It’s an uncomfortable truth: The ideas that are cool often matter a lot more than ideas that are good. If you want to change the world it’s going to help enormously for you to demonstrate a bit of style and flair.

If you think about some of the most quotable figures in human history, they all have one thing in common: They have style. They are not simply the smartest and most innovative thinkers on the planet, though many of them are also that. They are also the type of person who speaks with a wit and an insight that can only be described with the elusive and difficult to define concept of “cool.”

Oscar Wilde. H.L. Mencken. Leonardo da Vinci. These are people who express not only great ideas, but also possess the style to make them attractive to generations of people seeking truth, wisdom, and insight.

The bedrock of this kind of style is the confidence to express oneself with flair. Confidence is what makes so much of what is stylish actually work. It is an attractive quality in its own right and, of course, having confidence simply makes living one’s life easier.

We have compiled some of our favorite quotes on the subject of style and confidence that we hope help you to arrive at your own place of “cool.”


Quotes About Style and Fashion

E.B. White & William Strunk, Jr.

“To achieve style, begin by affecting none.”

– E.B. White & William Strunk, Jr., The Elements of Style

E.B. White on Style Quotes

In their timeless guide “The Elements of Style,” E.B. White and William Strunk, Jr. propose a profound notion: true style is not found in imitation or affectation but in authenticity. The essence of style lies in the absence of artifice. Instead of striving to mimic others, they advocate for a process of self-discovery and refinement. By eschewing the urge to mimic or conform, one can unearth their unique voice and manner, creating a style that is inherently genuine and compelling. Thus, the path to achieving style begins with a commitment to being true to oneself, untainted by external influences.


Thomas Jefferson

“On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

– Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson on Style Quotes

Thomas Jefferson’s quote encapsulates a nuanced approach to navigating life’s complexities. In matters of style, he advises adaptability, suggesting that it’s prudent to align with prevailing trends or norms to maintain relevance and effectiveness. However, when it comes to matters of principle, Jefferson implores unwavering steadfastness akin to a rock amidst turbulent waters. Here, he emphasizes the importance of moral integrity and conviction, urging individuals to stand firm in their beliefs regardless of external pressures. Jefferson’s wisdom underscores the balance between flexibility and steadfastness, advocating for discernment in choosing when to conform and when to remain resolute in one’s principles.


Coco Chanel

“Fashion changes, but style endures.”

– Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel on Style Quotes

Coco Chanel’s timeless maxim underscores the enduring nature of true style amidst the ever-shifting landscape of fashion. While trends come and go, authentic style remains constant, transcending fleeting fads. Chanel emphasizes the distinction between fashion, which is ephemeral, and style, which is eternal. True style emanates from a deep understanding of oneself, one’s preferences, and one’s identity, reflecting individuality rather than conformity. It’s a reminder that cultivating personal style is a journey of self-discovery and authenticity, offering a sense of confidence and sophistication that withstands the test of time, making it a valuable asset in any era.


Gore Vidal

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”

– Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal on Style Quotes

Gore Vidal’s bold assertion on style encapsulates a liberating perspective. He suggests that true style is rooted in self-awareness, clarity of expression, and a fearless attitude towards societal judgment. Emphasizing authenticity over conformity, Vidal implies that genuine style arises from a deep understanding of one’s identity and a willingness to unapologetically express it. It’s about confidently owning one’s choices and beliefs without being swayed by external opinions. Vidal’s mantra encourages individuals to embrace their uniqueness, assert their voices, and disregard the constraints of conventional expectations, ultimately paving the way for a life lived authentically and boldly.


Jean Cocteau

“Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.”

– Jean Cocteau

Jean Cocteau on Style Quotes

Jean Cocteau’s succinct yet profound declaration unveils the essence of style as a potent form of communication. By likening style to a tool for articulating complex ideas in a straightforward manner, Cocteau underscores its power to convey depth and sophistication with simplicity. Style transcends mere aesthetics; it becomes a vehicle for expressing emotions, beliefs, and narratives. In its simplicity lies its strength, enabling individuals to distill intricate concepts into concise yet impactful forms of expression. Cocteau’s insight prompts us to appreciate style not only for its visual appeal but also for its ability to convey profound messages with elegance and clarity.


Karl Lagerfeld

“Trendy is the last stage before tacky.”

– Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld on Style Quotes

Karl Lagerfeld’s astute observation cuts through the allure of passing trends, highlighting the perilous trajectory from trendiness to tackiness. He suggests that while trends may initially captivate, their fleeting nature often leads to overexposure and eventual dilution of aesthetic appeal. Lagerfeld implies that true style transcends transient fads, rooted instead in timeless elegance and sophistication. By cautioning against chasing trends blindly, he advocates for a discerning approach to fashion and design, one that prioritizes individuality and refinement over fleeting popularity. Lagerfeld’s insight serves as a reminder to cultivate a personal style that endures beyond the whims of the fashion cycle.


Karl Lagerfeld

“Reinvent new combinations of what you already own. Improvise. Become more creative. Not because you have to, but because you want to. Evolution is the secret for the next step.”

– Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld on Style Quotes

In this insightful quote, Karl Lagerfeld encourages a mindset of creative reinvention and spontaneity. He advocates for exploring new possibilities by reimagining existing possessions, fostering a spirit of improvisation and innovation. Lagerfeld’s emphasis on voluntary creativity suggests that the motivation for self-expression should stem from personal desire rather than external pressure. He suggests that evolution, fueled by imaginative experimentation, holds the key to progress and advancement. Lagerfeld’s words inspire individuals to embrace change as a catalyst for growth, urging them to unlock their potential by daring to explore fresh perspectives and unconventional combinations in pursuit of the next stage of their journey.


Audrey Hepburn

“Why change? Everyone has his own style. When you have found it, you should stick to it.”

– Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn on Style Quotes

Audrey Hepburn’s timeless wisdom celebrates individuality and self-assurance in matters of style. Her words advocate for embracing one’s unique identity and staying true to it steadfastly. Hepburn suggests that once an individual discovers their authentic style, they need not conform to transient trends or societal pressures. Instead, they should nurture and honor their distinct aesthetic, recognizing it as a reflection of their inner essence. By advocating for consistency in personal style, Hepburn champions the idea that true elegance emanates from confidence and self-awareness rather than external validation or conformity. Her sentiment encourages individuals to embrace their individuality with grace and conviction.


Leonardo da Vinci

“Simplicity is the greatest sophistication.”

– Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci on Style Quotes

Leonardo da Vinci’s profound insight extols the virtue of simplicity as the epitome of sophistication. He suggests that amidst the complexities of life, the most refined solutions often emerge from simplicity itself. By stripping away excess and embracing clarity, one can achieve elegance and effectiveness in any endeavor. Da Vinci’s words emphasize the power of minimalism and restraint, highlighting how simplicity can illuminate the essence of an idea or creation. In a world inundated with noise and distraction, his timeless wisdom serves as a reminder to seek simplicity as a pathway to true sophistication, where clarity and beauty intertwine seamlessly.