61 Coco Chanel Quotes Every Modern Woman Should Live By

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Coco Chanel quote: If you're sad, add more lipstick and attack.
Quotes

Famous French fashion designer, Coco Chanel, became an icon of her time not only because she founded one of the most successful haute couture brands in history. She also dedicated her life to pushing the social boundaries that constrained women of her time.

It's obvious by the iconic Coco Chanel quotes below that she was a strong-willed, independent philanthropist who intended on liberating women — Chanel changed the face of fashion culture for over six decades before her death at age 87.

A true rags-to-riches story, Coco Chanel's early life wasn't an easy one. Her mother passed away when she was 12, and soon after her father abandoned her and her sisters by dropping them off at an orphanage run by nuns. Determined to make something of herself, Chanel learned to sew while she was there, and soon after began her career as a seamstress — she worked her way up to opening her very own shop in 1910, where she sold hats.

Coco Chanel had a passion for creating minimalist clothing for women, drawing inspiration from men's wear, which was famously practical and sophisticated — she eventually created the iconic "Little Black Dress" in 1926, which has become a staple in women's wardrobes ever since. Chanel was determined to create women's fashion that was both sophisticated and comfortable, and when she created the famous Chanel No.5 perfume, her goal was to revolutionize the way women smell, wanting to bring even more confidence to the new, modern woman.

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Her full name was Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel, but the true reason she went by "Coco" isn't fully understood. Some say she got the name from songs she used to sing during her short stint as a cabaret singer, but most believe it comes from the French word, "coquette", which typically means a "kept" or "flirtatious woman".

Coco Chanel never married, but she was known to have many suitors throughout her life, many of whom were wealthy businessmen. Never shy about speaking her mind, Chanel had a rebellious and controversial personality that people admired even after her time had passed, and there have been many movies and documentaries made about her life, including Coco Before Chanel in 2009, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky in 2009 and Once Upon A Time in 2013.

Take a look at our picks below of the best Coco Chanel quotes that every woman should live by:

1. A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous. — Coco Chanel

2. Adornment, what a science! Beauty, what a weapon! Modesty, what elegance! — Coco Chanel

3. I don’t care what you think of me. I don’t think of you at all. — Coco Chanel

4. I am not young but I feel young. The day I feel old, I will go to bed and stay there. J'aime la vie! I feel that to live is a wonderful thing. — Coco Chanel

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

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6. There are people who have money and people who are rich. — Coco Chanel

7. There have been several Duchesses of Westminster but there is only one Chanel! — Coco Chanel

8. The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you. — Coco Chanel

9. I don’t do fashion. I am fashion. — Coco Chanel

10. Elegance is when the inside is as beautiful as the outside. — Coco Chanel

11. Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. — Coco Chanel

12. Fashion changes, but style endures. — Coco Chanel

13. Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress. — Coco Chanel

14. A woman with good shoes is never ugly. — Coco Chanel

15. If you're sad, add more lipstick and attack. — Coco Chanel

16. 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. — Coco Chanel

17. A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future. — Coco Chanel

18. 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. — Coco Chanel

19. Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. — Coco Chanel

20. My life didn’t please me, so I created my life. — Coco Chanel

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

22. Guilt is perhaps the most painful companion of death. — Coco Chanel

23. A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life. — Coco Chanel

24. Dress like you are going to meet your worst enemy today. — Coco Chanel

25. Fashion has two purposes: comfort and love. Beauty comes when fashion succeeds. — Coco Chanel

26. Since everything is in our heads, we had better not lose them. — Coco Chanel

27. Fashion is architecture: it is a matter of proportions. — Coco Chanel

28. My friends, there are no friends. — Coco Chanel

29. A women who doesn't wear perfume has no future. — Coco Chanel

30. Elegance is refusal. — Coco Chanel

31. There is no time for cut-and-dried monotony. There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time! — Coco Chanel

32. A woman has the age she deserves. — Coco Chanel

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

34. As long as you know men are like children, you know everything! — Coco Chanel

35. You live but once; you might as well be amusing. — Coco Chanel

36. How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone. — Coco Chanel

37. Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable. — Coco Chanel

38. A woman can be overdressed but never over elegant. — Coco Chanel

39. I never wanted to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird. — Coco Chanel

40. You can be gorgeous at thirty, charming at forty, and irresistible for the rest of your life. — Coco Chanel

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41. Great loves too must be endured. — Coco Chanel

42. Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity. — Coco Chanel

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

44. Gentleness doesn't get work done unless you happen to be a hen laying eggs. — Coco Chanel

45. I only drink Champagne on two occasions, when I am in love and when I am not. — Coco Chanel

46. Nature gives you the face you have at twenty; it is up to you to merit the face you have at fifty. — Coco Chanel

47. Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman. — Coco Chanel

48. 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. — Coco Chanel

49. Those who create are rare; those who cannot are numerous. Therefore, the latter are stronger. — Coco Chanel

50. It is always better to be slightly underdressed. — Coco Chanel

51. I don't know why women want any of the things men have when one of the things that women have is men. — Coco Chanel

52. Women must tell men always that they are the strong ones. They are the big, the strong, the wonderful. In truth, women are the strong ones. It is just my opinion, I am not a professor. — Coco Chanel

53. As soon as you set foot on a yacht you belong to some man, not to yourself, and you die of boredom. — Coco Chanel

54. Women have always been the strong ones of the world. The men are always seeking from women a little pillow to put their heads down on. They are always longing for the mother who held them as infants. — Coco Chanel

55. Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity. — Coco Chanel

56. Fashion fades, only style remains the same. — Coco Chanel

57. Fashion is always of the time in which you live. It is not something standing alone. But the grand problem, the most important problem, is to rejuvenate women. To make women look young. Then their outlook changes. They feel more joyous. — Coco Chanel

58. Success is most often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable. — Coco Chanel

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

60. The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. — Coco Chanel

61. Fashion is made to become unfashionable. — Coco Chanel

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Kayla Cavanagh is a writer and editor, focusing on quotes, pop-culture and relationship topics.

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