Chocolate Af­fair

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - FAMILY -

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.

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