Life According to Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel is 94 years young, has been married to her husband Carl Apfel for 64 years and is LOVELY! She’s known for her trademark round glasses and expressive wardrobe. Iris is best known as an interior designer and ran a successful textile business with her husband Carl until they retired in 1992. She’s assisted nine different US presidents in decorating the White house and just last year she collaborated on a line with MAC cosmetics.

If your hair is done properly and you’re wearing good shoes, you can get away with anything.

I think you have to have self-confidence, or you just can’t pull it off. And fantasy is something that is so, so lacking in this world today. I think that’s the reason that all of my museum shows were so successful. I mean, it just showed people that there was something other than just encasing yourself in fabric. Fantasy is powerful, powerful, powerful. And everybody can’t handle it in big doses but you can try little bits at a time.

I say, dress to please yourself. Listen to your inner muse and take a chance. Wear something that says “Here I am!” today.

More is more and less is a bore.

I think dressing up or down should be a creative experience. Exciting. Fun. For me the key to personal style lies in accessories. I love objects from different worlds, different eras, combined my way. Never uptight, achieving – hopefully – a kind of throwaway chic.

My mother knew if you bought a couple of really good architectural outfits and put your money into accessories, you could create a million different looks. She taught that to me, which I think was invaluable.

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.

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.

You don’t have to look like an old fuddy-duddy, but I believe it was Chanel who said, ‘Nothing makes a woman look so old as trying desperately hard to look young’. I think you can be attractive at any age. I think trying to look like a spring chicken when you’re not makes you look ridiculous.

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

I always feel that if you’re gonna be uncomfortable and unhappy in something, just because you think it’s in or it’s chic, I would advise you to be happy rather than well-dressed. It’s better to be happy.

When you go to a nice restaurant, you want to be relaxed and have a drink and everything, you want to look at people who look well. You don’t want to look at some slob with an open shirt and a hairy chest. At least I don’t.

If you put something together and it doesn’t look so good, the fashion police are not going to come a take you away. And if they do, you might have some fun in jail.

Have fun and enjoy the clothes you wear. Fashion should be exciting and expressive. Don’t ever dress for anyone else but yourself. It speaks volumes about a person who has their own style. So rock on!

Until next time,

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