The TEll// By Thrift & Tell
Welcome to THE TELL//BY THRIFT & TELL: a celebration of fashionable women who dress as smart as they shop.
The first guest on THE TELL// is Julia Amory of India Amory: designer, entrepreneur, and long time T&T follower. Julia epitomizes the Thrift & Tell lady: she is bright, creative, quick-witted, and, above all, never pays retail. As you will read below, she believes in investing in quality and the power of a good tailor. Beyond her beautiful, classic style, Julia is a gem and has been a friend and loyal supporter of Thrift & Tell since the beginning. I am thrilled to have her be part of this series.
//Your style in 3 words: classic, flattering, unique
//Staple Outfit: For day, Levis 501 originals, Stubbs, and a white oxford. For evening, an Oscar de la Renta party dress and some good hair.
//Style Icon(s): CZ Guest, Carolyne Roehm, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy
//Your First Big Purchase: A Pucci silk scarf
//Do You Still Have It? Sadly I don’t think I have the first one I ever bought myself, but I do have a large collection as my grandparents used to take me to Pucci when I was younger and I’d always come away with something little.
//Best Fashion Advice You Ever Received: Wear what suits you. Ignore trends and understand what flatters your shape.
//Types of clothing you invest in: SPECIAL clothes that nobody else at the party is going to be in. Quality brands in high quality fabrics.
//Types of clothing you save on: T shirts, denim, underpants!
//Your greatest extravagance: Oh it’s all an extravagance! But I have been a very particular and aesthetic person since birth and I’d rather skip a party rather that show up not looking my best.
//Brands That Will Stand the Test of Time: Oscar de la Renta is as beautiful now as it would have been on Grace Kelly in 1955, and Chanel bags (I own two Cerfs one in black and one in taupe – I don’t really own any other purses for day time because those cover it all and will never go out of style.)
//Favorite High Street Brands: I detest the trend of cheap fast fashion. It makes me sad inside. I do buy t shirts, oxfords and white denim (girlfriend cut) from the Gap.
//Favorite Designer Brands: Broken record – I adore ODR not only for his designs but also because I’ve learned that classic shapes flatter my figure which is part of the reason I’m so brand loyal. I’m easily able to buy on eBay / Real Real because I know exactly what’s going on work on my shape and I don’t deviate a lot!
//Favorite High-Low Brands to Mix: Rather than buy low brands I buy high brands for LESS (and mix with other high brands I bought for even LESS than that). But other than that I’d say Chanel accessories (ballet flats and purses) paired with Levis or Gap….
//Favorite Places to Shop Consignment: EBay (because sometimes people will part with something fantastic for NOTHING), it’s also great for amazing vintage finds, and The Real Real because that’s as close to shopping at a department store as I’m going to get.
//Favorite Places to Consign Your Own Closet: The Real Real because I’m lazy and they make the process so very easy (handle the photography / listing details for you and then money just magically appears once a month!)
//Currently Collecting Dust in the Back of your Closet: I really don’t own much I don’t LOVE – I’m very good about purging the garbage but I’m also very sentimental about keeping things that I know are truly beautiful even if they only get worn once or twice a year. I think of my closet more as a costume department, which may sound demented but there’s nostalgia – when my great grandmother died she left a closet full of the most incredible clothing and hats (all in their original boxes), so hoarding is in my DNA. So many of my truly favorite things don’t really get worn very often but they aren’t collecting dust because I have them all in garment bags!
//Your Closet Tried and Trues: Black theory ankle pants, Chanel flats in beige w black and all black, Stubbs, oxford shirts in white and solid blue, ralph Lauren cable knits, pucci and hermes silk scarves, and staple jewelry that you wear every day.
//Best investment you ever made in your style: Likely my “everyday” jewelry: a Cartier Pasha men’s watch which nobody else seems to have (I think it’s discontinued) but which I wear every single day, a Cartier Les Musts trinity ring stacked with two other gold Tiffany Rings. I also wear my silver bone cuff by Paloma Picasso to balance out the big watch on the other wrist.
//Style Choice From Your Past That Haunts You: Oey…. being too tan and too blonde. See ya ‘00s.
//“It seemed like a good idea at the time” a.k.a Purchase you most regret: A black Canadian goose down coat. Super warm but I have no interest in being a an UES fembot clone.
//Closet From Which You Would Like to Borrow: Carolyne Rohem circa the 90s, and honestly – my own – I need to wear what I have more, there’s a lot I love that doesn’t make it out of the closet too often!
//Last Time You Splurged? I splurged on a white and silver embroidered silk caped kaftan that I wore for NYE in Palm Beach – I always feel the need to find something I really love to kick off the year, one year I wore the most amazing black red, green and purple strapless Pilar Rossi belted peplum dress that to this day is one of the most flattering things I’ve ever found (“purchased” from my mom’s closet).
//Currently Saving Your Pennies For: An Hermes garden party tote in a really impractical summer color (maybe Marigold??)
//A Deal for the History Books/Your T&T Personal Best: Chanel flats for ~$200?? Some of my ODR party dresses for $200 on eBay?? Do not think for a second that because of the brands I favor that I’m spending more. I honestly can’t fathom buying some of the garbage one sees on ShopBop for $500 that nobody is going to care about in 6 months – if you knew how much you’re getting ripped off as a consumer and what the mark up is you would throw up!
//Advice to someone looking to define their own style: Number one is finding silhouettes that work on your frame. Flattering clothing is about balancing your shape and highlighting the features that are your best while minimizing those you aren’t wild about.
//Trend you wish would go way? Chunky orthopedic sneakers. They are SO wrong. Also anything Kim Kardashian wears. You are not Lance Armstrong and this is not the Tour de France.
//You feel great. What are you wearing? I feel my best when I’m dressed up in something that is not only a unique and beautiful piece of clothing but also shows me to my best advantage – more often than not it’s a party dress. I also have almost everything altered in tiny ways at the dry cleaner – it makes a world of difference to have things that really fit you.
//Occasions when you splurge: Anytime I know I’m going to be photographed – like a lot of people I can be very hard on myself and I hate looking back and thinking “I wish I had made more of an effort” – it’s less about splurging and more about being pragmatic and thinking ahead. If you have a big event in a month, get the dress a month out so you have time to hunt for something on eBay / The Real Real and then have it altered if need be rather than waiting until the last minute and being forced to buy something from Saks that three other girls will be wearing.
//Occasions when you save: Always! Retail prices are for morons.
//Most prized possession: My laptop? Is that really sad? Hmmm my dogs? I don’t know if I possess them though (might be the other way around), lastly my wedding band.
//Home Decor Style: I invest in fabrics I love and that I will love in 20 years. They can be painfully expensive but I’d rather get it right once than re-do it in 5 years.
//Favorite place to hunt for home decor: The D&D building
//Go-to for unique items, whether it be clothing, accessories, home or art: EBay
//Your fashion motto: Figure out what works for you, ignore trends.
//Your life motto: Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.
Fill in the blank:
//A woman should invest in- a complete set of accessories (meaning everything for day and evening in both black and nude – shoes and bags in both colors). //You’re never too old to— start a new venture. //A woman can never have too much— confidence! (but don’t be a jerk, humility is just as important). //Bury me in- Oscar de la Renta// True or False: More is More- mehh only if the more is RIGHT. //Fashion is- fun, but not everything.//Style: CAN’T be bought.
//Music: A Star is Born soundtrack
//Print: A Well-Behaved Woman by Therese Anne Fowler
//Food: Sweet Green salads, Chocolate Ice Cream
//Drink: Green juice (it’s Jan!)
//Film: Bohemian Rhapsody
//TV: The Clinton Affair
//Podcast: Bitch Sesh
//Instagram Handle: @moimoibcn
//Designer: Sarah Bartholomew
Julia Amory developed the concept for India Amory while searching for printed fabric to use for the tables at her own wedding in Southampton. Unable to find the perfect print at an affordable cost, the solution was to design her own pattern using the Indian block print technique and produce the napkins and tablecloths herself.
The resulting company is a lifestyle and home goods brand working in Indian block printed cotton of varying weights. Custom projects are endless and inquiries are always welcome. India Amory offers fabulous and affordable solution to large scale needs for parties and weddings.
Julia was born and raised in New York City, where she attended the Spence School and Trinity College. After spending many years in the Financial Services industry she left to follow her true passion in design by developing the India Amory brand. She lives in New York City with her husband Minot, their rescue dog, Hudson and dachshund Gracie.