boyfriend’s parents is a huge step in your relationship.  If he wants you to start meeting the most important people in your life, then things must be getting pretty serious.

It’s normal to feel a little bit nervous about this meeting.  You may even start second-guessing yourself or feeling self-conscious about how to dress and behave.

In anticipation of the event, you’ve probably gone through your closet several times in search of the perfect thing to wear.  After all, you want to make a great first impression to win them over and set the tone for your relationship going forward.

casual little black dress

When it comes to what to wear, we’ve got you covered with a list of clothes to choose from. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts of dressing for a meeting with the parents.

We will cover some considerations that will impact what you ultimately choose to wear in this section:

We will cover some considerations that will impact what you ultimately choose to wear in this section:​Why is my outfit so important?

  • Where are you meeting them?
  • What’s the occasion?
  • How old are they?

Then we’ll cover some things to think about when deciding if you should wear something from your closet or purchase a new outfit just for the occasion.

Should I go shopping for new clothes?

Next, we will examine the things you shouldn’t wear if you are keen to make a good impression.

What not to wear when meeting your boyfriend’s parents

  • Cropped tops
  • Distressed jeans or frayed hems
  • Trendy Clothes
  • Strapless clothes
  • Clothes that need a strapless bra
  • Something that’s too tight
  • Heels that are too high
  • (Short) Shorts
  • A backless top or dress
  • Anything that shows off cleavage
  • Being overdressed
  • Bodycon dress
  • Leggings
  • Sneakers

Last, we’ll suggest a variety of things that are ideal for meeting his parents. Have a look and see which ones resonate the most with you.  Which would you feel most comfortable in?  What items look great on you?

Items you can totally wear when meeting your boyfriend’s parents

(Links are to examples on Amazon)

levi strauss gold label skinny jeans

Getting to meet the boyfriend’s parents is a milestone for any woman in a relationship. Every woman feels somewhat nervous when going to meet her boyfriend’s parents, and they tend to get conscious about everything, including the way they dress.

Every guy would want his parents to have a positive impression of his girlfriend, even if he is not as close to his parents. Because when the parents like you, it makes things much easier for everyone involved.

We suggest that you should not stress yourself in attempting to make a perfect impression, because there are plenty of other ways to get their approval. You could always bring a gift, flowers, some cake, or a bottle of wine.

If you want to make a favorable impression on them, we will give you some advice on the do’s and don’ts of dressing when meeting his parents.

Why is My Outfit So Important?

Even though it isn’t the most important aspect, the outfit you wear are your way of silently conveying the kind of person you are. You are expressing your personality, tastes, and interests in a way that is subtle and creative.

To make it easier for you to pick the best outfit, we will highlight what you should and should not wear.

floral print loose summer blouse


Before we get into the details, let us look at a few considerations to keep in mind before picking your outfit.

Where Are You Meeting Them?

For one, you need to consider where you will be meeting your boyfriend’s parents. Is it a restaurant, their family home, or at an event? This can greatly affect your choices when it comes to dressing up. The setting can help you blend in or make you stand out.

For instance, if you’re meeting them at their family home, you should consider dressing up a little casually. On the other hand, a formal event like a friend’s wedding means that you should invest in making a good impression.

When it comes to restaurants, you should always pick something comfortable yet elegant. This is so you can give off a feminine vibe and you won’t feel restricted while eating.

What’s The Occasion?

In addition to the place where you’re meeting them, the event also matters a great deal when selecting a dress. For instance, if it’s a party where you’ll get to meet other relatives as well, you’ll have to dress differently compared to when it’s a picnic or so.

Happy or joyous occasions like a festival can call for different kinds of attire as compared to no occasion or ‘just dinner’.

How Old Are They?

A strange question to consider, but it’s still important because it takes into account when your boyfriend’s parents grew up. Of course, this doesn’t exactly give you an objective answer as to what you should and shouldn’t wear, because parents can be a little or moderately conservative anyway.

Should I Go Shopping For New Clothes?

There’s never a wrong time to buy more clothes, but if it’s financially inconvenient for you at a particular time, you shouldn’t feel the need to. Nonetheless, once-only occasions and events may require that you invest a little into your wardrobe.

What Not to Wear When Meeting Your Boyfriend’s Parents

Let’s go through our list of fashion don’ts before getting to the fashion dos. It’s best to lay down some ground rules for what not to wear so you have a better idea of what’s acceptable.

Cropped Tops

Cropped tops are a fashion staple for every woman who appreciates cute and trendy style. It’s one of the few closet items that can make you seem energetic and younger, instantly. However, it’s not the best choice for when you’re going to meet your boyfriend’s parents.

Cropped tops, even when paired with a pair of high-waisted bottoms, can show off some skin, which may be a bit scandalous if you’re meeting his parents for the first time. Besides, do you really want your boyfriend’s parents to know how you look in a cropped top? Exactly. Stick to something uncropped.

Distressed Jeans or Frayed Hems

This should be a no-brainer but we’ll mention it anyway – don’t wear distressed jeans or clothes when meeting them. Sure, it’s in vogue and even celebrities wear them at formal occasions, but his parents will probably wonder why you’re dressed like a homeless person.

Leave your shredded jeans and distressed T-shirts for other days when you can meet friends. If you’re wondering whether you can wear jeans or a T-shirt at all, we’ll get to that in a little while.

As for frayed hems, we think it’s better to be safe than sorry. While some pants with frayed hems may look classy, you don’t want to risk coming off as too casual.

Trendy Clothes

We always say that trends eventually side but style is always in fashion. Trendy clothes, such as festival apparel and boho chic, don’t look elegant enough for a meeting with your boyfriend’s parents. Besides, it’s highly likely that they won’t understand trends, so why take the risk.

Strapless Clothes

Just because a certain dress or top is strapless, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s risqué. However, you should acknowledge that most risqué clothes and outfits tend to show off a lot of skin, which is exactly what a strapless dress or top will do. Showing off too much skin when meeting your boyfriend’s parents is never a good idea because there are always chances of slips.

We can all agree that there’s nothing more embarrassing than having your dress slip in front of them. Not to mention, it may also get chilly at the restaurant or they may have a habit of keeping their home cooler. It’ll be awkward to ask them to turn the heat up when you could’ve easily avoided the problem by wearing something with more coverage.

Or Clothes That Need a Strapless Bra

This includes strapless clothes, but we mean that you shouldn’t wear anything that requires you to wear a strapless bra. They don’t offer the same support as a regular bra and tend to slip down. You don’t want to spend the evening pulling your bra up.

Something that’s Too Tight

Ask yourself if a dress, shirt, or a pair of pants is too tight? If it doesn’t allow enough room to eat your fill without feeling uncomfortable, it’s too tight for meeting his parents. Again, you don’t want them to know how your legs look in pants that are too tight.

Heels That Are Too High

We think that heels add just the right amount of ‘formal flair’ to an outfit, which is perfect for occasions when you’re meeting your boyfriend’s parents. However, don’t push yourself to wear heels that you can’t walk in. If heels aren’t your thing, stick to flats.

At the same time, you should really consider where you should draw the line when choosing a pair of heels. Don’t wear stilettos or platform heels.

(Short) Shorts

Shorts are acceptable attire for some types of occasions when you’re meeting them. This includes outdoor events like picnics. But even then, longer cotton shorts are the way to go. Don’t wear short shorts.

A Backless Top or Dress

This will mean showing off too much skin and it’ll come off as risqué. Let’s not forget that you might feel cold, so save yourself the embarrassment and choose something modest.

Anything That Shows Off Cleavage

It’s obvious that you shouldn’t wear any dress or top that shows off your cleavage. But this also includes items that are a little low cut. Our advice is that if it seems even a little too low cut, don’t wear it. Trust us – you don’t want to live through noticing his parents looking at your cleavage.

Being Overdressed

Think of it this way – if you invited someone to your party and they showed up looking like they’re dressed for the Met Gala, it would be weird. Similarly, his parents wouldn’t want to be out-dressed in their own home. Stay away from the pantsuit and floor-length gowns, and you’re all set.

Bodycon Dress

Bodycon dresses are amazing if you have an hourglass figure but even if you do, his parents don’t need to know that.


Leggings don’t count as pants. Sure, they make your legs look nice and feel comfortable, but your significant other’s parents deserve more than hurriedly worn leggings.


Grubby sneakers make it look like you put in zero effort. But wearing clean sneakers is also somewhat risky. We say you skip on the Adidas if it’s your first time meeting his parents and save them for later.

Items You Can Totally Wear When Meeting His Parents

Now that we’ve covered what not to wear, you’ll have an easier time navigating through your closet. However, if you’re all out of ideas, here are some surefire items that you can wear.

Flattering Wrap Dress

If you’re hung up on wearing a dress, we suggest a pretty wrap dress. This style will accentuate your figure without making it seem too revealing.

Shift Dress

Leaning more towards the formal side, a shift dress looks classy, elegant, and feminine. Most importantly, it looks great on athletic or rectangular body shape types. One of the best things about shift dresses is that the color, print, or pattern can change the theme. Floral prints are great for less formal occasions, while neutrals tend to look best in a formal setting.

If you want to add some definition to your shift dress, use a belt to cinch your waist. This helps give the illusion of an hourglass figure.

Mid-Length Skirts

If you don’t have the right dress for the occasion and can’t afford to get one, a mid-length skirt is the next best thing. Whether you have a taste for a-line, circle, or pencil skirts, they all have a distinctly feminine appeal that’s hard to miss.

You can pair a skirt with a blouse or statement top, as long as it isn’t one of the ‘don’ts’ we mentioned above.


Jeans are a good choice for when you’re meeting his parents at their home. It’s a semi-casual way to dress, as long as you pick the right style that flatters your body shape. Straight fitting or cigarette pants are great, but high-rise skinny jeans are also a good option. Just make sure they don’t fit too tightly from the back.

Tapered Pants

If you’re planning to dress on the business casual side of things, tapered pants give a good fit that isn’t too scandalous.

Chiffon or Silk Blouse

For a feminine or soft touch, opt for flowy fabrics like chiffon blouses or silk for your top. When paired with dress pants or even jeans, they can transform your outfit into one with a duchess-like appeal.

Basic T-Shirt

Remember we said you can wear T-shirts? If you plan to do so, we suggest that you stick to the basics, like white, black, and navy. These make you look refined and put together, which is ideal in this situation.

Ankle Boots

Polished leather or faux leather ankle boots are a good alternative to sneakers if you aren’t the kind to wear heels or flats either.


If you want to make your jeans and t-shirt seem like a good outfit, layer a blazer on top. This will help you stay warm and look put together, no matter what the occasion.

Find a good blazer for the occasion here!

The best kind of heels you can wear is a pair with pointed toes. These elongate your legs and give your feet a slimmer appearance. It’s best to get a pair with plenty of straps so you have adequate foot support. Don’t want to wear heels? Even the flat version of pointed-toe shoes looks elegant enough for a meeting with your boyfriend’s parents.

Ballet Flats

If your feet can’t handle pointed flats either, try rounded toe ballet flats. They have a modest appearance that doesn’t come off as too flashy.

Lastly, you’ll want to dress up for certain special occasions. This includes birthday parties, weddings, and anniversaries. Make sure to glam up with the right accessories and makeup for when you meet them. Don’t go overboard with dramatic looks, just keep it simple.  If you need advice or want to learn how to apply makeup the right way we suggest one of these great online makeup courses for beginners.