Cover Up

I guess what I need is perspective?
I'm 22. I moved here from Iowa to be a live-in nanny.
I am a non make-up wearing, blond pony tail wearing tomboy. I'm short and thin.
In the summer I like to wear t-shirts and cut offs. Cut offs because that's how I recycle my jeans.
The family I work for isn't conservative, but I feel like I keep getting hit with conservative suggestions.
Case in point.
Monday morning, I come out and there is a bag from LL Bean with a note that says, "Thanks for being so great.". I open it and there are three pairs of shorts. But they are this style. (HERE)
I'm not 40. I'm also not overtly sexual. I'm not curvy, I feel insulted. But there is a chance this was a kindness, right?
In the beginning of the summer, the same thing with a Victoria's Secret bag. It turned out be be a cute pink robe, made of a jersey material. But all I hear is COVER UP. I work six days a week, 1/2 days on Saturday, so I think it is unfair for her to suggest I dress anyway but how I like, since I dress for the activity. If I take the kids to a museum, I will wear a sundress.


Jean said...

I think you should talk with your boss(es). Cutoffs are not inherently bad. As long as- like you said- you're not wearing them to the Museum. It really shouldn't matter if you're thin curvy or otherwise. Body shaming and or trying to control someone else's attire is ridiculous!

As a live-in your clothes are your business. You're a tenant in the house. The robe issue is open to interpretation. I wouldn't want to wear a robe in my private area, but could see how moms may want nanny to wear one around the shared areas. TBH, if I were a live-in nanny, I wouldn't want to see mom or dad without a robe either.

Frank talk is needed here. Find out what is bothering them and see if you are ok with making changes or not. If it's a big difference of opinion, you shouldn't feel bad about finding another family.

Corina Yildiz said...

If receipt in bag try to exchange for something else. : )
Maybe the robe was to make you feel at home. Warm and cozy

CleaverJune said...

I see absolutely no problem with cut-offs when appropriate, but I do have to be honest, I am curious as to how short you wear them. If they are higher than mid-thigh, then yes I can understand an employer wanting and requiring something more appropriate length for work. (By the way, the shorts you were given are truly heinous. I'm a longer shorts wearing person (because I'm not a fan of my thighs... and I would NEVER wear those. They are more culottes than shorts and they are just plain not attractive. I think "old people" when I see them but even my mother (who is almost seventy,) wear them either. I would say thank you for them, and exchange them for something more your style.

I would also have a frank but polite conversation with your employer. I would tell her how you feel, and feel out if she is just trying to be thoughtful and missing the mark, or if she's pushing her clothing choices on you in a pretty passive-aggressive manner.

Something to keep in mind is that this MB might just not know what to get you to show her appreciation. She doesn't know you well yet and just might not be good at trying to figure out your personal style. Especially if she isn't as conservatively clothed as you are. She just might see conservative shorts,or a robe & know that she wouldn't wear them, that you like things more reserved than she - and just assume that you would like it; an If its not her style it might be yours kind of thing.

Talk to her. Try to suss out her motivation and see if she's just a sucky gift-giver or if she's being manipulative.
Once you know that you can figure out the right next step for you.

Anne said...

I agree that maybe your mb doesn't know what to buyyou, but the shorts and robe seem passive aggressive.

Cutouts don't bother me. They can be work attire since op is a nanny. I've seen nannies wearing bikini tops and short shorts around the neighborhood. Cute cutoffs and tank are better imo than worn out sweatpants and pjs( something else I've seen around. )

Anonymous said...

Passive agressive 100%. You should have a convo.

RBTC said...

i am going to dosagree a little with jean about " a tenant can do their own business" idea - i agree that on your off time - wear what you want within reason but during working hours - it is a job - we have had many nanny stories on here of wearing " black and white" " sun dresses" and more - as long as she pays - she can reasonably ask you to wear a work outfit she wants even if it's not your style. If you hate her request - discuss it with her and she may relent or not - then you will have a decision to make - keep us posted

hey - this could be a new nanny article - "the crap i have benn forced to wear!"

Kate Feathers said...

You are 22 and are stepping into learning how to deal with a passive-aggressive woman boss. That is the real issue. Be direct with her and ask her if she feels you clothes are inappropriate. Don't react. Just gather information. Are you their first nanny? If not, how many have they had? Do you have access to any past nannies? These are questions you should ask at future interviews. Don't put up with passive aggressiveness. If she's doing it now, she won't change. It will get harder to be around her. It's hard when you're young, but it's these experiences that teach you to stand up for yourself and set boundaries. Buying clothes for an employee is strange and I feel a boundary cross. By setting boundaries you'll gain confidence and respect, if not from these people than others and yourself.

Anonymous said...

You boss is trying to tell you in a "polite" way that she does NOT like the way you dress. So while YOU may think that you look just fine ... she does not.

If you feel comfortable talking about this openly with her fine -- but be prepared for her to tell you outright that she think you look inappropriate. And how you will respond.

It is her house, her children and you work for her and represent their family. I would think you two can find a happy medium if you so hate the LL Bean shorts.

There are obviously other shorts that cover more than your cut-offs do -- but more attractive than the LL Beans.

As to the robe ... pretty clear message that you are often in their opinion very inappropriate in how you parade around their house.

Perhaps instead of being insulted -- it is an opportunity for you to grow -- and realize that you're in a new situation and that this is actually a very good lesson in how you're perceived and how to get along with people you work for and how to dress more appropriately for the job you're hired to do.

Maybe some families would not mind how you dress -- but this one does. So if your cut-offs mean more than the job -- leave.

Otherwise just buy yourself some other shorts etc. and stay with this family.

Meagan said...

Her boss isn't polite! She's a passive aggressive insecure pos! How about you gather up some courage mb and talk to your nanny about her clothes while on duty.

While off, the mb has zero input on her live ins slash tenant's clothing. Some people shouldn't have live in help. They're clearly too judgmental and insecure

Meagan said...

This so much! Thank you, Kate! Set boundaries, OP!

Jean said...

No. My NF gets no input on my clothing while at work UNLESS a uniform requirement was disclosed PRIOR to the start of the job! AND I agreed to comply.

If I were a live-in- wouldn't happen ever- nanny, I still wouldn't accept input regarding my clothes from my boss.

A live in is a tenant in my state and would have to be given 30 day notice to quit, just like any other paying tenant. A live- in nanny's salary pays for her apt/living quarters. So a family has no right to require anything while off duty. Just like my NF can't tell me what to wear at my house at night/on weekends

Moms who have concerns about what the nanny may wear should make their wishes crystal clear during the hiring process. Not passive aggressively trying to micormanage the nanny's attire after the fact.