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Lilly Pulitzer: The Legacy of An Icon

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Georgetown chapter.

As I was procrastinating and checking my Twitter feed Sunday afternoon, I was saddened to learn of the death of a fashion pioneer, Lilly Pulitzer.  Flooding my newsfeed were tweets and retweets paying homage to beloved designer, and I was reminded of how much Lilly Pulitzer played a part in my childhood and the influence she has had on my style today.

Lilly Pulitzer was and still is a summer staple.  It all began with my mother dressing my sisters and I up in matching Lilly shift dresses every time we went to the beach.  This was around the late ‘90s and early ‘00s when the shift dress was a popular Lilly classic and we would entertain ourselves trying to find the hidden word “Lilly” within all of the patterns.  As we grew up and our styles evolved, the line grew as well.  No longer was Lilly only defined in my eyes as the fun, bright shift dress I wore to the beach as a young girl, but now I could show off my more mature style wearing other pieces from the line.  Lilly Pulitzer has always stayed true to their summery vibrant colors and patterns, yet they have managed to keep up with the ever-changing fashion trends and maintain their position as a popular force in the fashion industry.  Even though trends have come and gone, Lilly Pulitzer has always been a powerful brand and influence on my style.  I know that although Lilly Pulitzer herself is no longer here, her legacy and impact on the fashion industry will long remain and her line will always be a way in which I define and remember my summers.


In remembrance of this iconic woman, I’ve put together a collage of some classic Lilly looks throughout the years.  It all began with a juice stand and a lady looking for a way to disguise the bright juice stains on her clothing.  In search of a way to fashionably hide the fruit stains, Lilly Pulitzer had dresses made in colorful prints, and to her surprise these practical dresses became a hit.  They began outselling the juice at the stand, and the Lilly Pulitzer line was born.  The line has evolved throughout the years and I can’t wait to see what’s in store in the coming seasons from this defining brand.


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