Mother of the Bride

What to Wear To Meet Your Child’s Future In-Laws

Hi Deborah, 

My daughter just got engaged! We’re excited for her, and our son-in-law-to-be (who we think is great!) and wedding plans are already underway. That’s why I’m writing you.

My daughter’s future-in-laws, who live in a different state and whom we’ve only spoken to briefly on the phone, will be flying in next month to meet us. We’ll be getting together at a nice restaurant for lunch to get to know each other and talk about wedding plans. What does one wear when meeting your daughter’s future in-laws?  Thanks, Deb, and I LOVE your blog! Linda

Hi Linda,

What an exciting time this is for your family. And probably a little nerve-wracking too! Here are some tips to help you dress to impress and get things off to a great start with your new extended family members.Floral spring dress in yellow


1. What You Wear Matters

Meeting your child’s future in-laws is a little like a job interview. You want to make a good impression while at the same time you’re checking each other out and trying to get a handle on how this relationship is going to work.

This is not the time to wear your everyday jeans and t-shirt, but nor do you want to dress over-the-top. For a lunch meeting, an easy day dress that is somewhere in the middle will strike the perfect note.

Florals always work for an occasion like this because they are classic, romantic, and very in keeping with all the wedding talk, you will be doing.  This lovely sheath dress has a pretty ruffle hem, that makes it soft and feminine and sends out a very approachable vibe. Touches of yellow give it a modern kick, and also communicate optimism and happiness.Floral dress and wedge heels

2. Dress To Be Comfortable

Between wanting to make a good impression on your child’s future in-laws, helping them feel at home, and discussing wedding plans, you’ve got enough to deal with without worrying about your outfit. Choose something that is as comfortable as it is nice looking.

To me, that means no high heels (unless you wear them all the time and you’re comfortable in them) and nothing that doesn’t feel good. That means not too tight, stiff, scratchy, or clingy. You don’t want to be tugging or itching when you should be chatting and listening. This easy shift dress does the trick and lets you express your creative side while still looking appropriate for


White pants and print top for women over 40


3. Honor Your Style Personality – But Keep It Classy

Even though you want to make a good impression, you still want to let your child’s future in-laws see the real you so choose an outfit that reflects who you really are, not who you think you should act like. Having said that, remember to keep it classy and modern.

If you’re a creative dresser, for example, feel free to express yourself but maybe rely on accessories to express your style personality instead of going creative head-to-toe. Or if you’re a classic dresser, look for classics with a twist, so you give off a youthful and modern vibe that truly reflects who you are.


What to wear when you meet your child's future in-laws - navy dress

4. Consider the Time of Day and the Venue

For your first meeting, it’s a good idea to keep things on neutral territory if at all possible. Lunch at a restaurant sounds like the perfect meeting spot! When choosing your outfit, consider how casual or dressy the venue is. And think about the time of day. Luncheon dressing is typically a little more casual than an evening event.

If things should change and you end up meeting for dinner, you can go a little dressier. This lace dress is a good choice because you’ll get a lot of mileage out of it. It can be dressed up with heels or dressed ‘somewhere in the middle when you add a sweater and sandals as a low heels.

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5 thoughts on “What to Wear To Meet Your Child’s Future In-Laws

  1. Hi Deborah, I’m new to your blog and came across it by chance. I was looking at the question “what to wear to meet future in-laws.” I thought the information was helpful; however, I’m the stepmother. I’m trying to keep it out of the picture and planning since that’s something for the bride and mother. I’m uncomfortable meeting them and have no idea what to wear. They are coming from Tennessee on July 6th, and we live in Texas.
    Anyway, any suggestions or ideas would be much appreciated.



  2. I like how you include knee-length or longer dresses as some of us over 40 have spider veins and cellulite we would like to hide above our knees.

    1. Hi Sandy,
      I’m so glad we’re finding more and more to show you. So many dresses out there are very short, which isn’t enjoyable. Some feel too short every day, even when you have good legs. I find Chicos quite suitable for decent-length dresses, so try there too! Cheers, Deborah

    1. Hi Nancy, It is from Nordstrom. If you scroll down to the end of the post under the shop the post section, you will see all kinds of tiny photos of the products featured in the collages. Look at the dress, click the image, and it will take you directly to the store to buy it.

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