6 In Style/ Substance

A Slice of Apfel


I love Iris Apfel.  I also love The New Potato (for lots of reasons, but especially for this). I recently saw The New Potato had a short interview with Iris on their site, and I thought I’d share my favourite section because it is so relevant to The Stylopedia, and says almost everything I believe about personal style.  I found myself nodding with conviction after every sentence!  Here goes:

“A woman should know herself, and know what she can afford, not only financially, but if she can carry it off. She should know whether she wants to invest her time in studying herself and experimenting – it doesn’t come from out of the blue. Personal style is attitude, attitude, attitude. It has to come from within. You have to develop things yourself. It takes a long time, and it isn’t easy. Lately I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a difficult thing for a lot of women, and it makes them uptight and nervous. You don’t have to be a fashion plate; if it’s a choice of being uptight and nervous, I’d rather be badly dressed. If you’re happy, that’s the most important thing. If you want to experiment try, but no one is going to put you in jail if you buy the wrong skirt.

Some women, I feel sorry for because, they look at the glossies, and they see these divine looking models who are maybe sixteen with gorgeous complexions (and retouched!). How could anybody possibly even think of looking like that? Why the heck would you want to?

You have to be you! What looks wonderful on somebody else may look ghastly on you. You can’t expect to look like Angelina Jolie.”

(Read the rest of her interview here, if you’re interested.)

Iris Apfel is an enduring style icon (now 93) for a reason; she is smart, she is funny, and she has the confidence to really play and experiment with style.  Her exuberant signature look reflects her background in textile design and her joy in flouting convention.

Maybe because spring has arrived, and maybe because I’ve just cleaned out my closet, I’m inspired by Iris’  “More is more, and less is a bore” mantra as I think about what I’m going to wear.  I’ve just bought some culottes and some man-repelling platform sandals (on the blog soon).  If I could just find those excellent googly-eyed bangles she is wearing in the photograph above, I’d be all set!

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  • Reply
    March 22, 2015 at 1:54 AM

    Love her and this post! I will definitely go to read the whole interview…I follow that blog, so I’m surprised I haven’t read it already!

    She is something else…such a talent to carry off all of those bangles! Wow! I’m so impressed.

    • Reply
      March 23, 2015 at 8:43 PM

      Thank you Sharon. She is so inspirational, isn’t she?

  • Reply
    Lee Ann
    March 25, 2015 at 9:50 PM

    I also always seem to LOVE the garments she wears, which I believe occasionally get overlooked by her fabulous collection of accessories. I love her outlook on life, too! Such an inspiration for any age! Plus, she kinda reminds me of my Grandma Sadie,kinda kookie, but full of wisdom.

    • Reply
      March 25, 2015 at 9:58 PM

      I love her quotes as much as her wardrobe; Iris has a real eye for Style and a real ear for a sound byte!

  • Reply
    Stella Asteria
    May 15, 2016 at 7:48 AM

    Iris Apfel is such an inspiration, thank you for sharing this post really made my Sunday :)) Really impressed by her style and couldn’t agree more with her sayings!

    • Reply
      May 16, 2016 at 7:20 AM

      I’m so pleased you enjoyed it, Stella! xx

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