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Nicole Martin
New Jersey
Remixing my wardrobe to create buzz-worthy, office-approved outfits! Find out more at: Creating Panache.
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Monday, June 28, 2010

Training Gear

Last week, I had an opportunity to attend an off-site training event with my colleagues.  I, of course, forgot my camera... so being resourceful, I downloaded an app onto my phone so that I could set a timer.  Pics are a little grainy, but you'll get the idea...

skinny jeans: Target; t-shirt: Target; boyfriend blazer: BCBG via Macy's; black flats (not pictured): BCBG (gift); wrap watch: NY&Co

Dates: June 21-22, 2010
On the calendar: 1.5 days in training in a hotel

When I was deciding what to wear, two things helped guide me.  First, I would be with colleagues who I only have a relationship with via e-mail (for the most part).  This would be the first time we'd meet face-to-face... exciting!!  Most of these colleagues work in manufacturing sites, so they would probably be a little more casual than my office.  Also, I'm one of, if not the youngest of the entire team, so I wanted to give a professional but laid-back first impression.

Second, I knew the agenda going into the 2 days... a lot of sitting around in a frigid hotel conference room, broken up by a team dinner and casino night on Monday night.  So I wanted to be comfortable and warm.  I decided to go with jeans the first day layered with the blazer.  Then the second day, I would bring back the blazer but pair it with cropped pants.  Everything was just right... I was comfy, warm, and reinforced a lot of those relationships I'd been building for a couple years now!

cropped pants: Banana Republic; t-shirt: Banana Republic

By the way, they put me up in a suite for the one night... I wish I could have stayed a little longer!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Impractical Camping

shorts: H&M; tank: Target; lace t: Ann Taylor (gift); bangle: gift; wrap watch: NY&Co; sandals: UO & DIY; hat: Target

Date worn: June 18, 2010
On the calendar: Work from home then camping trip, with a stop for dinner along the way.

I know what you're thinking... this outfit is not exactly practical for camping.  You're right, but our plan was to get to the campsite late so we can enjoy a relaxing dinner in New Paltz, NY.  If you ever have chance, go walk around this cute little town and check out the Gilded Otter Brewpub... their summer blueberry beer is yummy!  But anyway, I figured that since we wouldn't start truly camping until 10pm, I could look cute up until that point :)

Ignore funny smirk and shaggy fringe.  Focus on cute hat!  This was a spontaneous purchase but I think it will serve me well this summer.

Soooo did anyone else get fooled into buying these sandals from Urban Outfitters last year??  In the store, they were the perfect casual sandal.  Out of the store, the backs just did not stay up as you walked around.  Very frustrating.  I remedied the situation by braiding fabric scraps and then tied Grecian style around my ankles.  Works pretty well!

Finally, I wanted to point out my most favorite bracelet ever.  My husband, who knows my style so well, found this for me as a Christmas gift a few years ago.  It's wood with inlaid turquoise and just looks amazing.  I just searched for the website that he bought it from, but unfortunately the woodworker, Greg Savage, has moved onto sculptures, bowls, etc.  Interesting work nonetheless!
Friday, June 25, 2010

Sailor Stripes

shirt: Target; skirt: Necessary Objects via Century 21; belt: UO; shoes: 9 West Outlet; cuff: gift; wrap watch: NY&Co; earrings: stolen from my sister

Date worn: June 16, 2010  (Another belated outfit post... I'll catch up with my blog one day, I hope! :)
On the calendar:  Another typical day at the office: conference calls, in-person meetings with client groups, but also a birthday breakfast for my co-workers.  We have one monthly to celebrate and it's nice to see colleagues from other buildings that I don't see on a daily basis.

I loved this outfit - it's made of several faves in my closet.  As mentioned in my first outfit post, I'm loving stripes this season.  They are on trend, easy to find at all price points, and so easy to style!

The belt and shoes are definitely over-mixed, but hey, if they look good, why not??  Oh, and you've probably noticed the odd angles and chopped off heads... yeah I need to purchase a tripod :)

The skirt is my "buddy skirt" since a friend and I bought the same one while shopping together, haha!  And it's got some ooommphhh!  Needs nothing underneath for volume.  And the shiny stripes on the bottom?  Those are zipper teeth!  Such a neat little detail.

Personal Style

Given that I spend a lot of time deciding what to wear, I want to periodically write about my thought process when I pick out my clothes and also when I make purchases.  I want others to learn from my mistakes.  One recommendation is to cultivate your personal style before making major clothing and accessory purchases. 

Soon after I college graduation, I moved out to New York City and was floored by how different everyone dressed.  Polished and put together, while I felt like a slob.  I felt pressured to dress better - and so I went to stores that were not completely out of my price range (when shopping the sale racks).  Banana Republic, Gap, Ann Taylor, etc.  I then dressed *well* (by my standards at the time) but looked like every other corporate New Yorker ...minus the paycheck.  Something with my new wardrobe didn't click though, and I never felt quite like myself in what I wore, minus a few items here and there.

Fast forward a few years later, and I moved back to good ol' Jersey and eventually switched jobs, only to spend time in NYC on the weekends.  Or at night running to/from grad school, which doesn't count.  I soon felt uninspired with my surroundings (and still do, but that's a whole other story), and realized that the best part of New York was the people.  You saw all walks of life and it seemed that no one was afraid to be themselves.  And that was extremely inspiring!

Not knowing that the world of style bloggers even existed, I googled "street fashion" and stumbled onto Lucky Style Spotter out of curiosity.  Some pictures were interesting, but one person stuck out over the others.  Jessica of What I Wore had a personal style that spoke to me - and still does!  From there, the rest is history... I've been following a number of personal style blogs ever since.  

Long story short (wow, didn't mean to write this much!), poke around these blogs, read some fashion magazines, and see what speaks to you.  I can't really label my personal style, and I feel that I'm still cultivating it a bit, but now I can easily pick items off the rack that are ME :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hello & Welcome!

Hi there!  Welcome to Employed Panache.  My name is Nicole and I like clothes.  I also like my career, which has nothing to do with clothes.  In fact, my job is in Human Resources (I know you just shuddered ;)  For me, I've noticed that I'm happiest and most confident in the office when I feel like myself in the clothes I wear.  However, I still need to look professional, so I put a lot of thought into what I wear each most days.  I want my clothing to be a reflection of who I am both professionally and personally.  Adding a little panache to what I wear does just that, and can work for anyone.  

This site will feature outfits that I wear on the job and some helpful tips on how to look presentable but also yourself at work.  I may also throw in a smattering of "off hours" outfits, mainly so you can see how I mix and match my work and weekend wardrobes (because let's be honest, who can afford separate wardrobes for both??)

jacket: F21; t-shirt: Target; skirt: Zara; cuff: gift; shoes: Elle via Kohls

Date worn: June 15, 2010
On the calendar: day at the office: a couple in-person meetings with client groups; meeting new employees

So it's summer, but my office can be chilly... the t-shirt / short sleeve jacket combo gave enough core warmth to warrant bare legs.  I knew I'd be with people throughout the day, including new hires, so I wanted to make a good impression.  Pretty much a typical day at the office.

If you can't tell, the jacket is navy & white striped... I'm currently very into pair stripes with florals (though I may get some odd looks from co-workers!)

I love tougher looking accessories... especially leather jewelry!  My husband bought this for me and I wear it often.  The gladiator sandals are also great because they go with some many things.  Just please ignore the horrible nail polish - I had a weekend of camping coming up and it wasn't worth painting them!

And finally, an appearance by Donna, my boston terrier.... I'm sure she'll pop into some pictures here and there.  She can't go for long without some attention :)

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