The TEll// By Thrift & Tell

Welcome to THE TELL//BY THRIFT & TELL: a celebration of fashionable women who dress as smart as they shop.

This week’s guest on THE TELL// is Emily Appel of Soirees for Days: party planner, blogger, and my real life friend! Emily is the consummate host; a casual gathering at Emily’s house looks like what most of us would aspire to have for a very special occasion. She thinks of every detail and makes a drink cart that would give even Martha Stewart a run for her money. Emily masters her classic American style in both her home and her closet by mixing affordable brands and investment pieces. If you’re not following Emily, you must follow her for affordable style, home decor, and party inspiration. Enjoy!

Editor’s Note:  Emily’s beautiful blue dress is H&M. Proving that style cannot be bought and you do not need to spend millions to look great.

Editor’s Note: Emily’s beautiful blue dress is H&M. Proving that style cannot be bought and you do not need to spend millions to look great.

//Your style in 3 words: Classic, feminine, preppy.

//Staple Outfit: I don’t really have one but if I had to pick an outfit in 30 seconds I would opt for high waist raw hem ankle jeans, a white button down, and a flat mule.

//Style Icon(s): Lee Radziwill, Gwenyth Paltrow in The Talented Mr. Ripley, Grace Kelly.

//Your First Big Purchase: Ferragamo Varina flats in my early 20s. I remember saving up credit card points for like a year.

//Do You Still Have It? Yes! I still keep them in their original dust bag / box.

//Best Fashion Advice You Ever Received: Don’t follow a trend just for the sake of it. 

//Types of clothing you invest in: I don’t really have a hard and fast rule about the types of clothing I invest in, if I love something and think I’ll wear it a lot I’ll invest.

//Types of clothing you save on: Current trend pieces that I want to try out but think will not be around long enough to invest in, casual staples such as t-shirts, loungewear, and holiday-specific outfits that I won’t get much wear out of such as NYE.

//Your greatest extravagance: Nice vacations.

//Brands That Will Stand the Test of Time: Chanel.

//Favorite High Street Brands: Faithfull the Brand, The Fifth Label, Zara, H&M, Fame and Partners, Everlane, Mango, Schutz (I love their dupe of the Nicholas Kirkwood pointed toe loafers). Not sure if this is high street but Sancia for bags.

//Favorite Designer Brands:  Ulla Johnson, Saloni, Misa, Poupette St Barth, Banjanan, Rhode Resort, Pamela Munson, Malone Souliers, STAUD, Alexandre Birman, Hermes. I opt to use Rent the Runway before I buy, or in lieu of buying, if either option is available.

 //Favorite High-Low Brands to Mix: Zara / H&M clothing with designer shoes.

//Favorite Places to Shop Consignment: I’ve only ever shopped consignment via T&T!

//Favorite Places to Consign Your Own Closet: Tradesy. I’ll put up with Poshmark.

//Currently Collecting Dust in the Back of your Closet: Nothing! I’m ruthless about clearing my closet and either donating or reselling.

//Your Closet Tried and Trues: White Vince silk button down, 7FAH luxe vintage Edie jeans, cashmere black turtleneck, Gucci mules. My Raffia mules from Jeffery Campbell and a midi dress in the summer.

//Best investment you ever made in your style: Gucci Princetowns. I wear them constantly and they’ll never go out of style.

//Style Choice From Your Past That Haunts You: Aggressive Lily Pulitzer prints.

//“It seemed like a good idea at the time” a.k.a Purchase you most regret: Almost anything I buy after I’ve had some wine ;).

//Closet From Which You Would Like to Borrow: Bradley Agather (@bagather)

//Last Time You Splurged? It’s been a while! Manolo Blahnik Hangisi pumps for my wedding in 2017.

The Tell//Emily Appel-Soirees for Days

The Tell//Emily Appel-Soirees for Days

//Currently Saving Your Pennies For: Hermes Oran sandals (help T&T!)

//A Deal for the History Books/Your T&T Personal Best: VALENTINO ROCKSTUD ANKLE STRAP PUMPS FOR $170!!!!

//Advice to someone looking to define their own style: Phone a friend – I’m still defining my own! I love to browse curated (and new) collections on the ShopBop app and keep a running list of what I love. It helps to give me a sense of what I’m naturally gravitating towards. If I want to test a new style out I usually look to fast fashion before I invest.

 //Trend you wish would go way? Those awful dad sneakers.

//You feel great. What are you wearing? My T&T sourced Valentino Rockstud pumps because they are fabulous and only I know (well and T&T and now you all) I only paid $170 for them!

//Occasions when you splurge: On vacation (especially in a country that has a VAT refund); Birthday’s; A key vacation item that I think is extremely versatile / timeless (the Hermes Oran sandal is a great example.)

//Occasions when you save: Black tie events – I almost always do a one time RTR; Vacation clothing - I sign up for RTR Unlimited for a month so I can essentially get a new vacation wardrobe. RTR has a great collection of clothing designers I love for vacations such as Banjanan, Loveshack, Fancy, Saloni, and BA&SH Paris; Holiday outfits.

//Most prized possession: My engagement ring.

//Home Decor Style: Obsessed with Mark D. Sikes style.

//Favorite place to hunt for home decor: Currently trolling Ebay for Oomph coffee tables. I love Ballard Designs for two décor staples - affordable chinoiserie and boxwood topiaries – also the Bunny Williams collection for BD. Love AERIN for Williams Sonoma, Sarah Bartholomew shop and Sarah Bartholomew for Pottery Barn, and Shop Lo Home (I have my eye on her ginger jar lamps and her tassel hardware).

• Side note: If you’re on a budget, try to refurbish existing furniture before buying new! One excellent way to refurbish a dresser or console table is to give it a fresh coat of paint and replace the knobs with pretty hardware!

//Go-to for unique items, whether it be clothing, accessories, home or art: Amano and Christ Child Society (Both in Georgetown) for the home. India Amory is my go to for linens. ShopBop and Tuckernuck for clothing/accessories.

//Your fashion motto: Only one [household name] designer logo at a time.
//Your life motto: Don’t talk about it, be about it.

Fill in the blank:

//A woman should invest in- a timeless handbag. //You’re never too old to— have a dance party. //A woman can never have too many—pillows on her bed. //Bury me in- vintage Hermes scarves// True or False: More is More- False. //Fashion is- ridiculous but fun.//Style: is a confident woman.

Currently Loving:

//Music: My friend Brittany Vacek Ruyak’s (@brittanyruyak) Work Focus playlist on Spotify

//Print: The Paris Architect

//Food: Working my way through the pasta section of the Babbo cookbook

//Drink: Williams Selyem 2013 Pinot Noir

//Film: A Star is Born

//TV: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 2

//Podcast: Pod Save America

//Instagram Handle: @Clarybosbyshell

//Designer: Ulla Johnson

The Tell//Emily Appel-Soirees for Days

The Tell//Emily Appel-Soirees for Days


Emily is a D.C. based government consultant with a passion for entertaining. She started her blog to explore, and share, her passion with others.  She believes that you can entertain beautifully AND affordably.