Meeting the girlfriend’s parents is a massive right of passage for many guys and the terror that comes with it is inevitable. Having said that, there are things that you can do in preparation that will make you feel a lot more comfortable and with that comfort comes a more relaxed you. While most of the experience is out of your control, the one thing you can take control of is the way you look. So here are a few ideas of what to wear when you’re going to meet her parents to get the handshake of approval.

While you want to dress to impress you don’t want to lose sight of you and so traditional with just a touch of edge is always a winning combination. At the end of the day, if you’re uncomfortable with what you’re wearing you’ll feel a lot more on edge which her parents will easily pick up on. Finding the right balance between comfort and making an effort can seem like a tricky tightrope to walk but it’s not that difficult when you put your mind to it.

If you’re into sports then a sport jacket is a great addition to any outfit. Dads love having something to talk about and sports is an easy option straight off the bat. More than this, a dad will see a sports jacket and quickly relate to it. Whether it’s a team they love or loathe, they’ll instantly have something to talk to you about (or tease you with) and it’ll ease tensions.

What you wear under the jacket is where you’ll make an impact with her mum. The shirt and sweater combo is a classic that walks the fine line between smart and casual with ease. Pair a nice shirt with a comfy sweater and you’ll catch the mum’s eye the second you walk through the door. While a t-shirt is fine, a shirt shows that you’ve made an effort for the occasion and that is always a winner.

Chinos are a great addition to the smart/casual look and look much more appealing than jeans or slacks. Paired with a set of contemporary wing-tip boots and you’re onto a winning outfit. You’ll be combining the perfect amount of smart, classic, modern and casual into a recipe for success.

The one thing that will always make a lasting impression is your hair and while a nice neat cut is always going to impress, there’s no point chopping of a hairstyle you know and love just for the occasion. You hair is the perfect place to let yourself shine through and so long as you’ve made an effort to tame it, you’ll be onto a winner.

Meeting the parents is a scary notion for anyone but with a little bit of thought and planning into the outfit you’ll look and feel a million dollars. Control what you can and a nice outfit will fill you with the confidence and ease that you need to make a lasting impression on your girlfriend’s parents.