Fashion & Accessories,  Quotes & Inspiration

Top 25 Iris Apfel Quotes

Iris Afpel is the definition of style.  A savvy business woman and fashion icon, she is an unstoppable inspiration to female entrepreneurs and tastemakers.

In her late 90s, she has recently been signed by IMG as a model and for appearances and endorsements.  IMG is quoted as saying “Iris is an icon with immeasurable talent. She radiates creativity and inspiration and we’re so excited to explore new and unique opportunities with her, where her natural gifts can be shared with the world. At 97 years old, Iris continues to prove that age is just a number and shouldn’t be something that defines you.”

Here are some words to live by and quotes by this amazing and inspiring woman.

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Quotes on Individuality & Discovering Who You Are

“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.” (click to tweet)

“You have to look in the mirror and see yourself. If it feels good, then I know it’s for me. I don’t dress to be stared at, I dress for myself.” (click to tweet)

“I like people who express themselves and are more individualistic.” (click to tweet)

“What’s my style is not your style, and I don’t see how you can define it. It’s something that expresses who you are in your own way.” (click to tweet)

“You don’t find out who you are unless you work at it.” (click to tweet)

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

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


Quotes on Fashion and Style

“Great personal style is an extreme curiosity about yourself.” (click to tweet)

“You can change the look of an outfit so easily by changing the kind of jewelry 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 jewelry.” (click to tweet)

“Most importantly, you have to be yourself, be who you are and take time to be open and honest with yourself. That is what it’s all about. If you don’t know yourself, you’ll never have great style. You’ll never really live. To me, the worst fashion faux pas is to look in the mirror, and not see yourself.” (click to tweet)

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

“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. They 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.” (click to tweet)


Quotes on Learning and Growth

“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.” (click to tweet)

“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.” (click to tweet)

“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.” (click to tweet)

“We were put on this earth to do something! If you stop using your brain, at any age, it is going to stop working.” (click to tweet)


Quotes on Instinct and Inspiration

“Everything I do, I do with gut instinct. If I think too much, it won’t come out right.” (click to tweet)

“No amount of money can buy you style. It’s just instinctive.” (click to tweet)

“I am inspired by everything around me…  I’m just inspired by being alive and breathing and meeting people and talking to people and doing things and absorbing what’s happening. I think if more people did that there would be better fashion.” (click to tweet)

“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.” (click to tweet)

“I’m a great believer in common sense, and the older I get, I see that common sense is not that common.” (click to tweet)


Quotes on Rules and Being Interesting

“If you’re not interested, you’re not interesting.” (click to tweet)

“I don’t have any rules, because I’d only be breaking them.” (click to tweet)


Quotes from her book, Accidental Icon

“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.” (click to tweet)

“You don’t have to be an artist to be a creator, because creativity comes in a lot of forms… What you need is imagination, to make things up for yourself.” (click to tweet)

My personal favorite quote is…

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

How about yours? XX


Love these quotes?  Check out 100 of our fave quotes from top fashion icons like Iris Apfel.

Known as "The Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through the noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact RIGHT NOW to grow and scale your business. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity and focus through strategy, planning, and lean practices.