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90 Years Stylish: Boston Icon Doris Yaffe Shares Her Fashion Wisdom

By Erica Corsano | July 29, 2019 | Style & Beauty

Doris Yaffe has always been the adventurous type. At just 7 years old, she found herself taking two buses into Boston to explore a boutique in Downtown Crossing. “It was Mother’s Day and I got my mom a bag and wedges to match,” she says. “The feeling I got when I walked into the store—it was wonderful.” This month, Yaffe turns 90, and little has changed when it comes to how fashion makes her feel. In fact, she built a career on it. As the former fashion director for Saks Fifth Avenue Boston, publicist for Alfred Fiandaca and Sara Fredericks, and owner of a boutique public relations company with a focus on fashion and philanthropy, the globe-trotting octogenarian has strong opinions on Hub style. “The biggest misconception about Boston fashion is that it is not New York, but it certainly has come a long way from 1967. There are many fashionable women in Boston today,” says Yaffe. With her signature oversize glasses, Yaffe has always counted as one of them.


“[Designer] Bill Blass told me once, ‘Doris, style is something in the genes; you’re just born with it.’” The sassy publicist was also born with incredible stamina. “I go out five nights a week! I maintain friendships with so many young people, and I go to Pilates very often.” Aside from her social outings, Yaffe prioritizes spending time with the loves of her life: sons Peter, 67, and Jeff, 64 (her husband, Wally, passed away 12 years ago). It may be her birthday, but she gifted us with sage advice: “Respect wisdom of the ages; live life to the fullest; and always keep your body and mind active. Don’t just use your smartphones for everything... conversations between people are very important.”