Elaine Turner, a Houston-based designer who also runs a styling program in 20 states, emphasized that "what you wear is another form of communication.

It's your visual language to the world." So wearing the wrong thing can say even more than you realize.

Instead, you could be sending a different kind of signal.

In my fantasy marriage, I introduce my parents to my prospective in-laws and they immediately find 10 things in common and become fast friends. No; My parents and his parents are two long-married couples who want nothing but our happiness and have no "ex" axes to grind. No; Everyone lives just blocks apart, enjoys the same traditions and is thrilled to make it one big happy-family get-together. But I’m still pretty fortunate: In my real-life marriage, there’s no animosity; everyone’s polite and friendly.

Then again, there are no in-law bridge parties either.

It often signals the next step in a relationship and, particularly if your significant other is close to his parents, could mean he's seeking their approval before moving forward. Of course you want to impress them, but it's also important to let your real personality shine.

But "just be yourself" only goes so far as advice in these situations.

I’ve had to change my expectations for the relationship between my parents and my in-laws but, to be honest, the reality works just fine.

"I think that all of us have that myth," says Leslie Parrott, Ph.

Elaine Turner said that the last thing you want to do is start off by possibly crossing lines with your significant other's parents.

"Always steer clear of ensembles that might offend," she said.

Here's what Turner and other experts in all things fashion and dating say you should never wear when that very special someone takes you home to meet the parents.

Standing up for what you believe in is super important, but it's equally important to weigh the impact of first impressions alongside your desire to express your beliefs.

"If you have a cute outfit on and you could potentially see yourself wearing it to the club, that's a good indication that you should Caitlin Bergstein, a Boston-based matchmaker with Three Day Rule, agreed.