Since the 1950s, Palm Beach style has been synonymous with one fashion designer: Lilly Pulitzer. As guests of The Chesterfield Palm Beach will know, the designer's vibrant, glamorous womenswear epitomises the resort town's aesthetic. Whether it's an effortlessly tailored linen shift dress in a fabulous floral print that's perfect for shopping and lunch on Worth Avenue, or the elegant, breezy beachwear created for Florida's year-round sunshine, get to know this much loved, local brand and uncover a very stylish piece of Palm Beach history.
Lilly Pulitzer began her eponymous brand in Palm Beach in 1959. As Eleni McCready, Director of Brand Marketing & Media at Lilly Pulitzer explains, "Lilly moved to Palm Beach as a newlywed, raised her family, and started her juice stand just off of Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. As the story goes, she started her juice stand and had her seamstress create a simple 'shift dress' that felt effortless, lightweight, still chic, and hid the juice stains (a true occupational hazard!). Her friends liked the juice and LOVED the shift-she quickly started selling more dresses than juice, a clothing brand was born and Palm Beach was never quite the same." Thanks to her eye-catching designs, Lilly helped create American resort wear as we know it today, producing clothes that made use of hand painted prints and that often took direct inspiration from the tropical surroundings of Palm Beach. As McCready explains, the designer's creativity was spurred on by Palm Beach's unique combination of "lush palms, sunny skies, vibrant personalities, spontaneous parties, sailing trips, citrus groves, bougainvillea… every corner of the island has something!"
Step inside a Lilly Pulitzer boutique and you'll be greeted by a host of vibrant petal and paisley print designs. If you look closely, you can spot that the word “Lilly” is cleverly concealed in every print in honor of the brand's founder. White wardrobe staples are a signature for the brand, from embroidered kaftans for lazy days by the ocean to chic broderie anglaise shift dresses that are cocktail ready. Nautical stripes re-imagined in corals and pinks are also a recurrent theme, reworked with feminine detailing for a contemporary feel.
Today, the brand continues to honour its rich heritage whilst also incorporating the demands of modern 21st century women, as McCready explains, "we design resort wear that's inspired by Lilly and her spirit-modern, optimistic, happy, and ready for anything that a sunny day can throw at you."
Discover Palm Beach style and visit the best local boutiques when you stay at The Chesterfield Palm Beach, located just moments from famous Worth Avenue.