Fashion is ripe for the picking. Strawberry, lime, orange, lemon, watermelon and banana battle it out in a chic fruit salad splayed across your clothes.

"Fruit is part of our heritage and it only makes sense that we would use fruit on our clothes to this day," says James Bradbeer, president of Lilly Pulitzer.

The story goes, Bradbeer tells us via e-mail, "that Lilly, a young, sassy New York socialite, had eloped with Peter Pulitzer (grandson of the Pulitzer Prize's Joseph Pulitzer) and settled in Palm Beach to live the life of the rich and famous." Her new hubby owned several Florida citrus groves, and Lilly opened a juice stand. But she wasn't a big fan of the sticky juices making a mess on her clothes so she had her dressmaker design garb that would camouflage the stains: a sleeveless shift with brilliant colorful prints in bright pink, green, yellow and orange hues. It became a classic -- an instant hit. (One hopes this unknown dressmaker got a nice compensation package.) "People began to ask if they could buy the dress," Bradbeer says.

The dress has morphed -- or should we say ripened -- into an uptown trademark: moms and kids (little boys sometimes get Lilly'ed too) wearing matching frocks, 'do's and smiles to teas and pool parties -- where life really is a bowl of cherries.

-- Janelle Erlichman Diamond

Alexis Bittar strawberry and lemon bubblegum necklace, $484 at Pulitzer "Ellen" pants in White Citron print, $168 at Pink Palm (11874 Market St., Reston Town Center), Tickled Pink (7259 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda) and Bloomingdale's.Stop Staring pink strawberry/cherry print bikini top and matching skirt, $89 for the set or $45 each at Plush

strawberry CD case,

$12 at


$9.99 at key fob, $38 at Coach stores or