Imagine a world where your wardrobe isn’t just a collection of clothes but a treasure trove of stories, each piece whispering tales of adventure, defiance, and a dash of rebellion. That’s the world I live in, and darling, let me tell you, it’s fabulous. My journey into fashion’s kaleidoscopic universe began not out of a desire to stand out, but from a simple necessity mixed with a pinch of youthful audacity.

Iris Apfel Personal Obsessions

The History

It all started one spring in 1933. Picture this: a young girl with a fiery spirit and a $25 budget, venturing alone into the heart of Manhattan. My mission was to find the perfect outfit for the Easter Parade down Fifth Avenue. With my mother’s sage advice echoing in my mind, I bypassed the temptation of the first dazzling dress I laid eyes on, only to return in a panic, fearing it might slip through my fingers. My heart raced as I reclaimed it for $12.95, leaving just enough from my budget for shoes and a straw bonnet, with a nickel to spare for the subway ride home.

My family applauded my fashion sense and financial savvy, though my grandpa, the old-school tailor, had his reservations about the buttonholes. Little did I know, this was just the beginning of my lifelong affair with fashion, where each piece I collected wasn’t just attire; it was armor.

iris apfel - fashion icon

Her Style Outlook

Unlike the conventional collector, I didn’t amass clothes; I gathered stories. From the haute couture houses of Paris to the vibrant chaos of European flea markets, each piece I found held a piece of history, a burst of inspiration. Imagine my delight at discovering a 19th-century chasuble, a vestment meant for a priest, in pristine condition. Despite my husband Carl’s initial horror, it became one of my most cherished finds, proving that fashion could indeed be both profound and profoundly humorous.

My adventures weren’t just about acquiring the unique or the luxurious. They were acts of rebellion, like the time I defied societal norms by insisting on wearing jeans when it was considered unladylike. I remember the perplexed looks and outright refusal I encountered as I searched for a pair that would fit me. But persistence paid off, and eventually, I triumphed, securing my very own pair of work jeans. It was a small victory, but it felt monumental, a testament to following one’s vision against the grain.

Fashion for me was never about conformity. It was about expression, exploration, and sometimes, exasperation. Take, for instance, the countless times I was asked about my favorite piece. How could I possibly choose when each item sparked joy in its unique way?

Iris Apfel skirt Gracie Opulanza 2023 (4)

Fashion Is About What You Are Drawn To.

My wardrobe is a reflection of my life’s philosophy: embrace the eclectic, cherish the stories, and never fear to be bold. From meticulously curated couture pieces to whimsical finds at flea markets, each item holds a special place in my heart and my history.

Organizing my collection? Darling, who has the time? My life is a whirlwind of shoots, travels, and endless adventures. My closets may be chaotic, but they are a chaos I wouldn’t trade for the world. And while many have asked for a peek into my fashion sanctuary, some treasures are best kept personal.

Reflecting on my journey, from that first independent shopping trip to becoming a fashion icon, I realize it’s been a tapestry of bold choices, serendipitous finds, and, above all, a relentless pursuit of personal style. My love affair with fashion has been long and filled with passion. It’s been about breaking rules, creating new paths, and always, always dressing for the sheer delight of it.

As I look back on a marriage that spanned nearly seven decades, I see that fashion and love share much in common: both are about commitment, understanding, and sometimes, a bit of compromise. Losing my darling Carl was a heartbreak, but our journey together was a beautiful testament to life’s most enduring partnership.

Iris Apfel el pais 2013

Iris Apfel Dazed & Confused

Layering The Accessories

So here I am, a testament to living life in full color, proving that style knows no age and that every choice we make is a reflection of our own unique story. My style evolution is a narrative of daring to be different, of embracing the unexpected, and of weaving a rich tapestry of life’s experiences into a wardrobe that’s as vibrant and vivacious as the life I’ve lived. And darling, if there’s one thing I want you to take away from my journey, it’s this: fashion is not just about what you wear; it’s about how you live.

Iris Apfel el pais 2013

Costume Jewellery

Iris wears a lot of Swarovski costume jewellery. They are rare and very niche to her ESPF personality type.



Iris Apfel Jewelry Collection

Iris-Apfel-for-Mac-Cosmetics, fashion icon


Oversize Eyewear

Ah, the glasses! Let’s dive into the story of my signature accessory, shall we? Those oversized, bold, and utterly unmistakable frames that have become as much a part of me as my penchant for mixing the extravagant with the everyday. They’re not just glasses; they’re a declaration, a manifesto worn proudly on my face, proclaiming to the world that I am unapologetically me.

The journey to finding these iconic spectacles wasn’t a calculated one; rather, it unfolded, as many great love stories do, unexpectedly. It was a serendipitous blend of necessity and flair that led me to embrace these frames, which have since become my trademark. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, and if that’s the case, then my glasses are the extravagant drapes that frame those windows, offering a glimpse into the colorful world I inhabit.

This bold choice in eyewear resonates with the core of who I am – a refusal to fade into the background, to shrink away from the gaze of society. In a world that often values conformity over character, my glasses stand as a testament to the power of personal style and the importance of staying true to oneself. They’re a statement of never allowing society’s perceptions to alter the course of who I am.

iris apfel - fashion icon

Indeed, my glasses have sparked a movement of sorts, inspiring others to embrace their quirks and to find beauty in the bold. Gracie Opulanza, with her purchase of Prada glasses back in 2011, is a perfect example. It’s not just about the brand or the style; it’s about what these glasses represent – a fearless approach to fashion and life. It’s about seeing the world not just as it is, but as it could be, through lenses tinted with imagination, creativity, and a dash of defiance.

These glasses, with their oversized oval shape, are more than just a fashion choice; they’re a lens through which I see the world and, perhaps more importantly, how the world sees me. They’ve become an integral part of my identity, a signature that speaks volumes before I even utter a word. They’re a reminder that fashion is not just about clothing and accessories; it’s about storytelling, identity, and the courage to stand out in a crowd.

iris apfel - fashion icon

So, as I reflect on the journey of my personal style, from that first independent shopping expedition to becoming a beacon of individuality in the fashion world, my glasses remain a constant, a symbol of my unwavering commitment to being true to myself. They’re a declaration that style is not about following trends but about making them, not about fitting in but about setting yourself apart.

Colour At Fifty - Why Wear Patterns & Colour Coats Tuscany Gracie Opulanza 2022 (13)

Colour At Fifty - Why Wear Patterns & Colour Coats Tuscany Gracie Opulanza 2022 (13)

Colour At Fifty - Why Wear Patterns & Colour Coats Tuscany Gracie Opulanza 2022 (2)

In embracing these frames, I’ve not only defined my look but also carved out a space for others to find confidence in their uniqueness. It’s a beautiful cycle of inspiration and empowerment, all starting with a simple pair of glasses. And darling, if there’s one piece of advice I can offer, it’s this: wear your quirks like badges of honor, for they are what make you truly unforgettable.

iris apfel - fashion icon


bracelets unbranded