The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

R.I.P., Lilly Pulitzer, the socialite who invented the housewife-mod look

“The doctor there said, ‘You’re not happy because you’re not doing anything,’ and I said, ‘I don’t know how to do anything.’ I’d always had everything done for me, always had my nanny and my mummy making up my mind. The doctor said, ‘You’ve got to go out and find something to do.’”

Lilly Pulitzer, the society matron turned fashion designer, describing to the New Yorker the nervous breakdown that led to finding her future career: She started selling oranges from her rich huband’s citrus groves, and when that work became too hot and messy, whipped up some brightly-colored shift dresses that wouldn’t show the fruit stains and didn’t require underwear. Her housewife-mod look caused a sensation. Lilly Pulitzer died Sunday at 81, and her obituary might be the best you read all week. Of course, there’s a Lilly photo gallery too.

Looking for today’s Reliable Source? Start here: Opera Ball celebrates Italian culture with special guest Joe Biden