Friday, April 15, 2011

FAQ: Do You Wear Uniforms?

A reader by the name of Becca in Ruidosa, New Mexico asked, "Do you wear uniforms at the mansion?" 

As the butler in a billionaire's home, that's a good question and it does figure into the scenes and scenarios I'm always trying to describe to you. The answer is yes, Becca, and no - entirely depending on the day and what social engagements are scheduled for the evening.

If it's a formal occasion:  At a sit-down dinner, large party or fund-raising event, Nelda and Ester will be wearing a gray dress with a white collar and white apron. I'll be wearing a Brooks Brothers tux or a dark pin-striped suit, according to the formality of the occasion. (Brooks carries the most conservative men's wear in America, perfect for this situation. Here's a link.)

If it's a simple cocktail party: Nelda and Ester will still wear the gray dress and apron, but I'll probably just wear slacks and a black polo shirt (again from Brooks).

And last, casual daily wear: Now here's the fun part; when I first started working here I showed up every day in Brooks Brothers slacks and various-colored polo shirts - and my relationship with the family was rather stiff during those first few months. Then one day I was called in on a day off for an air conditioning problem. I was unshaven, in jeans and T-shirt, and both the Mister and Missus warmed up to me that day, as if I were a real human being. After all, they run around the house and gardens in shorts and jeans themselves.

So the end result of that (for all of us) is that our fun and comfortable daily wear around the house is jeans and T-shirts with little black aprons to distinguish ourselves as house staff, in case unexpected guests drop by during the day.

This kind of attire would never do in a British household, I know. But after all, this is America and right or wrong, we are decidedly a little more relaxed.

Hope this gives a better idea of how things are around here.



  1. What an interesting peek into the affairs of the elite and the expectations on you! Somehow I think you wind up looking rather swell in that nice suit but the girls don't fair quite so well LOL!

  2. Is there a Yacht ????

  3. To see the list of things my employers do not have, you can go to the January, 2011 postings and click on an article entitle "A Perspective". But the answer is mercifully "no", there is no yacht. Can you imagine being trapped on a boat with your employers twenty-four hours a day, out in the middle of nowhere? Horrifying!

    1. I just found your fascinating blog and am reading it from the beginning, but I can't find the article "A Perspective". Is it still available?

    2. How nice to meet you Fay. I'm delighted you're reading and hope you're getting a few laughs. Yes, the blog went through a major edit last year, eliminating posts that could be considered breaches of confidentiality, as well as some really dumb posts written under duress of gin martinis. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Andrew

  4. Hi Kimberly! You're quite right. The ladies uniforms need updating. It's Nelda's choice and she's been here far longer than I have. But don't you think our aprons are kinda chic? Ha!