16 Accidental Icon Quotes by Iris Apfel on Fashion, Style, & Living Your Best Life

Iris Apfel Glamour Quote

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I find it a little odd that I can have more in common with a 97-year-old woman than most people my age.  But, Iris Apfel, author of Accidental Icon, wouldn’t find that odd in the least, so why should I? 

1. “I never expect ANYTHING. I just feel things in my gut and I do them. If something sounds exciting and interesting, I do it—and then I worry about it later.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

2. Doing new things takes a lot of energy and strength. 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. And as I always say, “You have to be INTERESTED to be interesting.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

These 16 Accidental Icon quotes by Iris Apfel spoke to me about the art of finding

Growing up, my mother either sewed my clothes or bought my clothes at thrift stores. I remember the first time I was bought a brand new dress. I was 12 years old and it had a red plaid skirt with a white, ribbed attached long-sleeved top with a jean jacket vest, and I had never felt more beautiful.

At the time anyway.

But I realized, once I had worn the brand new dress, it was no different from the outfits that were pieced together from the thrift store. Initially, I wanted to wear that “new with tags” outfit every day because I knew it was new, but quickly I craved variety and knew I could never get it if I only ever bought my wardrobe brand new. 

I no longer felt ashamed of thrift store clothing. Instead, I viewed digging through the racks of those second-hand retailers as treasure hunts. 

3. “You don’t find out who you are unless you work at it.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

4. “I don’t dress to be stared at; I dress for myself. When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

iris apfel quote The Road Taken To

Early on, my thrift store outfit combos might not have been exactly winners. I seem to recall one purple vest with layers of black fringe and wooden toggles for buttons. I think hidden away in some drawer is a picture of me in it, sitting on the floor, playing solitaire. 

But, those clothes made me feel good. I remember that distinctly. 

What I wore was unique, but not just for the sake of being unique. It was an expression of me. My mother or sister would ask: “How do you even wear that? Is that the top or bottom?” Or, “What in the world will that skirt even go with?” And there were times, I really didn’t even know. Didn’t even care.

I just knew I liked it and would find a way to make it work, even if it was years down the road. At $3.99, I could afford the wait.   

5. “It’s not what you wear but HOW YOU WEAR IT.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

6. “I haven’t done everything properly. No one has or does. While I may have a few REGRETS, I don’t dwell on them. If I did, I’d be in a booby hatch. If your hair is done properly and you’re wearing good shoes, you can get away with ANYTHING.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

I’m not sure about getting away with ANYTHING, but being fearless in how you dress can make you fearless, or at least seem that way.  

7. “I never think about my age. Maybe that’s the ticket. I never think about it—it’s a passing thought. It’s just a number.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

8. “You only have one trip, and the present is all you’ve got…There is definitely no road map. Embrace its glamour. Enjoy its mystery. Be open to the unexpected. Stop asking why. And remember that…in wonder it ends…” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

9. “Red lipstick is minimal in its simplicity and elegance, but maximal in its impact, power, and glamour. If Minimal and Maximal had a baby, it would be the perfect red lipstick.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

Susan Cook Accidental Icon Red Lipstick Iris Apfel Fashion Quote

10. “Whatever happened to the cultivation of an inner self? It’s painful and it’s work, but it always pays off.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

11. “Traveling makes life rich. And I like a good adventure.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

12. “If you’re happy, have found love, are surrounded by good people, doing what you like, and giving back to others, that’s SUCCESS. Selling your soul for a buck is not worth the real price you pay—not to me, anyway.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

13. “People are not getting dressed anymore. Everybody looks like a mess, like they’re on their way to a shower bath or who knows where.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

14. “When style and good manners go away, the whole culture seems to disintegrate. Good hair and shoes count for a lot, but they don’t give you license for a sartorial free-for-all in between.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

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15. “CREATIVITY IS A great emotional release; it keeps you happy and healthy. You don’t have to be an artist to be a creator, because creativity comes in a lot of forms like cooking or keeping a house or dressing well. What you need is imagination to make things up for yourself.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

16. “The greatest luxury is peace of mind.” Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon

Accidental Icon Quotes by Iris Apfel

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