50 Life Changing Tim Gunn Quotes to Live By

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Which are your favorite Tim Gunn quotes?

Tim Gunn is an American author, actor, and TV personality.

He is best known for being the on-air mentor to the popular reality TV series ‘Project Runway’ for over 16 seasons. Gunn’s massive success from the series successfully led to 2 spin-off shows, ‘Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style’ and ‘Under the Gunn’, as well as the release of 5 of his books.

Gunn’s credentials as fashion consultant spanned from his experiences as chair of fashion design on the faculty of the renowned ‘Parsons School of Design’ and also when he notably worked as Chief Executive Officer of the widely celebrated fashion company ‘Liz Clairborne’, which now is known as ‘Kate Spade & Company’.

As a voice actor, Gunn has landed roles in big TV projects such as ‘Sofia the First’ and ‘Mixology’.

Here’s a collection of the best Tim Gunn quotes:


50 Life-Changing Tim Gunn Quotes to Live By

1. “I will always be there in the wings saying, ‘You need to be good to people. You need to take your work seriously. You need to have integrity. You need to work with what you’ve got.” – Tim Gunn

2. “I don’t know why I’ve always been so captivated by architecture.” – Tim Gunn

3. “The pervasive idea is that if you’re a man in the fashion industry, you’re gay until proven otherwise. And of course, there are lots of men who aren’t. But people make certain assumptions.” – Tim Gunn

4. “I just don’t like conspicuous consumption. I find it distasteful.” – Tim Gunn

5. “There’s nothing I like better than going to my apartment, closing the door, cooking my little dinner for one, and just tuning out. My apartment really is my haven. It’s a nest where I go to heal.” – Tim Gunn

6. “Take the high road. No matter how much strife, and consternation, frustration, and anger you might be confronted with – don’t go to that level.” – Tim Gunn

7. “I always say I have a Socratic approach to most things that I do. I pummel people with questions because I need to know what they’re thinking, what they’re trying to achieve, what they believe the final outcome is going to be.” – Tim Gunn

8. “I have heard women complain about men holding doors for them as if it is inherently offensive and implies that they are weak. … I would hold a door for anyone. … It has to do with noticing our fellow human beings and saying, “I recognize that you’re on this planet, and I don’t want a door hitting you in the face.” – Tim Gunn

9. “Just the way it never rains when you have an umbrella, you’ll never run into people if you look fantastic. But go outside in pajamas, and you’ll run into every ex you have.” – Tim Gunn


10th of 50 Tim Gunn Quotes

10. “Frankly, I think that fur on a man is difficult to pull off. If it’s the warmth you’re after, then I’d go with a fur-lined coat – it won’t show.” – Tim Gunn


11. “I had this wonderful career and thought I would retire as a teacher.” – Tim Gunn

12. “And I’m the first one to tell people to break the rules. But you can only break the rules once you know what the rules are. The other thing is, fashion is the last design discipline to actually have academic texts and historical analysis.” – Tim Gunn

13. “Life is a collaboration, it’s not a solo act.” – Tim Gunn

14. “What’s interesting about textiles is that they are determined about three seasons in advance, that’s why when you walk into a store you think “Gee, everything looks about the same.” – Tim Gunn

15. “Life is not a solo act. It’s a huge collaboration, and we all need to assemble around us the people who care about us and support us in times of strife.” – Tim Gunn

16. “Go to Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue, I think it’s the eighth floor, and it’s just a department called ‘Woman.’ It’s rather devastating. You’ve never seen such hideous clothes in your entire life. I mean, it’s simply appalling. Thank God there are no windows on that floor because if I were a size 18, I’d throw myself right out the window [after seeing those clothes]. It’s insulting what these designers do to these women.” – Tim Gunn

17. “With fashion, you really need to understand the aspects of construction. Not just design on an iPad.” – Tim Gunn

18. “I have to have my coffee. I probably have three cups a day, but only before noon.” – Tim Gunn

19. “If I think about most of America, and maybe I’m terribly wrong…but I think most of America would say that they’re not in favor of gay marriage. But there is certainly a large cohort, not a majority but a large number of people, who are articulate and vocal and they’d rally behind this. They’re making their opinion known.” – Tim Gunn


20th of 50 Tim Gunn Quotes

20. “I don’t believe in the scraping of stuff. Take the existing condition, offer up a diagnosis for what’s wrong, and a prescription for making it work.” – Tim Gunn


21. “I believe in letting karma do its thing. What comes around goes around.” – Tim Gunn

22. “Does a man need to know what a peplum is? Probably not.” – Tim Gunn

23. “I found early on in teaching, if you’re too blunt an instrument, the students discredit you and think you’re just being mean. They’re not interested in what you have to say.” – Tim Gunn

24. “I believe that it’s very important to get to know people with whom you can have a substantive dialogue about design and its development. In addition, read everything about fashion that you can get your hands on. A palpable point of view is what makes a designer, so you need to be confident about yours.” – Tim Gunn

25. “I have a very Socratic approach – I pummel the designers with questions, so when I get them to step back from the work and look at it with me, they’ll eventually see what I see, coming to it fresh and unencumbered. That’s always very gratifying because they feel a responsibility and ownership of a solution.” – Tim Gunn

26. “Leggings are everywhere, indeed. Personally, I’m not crazy about them, but they can look great with the right look, a tunic, for instance, or a long cardigan. Just don’t try to dress them up!” – Tim Gunn

27. “If you are going to be catty, you have to be careful with whom you do it, and in what manner! It’s the kind of behavior that is best kept behind closed doors.” – Tim Gunn

28. “I learned from teaching. If you are perceived by the student to be belittling them or purely criticizing them without offering up words of encouragement and support, they shut down and discredit you.” – Tim Gunn

29. “I believe that treating other people well is a lost art.” – Tim Gunn


30th of 50 Tim Gunn Quotes

30. “In a manner of speaking. I certainly never want to lose my voice as an educator.” – Tim Gunn


31. “The clothes we wear send a message about how the world perceives us.” – Tim Gunn

32. “From my own experience, there are so many people who believe that the individual can change. The individual doesn’t have to be LGBT.” – Tim Gunn

33. “I really cherish having my private time and being alone and being able to decompress. It’s my own version of meditating.” – Tim Gunn

34. “Call me a schoolmarm, but few things make me angrier than people not taking good care of library materials.” – Tim Gunn

35. “I hate crocs. May they please go away.” – Tim Gunn

36. “I’m really not a trend promoter because I feel that people push trends on people they shouldn’t.” – Tim Gunn

37. “All the magazines contradict each other because it is so diverse. Know what you like, know what looks good on you and keep doing it, no reason to chase trends.” – Tim Gunn

38. “Being in the moment is everything. So being in the moment for me is just letting the narrative play out, listening to the designers and giving them helpful feedback about what they’re doing.” – Tim Gunn

39. “If I had to choose a single destination where I’d be held captive for the rest of my time in New York, I’d choose the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” – Tim Gunn


40th of 50 Tim Gunn Quotes

40. “If you have to ask if a clothing item is a dress or a top, it is always a top.” – Tim Gunn


41. “Most people wear clothing that is too big or too small for them. And “oversized” is the downfall for most of us. We have to be careful that we don’t look like we’re slipcovered!” – Tim Gunn

42. “We can wear whatever we want and get away with it. Just be confident about being who you are and dressing for that person.” – Tim Gunn

43. “Few activities are as delightful as learning new vocabulary.” – Tim Gunn

44. “Everyone has a best feature, so find clothes and accessories to accentuate those, whether it’s your shoulders or your long legs!” – Tim Gunn

45. “Staples are only good if they truly suit our lifestyle.” – Tim Gunn

46. “People come up to me and share very personal and intimate things with me, and I am so touched by all the trust they have in me.” – Tim Gunn

47. “The fit of jeans can be worlds apart from brand to brand. If you can find the right fit, skinny jeans can be very flattering.” – Tim Gunn

48. “You can be too rich and too thin, but you can never be too well read or too curious about the world.” – Tim Gunn

49. “I wouldn’t know what to do on a date. I don’t have the time. To make a relationship work, I’d have to give something up, and I’m not so sure I’m willing to do that.” – Tim Gunn

50. “So perhaps the real secret to style is filling yourself to the absolute brim with engagement. Loving not wisely, but too well and all that.” – Tim Gunn



Thanks for checking out this collection of quotes from Tim Gunn! Don’t forget to share them on social media with your friends and family.

Which are your favorite Tim Gunn quotes? Leave a comment below.

Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa
Zisilia Alvsa is a writer for Wealthy Gorilla. Friends often call her Zii. She is a girl from Jakarta, Indonesia who currently lives in Bali. Zii loves photography and travelling.


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