Dress Coding: Meet the Parents

So it’s finally time to meet your beau’s parents and making a great first impression is key. Here are a few tips and outfit ideas that will make his folks remember you for all the right reasons…

Consider the setting. Dress appropriately by considering the location of the rendezvous. It would be a tad cheeky if you showed up to a Sunday brunch wearing a black mini dress and gold hoop earrings. Mom and dad will appreciate your consideration.

Go timeless. Wear something classic and don’t let your outfit be dictated by the trends. Timeless pieces such as sheath dresses or shirtdresses say you’re in for the long haul whereas trendy choices might make you seem flighty or unstable.

Show a little romance. Mix in a floral print or a luxe fabric like crushed velvet to show a little warmth and compassion. This is a simple way to show your softer, more feminine side.

Be a bit bold. If you’re going to a large family gathering wear something that makes a subtle statement with color. Instead of wearing a head-to-toe neutral palette, opt for one bright piece such as fuchsia flats or a great mustard blouse. Wearing color not only tells the world you’re feeling good, it also helps people remember you.

So fresh & so clean. This is an obvious one. But for those of you who think the messy-hair look will go over well with his folks, you are sorely mistaken. Keep your appearance prim and proper with natural makeup (minimal is best) and clean, simple hair. Personally, I’d recommend wearing your hair down or in a nice side braid.

Don’t forget you! While dressing “prim and proper” may not entirely reflect your personal style, add personalized elements to express your genuineness. Wear your favorite color or sport a special piece of jewelry that holds sentimental value, who knows, it could be a great topic for conversation!

Overall, your look should be modest, classic and feminine. Dressing the part will show his parents you are respectful and serious about their son. While clothes definitely play a role in your presentation, what’s more important is how you behave: Nothing will knock their socks off like a confident, polite, self-assured and well-mannered young lady. And don’t stress, if he loves you they most likely will too!

Here are a few of my favorite looks from my LC Lauren Conrad collection that are stylish and totally parent-proof… If you like something, just click the picture for more info!







Have a Dress Coding request? Leave it in the comments below.

XO Lauren

P.S. Click here to read the blog I just posted about baking your dream man!

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Categories: Dress Coding
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  • Melissa Panici

    Thank you for these tips Lauren. You are so beautiful and I love all of these outfits from your line. I appreciate the way you are so classy and always look like a lady:) Can’t wait to get these pieces!

  • Sarah Heckle

    I don’t remeber what I wore when I first met my husband’s parents, but I’ve always made a point to look nice around them! I think modesty is definitely key though!

    Sarah from Tulle & Trinkets

  • Lauren Hoffman

    Love the options Lauren! One of my new fave items is a cold shoulder blouse, throw a blazer over it while you meet the parents then take it off for a subtle sexy look if you’re heading out on the town with your man afterwards. Check out some of my fave here: http://eyeblinkfashion.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/cut-it-out/


  • Cherie LaFlamme

    Great tips, Lauren. I’m meeting my boyfriend’s dad for the first time in a few weeks and I am a tad bit nervous about making a great first impression! http://eyeblinkfashion.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/cut-it-out/


  • Tiffani Stuart

    I’m in love w/that 50’s inspired grey polka dot shirtdress! In Love!! ;0) I heard both good & bad reviews online about it, but the right person can rock it!

  • Alba Cuci

    I love love love both dresses Lauren! I need the gray polka dot one!

  • Stacie Grissom

    Love the tip about wearing a pop of color. :)

    My latest post: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf!

  • Rebecca Hergett

    I’m meeting the boyfriends family for the first time while staying with them for a few days over New Years Eve. Meeting the immediate fam is fine, but I’m worried about meeting extended fam at the big NYE party his family is throwing! I want to be sexy and festive for NYE, but still appropriate. I can’t spend any money either, so I have to work with what’s in my suitcase this holiday. I was thinking a longish sheer chaffon top with a sparkly belt, and leggings. It’s hard to know what to do!!

  • Danielle Marie {Envision Pretty}

    Thanks for the great tips! These wardrobe tips not only work for meeting your boyfriends parents, but they are great ideas to keep in mind when meeting anyone that you would like to 1, make a great impression, and 2, yield some respect from! Thanks Lauren!!


  • Smgrimes13

    I have the pink one at the bottom! I wore it to a wedding this summer as the greeting person who hands out the pamphlets to guests when they walk in. Everyone loved it! It’s such a great dress! I would reccommend it to anyone going to a special event or meeting.

  • Charlotte Hill

    Thank you for this, it could not have come at more convenient time!

    I’m meeting my boyfriend’s parents on Boxing Day and as he is really close to his Mum I want to make a good impression.

    This will settle alot of wardrobe disputes!

    – Charlotte

  • Megan Alvarado

    Awesome, although I am already married I would totally sport your first look! Chic and a lil conservative at the same time! I love it!

  • Lindsey Hager

    Wow. I understand that since its the holiday season there are probably a lot of people meeting the parents these days, but thank you thank you thank you thank YOU for posting this blog now. I am meeting my boyfriend’s mom for the first time this weekend and was worried about what to choose to wear! My prayers were answered!! This is exactly what I needed to read!!!

  • Hannah Cole

    I’m obsessed with the black and white top but I cannot find it at Kohls :( is there anywhere else I can get it?!

  • Anna Martin

    Absolutely adorable outfits Lauren! And perfectly appropriate for meeting the parents. :) I have a dress coding question for you! I’m attending a beach formal wedding in Mexico in March. I’m not really certain what is acceptable, classy, and perfect for the beach. Any ideas?? Thanks Lauren!

  • monini

    The Outfits are Lovely!!!

    But i would like to now how do make or prepare you hair, it looks fabulous. And how do you do the half pickup hair?

  • veronicag

    Hey Lauren you should make a page on how to survive holidays when you are single!! haha This request sounds pretty funny but meeting family and staying by yourself 3 christmas in a row isn’t the ideal especially when your family keeps on bothering why you are not putting effort to be in a relationship! Or maybe ideas to keep you busy? I am sure I am not the only one staying by herself during the Holidays.

    Much Love to you and your family


  • Kellie Norton

    There is no dress or outfit that could have saved me from my boyfriend’s mother. Haha she does NOT like me. Mainly because she’s German and I’m not German but hopefully she’ll come around sooner than later :) Great tips!!

  • Shellz

    I enjoyed reading this! You’re awesome..


  • Melissa Panici

    @Kellie Norton How could anyone not like you?? You’re so sweet! She’ll get over it….

  • Kellie Norton

    @Melissa Panici thanks :) You’re a sweetheart as well! She’s a lovely lady but I think she’s scared I’m taking her son away from her, which I understand. But you’re right, she’ll get over it :) haha

  • Kate

    Love this, the conversation aspect is a big key to meeting parents too!

  • gianna verheyden

    Should I were heels to the grocery store? I always love dressing up, but sometimes I feel that I dress up to much.

  • Kate

    ahhh Lauren you posted this a day too late -.-

  • Marine

    hey Lauren, I absolutely love your dresses!!!!

    Did you do a post about how to accessorize our look? This would be great : ))

    If you don’t know her, one of my friend lives in US and has a French jewelry line. To find out more http://www.brightestyoungthings.com/articles/from-oui-oui-to-dc-brought-to-you-by-paris-air.htm Hope you’ll like it : )))

  • Amanda Garner

    A movie night with the girls and possible a new guy? what would the dress code be?

  • ryan simpson

    Hey Lauren, I noticed your office wear attire forums, but what about an interview one. I am always so stumped at what to wear for an interview that isn’t so predictable or stuffy.

  • Angiee

    Hi Lauren! I absolutely love your Polka-Dot Embellished Shirtdress. Will it be available again anytime soon?

  • Sara K

    What would be the dress code for graduation parties? Also, where can I find cute jean jackets?

  • Ariana Vasquez Baldenebro

    I would LOVE for you to write about the dress code for first day of college and to write others about what is okey to dress along the whole year, what is appropiate, what would be too much and what you shouldn’t wear . Also about the kinds of bags you can take cause i recently bought this Marc Fisher handbag: http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/marc-fisher-handbag-celebrity-flapover-satchel?ID=644948 but don’t know if it’s appropiate or not.

  • Andrealiz Berrios

    dress code for job interviews or business presentations?

  • Nisha

    You look fab, those outfits are so incredible…
    Mens Fashion Online

  • Nisha

    Looks so stylish and pretty!

  • Cassie Saville

    Hey I’m not sure if LC will see this or not, I hope so!
    I need advice on what to wear to my boyfriends Canadian Military Graduation – its in the Winter!! So it will be cold. I want to wear a dress.. I was thinking a dress and blazer… Maybe LC can help posting some ideas and pictures! :)


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