Lilly Pulitzer’s classic prints are inspired by nature’s ability to rejuvenate and renew. For over 50 years, the iconic clothing brand has been known for bringing playful patterns and citrus-inspired shades to life with unique, effervescent designs.
It all began when the 21-year-old Lilly eloped with Herbert (Peter) Pulitzer Jr., the grandson of publisher Joseph Pulitzer. In the 1950’s, the couple settled in Palm Beach, Florida and Lilly opened a juice stand with the produce from her husband’s citrus groves. While working at the juice stand, Lilly found that the juice ruined her clothes. To camouflage the juice stains, she used colorful floral kitchen curtains to design sleeveless shift dresses. It didn’t take long until Lilly found her homemade dresses were more popular than her juice.
Lilly went out of the juice business and started Lilly Pulitzer, Inc. in 1959. As president, she focused on what she loved; designing and selling her dresses. The clothing label gained national exposure when Lilly’s childhood friend, Jacqueline Kennedy was photographed on the cover of LIFE magazine wearing a Lilly Pulitzer shift dress. It wasn’t long before the brand became synonymous with celebrities and socialites. Lilly has rightfully earned the title, “Queen of Prep.”
Today, Lilly Pulitzer, Inc. is going green and it’s not a citrus-green floral print. The cotton collection is eco-friendly and officially endorsed by Cotton Inc. The dye process for garments is 100% green and the printing method is certified for using low-impact dye, eliminating any harmful byproducts. In addition, the hang tags and labels are made from 100% recycled materials. Lilly Pulitzer creates quality clothing that lasts for decades. Many women recycle their well-tailored dresses by passing them down to future generations.
If you are like me, you will be saving to invest in a timeless Lilly Pulitzer dress. Feel free to rationalize the purchase by telling yourself the piece will eventually become a family heirloom. Whether you get the real thing or find a close substitute, bold colors and vibrant prints will always define prep at its best!