Top 88 Iris Apfel Quotes of 2019

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“The world is not black and white; there are lots of shades of grey. There are good things and bad things in every era, and I think it’s kind of very blindfolded to say one era was wonderful, as it was wonderful, but there were a lot of bad things as well.”

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

“You have to push yourself when you’re older because it’s very easy to fall into the trap. You start to fall apart – you just have to do your best to paste yourself together. I think doing things and being active is very important. When your mind is busy, you don’t hurt so much.”

― Iris Apfel

“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? Why do you have to say that you’re 52? Nobody’s going to believe you anyway, so why be such a fool? It’s nice that you got to be so old. It’s a blessing.”

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

“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

“Colour can raise the dead.”

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel

“Throughout history, clothes represented who you were; they are a great vehicle for explaining who you are. During the Ching dynasty, for example, what you wore and how it was made reflected your status in society. People could literally read your clothes like a book, just by its color and how it was embroidered.”

― Iris Apfel

“I’m from New York. My grandparents were settlers of Long Island City. When they came here, there was no bridge, and they had to hire a boat across the river. They had a farm, and my grandmother had to go once a week to Manhattan to buy provisions – very primitive.”

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

“Fashion and interior design are one and the same.”

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel

“I had the good fortune to be able to take a course with Margaret Mead. I had a fabulous art course, where it was explained to me that nothing exists in a vacuum, that everything is a result of the period in which it’s done – the economics, the sociology, the politics, all sewn together. That was a very important lesson.”

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel

“My look is either very baroque or very Zen – everything in between makes me itch.”

― Iris Apfel

“Just because you get to a certain number doesn’t mean you have to roll up into a ball and wait for the grim reaper. We were put on this earth to do something! If you stop using your brain, at any age, it is going to stop working. It’s like if you stop using your hand, it will atrophy. I think doing nothing is a curse.”

― Iris Apfel

“I get very involved with my things, and they are not standard equipment.”

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel

“I mix everything up. A museum curator once said to me that there is a great jazz component to the way I do things because good jazz is improvisation and draws elements from all different cultures. And that’s the way I do everything – the way I dress and decorate.”

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

“My mother was a big influence; she was exceedingly chic, completely dressed in a completely different manner than I did. I was a child of the Depression, so she taught me all about accessories, and I always tell everybody she worships at the altar of the accessory.”

― Iris Apfel

“The White House is the people’s house. When you do historical restoration, that must be what it is.”

― Iris Apfel

“I have ideas that I think might be amusing, and I try them, and if they look right, I carry them out, and if they don’t, I throw them out and try something else. I don’t agonize about it.”

― Iris Apfel

“People say, ‘You have inspired me, you’ve given me courage…’ They’ve gone so far as to say, ‘You’ve changed my life!’ And I would come back and say to my husband, ‘I can’t understand it – what kind of poor little life did she have if I had to come and change it?’”

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel

“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?”

― Iris Apfel

“I’m a practical person. Most fashion people live in the clouds, and they’re full of it. I live like a human being – or, I try to – and I have to be intelligent; I have to be practical. I’m a great believer in common sense, and the older I get, I see that common sense is not that common.”

― Iris Apfel

“I’d rather go to a flea market than just about anything. It’s the process I like – the same with getting dressed. If I’ve got someplace to be, I’ll spend more time getting dressed than I spent at the actual event. Sometimes. Even in my own closet, I love to dig and search and find.”

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel

“I go out in New York, and I think, boy, you can look at someone and pretty much determine their zip code. Everyone seems to want to conform. I wonder, are they all just button-pressers, on the Internet all day long? I don’t know.”

― Iris Apfel

“Being an individual takes effort. Most people are pretty lazy. And that’s OK! I mean, there are more important things than fashion. If it’s going to stress you out to have a sense of style, don’t do it. The important thing is to be comfortable so you can get on with your life.”

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel

“I think people should express themselves more and not just buy what’s in. While it can be very beautiful, and it may suit you perfectly, I’m sure it doesn’t suit everyone in the same way. I like people who express themselves and are more individualistic.”

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel

“In America, it has been proven that the bulk of spending money is in the hands of women between 60 and 80, so it’s so stupid. The people who do have the time and money to shop are either retired or empty-nesters.”

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel

“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

“There was Pauline de Rothschild, who I thought was very fabulous, and Millicent Rogers, the Standard Oil heiress, very chic, very clever, very original. I admired both those women very much. And I had a great example with my mother, who was extremely chic.”

― Iris Apfel

“I was in art school since I was five years old. I’ve always been to art school. Everything that’s happened to me, nothing’s been planned. I’ve never had a business plan. I just kind of fell into it, and I liked it, and I took a chance. I took a lot of chances in my life.”

― Iris Apfel

“I am not a fashionista, and I don’t dress up. Usually if I’m at home, where I am now, I’m wearing a robe.”

― Iris Apfel

“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? Even my wedding dress – I had a dress made that I could wear again. I’m a child of the depression, so I’m very, very practical.”

― Iris Apfel

“Understated jewellery is not for me. It’s too itsy-bitsy. My husband is lucky, as I’ve never had a yen for real jewels.”

― Iris Apfel

“I live in the Dark Ages, the 17th century. Actually, I would have loved to be in Paris in the early 20th century when the Ballets Russes were there and Chanel was designing.”

― Iris Apfel

“I had a very brilliant father who was not only intellectual, but was street-smart and very curious to boot. The day I found out that he didn’t know everything, I grew up. It was a shock. I just thought that the man was the end-all of everything, and he knew the answer to everything. Then I found out I’d have to find out my own answers.”

― Iris Apfel

“I don’t do very much for beauty. I use very simple things on my skin. I haven’t got time. I would always get facials and then come home laden with product, and pay a lot of money and never use it. Anyway, one day a dermatologist told me to use Cetaphil to clean my face and as a moisturizer, and that’s what I do.”

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

“I like to improvise.”

― Iris Apfel

“I never had to look for confidence because I just wore what I wanted to wear. I would never wear anything to offend my husband or my mother, but outside of that, I always figured, I hope I’m not a rebel, and I hope everybody liked it. And if they didn’t like it, it really was not going to disturb me because it was their problem, not mine.”

― Iris Apfel

“Creativity is down the tube. And people give a lot of lip service to individuality. I know they all appreciate it, but they all say they would like to do it, but they don’t want to work at it, and it doesn’t come out of the sky.”

― Iris Apfel

“I just roll with the punches.”

― Iris Apfel

“Technologically, I live in the 17th century; I don’t have a computer, I don’t have any of that stuff. I don’t look at the Internet, although I know people tell me I’m all over it. Somebody told me they Googled me, and they said I was mentioned two million times, some stupid thing… but who cares?”

― Iris Apfel

“Technology is a wonderful thing, but I think it’s violently misused.”

― Iris Apfel

“I’ve never seen anything like the way some young people behave. They go out on a date, and they’re sitting opposite each other at a table, and they’re not looking at each other, and they text each other as though they’re deaf-mutes. It’s insane.”

― Iris Apfel

“Clothes are not frippery. Properly done, they can be an art form.”

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel

“People with a lot of money don’t dress as well as people who have to make do, who have to be inventive. Those are the people who are always more interestingly dressed, I think. Everything I do, I do with gut instinct. If I think too much, it won’t come out right.”

― Iris Apfel

“I always tell people I’m very large in Uzbekistan.”

― Iris Apfel

“I wasn’t interested at all in doing a documentary. I was not a public figure.”

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel

“I don’t look at Instagram. I don’t have much to do with social media.”

― Iris Apfel

“In my view, you can’t go to the future if you haven’t come from the past.”

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel

“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

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

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

“I love high-end designers, but a head-to-toe designer look for me is extremely boring. I’ve always mixed it up.”

― Iris Apfel

“Being well-dressed is a wonderful thing, but I don’t think it should be life threatening.”

― Iris Apfel

“I call myself a geriatric starlet.”

― Iris Apfel

“I absolutely consider fashion a form of art. Of course, there is some fashion that is not art at all – it’s utilitarian, made for the purpose of covering up. And there are a lot of people out there who put a lot of effort into looking awful. But there are also people putting the same amount of energy into making bad art.”

― Iris Apfel

“We did major work at the White House. But what people often don’t understand is that when you do a historic restoration, you can’t just do whatever you want. You work alongside the fine-arts commission and are obliged to create a replica of the past, as close as humanly possible. It’s a historic institution, not a showhouse.”

― Iris Apfel

“The fashion industry has done itself in by neglecting the 60- to 80-year-old market. They have the time and the economic resources. They want to go shopping.”

― Iris Apfel

“Fashion has this youth mania. But 70-year-old ladies don’t have 18-year-old bodies, and 18-year-olds don’t have a 70-year-old’s dollars.”

― Iris Apfel

“I hate being asked how I met my husband and very personal questions like that. I don’t like that. People are too nosey. Intelligent questions I like, but sometimes people ask such silly, dopey ones.”

― Iris Apfel

“I was always known in my industry, and I always enjoyed a modicum of popularity.”

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

“Anything that’s feathery-looking, I love.”

― Iris Apfel

“I’ve always loved to help people, young people in particular.”

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

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

― Iris Apfel

“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.”

― Iris Apfel
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