Answer to a reader question...

Hi! My name is Athena, and I'm 15. I'm going to meet my boyfriends parents, and I want to create a really nice look. I usually dress a mixture of both preppy and hipster, so I'm not sure how to create a sophisticated style. I want them to think that I know how to dress, but I don't want it to seem like I'm trying too hard. Can you please help me find a good outfit? Thank you so much!

Hi Athena,

I find the best way to keep yourself from looking like you are trying too hard is to just keep it simple. Simple pieces that you dress up a bit with your accessories and/or hair.

You want to find something you already feel really comfortable in. If you are comfortable in your body or outfit, that shines through in your personality and presence. So what do you like to wear? Are you a strictly jeans girl? Do you rock the sun dresses and fun, flirty skirts? Cause sure, every Mom would love to see a girl in a sweet sun dress with a cute jacket or cardigan, but if that's not your style, why present a wrong front?

A few things to avoid, anything too short, too tight or too low-cut on top. Also, you should avoid super high heels or boring old running shoes. Super high heels will make you look like you're trying too hard, while running shoes show you don't care what they think.

If you want a summer dress look, you could start with something really sweet like this from Forever 21:

Add a simple cardigan like this from Old Navy:

Finish it off with sandals that reflect your personality. Something to reflect your hipster style might be these from Aldo.

Complete your outfit with a bracelet and/or earrings. No necklace needed.
Here is another cute dress that you could just add a skinny belt and sandals to.

If you are more of a jeans girl, show you have style by wearing white jeans instead of the typical blue washes. Gap has a great pair:

Stay away from the rock 'n roll vibe some jeans have (in other words, no rips, tears, studes, or crazy bleaches). Parents will associate that with rebelliousness, and that certainly won't impress them! A regular blue wash jean in any cut that flatters your figure should work. Add a plain white t-shirt, this jacket, and you'll be good to go. Or, to keep it even simpler, forget the jacket, and just opt for a pair of cute wedges, and a long necklace with your jeans and t-shirt. 

Last look idea would be a skirt and top. The look from J.Crew below is very easy. It is simple and sweet, and would definitely impress anybody's parents.

For a cheaper version of the skirt, try this one:

Add your personality with some funky jewelry.

If all of this isn't really "you," stick with something that fits you well, is modest enough, and is appropriate for where you will be (indoors, bring a sweater for the A/C; outdoors, dress cool). Adding a braid to your hairdo, or teasing your hair at the crown and pulling it into a cute ponytail are cute options for your hairstyle too.

Just remember, the first meeting should not hide who you are and what your personality is. You want to make sure your outfit reflects enough of your personality, without showing any disrespect to your boyfriend's parents' taste.

I hope some of these looks inspire you and you come up with something fabulous! Feel free to send pictures or let us know what you chose.