For years, Nicole Smith, 35, limited her wardrobe to two types of outfits. There were the scrubs she wore to work as an RN, and there were the T-shirts, jeans and sweatpants she wore on weekends.
That all changed three years ago, when the Owings Mills resident went from working as a nurse to supervising them for CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.
“I had to learn how to dress for the corporate world. I had girlfriends who work in corporate environments. They would take me shopping and give me some pointers. They got me basic items and showed me how to mix it up,” said Smith. However, Smith quickly realized she wanted to mix things up a little further, thanks to a certain precedent set by her previous work wardrobe.
“As a pediatric nurse, you get to be colorful. You wear [scrubs with] characters and color for the kids. … So I like adding some dramatic pieces, some flair,” said Smith. The ensemble she wore to the Chocolate Affair demonstrated her now-honed style skills, as Smith ramped up basic pieces with those that made her cocktail-party appropriate. As a result, a whole new world of style has opened up for her. “And I had to open a whole new closet,” Smith added, with a laugh. Express burgundy and black ribbed knit dress. Prabal Gurung black wool capelet with scattered sequin embellishment and black lace bow from Neiman Marcus. Christian Louboutin black patent leather pumps from Nordstrom. Black tights. Teal, orange and burgundy tassel earrings and multi-color rhinestone covered evening bag, both of which she picked up at a flea market.