Mother reveals she was ‘dress-coded’ at public library over cardigan


One mother has shown that getting dress-coded can happen after your schooling years.

Hilary Filipowicz recently took to TikTok to share her story about what happened at her local library. She explained that she was taking her children to a baby story time while wearing light wash jeans and a cropped cardigan from the “teen section in Target”.

The mother said that her children were running around the library when the librarian came up to her, assuming she would tell her to keep her kids quiet. The librarian instead asked her if she was their mother or the babysitter.

When Filipowicz answered that she was their mother, the librarian told her, “You should know better,” in what she described as a “judgey, tsk, tsk kind of tone.” Thinking the librarian was referencing her children being too loud, Filipowicz said she “immediately started apologising for my girls’ behaviour.”

Filipowicz recalled the librarian interjected: “No, your outfit.” In her TikTok, Filipowicz said the librarian then gestured to her sweater and jeans.

“And I realise it’s because [the sweater] is a little bit cropped and when I carry my giant one-year-old, it raises up and shows maybe one inch of my mommy belly… And apparently that’s inappropriate to show any midriff when you’re, like, edging into 40,” she said in the video.

“Pardon me while I continue to wear cropped tops with high-waisted pants until I’m a grandmother. Might even throw my belly button ring back in for extra flair,” she captioned her video.

After posting her TikTok, the clip went on to receive more than one million views. Many people turned to the comments to share how they were shocked that the confrontation even happened.

“Tell her supervisor! That is totally inappropriate of her to say. Your outfit is fine,” one comment read.

Another commenter agreed, pointing out that she was a librarian herself: “I’ve been a librarian for 13 years and this is WILD. Our unspoken rule is ‘come as you are!’”

“That is insane. As someone who works at a public library, this infuriates me. So uncalled for and absolutely unnecessary. Your outfit is super cute!!” a third commenter wrote.

The mother later revealed in an interview with People that she was initially excited to wear her outfit because she is postpartum, and can’t always tell what items are going to fit her body.

“Postpartum is a weird time – you never know what to wear, what fits,” she told the outlet. “My closet contains three different sizes of clothes. Getting dressed is a fraught situation.”

She said that she was especially proud to fit into her jeans, adding: “Those jeans are over a decade old. I was excited to fit into them.”

However, her excitement became short-lived after her outfit was criticised.

“This particular library is one we go to a lot. So it’s strange to be chastised like I’m a teenager when I’m 38, especially considering I’m totally in my mom era. I would never do anything to make anyone uncomfy. My toddler is 30 pounds. I’m lugging her around and I’m not thinking about how my clothes are moving or what my body looks like in those moments,” she said.

Filipowicz explained that she initially shared the story on TikTok as a sort of “temperature check” to ask fellow users: “I wanted to ensure, you know, can I still wear this?”



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