Friends since our days of diapers and drool, we have always shared a not-so-secret passion for fashion, and a flair for all things chic. Since girlhood we have bonded over a common dream of becoming famous fashion designers whose lush creations would dominate the runways of Milan and rule the glossy pages of Vogue. As fate would have it, we followed other dreams, but we never lost our infatuation with fashion, or our shared obsession with all things stylish.
We now work together, we play together, and we most certainly shop together (often too much for our own good). We are by no means style experts, fashion specialists, or clothing connoisseurs––well, we pretend to be all three at least four times every day––and yet we delightfully dole out wanted and unwanted advice on what’s hot to wear and what not to wear like we know what we are talking about … and sometimes we really do.
The holidays are inching close and fashion dilemmas abound, so we need to confab. On a blustery fall evening, we gather ourselves in a quaint San Francisco café, all floaty scarves and foamy lattes, to talk the talk and shop the shop …
Dressing to Impress
Shyla: It seems like all of my newly-enamored girlfriends are going to their wanna-be in-laws for the Holidays. They’re having major anxiety and freaking out about what to wear. What the heck would you wear to avoid a Gaylord Fauker à la Meet the Parents gathering?
Lena: I totally see how that could be tricky. When meeting a beau’s parents for the first time, I would wear something elegant (to show them you are a classy broad), yet still unique and stylish (to show your own personal style). Maybe a pair of men’s-wear inspired wide leg trousers with a flowy, feminine top? I adore this pair pictured below from Alice and Olivia. For those who can’t afford $300 pants (myself unfortunately included), there is also a frugal version from Banana Republic, not to mention the innumerable clothing stores that are selling this hot item right now. Perhaps buy the cheaper version and save some of those Benjamin’s to buy the parents a little gift. Parents eat that crap up with a golden fork.
Shyla: Ugh … I crave those pants! If you can please, disregard that model chick’s tanned and flawless set of abs. Rest assured that wide-leg pants really do look fabulous on any shape and size. Personally though Leens, I am not really into pants, I am more of a dress fan.
Lena: It’s icy cold outside remember! Wide leg trousers are perfect, warm, and stylin’, especially with feminine tops. I love this adorable, patterned silk smock to go with wide leg trousers: so pretty and feminine.
Shyla: True that. But dresses can be worn with leather boots, tights, and cute pea coats. Plus, we live in California, not Greenland. By the way, I do absolutely adore that shirt! It would look pretty smashing with any pants, or jeans too. You don’t want to overdress and act like you are trying too hard, ya know?
Shyla: Yum! It does look good enough to eat … How about this blouse I usually despise pink, and associate it with cheerleaders and sorority presidents.
Lena: There’s a reason that movie was called Pretty in Pink. Molly Ringwald wouldn’t have been half as pretty in any other color. It’s classy and feminine, yet still distinctive. Absolutely perfect for a meet-the-parents outing. We all have a little bit of sorority girl in us anyways. Admit it…
Shyla: I will never admit to having even ONE ounce of sorority girl in me. Hell No! Meeting the parents is a key trigger for a pepperoni face breakout, but I think dressing in something that makes you feel relaxed, stunning, and self-assured will lead to parental perfection.
Lena: You are so right. It’s more about being comfortable in your clothes (and your own skin), than trying to be someone you are not. Parents can smell out a faker from a mile away.
Shyla: Hella true. Okay, now can we please talk about dresses?
Lena: Yes dresses … when we go dress-hunting, especially for one to wear to a new boyfriend’s parents house (even though I am currently—and unfortunately—far away from in that situation), I look for something that is not too booby (or booty) licious or leggy. You want to look classy not trashy … right?
Shyla: Duh. Unless you are Carmen Electra meeting Dave Navarro’s parents, I’d say cover as much T & A as possible.
Lena: When it comes to parents, I think the general rule of thumb should be: don’t dress like Carmen Electra meeting Dave Navarro’s parents … Didn’t they get a divorce, anyways?
Shyla: Yeah, I think they did, a prime example of why not to dress like her. Okay, this is one of my absolute favorite dresses and styles of the season. Banana Republic’s endearing puff sleeved number is elegant and flattering in shape and in an extra sophisticated forest green silk. Plus, it’s not too outrageously pricey.
Lena: Agreed, that dress is pretty orgasmic. The emerald green is so luxurious. I can picture it paired with some gold earrings, snuggled up in bed with a Jude Law look-a-like and a bottle of champagne … perfect. Ahem, day-dress day-dreams are the best! Hey you strumpet, don’t you think it’s a little short for in-law scrutiny?
Shyla: First of all, you are a hella big nerd. Jude Law would not get in bed with you; he’d be in bed with me if anyone. Regarding it being short … hmm, well, leggy girls need to be careful with length. Considering I am barely 5’2", nothing ever looks too short on me. Also, the fact that it is respectable up top allows you to be a little bit more risqué on the bottom.
Lena: Touché. I’m obsessed with Diane von Furstenberg. This simple yet graceful wonder-in-white frock would look flawless with a pair of opaque tights, round-toed heels, and bright, cheery jewelry—the perfect winter-time treat.
Shyla: You did not just say touché. I do love that dress—it’s my dream to someday own dozens of Diane von Furstenberg dresses. So, there are tons of conservative yet cute options for meeting your new boyfriend’s parentals. Our suggestions would be great matches for office parties, in-law dinners, and any other holiday festivity that doesn’t include downing Jaeger bombs. Skirts, sweaters, blouses, cute slacks, the list is endless …
Lena: Whatever, touché was a totally appropriate response. Honestly though, we could go on and on … Show your personal style without showing too much skin. A little goes a long way …
Part 1 | (Part 2)