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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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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Keep It Simple

full length view
shirt: H&M ($40) ~ pants: Banana Republic ($?? old!) ~  sandals: Nine West Outlet ($25ish) ~  bracelet: thrifted  ($8) ~ earrings: souvenir ($7)

Date: July 26, 2011
Ensemble message: I have one lesson for you all... just keep it simple.  I tried this shirt on open over a cami, with a fuller skirt, and finally with these pants.  Sometimes a sweet blouse plus solid colored pants are all you need... especially when you're running late for work ;)
Wednesday, July 27, 2011

All Hands on Deck


dress: Anthropologie ($30) ~ jacket: Forever21 ($12) ~ shoes: Nine West outlet ($27) ~ bangles: gift & ($15 each)

Date: July 27, 2011
Ensemble message: Just because today was the 3rd 11+ hour day in a row at the Day Job doesn't mean I can't look nice while working long hours ;)  We've hit a critical point in our project, and everyone on the team has been asked to put all other tasks aside.  It's tiring, but in a good way... the team is making great progress and I feel closer to them than ever.  That may sound silly, but remember I've only been on this team since April.  But by tomorrow evening we *should* be over the hump!  This will make the weekend that much better :)


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dots & Stripes



shirt: thrifted via Goodwill ($8) ~ pants: Banana Republic (ancient) ~ belt & shoes: Target ($15 & $19) ~  bracelets: thrifted ($8), Charlotte Russe ($?? part of pack), ($15 each)

Date: July 21, 2011
Ensemble message: This outfit was picked especially for today's Everybody, Everywear theme, which is thrifted items!  I'm slowly acquiring new-to-me gems, and so far, this one is my favorite.  Unless I actually repair the blue pleated skirt hanging in my closet... but then I could wear this top with that skirt, huzzah!  For now, you get another edition of the polka dotted silk blouse.  I love this top because it's lose and drapes nicely... unless it's 101 degrees outside, which it was here.  Oh and coincidentally, I'm wearing a thrifted bracelet.  Well, not so coincidentally since I wear it nearly every day ;)



What are your favorite thrifted items??

Thrift | Everybody, Everywear

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lengthened Dress



dress: All The Jazz thrifted via Goodwill ($8) ~ skirt: Banana Republic ($35ish) ~ shoes: Aerosoles ($35) ~ bangles: NY&Co ($10ish) & thrifted via Beacon's Closet ($8) ~ earrings: AZ souvenir ($7)

Date: July 19, 2011
Ensemble message: Remember when I went on a big thrifting spree in March?  I featured a few items soon after, and this dress was one of them.  (Yesterday's skirt was another find that I hadn't featured yet.)  I love this dress, but honestly, I feel like it's a tad too short for the office.  Last time I wore it as is, I felt self conscious all day... and if you don't feel good, your performance is sure to be impacted!  So this time around, I layered the dress over a white skirt for a longer silhouette.


Oh... and now that we're living with friends, I have a few more pets to enjoy ;)

"Ol' Blue Eyes"... officially known as Sully

"River Rat" ... aka Lucy (who never stops moving, similar to Donna ;)

What do you think?  Do you work better if you feel good in your clothing??
Monday, July 18, 2011

Plain White Tee



t-shirt: Target ($8) ~ skirt: Talbots, thrifted via Goodwill ($8) ~ belt: Urban Outfitters ($14) ~ shoes: Nine West Outlet ($27) ~ necklace: DIY ~ earrings: Acute Designs, won via Miss Vinyl Ahoy's blog!

Date: July 18, 2011
Ensemble message: Why hello there!  I'm back, and on one of the hottest days of the year.  A day where all you want to wear is a t-shirt.  So, that's what I did!  Some may say t-shirts are too casual for the office, but I think with the right bottom and accessories you can definitely wear a t-shirt to work.


By the way, THANK YOU for all the kind words last week!  That post took a lot of guts to write, and I'm really glad you all understand my absence.  Hopefully I can get back into the groove of things!


I'm laughing at The Hubby here, who just stuck his head out the door and said "sexy time" in his best Borat voice ;)

Would you ever wear a t-shirt on the job??
Friday, July 15, 2011

Reality Check

Hey guys, remember me? My name is Nicole and I used run Employed Panache on a regular basis. If you’re a regular reader, you've probably noticed that my posts have been lacking lately… as in I have not posted anything in a full month. And for a couple months prior, posts were spotty at best. You might be asking yourself what happened… well guys, real life happened, and it happened hard and unexpectedly.

I have been avoiding a post like this because I work hard to stick to the Employed Panache brand of office appropriate work wear with a smattering of posts on professional topics. I felt that writing about anything outside of the 9-5 would not be appropriate. I also thought that it would be a short blip, and that I’d be up and blogging again quickly. Well, that was clearly not the case… and then I read several “transparency and credibility” posts by Ashley of Consciously Corporate. Ashley put herself out there for all of the internet to read, knowing that her friends, family, and maybe co-workers will be reading her thoughts. The first post must have gone over well, because Ashley wrote at least 2-3 more transparent posts afterwards!

While what I am about to discuss/vent may not be directly related to outfits to wear to work, HR, careers, or any other office or professional matters, this is all about work-life balance and knowing what your healthy limits are. So here it goes… in-your-face real life that I’ve been dealing with over the past 4 or so months:

Reality Check #1
In April, I moved into a different role at The Day Job. This was a very good thing… it wasn’t a promotion, but I needed a change. New projects, new characters, new challenges. As they say, beware what you wish for… when I started the role, my new team was in the middle of transitioning a newly acquired company into the function while at the same time reorganizing the current structure. Oh, and interns had to be recruited and on-boarded within the following 2 months – tasks that were 100% my responsibility. Let’s just say that ratio of work-life balance quickly shifted so that work was winning out most days. During this time, I was still kinda blogging… taking pictures in the morning was still an easy part of my routine, but my free time in the evening was less. And whatever time outside of The Day Job I did have went right to…….

Reality Check #2
House hunting! The Husband and I decided it was the right time to make a move into a house, so we began extensive research when we got home from work. On top of that, a couple nights a week plus a full weekend day went towards looking at houses. Sounds time consuming but fun, right? Well, let’s just say that the fun wore out real quick. Because it’s a “buyer’s market,” we have a lot of competition and in 4 months we’ve lost 4 deals. Also, I never expected house hunting to be so damn emotional. But we are looking for our forever home, the place where we’ll raise kids one day… so yes, tears were shed on multiple occasions. Despite this, we are still looking and going strong. If anything, we’re becoming very efficient at knowing immediately whether a house will work for us. And in the end, I am a bit tougher as a result.

Reality Check #3
I've realized that I have to stick by the grown-up decisions I make. I won’t go into a ton of details, but essentially The Hubby and I subletted our condo before finding a house. Don’t ask, it does make sense (to some degree) given our situation and who we have as a tenant. But this all adds up to moving our stuff into storage and living with friends and family for several months on top of everything else. This reality, among all of them, is probably what has gotten me closest to a major meltdown.

Reality Check #4
Throughout all this, I quickly learned that my energy is not unlimited. Gone are the days I can abuse my body with junk food, tons of coffee, little sleep, and no exercise. I don’t know if my body is just used to me taking better care of it (vs. the college years) or if I’m *gasp!* getting older. Either way, I am often tired and unmotivated once I get home. And instead of pushing myself to exhaustion and the brink of my sanity, I give in when I need to take a run, watch tv, read a book, see friends, hike with my dog, etc. instead of blogging.

Soo this is my life currently. I hope this post didn’t come off as me whining, because I recognize that I have a TON to be grateful for! But dear readers, you deserve to know what’s going on. I’m slightly more settled now that I’m out of my condo and staying in one place for the next month or so, so I do hope to blog a bit during this time! Please hang in there with me for the time being :)

PS: I honestly wasn’t sure if anyone would notice my absence. Well, you did notice, thank you for the kind notes! Its awesome readers like YOU that motivate me to get back on the horse (as they say :)

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