“At some point in the next month or so, you’ll be sitting down for dinner with your significant other’s family. If you volunteered to bring the sweet potato casserole, pressure’s off. Assuming you didn’t (a safe assumption), there’s an extra burden on you to be a good guest. And that starts with looking put together—classic, but without coming off as too foppish to help with the dishes. How to make it through all three courses:

1) A gray, wool overcoat will confirm your in-laws’ faith in you as the right choice for their child. You don’t have to spend the whole night in something for it to send a message—in this case, one that says “steady,” “stable,” and “sensible.”

2) More gray, this time in the form of a blazer, will only serve as further proof. A tweed rendition suggests you had the situational awareness to realize you were having dinner with people you care about, not clients.

3) If the in-laws are a formal lot, err on the side of a tie; even if they’re the shabby gentility type, you’ll convey your sense of respect more with a V-neck sweater than you would with a crewneck.

4) Chinos are the most non-threatening pants a man can wear. And if yours are a little broken in, all the better for allowing for some post-pumpkin pie plumping. (Notice there’s no belt in this picture?)

5) Suede brogues are a way of doing dress up without screaming you’re doing so. No one ever likes that loud, annoying relative. Don’t forget seasonally appropriate wool socks for reasons both practical (a no-shoes policy in the house) and palliative (that post-meal Scotch by the fire).”

(Spotted at Park & Bond)