Being Fashion-Forward…as a Nanny
As I pounded the pavement in my Grecian gladiators, printed maxi dress, boyfriend cardigan, oversized cognac colored bag and oversized Roberto Cavalli sunglasses, I passed a woman pushing a stroller with two adorable twin boys. The boys were so cute and reminded me of my cousin’s twin boys when they were babies, I smiled and waved. The woman pushing the carriage stopped and exclaimed, “Oh my GOD!!!!” Oh no…What did I do? I only smiled at them…and waved…babies like that, right? And then I thought… ‘Does this woman think she knows me?’
“What is it?” I asked.
“Your outfit… I love it. I love the whole thing…the whole outfit…the shoes, the dress with the sweater, the bag, sunglasses…LOVE IT!” She said, with a giant grin on her face.
I beamed and thanked her. I get compliments like this a lot, but she was so damn enthusiastic that I had to keep chatting with her. She told me that she wished that she could dress “like that” (referring to my outfit) but that she was “just a nanny” and “nannies have to be sporty,” which she was, dressed in Nikes, yoga pants, a denim jacket and a Yankees cap. (And hey, yoga pants are great–for yoga, I love them too, but they’re not great for being fabulous on the sidewalks of New York.)
But I had to change this woman’s mind, she was young and pretty and not “just a nanny”. Nannies do the dirty work—they push babies around in strollers, get spit up on and have to change smelly diapers, they deserve more credit that being “just a nanny”. I couldn’t do that job. (Well, I babysat for infants in 7th grade so I’ve done it, but I don’t want to do it ever again…in my opinion: you have to really love kids, or really need money.)
I sincerely hope that my motivational fashion speech changed this woman’s mind, because it was only after I walked away that I decided she was great inspiration for a post—I didn’t even give her my card, so she’ll never know I wrote this—unless she already reads Shoes, Shirts & Other Sh!t.
I told her that a maxi dress and sandals could be proper nanny attire—it’s comfortable and chic. I told her if she wants to keep the “sporty” look to wear a sweatshirt with a blazer, jeans and flats; a tunic and leggings…shorts with tights and a fitted tee! All these outfits are still functional for the job and also comfortable, but just a little more chic. She didn’t seem convinced, but I’m hoping she kept thinking about it after we went our separate ways and changed her mind.
This is for the nannies out there who do an amazing job raising other peoples’ children; you deserve to look fabulous and fashionable too! And of course, if you find yourself in the same wardrobe rut as my new friend, this is also for you! A few style-updating ideas:
1. To stay “sporty” you can pair a printed maxi dress with a rugby striped sweater and flip-flops. If you’re new to mixing prints, play it safe by getting the cardigan in Navy/Blue or in Blue/Cream instead of Grey/Yellow to keep the dress and the sweater in the same color palette!
2. Or pair a boyfriend blazer with a printed tee or tank, cutoff shorts and sandals.
3. Try a sweatshirt with that boyfriend blazer, denim cutoffs and classic Keds.