At 95, style icon Iris Apfel knows a thing or two about clothes. Although the fashion maven was relatively unknown until about 10 years ago, she has strong opinions about what mature women should and shouldn’t wear.
While celebrating her 95th birthday Monday, she rattled off her list of major don’ts in an interview with Fashionista.
“There are just some certain things that older women shouldn’t do,” she said. “…Older women shouldn’t show excess flesh. They should wear sleeves. They shouldn’t wear mini skirts. They shouldn’t wear very high heels. They shouldn’t wear too much makeup. They shouldn’t have long, flowing hair. Things like that which are just common sense.”
Then again, Apfel said she doesn’t want to come across as preachy.
“I want you to be happy. I always say it’s better to be happy than well dressed. Do your own thing. I don’t sit and judge anybody,” she said. “I don’t like rules and regulations, but these are just some common sense things. I think it’s nice to look in a mirror once in awhile.”
Apfel also didn’t mince words Monday when talking about the “youth-oriented” fashion industry.
“I think a lot of designers create very expensive clothes for women [in their] 60s and 70s — people who wear them — and they create them for 16- and 18-year-old bodies.” Apfel said. “The kids can’t afford to buy them and the women look like a horse’s ass if they put it on. So it’s all out of whack.”
In addition to ringing in her birthday, Apfel also celebrated the Monday launch of Iris Meets INC, her new fashion collaboration with Macy’s.
The colorful 40-piece collection is just the latest achievement for Apfel who ― for decades ― was the go-to interior decorator for the White House. More recently she’s rolled out everything from her own jewelry line for HSN to her own custom emojis.
“I think if a woman has her own style and knows who she is, she doesn’t have to dress for being 60 or 20 or 90,” she said.