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Coco Chanel Quotes: Lucid, Provocative and Visionary Words of Fashion Genius, the Ultimate Survivor and Femme Fatale


Coco Chanel: Genius of Fashion Design, Independence and Self-Realization

I was a rebellious child, a rebellious lover, a rebellious couturière - a real devil. Coco Chanel


Gabrielle Coco Chanel: Independent, Inimitable, Bold, Fashion Genious, Survivor and Femme FataleMademoiselle Coco Chanel's genius and her independent and inimitable spirit are not only reflected in her mythical freedom path from born nobody to one of the most iconic and influential figures of the twentieth century.

Besides her legendary legacy in fashion (e.g., Chanel No. 5, little black dress or 2.55 Chanel bag to name just a few) that helped to revolutionize and modernize women's lives, her genius, rebellious and saucy character shines also from her famous sayings about life, fashion, success, love, men and other topics.



In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different. Coco Chanel


Coco Chanel's spicy quotes, such as the two above or 'Fashion fades, only style remains' or 'A woman is closest to being naked when she is well dressed' or 'As long as you know men are like children, you know everything' have become ingrained into our popular culture and enjoy a huge popularity among the quote-hunters.

A mysterious and a passionate rebel, bold and independent, an untamed femme fatale, Coco Chanel could afford not to choose the words to translate her thoughts...

Like her fashion work, so were many of her lucid sayings ahead of her time; so avant-guarde, so novel, so elaborate, yet so naturally fitting, so different and inimitable, so timeless... Like a breath of fresh air in a smelly room!

With some historical distance, many of her sayings sound extraordinary visionary, again just like her fashion work. To paraphrase her own words, fashion fades, Chanel remains.

Below please enjoy a selection of the most popular, most mythical quotes by Coco Chanel about life, success, fashion, perfumes, elegance, love, men and more.*


Born Survivor: Coco Chanel Inspirational Quotes about Life and Success

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

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

I invented my life by taking for granted that everything I did not like would have an opposite, which I would like.

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

In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.

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

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

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

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 am not here to have fun, or to spend money like water. I am here to make a fortune. (From Julie Picardie's book 'Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life')

I've never done anything by halves.

Those who create are rare; those who cannot are numerous. Therefore, the latter are stronger.

Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable.

Ask me who I don't dress!

When I can no longer create anything, I'll be done for.

Fashion Genius: Coco Chanel Quotes about Fashion

Fashion fades, only style remains the same.

I don't do fashion, I AM fashion.

Fashion is made to become unfashionable.

Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions.

A woman is closest to being naked when she is well dressed.
Gabrielle Coco Chanel: I've never done anything by halves.


Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.

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.

A fashion that does not reach the streets is not a 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 has two purposes: comfort and love. Beauty comes when fashion succeeds.

There is nothing more comfortable than a caterpillar and nothing more made for love than a butterfly. We need dresses that crawl and dresses that fly. Fashion is at once a caterpillar and a butterfly, caterpillar by day, butterfly by night.

Innovation! One cannot be forever innovating. I want to create classics.

In fashion, you know you have succeeded when there is an element of upset.

I don't like people talking about the Chanel fashion. Chanel - above all else, is a style. Fashion, you see, goes out of fashion. Style never.

Designer of Chanel No. 5, the Most Iconic Perfume of All Times: Coco Chanel Quotes about Perfumes

(Perfume)... is an unseen, unforgettable, ultimate fashion accessory. It heralds your arrival and prolongs your departure.

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

I want to give women an artificial perfume. Yes, I really do mean artificial, like a dress, something that has been made. I don't want any rose or lily of the valley; I want a perfume that is a composition.

I present my dress collections on the fifth of May, the fifth month of the year and so we will let this sample number five keep the name it has already, it will bring good luck. (About creating Chanel No. 5; also from Tilar Mazzeo's book 'The Secret of Chanel No. 5')


Number five. Yes, that is what I was waiting for. A perfume like nothing else. A woman's perfume, with the scent of a woman. (About choosing the fifth sample of perfume formula, that would later materialize into Chanel No. 5 perfume; also from Tilar Mazzeo's book 'The Secret of Chanel No. 5')

Femme Fatale: Coco Chanel Quotes about Love, Men and Relationships

As long as you know men are like children, you know everything!

Great loves too must be endured.

Nobody is young after forty years old, but one can be irresistible at any age.

Coquetry, it's a triumph of the spirit over the senses.

Arrogance is in everything I do. It is in my gestures, the harshness of my voice, in the glow of my gaze, in my sinewy, tormented face.

If a man talks bad about all women, it usually means he was burned by one woman.

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

Jump out the window if you are the object of passion. Flee it if you feel it. Passion goes, boredom remains.

There have been several Duchesses of Westminster. There is only one Chanel!

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'm neither smart nor stupid, but I don't think I'm a run-of-the-mill person. I've been in business without being a businesswoman, I've loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I've loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I've done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.
Gabrielle Coco Chanel: Femme Fatale


One shouldn't live alone... It's a mistake. I used to think I had to make my life on my own, but I was wrong. (From Julie Picardie's book 'Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life')



The Most Elegant Woman of Her Time: Coco Chanel Quotes about Elegance, Style and Beauty

Gabrielle Coco Chanel: The Most Elegant Woman of Her Time Elegance is refusal.

Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress.

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

An elegant woman should be able to do her marketing without making housewives laugh. Those who laugh are always right.

A woman can be over dressed but never over elegant.

Adornment, what a science! Beauty, what a weapon! Modesty, what elegance!


A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.

A style does not go out of style as long as it adapts itself to its period. When there is an incompatibility between the style and a certain state of mind, it is never the style that triumphs.

A woman should mix fake and real. To ask a woman to wear real jewellery only is like asking her to cover herself with real flowers instead of flowery silk prints. She'd look faded in a few hours. I love fakes because I find such jewellery provocative, and I find it disgraceful to walk around with millions around your neck just because you're rich. The point of jewellery isn't to make a woman look rich but to adorn her; not the same thing.

A dress is not a dressing. It is made to be worn. One wears clothes with the shoulders. A dress should hang from the shoulders.

A beautiful dress may look beautiful on a hanger, but that means nothing. It must be seen on the shoulders, with the movement of the arms, the legs, and the waist.

Women think of all colors except the absence of color. I have said that black has it all. White too. Their beauty is absolute. It is the perfect harmony.

The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.

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.

One can get used to ugliness, but never to negligence.

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.

Nothing is ugly as long as it is alive.

Other Famous Coco Chanel Quotes

I was a rebellious child, a rebellious lover, a rebellious couturière - a real devil.

Youth is something very new: Twenty years ago no one mentioned it.

True generosity means accepting ingratitude.

Material things aside, we need no advice but approval.

Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death.

There are people who have money and people who are rich.

Luxury is a necessity that begins where necessity ends.

Luxury is not the opposite of poverty, it is the opposite of vulgarity.

I love luxury. And luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity. Vulgarity is the ugliest word in our language. I stay in the game to fight it.

Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.

My friends, there are no friends.



*Note: References and occasions on which many of Coco Chanel's famous sayings cited in this article had been said can be found on Wikiquote page dedicated to Coco.

Which Is Your Favourite Quote by Coco Chanel and Why?

Did any of the Coco's quotes listed above provided some food for thought for you? Why?

Do you have another favourite Coco's quote not listed above?

Please share with us!

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P. Fareio 
Dear Chanel, My favorite was Chanel #5. I am now disabled due to a brain tumor, but am ready to get back out there. However getting around is limited. …

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This is a wonderful article about Coco Chanel. She truly was a visionaire and the epitome of elegance. It just goes to show that the true beauty of a woman …

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