'I Don't Pack Light': Iris Apfel on How to Travel in Style

Photo by seb_ra/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

by Bethan Holt and Digital fashion editor, The Telegraph, June 2, 2017

You probably thought you'd heard enough when it comes to ingenious packing tips from models and fashion insiders. After all, there are only so many times you can be told that it's just so easy to roll up a few silk dresses in a tiny carry-on and waft around effortlessly on your holiday when the reality often couldn't be further from the truth. 

Enter 95 year-old fashion designer and style star Iris Apfel who has a rather more refreshing recommendation. "I don’t pack light," she quips, which is perhaps unsurprising as she is renowned for her extravagantly maximalist jewellery and colourful, experimental and texture-rich wardrobe. "That’s why I love to travel by ship... no luggage restrictions! I mean, if you have beautiful clothes you want to take them with you."

Virtual Event

Pivoting Back to Travel, The Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Edition

2020 put the nuptial plans of thousands upon thousands of couples on hold, but with the promise of widespread vaccine distribution in the near future, it’s time to get back to planning and ensure your clients live out the destination weddings & honeymoons of their dreams. Hear from top suppliers and destinations on wedding venue & ceremony options, romantic destinations & resorts and more when you watch the event on-demand.

Luckily for Apfel, one of her next big trips will be a crossing from Southampton to New York on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 in September. She will  be taking part in the second Transatlantic Fashion Week, an event which sees the luxury ocean liner transformed into a glorious style destination with a packed itinerary of fashion shows, dinners and exhibitions. 

This year, Julien MacDonald, fashion commentator Colin MacDowell and a host of fashion students are set to join Apfel for the crossing, during which she will host dinners, cocktail parties and Q&A sessions. 

So what will Apfel be piling into her trunks for the voyage? "Elegant jackets are a great for formal occasions," she advises, pointing out that these are brilliant options for the dressed-up dinners and events which will be taking place during the cruise and which she is particularly looking forward to- any excuse to dress up. "I have a collection of elegant jackets that I pair with slim pants. And of course, accessories help create a variety of looks," she adds.

If you can't join Apfel for seven days at sea soaking up her style nous, then she has plenty of sage pointers. "Learn who you are and stay true to yourself," she says, a mantra which she has adopted wholeheartedly and has seen her become a world-famous arbiter of individuality, and led to collaborations with MAC Cosmetics, J Crew and Kate Spade, plus an documentary- Iris- about her unique life and look by Albert Maysles.

50 style tips to take from most stylish women over 50

"Don’t follow trends. Buy clothes that work for you, not because they are trendy, and you will have them a lifetime and always look great," is another of Apfel's liberatingly sensible guidelines. 

She may be held up as an icon of ageless style, but like many of the world's best-dressed women, Apfel insists that age is something to be embraced, rather than avoided. "I don’t have any secrets but if you know what is appropriate for you, then you will look great at any age," she says. "Nothing makes a woman look older than trying to dress younger."   

Transatlantic Fashion Week takes place from 2nd-9th September on Cunard's Queen Mary 2. For more information, click here or call  on 0843 374 2224

Iris Apfel style 


This article was written by Bethan Holt and Digital fashion editor from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

Suggested Articles:

For a limited time, guests can extend their vacation, both before and after sailing, at no extra cost. RSSC also offers a toolkit for travel advisors.

Over the weekend, the House passed COVID-19 and economic relief, which now makes its way to the Senate where it will likely receive amendments.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group will manage a new luxury resort with branded residences opening in 2024 in Da Nang, Vietnam. Learn more here.