What To Wear When Meeting The Parents
BY: TIM GALLANT
October 5, 2016
Meeting the parents is something of a relationship milestone. First impressions are crucial, and your main goal, besides feasting, is to get the seal of approval, which means you have to look at least presentable.
The truth is people make snap judgements based on how you're dressed. Sometimes the reaction is good ("What nice shoes he has!"), sometimes not so good ("He couldn't put on a jacket?"). While you can't predict what people will think, you can present yourself in a way that feels true to who you actually are — but, like, the best-dressed version of that.
Point being, the last thing you want is to feel weird at Thanksgiving. Harry’s Tip: Always wear something that you feel comfortable in. It will help you project more confidence.
The first step is to ask a little about the parents and their level of formality.
Are they likely to be watching a football game and relaxing before dinner? Or is the holiday a more formal affair with cocktails and classical music? Over or under dressing in either of these scenarios may make you feel a little uncomfortable.
We’re here to help with some no-fail outfits that are guaranteed to impress - without looking like you tried too hard.
FOR THE CASUAL CROWD
A nice button down is relaxed but hardly sloppy. And plaid isn't too casual for Thanksgiving; it's a fall holiday after all. And nothing says fall like plaid shirt. Polo Ralph Lauren, Maurizio Baldassari, and Hartford have some timely options.
A nice pair of dark jeans or chinos can be a good option. You may even want denim with a little stretch - consider it a bonus feature for the eating part. DL offers an innovative 4-way stretch that is truly remarkable.
Since it’s likely to be cool outdoors but warm inside - thanks to all the cooking going on - consider a crew neck sweater that you can easily pull on and off.
Finish it off with a pair of decent socks, no holes please, and sneakers or chelsea boots.
FOR SOMETHING MORE FORMAL
If the folks are more fancy, then you’ll definitely want to go with a dress shirt and either a tie (a classic navy tie goes with almost everything) or a refined knit sweater.
A sport jacket is always appropriate. Opt for one that has the fit and feel of a cardigan so that even if you don’t feel it, you’ll at least look relaxed on the outside.
You probably won’t need to wear a suit but wool trousers and leather or suede shoes will most certainly be in order with whatever you decide to wear.
Now here's the most crucial part to remember: In addition to your best manners, bring a gift. It can be a great bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers, or even a pie (we suggest bakery bought, now's not the time to get your MasterChef on). A thoughtful gift will set the tone over any uncertain style moves.