Style 911: I’m Meeting My Boyfriend’s Parents At Their Holiday Party

My boyfriend had the bright idea to introduce me to his parents for the first time at their annual holiday party. Fortunately, the party is taking place at their home so it’s more casual than formal. Unfortunately, I have no idea what to wear. Please help me! – Beth

Wow! That’s a doozy. You’re meeting your boyfriend’s parents and all their family and friends on their turf. If there ever was a time to be impressive, now is that time … not to put any pressure on you. I’ve found that “casual” means something different to everyone. Someone might wear a pair of pajama pants for a casual meeting. While for me, “casual” means jeans and heels. So I’ve found that in most “casual” situations it’s best to be slightly dressier. That way you can blend in with the crowd regardless of how they’re dressed. Of course this isn’t the only advice I have for you, Beth. After the jump, find some specific outfit suggestions for meeting your boyfriend’s parents and attending their holiday party.

Karin Cigarette Pant, $140, All Saints
Plainweave Drew Wideleg Pant, $79, The Limited
Pants always seem more casual to me than a dress. So let’s play on the menswear-for-ladies trend that’s so big right now. The fit of the pant is up to you, but remember, you don’t want to go too tight for this occasion. A cigarette pant will graze the body without hugging it, and for a retro look keep the hem at the ankle. Wide-leg pants are back in a major way. A floor-grazing pair looks polished and chic.

MICHAEL Michael Kors Sequin Chevron Scoop Neck Tank, $63, BlueflyAsymmetric Sequin Tank, $59.90, The Limited
What’s a holiday party without sequins? Both of these tops–or ones like them–will add some dazzle to your look, but stay in the neutral sequins family or else you’ll look like a Christmas tree.

MICHAEL Michqael Kors Open Front Tuxedo Jacket, $94.99, Macy’s
Vince Camuto Kain Pump, $79, Shoe Box
Top off your menswear-inspired look with a tuxedo jacket that will add more polish if the other guests dressed more formal. A classic black pump finishes off your look regardless of what style of pants you wear.

Peacock Bazaar SS Dress, $268, French Connection
If you prefer a dress, then go festive instead of sexy. The sequins, beading, and cutout back of this frock make it so much more special than your average LBD. Notice how the rest of the dress floats away from the body. We don’t want your beau’s parents thinking you’re on a mission, do we?

Wool Sateen Jacket, $218, Ann Taylor
Metallic Boyfriend Cardigan, $49, Spiegel
Trust me, there will be tons of guests wearing all black, and you don’t want to be one of them. Instead, pull your look together with a winter white blazer. Or if you want to tone down the cocktail quality of your dress, then wear a relaxed boyfriend cardigan. The sparkles make the cardigan appropriate for the occasion.

Sam Edelman Novato Pump, $100, Shoe Box
Slip on a fun pair of platforms in black or another neutral that matches your look, and you’re set for the night.