62 Iconic Iris Apfel Quotes about Fashion & Personal Style

Iris Apfel

In this post we’ll read quotes by Iris Apfel who was an American fashion icon, businesswoman, and interior designer.

Iris Apfel (1921-2024) gained popularity for her flamboyant sense of style, which included bold colors, oversized accessories, and layers of jewelry.

Apfel began her career in the fashion industry working for Women’s Wear Daily and later as an interior designer.

In addition to her work in fashion and design, Iris Apfel pursued various business ventures throughout her career and founded the textile firm Old World Weavers with her husband.

Her signature look often included oversized glasses, statement jewelry, and vibrant patterns.

Let’s read some of the best Iris Apfel quotes about style, fashion and more.

Iris Apfel Quotes

Iris Apfel quote

1. “Oh my God, I’m a walking advertisement for discounted shopping.”

2. “I didn’t have children, but I never wanted children.”

3. “I used to love to create outfits, and I still do – I just don’t have the time. How can you wear one thing and never wear it again?”

4. “I still have the dress I wore on the first date with my husband, which was more than 66 years ago. I still have it, and it still fits.”

5. “Nothing I ever did I expected to do. It just kind of happened.”

6. “I hate being asked how I met my husband and very personal questions like that. I don’t like that. People are too nosey.”

7. “I’m not a collector of clothes. I’ve got clothes to wear.”

8. “I think I still keep my sense of wonder, which I call childlike, not childish, childlike. I still have a vivid imagination, and I like to try a lot of new things.”

Famous Iris Apfel Quotes

Famous Iris Apfel Quote

1. “More is more and less is a bore.”

2. “You can’t try to be somebody you’re not; that’s not style.”

3. “Being attractive lasts longer than being pretty.”

4. “You have to be interested. If you’re not interested, you can’t be interesting.”

5. “I don’t have any rules, because I would only be breaking them, so it’s a waste of time.”

6. “If I’ve got someplace to be, I’ll spend more time getting dressed than I spent at the actual event.”

7. “You can be born with the talent to be an opera star, but you’ve got to work and practice it.”

8. “My mother worshipped at the altar of the accessory.”

9. “I don’t dress to be stared at. I dress for myself.”

Iris Apfel Quotes on Life

Iris Apfel Quote on Life

1. “I’m not going to be a rebel and offend anybody, but I’m not going to live in somebody else’s image.”

2. “My father told me once not to expect anything from anybody so I wouldn’t be disappointed. If somebody was nice and did nice things for me, I should be overjoyed, but I shouldn’t go through life expecting it, which is very good advice.”

3. “I think some people like me because I’m different. I don’t think like everybody else. People are so tied up in the worst parts of technology these days. They live a life pressing buttons. They don’t use their imaginations.”

4. “I’m not out to preach. I just live my own life. I’m very happy if I can help somebody – that’s wonderful. But it’s up to them what they want to think about it or what they want to take away; it’s their business, not mine.”

5. “I think people try so hard to learn everything that they miss all the wonderful essentials. There is so much mystery in life that you should leave a mystery.”

6. “I had to be my own person and live my own life if I wanted to be happy, and I just did it.”

7. “Shock can kill you. Shock is terrible. But what you’ve got to do is live in the present, which is what I have always done.”

Iris Apfel Quotes on Style

Iris Apfel Quote on Style

1. “Great personal style is an extreme curiosity about yourself.”

2. “I can’t tell people how to have style. No amount of money can buy you style. It’s just instinctive.”

3. “I never buy what someone says is ‘in’ or a ‘must-have.’ I buy what makes me happy.”

4. “Throughout history, clothes represented who you were; they are a great vehicle for explaining who you are.”

5. “I think people should express themselves more and not just buy what’s in.”

6. “You can’t try to be somebody you’re not; that’s not style. If someone says, ‘Buy this – you’ll be stylish,’ you won’t be stylish because you won’t be you. You have to learn who you are first, and that’s painful.”

7. “Nobody is original anymore. Nobody has any original style.”

Iris Apfel Quotes on Age

Iris Apfel Quote on Age

1. “Coco Chanel once said that what makes a woman look old is trying desperately to look young. Why should one be ashamed to be 84?”

2. “I’m happy. I give thanks every morning that I can get up, that I still have my husband with me. I’m extremely grateful. After all, how many 93-year-old cover girls do you know?”

3. “If you don’t learn constantly, you don’t grow, and you will wither. Too many people wither on the vine. Sure, it gets a little harder as you get older, but new experiences and new challenges keep it fresh.”

4. “I’m a great believer in common sense, and the older I get I see that common sense is not that common.”

5. “Aging gracefully is about no heavy makeup, and not too much powder because it gets into the wrinkles, and, you know, to not get turtle eyelids and to not try to look young.”

Iris Apfel Quotes on Fashion

Iris Apfel Quote on Fashion

1. “The worst fashion faux pas is looking in the mirror and seeing somebody else.”

2. “I don’t get dressed up every day. I’m very busy. I get really annoyed when people talk about me as a ‘fashionista.’ I get dressed up when I have to go out. Most of the time, I’m running around in jeans.”

3. “Fashion really is women’s liberation in a lot of ways. Look at how many women in this country are depressed about how they look and how they think they have to look! It’s really sad. And it’s not about money.”

4. “There’s different shopping in Paris than there is at a bazaar in Istanbul, but they’re all wonderful.”

5. “You can change the look of an outfit so easily by changing the kind of jewellery you wear. If you have a basic outfit on – a black sweater and skirt or a simple black dress – you can go from the office to a cocktail party at night just by changing your jewellery. It helps if you change your shoes as well.”

6. “Colour can raise the dead.”

7. “Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning who you are, which takes years. There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self-expression and, above all, attitude.”

Iris Apfel Quotes on Confidence & Personal Style

Iris Apfel Quote on Confidence & Personal Style

1. “I never had to look for confidence because I just wore what I wanted to wear.”

2. “I’m not a pretty person. I don’t like pretty, so I don’t feel badly. Most of the world is not with me, but I don’t care.”

3. “Never be afraid to stop traffic.”

4. “I’m a hopeless romantic. I buy things because I fall in love with them. I never buy anything just because it’s valuable.”

5. “You have to know yourself and know what you can carry. If you’re not comfortable, no matter how well dressed you are, you’re not going to look right. I’d rather be happy and feel comfy.”

6. “It’s better to be happy than to be well-dressed.”

Iris Apfel Quotes on Self

Iris Apfel Quote on Self

1. “You don’t find out who you are unless you work at it.”

2. “Self-exploration is very painful, but unless you do that, you will never know who you are and who you want to be.”

3. “When you don’t dress like everybody else, you don’t have to think like everybody else.”

4. “You learn as you grow up, if you’re intelligent – or even three-quarter witted – that there’s no free lunch. You pay for things in various ways. Living, loving, everything else is a matter of the same principles: you learn to work with what you have.”

Iris Apfel Quotes on Instincts

Iris Apfel Quote on Instincts

1. “Everything I do, I do with gut instinct. If I think too much, it won’t come out right.”

2. “I never expect anything. I just feel things in my gut and I do them. If something sounds exciting and interesting, I do it – and then I worry about it later. Doing new things takes a lot of energy and strength. It’s very tiring to make things happen, to learn how to master a skill, to push fears aside. Most people would rather just go with the flow; it’s much easier. But it’s not very interesting.”

Funny Iris Apfel Quotes

Funny Iris Apfel Quote

1. “People would always say to me, “Why are you wearing such large frames?” And I would say, “The bigger to see you.””

2. “I think if women put some more of the time and money they put on their heads in their heads, they’d be better off.”

3. “I don’t expect to find inspiration. It just sort of comes. Sometimes you step on a bug and you get inspired.”

4. “I was never a fan of Chanel. I liked it on other people. Some other people. All the ladies who were too plump and busty looked like little sausages.”

5. “I think people have to sharpen their eyes and look. I always feel like a big sponge: I feel like I learn lots of things by osmosis, and I feel that I’m always absorbing. I mean, when people say, ‘What is your inspiration?’ I could throw up. I mean, I’m inspired by the fact I get up in the morning. And I’m still here.”

6. “I swear on everything holy I do not know what’s on the Internet about me.”

7. “I don’t happen to approve of plastic surgery. I think God put plastic surgeons on this earth for good reasons – people get burned or people might have a nose like Pinocchio and that has to be fixed. But to just chop yourself up to look a few years younger? You could come out looking like a Picasso picture.”

These Iris Apfel quotes reflect her wit, creativity, self-expression, and individuality in regards to fashion and life.

In her later years, she continued to be active in the fashion industry, attending events, giving interviews, and sharing her insights on style and creativity.

Share these Iris Apfel quotes on social media!

Also Read:

Scroll to Top