our everyday life

How to Dress for Christmas Dinner at Your Boyfriend's House

by Eliza Martinez, studioD

Meeting your boyfriend's family can be nerve-wracking. Even if you've already met them, spending Christmas at your other half's house presents a host of etiquette issues. Finding an appropriate outfit for the occasion is an important way to make a good impression on his family. You don't have to spend hours digging through your closet, but putting some thought into your attire for the day is a simple way to present your best self.


What you wear to your boyfriend's for Christmas will vary depending on the formality of occasion. If his family hosts a formal, sit-down dinner, your choice of outfit should be dressier than if you the meal is a casual buffet-style event. College Fashion suggests wearing an outfit that you'd wear to a religious service for a fancy dinner. A dress with a pair of tights works well because it's warm, but formal at the same time. If the dinner is casual, a nice pair of jeans or leggings paired with a sweater or tunic makes a good impression. Stay away from skirts and dresses that are too short and avoid pieces that are too tight.


Shoes can make or break an outfit, so choosing the right pair is important. Choose a pair of shoes that is comfortable, but matches the clothing you've selected. A pair of low heels is a good choice if you're wearing a dress or skirt. Tall boots or ballet flats pair well with jeans and leggings. Choose shoes that allow you to walk easily so you don't have to spend the entire dinner hobbling around the house, or worse, having to take your shoes off. However, if your boyfriend's house has a shoes-off at the door rule, make sure you have on a pair of tights or socks that don't clash with the rest of your outfit.


Accessorizing your outfit is a simple way to express your personality and creativity. Choose jewelry, a handbag and hair accessories that complement your outfit. At the same time, stay away from items that are too bright or too big. You don't want them to overwhelm the rest of your ensemble. Lauren Conrad, author of "Infamous," suggests ladylike earrings and a simple clutch bag. Something with a bit of sparkle or lace is appropriate provided the rest of your outfit is a bit more understated. A simple necklace and pair of bracelets also work well. Add small barrettes or a headband to your hair, but avoid huge bows and big sparkly items.

Makeup Tips

You want to make a good impression on your boyfriend's family, even if you've already met them. For this reason, it's a good idea to stay away from heavy makeup or non-traditional colors on your face. Red and Black magazine also recommends avoiding neon nail polish if you're having dinner at your boyfriend's house. Christmas dinner probably isn't the right time to try out that new turquoise eye shadow, yellow nail polish or purple lipstick. Opt for natural colors and apply them with a light hand.

About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images