Monday

Appropriate Work Attire

Received Monday, April 7, 2008-Perspective & Opinion
I have a question to parents and nannies about appropriate work attire.

I recently started working with a new family. At my first interview it was just me and the mother. I work a fairly revealing shirt, but with another shirt under to cover my cleavage. She informed me at the end of the interview that she liked me and wanted me to interview with her and her husband, but that her husband was more conservative and wouldn't approve of my top. I shrugged it off, and wore a completely unrevealing shirt. They hired me and the first couple weeks I worked there all was fine. Then 2 weeks ago I bought a few new shirts because it's been hot here in Orange County. The shirts, do show minimal cleavage, and frankly with my large chest (38D) it is hard for me to keep my chest covered at all in a tank top! When I arrived for work the mother made some comment like, "Is it summer already?" I just figured she meant the bright colored tank top. The next day I wore the same style top in another color. At the end of that day she told me she wanted to have a talk. She informed me my outfits were completely inappropriate and a bad example for her girls, and told me if I wore another shirt like that I would be let go.

So, my question is this. What do parents think is appropriate for their nannies to wear? I have always thought I dressed nicely, normally crop pants, and a tee shirt with minimal cleavage and sandals or sneakers. Nannies, what do you normally wear to work?

124 comments:

FNG said...

Everyone has a different moral compass. To me, it seems no one is right or wrong in this case. It does seem like you and your employer are NOT a good cultural fit. Personally, I never wear a tank top only to work as I too, am a D cup. On very hot days I will wear light cotton sleeveless button down blouses which can be had cheaply from Target, Marshall's or even Wal Mart. None of the offices I worked in allowed anyone to wear just a tank tops although a tank with an open blouse over it was OK.

Since I haven't seen a picture of you in the top the mother is complaining about, I can't say if I think it would or wouldn't be inappropriate. I know my sister and I disagree all he time when it comes to what's appropriate dress for our young teen daughter's. I tend to be more trendy while she goes for more conservative. So, I say again, everyone is different. And in this case, it sounds like you and the mom are just too different. Best of luck!

me and my tank top said...

Sporty, right?

Sue said...

No cleavage at all. Not minimal, none.

Because their daughter will want to dress like you and they don't want their kids growing up to dress like a skank.

emily said...

I don't see the point of your post. Are you going to gather statistical information about what other nannies wear/parents see as acceptable & then try & tell your employer she's wrong?

She's your boss, she has a right to make reasonable requests about your work uniform. It doesn't matter what other nannies wear. If you can't work under these restrictions you need to look for other work.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she is jealous of your boobs and doesn't want her husband staring at them lol!! Or maybe it was a too revealing shirt. Who knows. I wouldn't say NO cleavage ever. I am a professional and can show a little as long as it is tasteful.

Here's a picture of the shirt in question said...

This is the OP here. I took a picture of the shirt. I am asking for advice because this is only the 3rd family I have ever worked for. The other two families never once said anything negative about my attire. In fact the last mom actually went out and bought a few shirts that I came to work wearing because she liked them so much! I am just trying to find out if it is common for parents to comment on their nannies attire.

Kate in PA said...

I'm pretty conservative and would never show any cleavage unless it was for a night on the town (and even then, it wouldn't be much). But like Emily said, this is up to your employers. If they don't want their daughters to dress like that, then they don't want their daughter's role model and teacher to dress like that either. (At least around the kids.) It is completely understandable of them to ask that, and if you don't want to abide by that request, then I would suggest looking elsewhere for employers who are more "sporty".

As for your question for nannies, I wear T-shirts and shorts on hot days. If I wear a tank top, it is not a strappy one but one of the basic, wider strap tanks. Those don't show any cleavage.

Good luck working through this!

Kate in PA said...

Sorry, OP. I thought you were the earlier picture of the "sporty" tank. Your tank is much more appropriate. I would be fine wearing that to work on a hot day (if I was a little thinner, lol), but again, if the employers request that you not wear it to work, I would abide by that request.

Kate in PA said...

Sorry, OP. I thought you were the earlier picture of the "sporty" tank. Your tank is much more appropriate. I would be fine wearing that to work on a hot day (if I was a little thinner, lol), but again, if the employers request that you not wear it to work, I would abide by that request.

Anonymous said...

Before I just looked at the picture of your top, I was thinking that of course you should show no cleavage as a nanny. I consider myself very conservative, but also know there are appropriate times to wear revealing things (i.e. we live at the beach and our nanny frequently wears her bathing suit with a cover up skirt around the house). I don't really see a problem in that top you took a picture of. I had pictured in my mind something totally worse.
It is out of respect for your employer though that you probably should abide by her wishes, that is if you are happy and want to keep your position.

Sue said...

I take it back.

She's jealous and she'll have you in a uniform in no time.

Mens baggy Tee shirts will make her happy or get a new job.

george said...

I'm a tee shirt and jeans kind of gal, which works well with the boys I watch. There have been a few occasions where I've worn minimal cleavage showing shirts. Though the parents never said anything, I was uncomfortable wearing the shirts there again. So I keep at the tee and jeans.

Target has some wonderfully lightweight tee shirts, at reasonable prices. No cleavage, you stay cool, everyone wins!

Nom de Plume said...

I think she's worried the Mr. is going to start looking at you in a "certain way". My guess if you were to question past nannies that Mr. had an affair or hit on one of them. Maybe it's time to look for another job.

As a person with a 38D chest herself, I never wear tanks (I don't feel comfortable) but I can tell you that with a chest that size you're pretty relegated to just t-shirts or buttoned polo's. Anything stylish shows cleavage and it's not our fault.

TX Nanny said...

I've worn many tops like the one in your pic and never had one family complain but I've always worked for laid back families. It sounds like you are working for a very conservative family who probably should've hired a grandmotherly type. You could just make sure you are wearing crew neck tshirts from now on though and hopefully things will go on just fine.

mom said...

It sounds like there are two pictures out there. I looked at the aqua colored tank with the empire waist stitching. Is that you?
That top is by no means slutty, but looks as though it may give quite the peek if you were to bend over...as one does frequently in dealing with children. I could go either way on whether you ought to wear it to work...but none of our votes matter anyway. Everybody has a different idea of what appropriate modesty is and your boss has said you will be fired if you dress that way again. So there's your answer.

My own "little" (age 14) daughter has somehow been miraculaously blessed with a 30DD size chest (and, no, they don't make a bra that size)...in contrast to my 36AA. Because she is young (and because she is generally a modest person anyway) we work hard to find her modest looking tops that are still fun and look like what the other young girls are wearing...to a certain extent. While some of her still flat chested friends look perfectly fine in spaghetti strap tanks or those ribbed style tanks from J. Crew, my daughter recognizes that they would not look the same, or be appropriate on her frame. Her figure (and she looks to be similarly endowed as you) looks best in shaped tees that are not tight, but still give a feminine silhouette. Boxy tees only make her tiny, skinny little self look fat b/c they hang straight down from her chest and give the appearance of possibly being filled out by tummy. Maybe you would do well to do as some of these women here have already suggested...get some fun, cheap, slightly shaped T-s in a lightweight fabric and keep your pretty tanks nice for the weekends with your friends.

PS You look like you have very pretty hair, from the little I saw.

mnanny said...

I think what you are wearing is fine. I think that it is ok for the parents to have a say in what you were because you work in their home with their children. However, there are girls out there who actually dress like a skank. What you were wearing was fine. I agree with the previous poster who said the mom might be worried about the dad catching a glimpse of your ta ta's.
Good luck, I do not feel you are in the wrong here.

Anonymous said...

One word: Jealous!
I think it looks fine.

just anonymous said...

Cute tank! Ditch the family, keep the shirt.

Emerald City said...

This post is too funny. I have a 40DD chest and today I was wearing a button up shirt. The 11 month old I care for ended up undoing the top two buttons at some point when we were playing...probably when he was tugging on my shirt, but I didn't realize it until just before dad walked in the door! He would have had a perfect glimpse of my bra and such.

But back to the topic, I have worn shirts that show minimal cleavage, and there have been a couple of times where I did some early Saturday evening babysitting for them and was going out with my husband right after, and have worn some pretty low cut tops, but they've never said anything. Then again, mom is just a year older than I am and wears similar clothes lol. So I guess it all depends on who you work for.

jenuag said...

I wear scurbs and STILL show clevage! I wear scrubs because I don't want my real clothes messed up will all the bodily fluids involved with my wonderful job!

Anonymous said...

I think each family is different, but your family seems to require "casual work attire" which is normal and means no tank tops. I don't think it is a big deal to wear a t-shirt instead of a tank top. (I am also large chested so I feel for you, the styles today are just not made for covering up).

My family asked me to wear nicer clothing, so a nice shirt and no jeans or shorts. I have no problem with this because it is normal work clothing and I would be wearing the same type of clothing at any job.

Anonymous said...

Mom.
get that girl off of cow's milk and cheese asap!

That is not a blessing to a child that young.

kitty cat said...

You are young and have beautiful hair. And skin you show is going to cause your mr. employer to have a boner in his pants. That is the thinking of your frigid mrs. employer. There really should be a nanny agency that specializes in disfigured or otherwise offesnive looking nannies. Most of the women I know would pay top dollar for them.

mom said...

4:58
While this would not have been my first choice for my daughter, being that she is endowed as such, I choose to help her feel blessed rather than put upon. I do not want her to be self conscious in any way, but proud of the body she has. By proud, I in no way mean flaunting...and she does not seem to have the personality where she would ever over expose herself (we discuss that it comes up, like when we see somebody "advertising")...but I don't want her hunched over and hiding them as though she should be ashamed either. That's the way the Good Lord chose to make her and I'm sure he has his reasons.

And my sister blamed it on the dairy too...only problem is, she doesn't like those things in the first place, so I seriously doubt she grew them because of drinking an excess of milk! Plus, I eat about a half pound of cheese every day...and at least one avocado...so, if that holds true, WHERE are my babealicious hooters!!!!

No seriously..with the way girls are bombarded today, I try to make a minimal deal out of body parts and weight at all. I am actually happy with myself also and only joking about my teeny boobs and try to take hers with the same degree of lightheartedness. We have a good chuckle from time to time about how I stole a bunch of her height and she stole half of my boobs. (She's 5'3" and I'm 5'10"!...and yes, I saw her come out of me or I would have questions too...hehehe.)

A Fabulous Nanny said...

I was actually never asked to wear any kind of clothing. I just assumed that I would cover up everything.

I have DD's and a curvy body, but I am SO proud of it all! I love who I am! Even though I'm okay with showing a little (and i mean little, not flaunting them) while I'm out with friends, I never do it while I'm around the kids I watch. I think it's out of a general respect for your employers.

I wear anything and everything, from jeans to leggings to skirts to shorts in the summer (but usually city/bermuda shorts- I try not to make them daisy dukes haha)but with the tops I keep it pretty conservative. Maybe a lower neckline here and there, but never any cleavage.

The fact of the matter is, your employers asked you not to wear something, and you should do what they ask out of respect to them. If you were in a "normal" work situation at an office, I'm sorry to say, but any cleavage bearing tops would be unacceptable.

I know that you can find shirts to cover up, seeing as though I'm a cup size bigger and I find them all the time. And trust me, you can be fashionable while you're at it!

helaine said...

I have my girls wear scrubs. This solves every problem. Their uniform involves matching scrubs of a certain color, tennis shoes, sock and a t-shirt, plus appropriate undergarments. This is specified in their work agreement. We suppply three pairs of scrubs and are happy to replace them as they wear thin; for this demonstrates that the nannies are actively engaging our boys. We allow our nannies the lattitude to select the color of their own undershirts, sleeve length and style of athletic shoe. Anything goes in that department. We are a relaxed family but do feel this brings a breezy professionalism to the nanny work environment.

chick said...

It really doesn't matter what other employers/nannies say, your choice is to cover up completely or to find a new job. Personally, I would find a new job.

That said, I wear v-necks all the time, the girls do tend to peek out just a tad, and no employer has ever commented. I don't do round neck shirts or polos (they look crummy on me), and even though I am really well endowed, I don't tend to shake my tatas while leaning over at work.

chick said...

Helaine, how many "girls" do you have working for you?

I would suggest that if you ever choose to sound less than utterely and mind-bogglingly condescending, you might refer to your nannies as "women". Unless they are, in fact, girls aged 18 and younger, in which case, hey, feel free to call them children if that floats your boat!

mom said...

I like Helaine's idea. How nice to not have to worry about ruining any of your good clothes while working...and she even buys the uniforms for them. I would like being able to save my money for fun clothes to wear AFTER work and not have to concern myself with a work wardrobe when I'm really just with kids all day long, and kids don't give a wit what you're wearing, or even what you look like.

Personally, when my kids were little, during the day I wore a revolving wardrobe of a few shorts outfits in the summer and jeans or sweats in the winter. It didn't take me long to figure out that I was wasting my time getting dressed up for the park and my money by letting good clothes get slathered in mud, oatmeal, vomit, or worse, on a daily basis. And who wants to resist the invitation to help build a fantastic mud pie just because you are worried about keeping clean? Not me!

Now, I had some really fun stuff to wear in the evenings and plenty of money to buy those outfits because I wasn't spending much on my day to day "playclothes."

emily said...

I agree with you Chick, Helaine does sound condescending and I couldn't help but be glad I'm not one of her "girls" while I read her comment.

Also, scrubs are great for baby nurses, but I absolutely wouldn't go to school, piano lessons, swim lessons, and most importatly I wouldn't run around the park in scrubs! They're meant to be worn by people who aren't overly active and who need to change their clothes frequently. I can't imagine scrubs would stand up to one day in the life of a nanny such as myself or others I know.

fng said...

Ok so there is nothing wrong with the shirt. Thanks for posting the pic. I stand by what I said in my original post. You and your boss are very different. Think about moving on because this will likely not be the only issue you bump heads on. Good Luck.

Laura said...

I am a 40DDD and often wear tanks in the summer...and im nor cal. I totoally understand the perma-cleaveage. It just never goes away. I sugest maybe a cami under it. Then pull it slightly higher then the tank. I do this adn it gives it another 1/2 to 1 inch of coverage. That or the ones with a little lace.

LindaLou said...

i thought your tank was cute, but clearly your employer wants more modest attire. i do understand somewhat, if only because her children's school likely has some sort of dress code the kids must adhere to, and perhaps she doesn't want her daughter begging to wear tanks. i know that tanks and short shorts aren't allowed at our elementary. or maybe the family is just more conservative overall.

Anonymous said...

scrubs clothing is very durable. we are not talking about velcor scrubs, but scrubs clothing.

regarding cleavage. i, too am busty with a svelte waist. i moved to the city from a small town upstate to meet a man and get married. when i go out with my charge to the bakery or on a walk, i always wear tight jeans and tight shirts but i have the sensibility to wear a sweatshirt in the morning so my bosses do not become unnerved. in nyc, a girl with a body like mine dressed in tight clothing will attract a lot of attention, not all of it is desirable. but most is. tee hee.

a texas nanny said...

Keep in mind that in the photo in question, it is from a low angle. From that angle it looks like there is very little cleavage showing. I'll bet if the photo had been taken from above (perhaps if the mother or father are taller than the nanny) you would have seen a bit more, and especially if she leaned over. I'm a 34DD and I can say that none of those shirts are meant to be worn by us! If I have a low-cut tank top I usually wear another tank top underneath or even a tight girl tee (like you can buy at Target or Urban Outfitters), otherwise the shirts on me tend to just look totally slutty... And don't even get me started on the difficulty of buying a cute but appropriate swimsuit!

Anonymous said...

Damn.
Why are all you nannies so busty?

An entrepenurial idea-
a men's magazine-

B U S T Y N A N N Y

Emily Zeee said...

I'd be embarrassed to wear scrubs if my employers wanted me to. Walking around town running errands with the kids, I'd feel like an idiot in scrubs.

Anonymous said...

I think I have noticed this trend in CT. I have seen nannies in parks wearing scrubs and wondered if the children were SN, but didn't appear so. I think I would like to be told to wear scrubs because they are so comfortable and I would like it even more if the boss paid for them for me. The average price of jeans these days is $118. Who needs grass stains on them?

Anonymous said...

HAHA, I too am a busty nanny! I often wear tanktops to work also. None of my familys have ever said anything about me wearing tank tops, I did have one father ask his wife though, why i didnt "dress up" for work in slacks and a nice top, she told him, she is playing with a baby all day, she doesnt want to mess up her nice clothes, just like you dont want to mess up your clothes when you get home from work. jeans and a shirt are fine. and i too often wore a bathing suit around the house, 2 piece with a wrap covering my bottom half, no one minded. i have also worked with curious kids who at times would feel the need to put thier hands down mine and everyone else who was holding thems shirts.

tell the mother to get a set of implants and to get the stick out of her ass.

cali mom said...

OP, your boss must be a nauseating creep like Helaine. There is nothing wrong with the top you showed, and I'd go along with her demands for now but start looking for a new family to work for because someone like that will only get worse with time.

As for the poster whose employers forbid her to wear jeans to work? What ever happened to common sense and dressing for the job? Do they require you to wear skirts and pantyhose for playing in the sand at the playground because that's what is considered "appropriate work attire" in an office? Do they pay for your dry cleaning??

just anonymous said...

Helaine-I really hope you're joking about the scrubs. And if you have multiple child care providers then why are you on this blog instead of raising your kids??

cali mom said...

7:45, ROFLMAO, but scuse the F*%# out of me?? Where in this solar system do YOU shop that you can't find jeans for less than $118??? Try Levis 501's, they run about $40 brand new.

sprak said...

when I first began reading Helaine's post, I figured she ran a housecleaning service and when I read on and realized she was speaking of her nannies, that made me cringe. How awful. I've never seen one set of scrubs I liked and I've seen plenty.

They're everywhere and totally ugly even if made of material splattered with images of cherries, apples, daisies or puppies. I'd have to pass on that job for sure.

A Fabulous Nanny said...

sprak-
you're my new best friend :) haha. I couldn't agree more.

Scrubs, you MUST be joking me.

If I wanted to be in scrubs, I'd be working in a pediatricians office and not at a home.

sprak said...

gee, thanks, fabulous nanny,
I've been away from the blog for awhile but other posters haven't ever claimed me for a best friend that I can recall!
Scrubs look much like prison garb, but more colorful. About equally ghastly, though.

nynanny said...

OP your top was fine. although being a 40C and 26 years old, i find it hard to find tanktops and shirts that are not low cut! everything that i see that's age appropriate for me is low to start with, then if i bend over you can see all the way down to my stomach! if anyone has suggestions of places to shop that are hip and not selling low cut things please let me know! then again forget it, i'll just work for Helaine and never have to worry about this problem!

Anonymous said...

Um, I have a rack like yours and I would never wear that kind of a top -- to work or elsewhere --unless I was looking for attention. A smaller chested girl could probably get away with it.

helaine said...

I'll frequent this blog as often as I like. I am raising my children, as you can imagine by the detail and consideration I have given to the nanny wardrobe, I make it a point to make every important decision. My children are going to grow up with wonderful moments and adventures with their mother. The nannies have their purpose, and we wouldn't have such a blessed existence were it not for their dedicated service.

helaine said...

The link I attached to my last post is an example as simple, comfortable and durable scrubs- I would not share the link to the scrubs they wear, least I reveal their identity.

By the by, I work very hard to keep my nannies happy. Least you think I am some sort of a dictator, my employees are very happy with their positions.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is the fuss about NOT showing cleavage.
Your'e at work so why is it necessary to wear clothing that shows it? There is a time and place for everything and your employer doesn't think it is necesary to show it while you are taking care of her children.
She didn't say to wear turtlenecks,in so many words she is asking you to cover up and I don't understand the fuss about it.

chick said...

I bet the scrubs (blech) plan was cooked up originally by an insecure sanctimommy who accidentally had a conversation with a nice woman at the park and was mortified to realize that she, a MOM, had been having an amusing and civil discussion with a mere NANNY!

So, determined to keep this sort of shameful event from scarring any other tender sanctimommy souls, she started a rumor that all the BEST nannies, like for MOVIE STARS, wore SCRUBS. Yes, scrubs, which are durable and easily procurred 3 pair at a time in all sorts of fabrications! Scrubs, which no self-respecting adult female would wear unless required to do so! SCRUBS were the answer!!!

The rumor took flight, and soon, our sanctimommy anti-heroine was relieved to be able to easily tell "the help" from her "social equals". Once again, uniforms had saved the day, divided have from have-not, and prevented vexing forehead lines amongst uber-mommies everywhere who couldn't tell "the girls" from the mommies!

Do I hear an "AMEN!"?

...ahem...sorry, got a little carried away while reflecting on the heady freedom I have to wear what the heck I want to wear to work. If I am going to wear cheap easy to clean clothes, I'll darn well wear what I WANT to wear, you know?

Anonymous said...

helaine
"girls"? you call your nannies "girls"? that's so demeaning.

marypoppin'pills said...

Omg chick, thanks for my laugh for the day, I really needed it. ☺

To the OP
The decision has already been made for you, so just wear the light-weight t-shirts.

I'm a 36D (not as bountiful as some of you!) ... but I never wear a tank without another short sleeve shirt over it or tank underneath it.
I also have a little black knitted mesh 'jacket' I use over tanks that is very comfortable on a hot day.

Just look around, I'm sure you will find some very cool, acceptable clothing. And if the Mrs. still gives you a hard time ... it's probably only a sign of things to come.

Good luck. And by the way, that was a very nice pic.

mom said...

Gee, I guess I'll back of my earlier praise of the scrubs idea. I , myself, wouldn't mind wearing them (I have a nurse friend who looks adorable in hers...but they are plain blue with no weird pictures on them and my friend is really beautiful anyway, so maybe she just looks great in everything)but I certainly wouldn't want an employee forced to wear something SHE hated day after day.

Maybe just offering the scrubs to your nanny as an option is a good idea. If she thinks it is a good idea and wants them then buy her some, and if she doesn't then let her wear her own clothes to work.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but Helaine, maybe your GIRLS are too afraid to say anything - but I am a Nurse and scrubs are not that comfortable when you have to do more than stand around in them. I can't believe you think they are o.k. with running, bending and playing in.
Let me guess, your GIRLS are probably too passive and scared of your authority, otherwise, they'd probably bitch slap you for being so condescending.

nanniesarehumanstoo! said...

hey helaine, do you also supply those LOVELY little bonnets for your nannies or do you allow them the "privilege" of wearing their OWN hat!

haha

Anyway back to the OP's actual question. I find it pretty ridiculous that your boss would have a problem with that top. I'm with the other posters who said she is probably just a jealous old wench who thinks that her husband is going to get one look at your rack and run away to Bermuda with you. hahahaha

If I were you, I'd get out now before this women's neurosis' get even more out of control and she starts controlling everything right down to what color your hair is. However if you feel that this truly is an isolated case of something that PARTICULARLY bugs her then I guess you can just start wearing light-t'shirts.

After hearing what some women say, I know they would of been APPALLED to see what I used to wear when I was a Nanny. My boss liked me to wear "fashionable" clothes (to the point where sometimes I felt she was a little condescending on the days when I was too tired to get all dressed up and just wore sweats). I get told all the time that I "hide my body" But if anyone thinks YOUR top was lowcut they should of seen some of the tops I wore during the hot NYC summer. Hiding or not hiding, until you've run around after a bunch of toddlers in 90+ Degree Heat, you can't blame me for wanting to shed some fabric. Though perhaps it is pertinent to mention that I am only a B cup, and granted I WAS working in NYC where fashion standards are a little different perhaps to other parts of America, but honestly YOU live in Orange County and from what I can tell the women you see everyday would probably be wearing MUCH worse. haha.

Anonymous said...

OP Here:

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I have been to Target, numerous times. I found a couple cute shirts there, which I wear often. But, I have a problem normally finding shirts that are light weight, flattering, and show no clevage. And for those of you who said wear button up shirts, that's even worse! My boobs bust the buttons open, revealing my bra!

You can't tell from the picture, but the shirt is fairly tight at the bust, and the only way for someone to look down it would be if they leaned over while I was leaning over. Plus, I only see the father about once a week at most, which could be due to the fact that he made advances towards their last nanny. They told me when I started they had never had a nanny when I asked for a reference from a previous nanny. Then last week the oldest girl, 6, let it slip that their old nanny was going to come over to play this weekend since I couldn't. When I asked the parents about it, they said she was just a babysitter for the girls, not a nanny.

I have decided to give my two weeks notice. I am only part time, 20 hours per week, and have some money saved, so even if I don't find another job right away it will be okay.

I just wanted to ask other parents and nannies opinions on here to see if this was common or not. I didn't want to quit this job only to find out most parents would have a problem with the way I dress.

Thanks again for all your comments, especially the ones about my pretty hair, which I love, but it is very long! It's kind of a pain to have it so long, but I am growing it out to donate it to make a wig for breast cancer survivors. Off the original subject, I highly encourages all readers to consider donating their hair. It doesn't cost anything, but you are donating so much!

mom said...

My daughter donated her hair when she was about 10 years old.
There was an organization called "Locks of Love" (maybe there are others now)that made it so easy. She felt great knowing that her beautiful ponytail would give hair to a child who had lost their own becase of a terrible disease.

Anybody going from seriously long hair to short ought to look into donating. (I think we had to have a minimum of 12 inches to donate.)

Anonymous said...

I don't really understand.

In your original post, you said:

I have always thought I dressed nicely, normally crop pants, and a tee shirt

Why not just stick with that? It may not be fashionable, but with tee shirts there's no issue of cleavage and if you buy them large enough to accommodate your DD cup, problem solved.

Are tank tops so important to you that they're worth quitting over, when you already said your usual attire was tee shirts?

aliana said...

i am a nanny and i dress conservative, i do not want to give the wrong impression, we have to be professional!!

Anonymous said...

Amount of cleavage appropriate for a nanny to show during work hours= NONE.
You have plenty of options in warm weather: short-sleeved or sleeveless t-shirts or polo shirts with COMPLETE coverage of your "breastage". Tank-tops, bikini tops, etc are never acceptable. If the family wants you to supervise the children at the pool, you should wear a ONE-piece, modest bathing suit...adding a simple sarong is a classic and tasteful fashion choice while poolside or with the family at the beach.
Behave like a lady or find another line of work.

Anonymous said...

While we're at it, shorty-short-shorts are a nanny "no-no" as well. Bermuda shorts or pedal-pushers are fine. Heavy makeup is not cool. "Big" 80's hair is impractical. General rule: if you stick to clean, classic lines, sportswear or "preppy" clothing, a ponytail or short haircut and minimal jewelry (simple pearl or gold post earrings and/or a basic necklace with a small charm), tennis shoes or topsiders...you'll fit in with almost any family. Regardless of your age, looking as if you've just graduated from a classy little liberal arts college is always a good idea (whether or not you actually have).

Adria said...

Ok.. Am I an idiot for not being able to find the picture the OP put up to show the tanktop?
I don't see it! Help? hah.

Anonymous said...

Early in my nanny days, I worked for a wealthy woman who required all household employees to wear uniforms (ugh!). Funny thing was that SHE was far less stringent with her own appearance. She'd come flopping downstairs in the morning sans bra & panties (evident because she liked to wear slinky little see-through robes while she had her morning coffee and bagel. She also smoked pot on the balcony directly above the children's outdoor play area, and had an affair while her husband was away at work, but that's another story altogether.
LOL.

Anonymous said...

adria: just click on the words "here's a picture of the shirt in question"...it's actually a link.

Adria said...

Ahh, I see it now.
Thank you for helping me with my illiterate ways. haha.

Anonymous said...

OP Here:

I have recently been wearing the tank tops because all my tee shirts are too hot! The mom is skin and bones and is always in skimpy little shorts, with no underwear might I add, so she likes it warm in the house. Also, it was really warm the last few weeks, and they have no air conditioning, which would have been horrible in the summer anyway. I was literally dripping in sweat last week in my tee shirt because even with the windows open and the fans on, it was about 90 degrees in the house!

For the comments that my shirt is unprofessional, I don't agree. I consider myself a professional, and all my families and pet sitting clients would agree. Plus, being a nanny is a completely different than any other job. I want to be part of the family that I work for, and my family doesn't dictate what I can wear. I was lucky enough to find 2 amazing families to work with so far, and I remain hopeful that I will find another soon.

sprak said...

I guess if the skinny, envious bitch mom felt your top was inappropriate, that's what matters when she is the boss. You are right to move on since you are very much at odds with her about this. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

OP, I think you made the right decision to move on. I actually had a similar problem with my previous employer (I'm a 36 DD) and my bust is actually 14" larger than my waist (yes, oddly enough I know this for a fact, I just got fit for a bridesmaid dress-which is god awful looking might I add. haha) Any way, back to the subject at hand, the mother I was working for constantly attacked me for my clothing choices (even though I was wearing jeans in 90 degree weather, and tops that were hanging on me they were so loose! I did everything in my power to try to appease her, and It got so bad that I was actually attempting to look ugly when I went to work!! To make a long story short, it turned out her husband had the hots for me...I quit. I am now with a lovely family, and a confident mommy who lets me *gasp* wear capri pants, and fitted tops when it's hot out. I think unfortunately, a lot of women are insecure, and don't trust their nannies OR their husbands! I honestly feel that with certain families Mrs. Clause on crack would have an easier time getting a job than some of us younger nannies...ho ho ho! haha

mpp said...

What's with the Families that have NO air conditioning?
I actually had one that didn't also, and after a week in their house during the summer (and it felt like it was over 100°), I begged them to let me take their son to my house when we weren't out doing something.

I miss him, but certainly not that house!

emily said...

OP, my hope is that you're just very young and this will be a learning experience for you, but I really think you need to adjust your attitude.

You say you want to be a professional nanny but that you won't let the family you work for "dictate" to you. You cannot have it both ways, my dear. If you are going to continue to accept payment for your services as a nanny you'll have to accept that although your relationship with a family may be close, you're not their daughter, you're their employee, and they have an absolute right to dictate certain things like your hours, how you dress, the type of language you use in front of their children, etc.

This mother seems to be way too conservative, and I think your decision to move on makes sense. If you move on with a bad attitude, however, you're going to be one of those nannies who give the rest of us a bad name.

Anonymous said...

Awww, I think you may be just a tad harsh on the nanny, emily. I don't think she's showing a bad attitude. I can understand how she feels. Her clothes top wasn't bad at all, and mom is just a jealous nitpicker because hubby had it out for the last nanny. It's not this one's fault!

emily said...

You are totally right that this situation is not the nanny's fault, 6:44. But I was troubled by her assertion that she's not going to let her employers tell her what to do b/c her family doesn't tell her what to do.

Am I wrong to think that's a poor attitude for a nanny?

Anonymous said...

Emily
I read back over OP's 1:28am post, and the reason I think there might be differing opinions is:

"I want to be part of the family that I work for, and my family doesn't dictate what I can wear. I was lucky enough to find 2 amazing families to work with so far" ...

I believe OP means her "work family", not her real family. Instead of 'doesn't dictate', she may have meant 'won't dictate' - of course, only OP can clarify. But I took this to mean that she just wants a little freedom to wear what she chooses, and if the pic she posted is an example, I don't think she's wrong.

Either way, if she wants to keep working as a nanny, she will have to be a little accommodating - unfortunately.

As for the attitude, I'll hop up on the fence for that one because her post could be construed both ways - I don't want to say your wrong, because I'm not sure I'm right.

:)

Anonymous said...

No, emily, you're not wrong. You picked up on something all nannies need to be clear on....getting too comfortable with your employers, expecting them to actually treat you like "a member of the family" (no matter WHAT they say about that), will more than likely lead to disaster. Yes - I know there are nannies out there who will claim Mr and Mrs. Wonderful adopted them and their whole family, and 15 years later still exchange Christmas gifts and invitations to family events. That's the exception, NOT the norm. We nannies are EMPLOYEES (notice I didn't say "servant" or "slave") who need to behave professionally if we want to be treated that way.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I don't need to feel like I'm a part of the family. I have my own family, my own friends, my own life. I don't need to be adopted by the people who pay me to spend more waking hours with their kid than they spend.

I do love the children I nanny, but it really is a JOB. I wouldn't do it for free, I wouldn't hesitate to relocate if that made sense for my REAL family.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what kind of family you grew up in, OP, but my mother definitely did tell me what to wear, how to behave, etc. That's what families do, or did I grow up in some strange situation?

Anonymous said...

It's kind of irrelevant what your family experience was, OP (sorry,9:27) because we're talking about your BOSS here. Your boss gets to dictate appropriate attire (her notion of that) for the JOB she is paying you to do. You get to choose to abide by that (if you want to keep the job), or go find another one. Pretty simple, really.

Anonymous said...

9:03
We're talking about the nannies attitude. Not how she wants to be made a part of her work family, which to be honest, I see nothing wrong with. Who wouldn't want to form a close bond with a family you spend "so many waking hours with"?

Janet E. said...

i'm having my boobs done soon as i am totally flat chested and i am very nervous about my attire

Anonymous said...

Janet
Please tell me your joking? Your boobs are gorgeous!

Your going to look like a blow-up doll ...
Don't do it!!

emily said...

10:11, it would be very nice if we were talking about bonding w/a family, but we weren't. We were talking about the OP's intention to have her cake & eat it too. She wants to be treated like a professional but not to have to accept guidelines given to her by a boss. None of what she said spoke to the idea of bonding, she only addressed her desire to not be dictated to.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you emily! I was trying to explain that to 9:03 - perhaps I wasn't very clear.

"We're talking about the nannies attitude. Not how she wants to be made a part of her work family".

But thanks!

Anonymous said...

9:03 here. Thanks, emily, for clarifying the point I attempted to make earlier. Nice to know somebody "got" it.

Just an observation: There seem to be more than a few people out there (10:11 for example) who think "bonding" with their employer, having their employer treat them "like family" is a positive and natural thing, based on all the "waking hours" spent on the job. All I'm going to say is "good luck with that"!

Anonymous said...

11:02
"got it"?? why do you have to be so condescending? it looks to me like all of you agree that nanny should adhere to her bosses wishes. however, i don't know why her "bonding" with the family was even brought into the discussion by you @ 9:03! i thought emily was talking about the nannies bad attitude!

mom said...

I also agree with Emily to some degree. You have to do what your boss asks, within reason, if you want to keep this job. Yur boss's request does not seem entirely out of line. Everybody is going to disagree on whether your top showed too much cleavage, and your boss's request that you show NONE does not seem that out of line, considering you are working in her home with her children. If you otherwise enjoy your job I would not think of quitting over this one issue. From what I have read here there are a lot of unreasonable, cheap, inconiderate and generally difficult to work for nanny bosses out there. Having to put on a top with a higher neckline seems like such a small concession in order to keep an otherwise good job.

chick said...

An understandably insecure and unhappy MB, plus a lecherous DB = a bad situation for a nanny who wore anything short of a full nun's habit.

Glad you're leaving OP. I do think that you need to keep in mind that being treated "like family" can be both a blessing and a curse, and that it can take time for that to happen. When it does happen though, it's great!

In addition, while I don't think nannies need to dress like Muffy the '80's Prep Queen, it's never bad to "overdress" a bit, until you can suss out the style of the household.

fg said...

I don't think the issue is "just" the top, Mom, but rather, the top is a red flag regarding regarding employer expectations that do not co-inside with what the nanny is willing to capitulate to and sometimes these early warnings should be noted and action taken accordingly.

Anonymous said...

OP Here again:

Since so many of you love to be so hostile and confrontational, I guess I will have to be more specific.

The shirt isn't the only reason that I am leaving. Although who can blame me when they expect me to be completely covered up in almost 100 degree weather? They have no pool, no air conditioning, am I supposed to still wear pants and a tee shirt? I am in no way trying to wear tank tops daily, just on extremely hot days.

I've only been with this family a few weeks. They have already lied to me about multiple things, including having at least one nanny before me. The mom is completely crazy/controlling and a stay at home mom. When I started she told me she had appointments and meetings, ect. on the days I work. But, she doesn't. She is always home, and always dictating to me, and telling me how things need to be done. She asks me to do things, I do them, and then she tells me she does it differently. I have asked her time and time again to show me how she does stuff, but she tells me no your way is fine, when it clearly isn't.

I have been a nanny 6 years, for only 2 families, and still baby-sit for both the families. My bosses would ASK me to do things in their home, not tell me. They would say thank you and appreciated everything I did for them. They treated me with love and respect and I truly feel that I am part of the family. I have been told by EVERY job I have ever had that I am an amazing person with a great attitude and work ethic.

I'm an adult, 24, and I have a bachelors degree in Child Development and I am working on my Masters. I have no reason to stay in a job that I am unhappy with, and the fact that their are worse families out there is not going to keep me in a bad situation. I have always loved my job, I plan special activities daily with the girls, spend my own money on these activities and completely potty trained their youngest in a little over a week. The girls are great, but their mother is not. And, I am confident when I leave I will find another family that is amazing, and not like the mom I am currently working for, or some of the people that choose to be rude and confrontational on here. Hey maybe I should point the mom this way. This would be a PERFECT blog for her, she would fit in nicely with some of the people here!

Anonymous said...

OP-
did you know that way back I read a post on here that was actually a resignation. I always wondered if the nanny had the balls to leave directions to this blog when she left...

More people should quit via the internet, in fact specifically on isyn. this is a site that outs bad nannies, so why not out bad families on the way out?

It's even better than breaking up with someone via post-it.

Sarah and Mitch said...

You should just directly ask her what her idea of "conservative" is, because obviously you have differing opinions. You can explain to her that yes, having a large chest makes it extremely difficult to find a well-fitting top that doesn't show anything, and see if you can reach a middle ground.

I think that if she was upfront enough to tell you twice what she thought, she expects you to be able to talk to her as well. Good luck!

Beth said...

I take care of two children under 3 and my boss thought my "I f*cked your boyfriend" t-shirt was a real hoot.

Different strokes, I say.

maggie said...

I don't pay for my nanny's scrubs but she does wear scrubs. She started working for me when my baby was 6 weeks old and spitting up quite a bit. I suggested to her that she should wear a uniform of scrubs which she thought was a great idea because the clothing is inexpensive. In the 11 months she has been with me, I have given purchased her a few scrubs tops and outfits. If I am out shopping and see a uniform shop, I always pop in to see what they have.

Regarding the lovely in the teal blue tank top, I see my nanny as a representation of me. I send her to a music class with my db and I am glad that she agreed with the idea to wear scrubs. As attractive and cool as you may be in your clothing, I don't have that option as a professional. Working in the NYC fashion world, one of my job requirements seems to be to remain as uncomfortable as possible. I am happy to know my nanny dresses comfortably and in clothing that I could easily replace if my child should ruin it. I've heard of nannies who dress to the nines and in the summertime wear monokinis and pose around the child's play pool, screaming at the children if they should dare splash the nanny's hair or face. What employer in their right mind would put up with that? Divinita Sole makes wonderfully modest suits as does Modbe. I would be much more put off by an impractical suit than I would a revealing suit. If we should have the nanny accompany us to the beach, she is there to play with the baby in the sand and in the water, not lay on a chaise posing for the cameras. I found a wonderful nanny to travel with me to San Remo a few months back and she wore a very cute bikini. The bottoms were a boy short style and the top was a bandeau top. She was comfortable and able to run, skip and hop around the shore.

The employer has every right to dictate how the nanny should dress. Many corporate environments have dress codes, many businesses require uniforms. Why is this a big deal? Wouldn't you rather your employer tell you to your face that she had an issue with your top rather than make catty comments behind your back or keep her feelings bottled up and treat you poorly because of her feelings? Last thought for you, the nanny- if your employers had treated you better and been honest with you about the other things, I doubt this would have set you off. This seems more like the final straw. I have no doubt that you will be able to find a better position with a better class of people. Good luck.

Gina the bo beena said...

You look hot in that shirt! No I am not a lesbian. I just know a hot looking body when I see one.

mom said...

Well OP, perhaps I did not read your original pose clearly enough then. I would not quit over a shirt...but if you generally don't like or get along with the mom and she is there all day long, then that is a whole different story.

Janet E. said...

10:19 those aren't my tata's. I just used the profile photo to not have to show my face... because I'll be showing before and after photos around the time of my breast augmentation.

Though thanks!

just anonymous said...

Maggie-I always assumed you were a nanny.

cali mom said...

OP it sounds like a good thing youv'e given notie. The fact that the employers lied to you and said they'd never had a nanny before, combined w/the fact that scum-daddy leched after the previous nanny are both HUGE red flags that scream YOU'LL BE SORRY IF YOU WORK FOR ME.

Helaine, I guess by "every important decision" you mean deciding what undergarments are appropriate for "your girls"? FYI, when most people use that term they are referring either to their daughters or their breasts, NOT their employees.

Chick, LOL!!

Anonymous said...

To those (including OP) who took offense to my getting completely and totally off-track with the bonding issue...please accept my sincere apology for straying from the OP's original question regarding appropriate work attire. I was responding more to others references to the "bonding/just like family" issue than I was to the main question. Won't happen again!

Anonymous said...

I don't see a picture that everyone is talking about? Where is it?

emily said...

Oh, 9:40 (are you 10:11 as well?), please don't vow never to go off topic again. Without off-topic rants, I would lose all interest in this website!

I thought that you'd missed the point of 9:03's comment, but it seems you were in agreement with us the whole time. But, irregardless, don't let the confrontational nature of the comment section get you down.

Anonymous said...

Emily
No, I'm 10:11 - but I am hoping 9:40 is being sarcastic. You're right that off-topic rants can be very interesting.

And thank you, because yes, I had been in agreement the whole time! lol

I really appreciate your being such a candid poster!

~ 8:51/10:11/10:55 ~ (whew!)

Anonymous said...

On Supernanny tonight JoJo was showing cleavage!!!!!!1

Anonymous said...

Did you also notice she said the word "damn" in the car in front of the kids?

::: GASP :::

I love JoJo! lol

Anonymous said...

....WHAT?!
Really? I have NEVER heard of a nanny wearing scrubs. Please can I dress myself in head to toe lilac? Eck. Not my style. I understand if it is the nanny's choice, but I am a little baffled by a mother requiring their nanny to wear them. To each their own I suppose.


I have been a nanny for many years and have worn a wide variety of clothing depending on what was going on that day. When I was watching all girls I often wore a swim suit and shorts in the summer (lots of swimming and running through the sprinklers!). I'd cover up a bit if the father were home out of respect. My charge has the flu this week so I've been wearing sweats. I was sick last week...I wore sweats then. My boss laughs about it, she doesn't care. As long as I don't look like a complete slob, I don't think it's a problem. Day to day I wear jeans and a tee shirt/sweater/tank top/sweat shirt.

I also have tattoos, but have never been asked to cover them up. I guess I am drawn towards less conservative families, and them to me.

You may have to bring a tee shirt or little sweater to throw on when the parents are about. Your shirt really was fine.

B.

LuAnn said...

Your top was not overly revealing. This sounds like it's not a good match. I would find a new job. You can't be expected to dress to her style...and what you were wearing was not revealing at all. Don't take it personal, just find a new family. I raised two daughters and have a granddaughter. They dress trendy, but not revealing and similar to what your top looks like. This woman is just paranoid of her husband looking, not her children. Nevermind if she is your employer. She can try to dictate your wardrobe, but in the long run, she will be going through Nannies like crazy. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hey you have it why not flaunt it. Its not your fault you are not a size B. I wish my boobs were bigger. I am a C cup.

What if someone has a big butt are they supposed to "cover that up" too?

Anonymous said...

I love when my nanny shows up everyday, but my favorite part of the day is watching her walk away.

;)

Anonymous said...

1:26 PM said:

What if someone has a big butt are they supposed to "cover that up" too?
___________________________

YES! Please do! Cleavage is one thing, but crack deserves a smack.

Anonymous said...

2:18pm...fabulous idea! Are there any "I Saw Your Horrible Employer" forums yet?
If not, we nannies should start one. I'm sure the stories would trump almost everything we've ever read here at ISYN.
(Feel the karma)

report bad employers here said...

The email addy no longer works but there is a message box on the blog.

Anonymous said...

A "bad families" site? Yep, yep, oh YES! Let's do it.

Mrs.G. said...

mom is pissed off that ber tits aren't cute anymore. RUN GIRL... RUN with the big boobs of yours, straight to another family who values you caregiving skills!

Anonymous said...

I have some bad employer stories, but I'm saving them for my book.

Robert Synnott said...

"Did you also notice she said the word "damn" in the car in front of the kids?"

That's more of a cultural issue; very few people in the UK would think the word in question even vaguely offensive.

Robert Synnott said...

"Did you also notice she said the word "damn" in the car in front of the kids?"

That's more of a cultural issue; very few people in the UK would think the word in question even vaguely offensive.

Anonymous said...

robert:
refer to post 3:07.

and yes, I was shocked to hear it! lol

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing you're new to the site robert, so WELCOME ABOARD!

We would definately love your point of view on things!

;)

Nannyjess24 said...

i am a fellow nanny and also have a large chest. 42DD to be exact. and you are right it's very hard to find shirts without showing clevage, if i can look in the mirror and see more than an inch of clevage i will not get that shirt. that's my personal choice i've never been a big fan of my chest. but anywho. i don't think the tank top is too revely unless your bent over all the time from picking the kid/s up. from now on, when you are interviewing families, tell them the type of clothing you wear and make it clear to them that your not gonna change what you wear to impress a spouse. if they don't like that you wear shirts with minimal clevage, then tell them this is the way you dress and if they dont' like it then you can find a new family.

most normal average american families like nannies to not dress frumpy, no holes in clothes, or wear sweats all the time, but they like for nannies to be presentalbe in public, my personal style is jeans and tees or polos. growing up in the country my entire life i am used to wearing jeans and no girly/lacy shirts. i tell each employer that i dress casual/laid back,

just be honest and tell them that it's hard to find tees and tanks to cover the entire chest area

marypoppin'pills said...

I sort of remember a post awhile back about a Nanny who evidently had a pair of shoes that didn't "measure up" to the Wife's standards, so she took her out and bought her some. I think she said something along the lines of what 'nannyjess24' was saying:


"most normal average american families like nannies to not dress frumpy, no holes in clothes, or wear sweats all the time, but they like for nannies to be presentable in public"

But personally, I think it can go too far when your clothes are getting "picked out" for you. As long as your neat and clean, it should be none of their business.

Anonymous said...

Ok, So I read the first five or so comments, and then I decided to comment. I did see the picture that the nanny was referring to. Personally, I do not feel that that shirt shows much less than "minimal cleavage"

I have DD's as well and the only way that shirt could be considered showing cleavage at an inappropriate level is if someone were looking down at you from above. I was envisioning something that most adults would consider "club wear" The shirt in question is neither too tight, nor too low in the chest or too high in the midsection.

Where I work, our summers get blasted hot, and we have a TON of humidity. My bosses don't have A/C in their home, so I can not survive without wearing tanks.

I don't really think that the mom can tell you to be dressed super conservative all the time. I guess if it really bothers you, ask to sit down and have a chat with them. Explain that you get hot, and you find it to be more comfortable when you are dressed in tank tops.

Also, tell them that if it makes them more comfortable you could bring a sweater or hoodie with you, but if you get hot, you'd rather not swelter.

And if they let you go, ask yourself... is that really a family you want to be employed by. One who will not let you be comfortably dressed for work.

Anonymous said...

I say it again, what is up with these employers that don't have air conditioning?? It's not that they can't afford it, right?

4:27, please?!

Anonymous said...

I am a nanny in San Diego, in my mid 20's, short, busty, 5'1, 130 lbs.
You better believe I dress casual! Jeans are not comfortable and I got tired of wearing holes in them! I often get stains on my clothes too!

So: I wear cute cotton tees and tanks with yoga pants. I don't get paid enough to destroy nice clothes! And I am not going to wear awful cheap button-ups, scrubs, dowdy old lady tees, hokey cheap jeans or anything like that!

Anonymous said...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Many young, poor, low-educated, girls in their late teens and early 20's today who work as maid/nanny girls, living in their employers home, are required to wear this.

*Black high-heeled footwear

*Black skirt with a white belt and a white waist apron

*White long sleeved blouse

*Also, a white full length apron over the other clothes.

*A name tag.

They can also be forbidden to wear jewellery or make-up, and have to shorten their hair (or at least have a ponytail)

Many of the girls hate it, they want to wear their own comfortable clothes (like jeans/t-shirt and sweater). They employers say the girls have to look and appear good, and don't need to waste money and time on own clothes and fashion (like many teenage girls do). Some employers become very angry if a girl breaks the rules, or appear carless (like spilling on their clothes, someone or the floor or forget to button the buttoms on my clothes or putting the blouse inside the skirt) so many of these girls also worry for ruining the clothes. But it's the employer who decides the rules, the girl just has to follow them if they don't want to lose their employment.