Coco Chanel Quotes

Fashion Designer (1883 - 1971)

Coco Chanel
Fashion icon Coco Chanel, circa 1936 (Photo: FPG/Getty Images). FPG / Getty Images

From her first millinery shop, opened in 1912, to the 1920s, Coco Chanel (Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel) rose to become one of the premier fashion designers in Paris, France. Replacing the corset with comfort and casual elegance, Coco Chanel's fashion staples included simple suits and dresses, women's trousers, costume jewelry, perfume, and textiles. 

An outspoken woman, Coco Chanel talked about an array of topics in interviews, especially her ideas about fashion. About her work, the fashion magazine Harper's Bazaar said in 1915, "The woman who hasn't at least one Chanel is hopelessly out of fashion.... This season the name of Chanel is on the lips of every buyer." Here are some of her own most memorable words.

Learn more (biography, fast facts) about Coco Chanel!

Selected Coco Chanel Quotations

Coco Chanel was never short on pithy, smart quips about everything. From life to love, from business to style, Chanel had a quote for any occasion.

Quotes About Fashion and Business

• When my customers come to me, they like to cross the threshold of some magic place; they feel a satisfaction that is perhaps a trace vulgar but that delights them: they are privileged characters who are incorporated into our legend. For them this is a far greater pleasure than ordering another suit. Legend is the consecration of fame.

• I don't do fashion, I am fashion.

• Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.

• Fashion changes, but style endures.

• A fashion that does not reach the streets is not a fashion.

• Gentleness doesn't get work done unless you happen to be a hen laying eggs.

• One shouldn't spend all one's time dressing. All one needs are two or three suits, as long as they and everything to go with them, are perfect.

• Fashion is made to become unfashionable.

• Fashion has two purposes: comfort and love. Beauty comes when fashion succeeds.

• The best color in the world is the one that looks good on you.

• I imposed black; it is still going strong today, for black wipes out everything else around.

• [T]here is no fashion for the old.

• Elegance is refusal.

• Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future!

• It's always better to be slightly underdressed.

• Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.

• Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.

• Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.

• Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.

• Dress like you are going to meet your worst enemy today.

• Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.

• Fashion has become a joke. The designers have forgotten that there are women inside the dresses. Most women dress for men and want to be admired. But they must also be able to move, to get into a car without bursting their seams! Clothes must have a natural shape.

• Hollywood is the capital of bad taste.

Quotes About Womanhood

• A woman has the age she deserves.

• A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.

• A good woman with good shoes is never ugly.

• A woman can be over dressed but never over elegant.

• "Where should one use perfume?" a young woman asked. "Wherever one wants to be kissed," I said.

• A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future.

• A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.

• I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little -- if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.

• Men always remember a woman who has caused them concern and uneasiness.

• I don't know why women want any of the things men have when one of the things women have is men.

Quotes About Life

• The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

• Not to feel love is to feel rejected regardless of age.

• My age varies according to the days and the people I happen to be with.

• How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.

• My life didn't please me, so I created my life.

• People's lives are an enigma.

• In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.

• Only those with no memory insist on their originality.

• If you were born without wings, do nothing to impede their growing.

• I don't care what you think about me. I don't think about you at all.

• The best things in life are free. The second best are very expensive.

• One must not let oneself be forgotten, one must stay on the toboggan. The toboggan is what people who are talked about ride on. One must get a front seat and not let oneself be put out of it

• Yes, when someone offers me a flower, I can smell the hands that picked them.

• Nature gives you the face you have at twenty. Life shapes the face you have at thirty. But at fifty you get the face you deserve.

• ​Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.

• My friends, there are no friends.

• I don't like the family. You're born in it, not of it. I don't know anything more terrifying than the family.

• From my earliest childhood I've been certain that they have taken everything away from me, that I'm dead. I knew that when I was twelve. You can die more than once in your life.

• Childhood — you speak of it when you're very tired, because it's a time when you had hopes, expectations. I remember my childhood by heart.

• You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life.

• (to a journalist) When I'm bored I feel very old, and since I'm extremely bored with you, I'm going to be a thousand years old in five minutes ...

• It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him.

• I never wanted to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.

• Since everything is in our heads, we had better not lose them.

• There is no time for cut-and-dried monotony. There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time.

• I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.