For Halloween I dressed up as a legendary lady I have admired for years–Iris Apfel. Even if you don’t know this 97 year-old style maven’s name, you’ll probably recognize her signature spectacles.
Iris has her own ‘quintessential style,’ but what I emulate most is her attitude.
Many have nicknamed Iris “a rare bird.” What makes her so is the unapologetic authenticity with which she dresses–and lives her life.
Apfel admonishes the idea of rule-following, “I don’t know why people are dispensing advice and telling other people what to do all the time. That’s why everything is so boring,” says Iris.
Lessons learned from Iris.
“Buy what you like. You’re not going to wear it forever.”
Why do we women think we have to keep clothing and accessories forever? Let’s weed out what we don’t love, and the things that don’t fit us or our lifestyles any longer. We’re not getting any younger, and our closets aren’t getting any bigger. Dress (and love) who you are right now.
“It’s been very fun. I like to do things that are fun. If you don’t have fun, what good is it?”
(This is what Iris said–at age 95–after she partnered with Macy’s to design a signature line of clothing for women.) Why can’t we all embark on new adventures and proceed with the attitude of’ making it fun’?
“I’m always challenging myself. I always want to do better…I think that every day I don’t learn something is a bad day.”
Wow, this will make you think.
“If you put something together and it doesn’t look so good, the fashion police are not going to come take you away. And if they do you might have some fun in jail!”
Dressing should be fun–not a chore. If you make a mistake–so what? Hey, you learned something new about dressing that day!
“Without color, you might as well be dead.”
No further explanation needed.
“In the proper tonality, I never met a color that I didn’t like.”
Just as we say in Quintessential Style: You can wear any color, as long as it is the correct shade and clarity for you.
But, the greatest lesson I have learned from Iris is this:
“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.”