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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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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Forbes Woman Feature!

Good morning!  As you have probably figured out by now, I usually take the weekends off here at Employed Panache.  However, last night I received very exciting news that I wanted to share with you!  Employed Panache was listed as one of The 20 Best Fashion Blogs for Professional Women on Forbes Woman!!!

Employed Panache is definitely a younger blog (4 months old now about), so this is a HUGE honor and thrill!  Be sure to check out the other blogs listed... there are so many other great professional fashion blogs out there!
Friday, October 29, 2010

Fashion Beauty Friend Friday

the best Halloween pic I have for you guys - Super Donna! :)

Happy Friday!  Starting this week, I'm starting a new tradition on Fridays... Fashion Beauty Friend Friday!  Katy over at ModlyChic started this bring the fashion blogger community together, and I'm finally jumping on the bandwagon.  Soon I'd love to do these as video posts, but for round 1, we'll stick with text :)  This week is the perfect week to start, because it allows us bloggers to get a little personal.  Because Employed Panache is focused on work outfits, I tend to stay a bit more professional here.  However, I am a real person and so I'd like to share with you...

10 Random Facts About Me (in no particular order)

1. Before the age of 5, I moved from NJ to Las Vegas, NV to Memphis, TN, back to NJ, where my family moved once more.  So before I entered kindergarten, I moved 4 times!  My parents then thought it was best to settle us down for the long term.

2. I LOVE pumping my own gas!  Since I essentially grew up in NJ and live there now, I don't have many opportunities to do this.  Once I learned how to in college (don't judge), every road trip, I was the one volunteering to get out in the cold, rain, snow, etc. to pump.  I still look forward to those moments today.

3. I heart music.  As in, there's almost always music playing in my head as a soundtrack to my life.  That might sound weird, but it's the truth.  These days, I'm really into indie music and I'm really lucky to have a husband that looks up and introduces new bands to me constantly (thanks love :)  I also get obsessed with about 4 bands at a time.  Right now: Local Natives (who I'm seeing tonight!), Metric, Yeasayer, and the Yeah Yeah Yeah's (who never really leave this list).

4. I majored in Chemistry in college.  Yes, I know I work in HR now and that is not at all related.  But in my early years of college, I had dreams of creating my own make-up line and interned at a major cosmetic company making hair dye!

5. I can't decide if I like city living or country living more.  I'll probably always live in close proximity to both.  My favorites so far are NYC (of course), Chicago, Boston, and Austin.  I can wait to visit some Cali cities!

6. I can't cook.  I have no interest in that sort of thing, though I do love to eat.  Once again, I am lucky to have a loving husband who does the cooking in our family.  I clean up afterwards, to be fair ;)

7. Oh this is a good one!  When I was 5 (I think?), I won a coloring contest and got to be a clown in a local circus.  I was in the ring and all I remember is directing other clowns to do stuff.  True story!!!  I have pictures to prove it too, maybe I should dig them out!

8. I'm a pretty active person.  I run several times a week, try to go to yoga once a week, and will occasionally attend a spin class.  In the winter, I ski.

9. I'm sorry to say, but I have a truck driver mouth.  Seriously.  I've learned to tone it down at work as much as possible, but when I'm home... watch out!  I think I just like the emphasis of the words, haha!

10. Because it's Friday and I'm about to leave, my favorite drinks by category are... beer: Rogue Chocolate Stout; wine: any malbec from Chile; mix drink: green tea/simple syrup/lime cocktail that my hubby mixes up so we can feel fancy while watching Mad Men.

Have an awesome weekend everyone!
Thursday, October 28, 2010

Introducing... The People's Panache

Hi everyone!  I'd like to announce a new feature... The People's Panache!  While the content here at Employed Panache has been focused on how I bring my personal style to the workplace, this is just one girl's perspective.  And one of the reasons why I started blogging is because I was so inspired by other's style.  So, I figured why not use Employed Panache as a platform to see what others wear to work as well!

So this feature is really easy... if you want your smiling face up on this blog, just e-mail me at  Oh, and please answer a few quick questions so we can get the whole picture:
  • What is your name?  I'll only display first names for privacy
  • Do you have a website, and if so, please leave the address (free publicity! ;)
  • Where do you work?  If you don't want to name your actual company, then title or industry works too.
  • What is the dress code at your office?
  • How do you bring panache to the workplace?  You can describe go-to outfits, certain accessories, overall style, etc.
What are you waiting for?  Send me your pics now! :)

Oh and for my co-workers at the Day Job who are reading this... I have no problem taking your picture and featuring you - just say the word ;)

Now, onto some outfits pics!  These pics are from last Friday.  Keeping with the People's Panache theme, I will answer my own questions for you...

graphic t: Fossil ($20) ~ corduroy blazer: Old Navy ($? oldest blazer I own!) ~ pants: Target ($22) ~ scarf: free gift from Express ~ shoes: Steve Madden via Famous Footwear ($14) ~ earrings: gift

Date: October 22, 2010
Ensemble message:  As I've mentioned, I work in Human Resources.  Throughout the day, I can end up meeting new hires, going into meetings with leadership, and dealing with employee relations issues.  I need to look presentable, even on Fridays.  Scarves are the perfect accessory because they can dress up the outfit, add a delicate touch or texture, and be functional by keeping you warm.  So, I like to bring more panache to the office with a scarf.  This one is definitely very plain, but I think it brings some interest to the overall outfit.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Silk & Stripes


"Shake it like a ladder to the sun

Makes me feel like a madman on the run
Find me, never, never far gone

So get your leather, leather on on on"
~The Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Zero"

Date: October 26, 2010
Ensemble message: It's been a slow week at the Day Job... not really sure what's going on!  The calm before the storm, perhaps?  Either way, I had ZERO meetings today!  This gave me the green light to wear something a little more casual and fun.

shirt: Target ($12) ~ silk tank: JCrew ($25) ~ skirt: Gap Outlet ($19) ~ shoes: ?? via DSW ($??) ~ necklace: F21 ($5) ~ cuff: gift

Roll in the navy & white stripes, which is was really popular over the summer.  But then again, the temps rose into the 70's today, so summer weather calls for summer trends!  I'm not the only one holding onto stripes this fall... Ashley & Becca over at Free Honey are still wearing them too.

What do you think... are stripes still in or should they be packed away with our other summer clothes??
Monday, October 25, 2010

Chartreuse & Lace

"It's looking like a limb torn off
Or altogether just taken apart
We're reeling through an endless fall
We are the ever-living ghost of what once was"
~Band of Horses "No One's Gonna Love You"

Date: October 25, 2010

Ensemble message:  I have a confession… I was a super lazy blogger for the past 4 days.  On Thursday, I was on a business trip for the Day Job, and Friday I took pictures but never got around to posting them.  I hope you’ll forgive me!

blouse: H&M ($40) ~ cardigan: Target ($15) ~ skirt: Zara ($35) ~ shoes: Steve Madden via Famous Footwear ($14) ~ earrings: boutique in Arizona ($7)

These pictures are from today (I’ll save last Friday’s for a literal rainy day), and as you can see in the photos, the weather was particularly soupy this morning.  Thick, dense fog wreaked havoc on all commutes, even my usually easy 20 minute drive.  The words “thick” and “soupy” remind me of pea soup, so I guess it’s appropriate that I wore a chartreuse cardigan :) 

But onto why I chose this outfit… It’s pretty warm today, so no need for pants or even tights.  And I had one important meeting today, so I wanted to feel confident (via a funky color combo) and comfortable (flats all the way!)  For some reason, the longer skirt, silk shirt + cardi, and ankle socks + brogues made me feel pretty gamine.  Then again, the real definition of “gamine” is a homeless girl or street urchin (true story).  So make of that what you will ;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Black Knee Socks

"The most beautiful colors chase the sun
They wrap her trail in a taunting gesture
That seems to sing out loud,
'this is what you're missing'"
~Local Natives "Sun Hands"

Date: October 20, 2010
Ensemble message: Today was one of few meetings, and they were all with people I've been working with for a long time.  In other words, it was safe to experiment with knee socks!  Let me tell you, I had many doubts leaving the house... but it finally got to the point where I was going to be late, so I just went for it.  Lo and behold, I actually got a lot of compliments!  So I'm glad I took the plunge.

dress: F21 via Delightfully Tacky ($20) ~ long sleeve tee: Old Navy ($8) ~ belt: UO ($14) ~ socks: Target ($5) ~ shoes: Marc Fischer via Macy's ($36)

What do you guys think about knee socks?  I see them all over the fashion blogosphere and on Chictopia... I think they look great, but you have to be careful about how cutesy the outfit is.  Unless that's your thing... super sweet and cute isn't really my style ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Knit Moto Sweater

"And you said it was like fire around the brim
Burning solid, burning thin the burning rim
Like stars burning holes right through the dark
You gave fire like saltwater into my eyes
You were an inch from the edge of this bed
I drive you back a sleepyhead..."
~Passion Pit "Sleepyhead"

Date: October 19, 2010
Ensemble message: Today I wanted to mix traditional with a bit of edge.  I think I've mentioned it here before... but I absolutely love mixed "themes" in clothing!  The traditional is the straight black skirt, black tights, and flats.  The funky giraffe print tank isn't necessarily edgy, but definitely interesting.  The grommet belt and moto sweater adds just enough of a tough spin to work.

tank: Target ($8) ~ skirt: Esprit (part of an old suit) ~ moto sweater: Urban Outfitters (gift) ~ belt: H&M ($10) ~ shoes: BCBG (gift) ~ earrings/necklace: gift for being my sister's maid of honor

So no creeper today, which was nice!  (Just in case any of you have been concerned for my well being ;)  Tonight I actually got home at a decent time and plan on totally relaxing.  So far so good... The Hubby is cooking dinner (I made the rice!) and we have Fleet Foxes on the record player.  Yeah, you read right... Record. Player.  Vintage, to boot.  We're weird like that... in fact, when Hubby heard that I was putting an end to the music lyrics in my titles, he was very disappointed.  I think the titles are what he likes best about this blog, lol! :)  What I'm going to do instead is randomly add lyrics to my posts.  Now you can see where they come from...  Might as well give credit where credit is due!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Easy Camel & Grey

sweater: Express (gift) ~ wool pants: Banana Republic (somewhere in the ballpark of $60-$80... wool pants are always so pricey that most of the time I blindly hand over my credit card so I don't wuss out) ~ shoes: Nine West ($? ancient) ~ necklace: Macy's ($10) ~ cuff: gift

Date: October 18, 2010
Ensemble message:  Another Monday, another struggle to get out of bed!  Last night I toyed with the idea of wearing a skirt, but then I realized that I had 4 hours of meetings.  In a row.  And since conference rooms are generally cold, pants and a sweater were the way to go.  

But I wanted to keep the look more modern, so I chose camel pants and a grey dolman sweater.  The trendy neutral combo this season!  I think the best part of this trend is that most people probably already have both grey and camel items in their closet!

I had a ton of fun taking the action shots, even though my fingers were numb from the cold by the end.  I would have taken some more, but then I noticed a creeper watching me.  I going to ignore him, except I was downwind of El Creepo and his cigarette, which I’m pretty sure was a “funny” cigarette!!!  Drugs + creepers = get the heck out of Dodge!  Photo shoot was over immediately… I hope he doesn’t become a regular in the morning :(

Oh by the way… my titles will no longer be lyrics from the songs in my head.  As an experiment of sorts, I will be using key words to see if my readership increases.  Hopefully that’s not too boring for ya :) 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Glitter on the Wet Streets

sweater: Banana Republic ($25ish??) ~ skirt (actually a dress): F21 ($23) ~ scarf: F21 (bought when I was college poor... so probably <$10) ~ cuff: gift ~ boots: Rocket Dog via Famous Footwear ($40)

Date: October 14, 2010
Ensemble message:  Today my outfit was one that could transition easily from the crisp but sunny morning into the NJ nor’easter that hit Northern this evening.  Plus I think the AC is still on in my office, so more layers for today.  Which I’m ok with… I feel like layering is a natural skill for me.  Now I just have to get brave and pair things that don’t necessarily belong ;)  But this blog, the other blogs I read, and your feedback are all very encouraging!

I added this ancient scarf for some color and also for brainstorming and good, focused work.  I don’t know what it is… knitted scarves just feel right and make me feel good.  I’m headed into my busy period at the Day Job, but I also feel like a need a little more.  A little something new and different – hence the brainstorming.  Good vibes = good brainstorming.  Scarves give me good vibes :)

I do believe the scarf worked!  Despite the now icky weather, I am in a good mood.  I am focused and have direction and will rock the Day Job!  Ok, the personal pep talk is probably a bit much... when you guys need a pick up, what works for you?  Pep talks, music, a shopping trip?? :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

While Our Blood's Still Young

shirt: H&M ($15) ~ skirt: Gap Outlet ($19) ~ sweater: UO (gift) ~ shoes: Steve Madden via Famous Footwear ($14) ~ necklace: DIY

Date: October 13, 2010
Ensemble message:  Brrrrrrrr, it was chilly out this morning!  Today’s outfit started with my vision of remixing this blouse and skirt together.  They are both new buys for this fall season, and I love them both!  But then I realized that a sheer blouse and skirt would not be enough for the 45 degree morning.  So I put a tank top under the shirt (a given anyway since I’m working!), layered 2 pairs of tights, and finished off with the moto sweater.

Yes, those are two pairs of tights!  Navy crocheted tights over lighter blue.  And I’m loving the pop of yellow from the sweater.  Is anyone else as obsessed over this mustard color as I am??  I’ve seen a couple bloggers with mustard yellow skirts but I just can’t find one for myself :(  If you know of any for sale, please let me know!

And just in case you were wondering, here is how I wore the shirt and skirt before:

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