On Saturday, February 12, catering expert and fashion consultant, Monica Negri Barker, of Ten Outfits Ten Rooms and Tiger Lily Table , gave a fashion seminar titled, “Ten Steps to Reinvent Your Style” at Antsy Nancy.

The seminar was presented under the most posh conditions, as Antsy Nancy had been setup for a traditional Elevenses tea.

What, you might ask, is ‘Elevenses’ tea?

I’m so glad you asked. Back in the days of yesteryear, ladies of high society would go calling on friends around the eleven o’clock hour, which is when they would be served tea with scones, biscuits (which aren’t really biscuits at all, but shortbread cookies), sandwiches, and other assorted treats while they caught up on the latest news and gossip. Not to be confused with ‘High Tea’, which is served around 4pm to tide one over between lunch and the rather late evening dinner around 8pm.

Over scones with Devonshire cream, tiny little finger sandwiches, and precious chocolate dipped strawberry teapots, Monica presented us with the cold hard truth, “yoga pants are not fashionable.” She asked attendees if they were in a current wardrobe rut and sadly, I knew I had hit mine before my last date night. My husband, usually tapping his foot waiting on me, asked me not once, but twice, if I’d like to change my clothes.

At the time, I resented him thinking the outfit I’d worn 12 hours at Antsy Nancy wasn’t acceptable. I did take off my apron, after all.

Much inspired by Monica’s presentation/wakeup call and equally uninspired by Super Bowl 2022, I found several uninterrupted hours the following day to I implement the Ten Steps recommended by Monica. In short, these steps included:

  1. Find a style icon (present day: Gwyneth Paltrow, Blake Lively, Kate Middleton. past: Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Barbie)
  2. Empty your makeup bag (I have a makeup drawer, so I took each item out one at a time and either set it on the counter to return to the drawer, or if I hadn’t used it in months, I threw it in the trash)
  3. Focus on your skin (I gave myself a self-tan and yes, Monica, tan fat does look better than pasty white fat)
  4. Clean your closet (I had already done this when I swapped Fall & Winter clothes for Spring & Summer, so I let myself off the hook on this one)
  5. Update your accessories (I have my shopping list: Albright-esque brooches and new knee-high black boots – the heel on mine is broken)
  6. Organize outfit inspiration (I’ll get back to this step)
  7. Update your eyewear or switch to contacts (I did this last year and although I hate my contacts, I wear them … sometimes)
  8. Change your hair color, hairstyle, or part (bun, pony, sides pulled back, hair down – I’m all about new styles. But sister … I’ll never be a brunette)
  9. Take a fashion risk (hmmm)
  10. The easiest, most fun way to reinvent your style is to hire Ten Outfits! (Shameless self promotion. I LOVE it!)

I had reached Step 6: “Organize Outfit Inspiration”, which is where Monica urges us to put on makeup, do our hair, put outfits together and try them on – and take selfies! I’m not very adept at taking selfies, especially reflection selfies. But Valentine’s Day was just around the corner and I wanted to wear an outfit my husband would have no doubt I was dressed and ready to go. Well, that was so much fun, I challenged myself to coordinate 10 NEW outfits from my own closet, implementing ALL the tips and tricks learned over ‘Elevenses’ tea.

I layered. I accessorized in new ways. I took risks and allowed my style icons to inspire me. I changed up my hair – a lot. And I had fun with my closet again.

Heidi’s 10 New Outfits (from her own closet) Challenge

If you missed this class with Monica, you don’t want to miss, “How-to host a perfect brunch!

Just in time for Easter and Mother’s Day, attendees will learn how to host a fabulous (and stress-free) brunch. Monica will walk you through the brunch time table – detailed steps to complete the day before and the hours leading up to brunch, what time to get yourself dressed (and what to wear!), and exact timing to serve a stellar eggs benedict (with hands on practice poaching a perfect egg in boiling water). Wait … there’s more! Antsy Nancy instructors will also demonstrate the simplicity of creating a gorgeous Lox and Bagel Board, a delicious mimosa bar, and how to craft the best Bloody Mary.

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