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Nowadays, fruit print clothing are a Do. On average, every men and women has at least one item in their closet with this pattern. Read about the history when this delicious food conquered the fabrics.

  1. Printing with Fruits and Vegetables
  2. 18th to 20th Century
  3. People Actually Wearing Actual Fruits
  4. Fruit Print Time Line of the 21st Century
  5. My Fruity Summer Clothes
  6. How Fashion Bloggers Style the Fruity Summer Print


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Printing with Fruits and Vegetables

Embellishing clothes goes back to ancient times. An easy way to save expensive dye was to print on the fabrics. The famous paisely print has its orgin from printing with a cut fruit. This pattern is often referred to as Persian Pickles. You may remember printing with potatoes in elementary school.

On kimonos with landscapes or other motifs occassionaly, fruits and vegetable were within the picture. More on the history of kimonos.

18th to 20th Century

In the 18th Century, waistcoats were embriodered with berries. In the 19th Century, the paisley print came via Great Britain from India to the Old World and was a favorite among the Rich and Aristocrates. In the 1920s, abstract prints became fashionable which could be interpreted as cherries or berries.

girl in sari with berry pattern
Trade cards from the “Fruits” series (N12), issued in 1891 in a set of 50 cards to promote Allen & Ginter brand cigarettes. Another band from this series features a girl with strawberry embellished dresses. From Metropolitan Museum open source.


Obviously, the food inspired motif was in fashion for girls in the in the late 19th century. Textiles and etiquette asked for garments decoratiions for the wealthy classes, eventhough they were not so ornamental like those worn by entertaining circles, elitist or Aristocrats. A decorative afternoon reception dress like the one below was a Must-have.


afternoon reception dress with cherry pattern
French cotton dress ca. 1872. From Metropoltian Museum open source


After the Great War, art turned to a more abstract style and fashion followed along.

photo of a young woman with abstract cherry patterned two piece ensembe and hat
Walker Evans, who photographed this smartly dressed woman leaning over the rail watching the throngs on the beach below. The patterned fabric of her two-piece ensemble looks like clusters of cherries or berries, providing a nice anchor for the photo. From: Getty open source program.


In 1953, Christian Dior designed attire with berries, blueberries and strawberries. Still today many retro 1950s dresses don cherries and strawberry prints.

Like these outfit ideas? If so, please feel free to pin them to your own Pinterest board.

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People Actually Wearing Actual Fruits

Obviously, in ancient times fruits were used to create head decoration as the below photo of a man stature suggests.

statue with fruit hat
A herm depicting Erma of Matidia in the guise of Thalia, muse of Comedy. The herm is misidentified as Tragedy. The statue has long curled hair and is wearing a headpiece made of fruit. La Tragédie statue at the Vatican. Photo taken 1859 by James Anderson (British, 1813 – 1877). From Getty Museum open source program.

Josephine Baker wore her banana skirt in her daily revues in Paris in the early 20th centrury. More on her life in this post on Afro-American Women History.

Fruit Print Time Line of the 21st Century

The following (incompletely) lists when which designer featured which fruits in their collection.
2003: Junya Wanabe – strawberries, grapes, apples, pears
2004: Phoebe Philo – graphic bananas
2010: Stefano Pilati – strawberries
Stella McCarthney – citrus
2011: Miuccia Prada – bananas
2012: Dolce & Gabbana – tomatoes
2012: Rossella Jardini – apple, grape, pepper, watermelon (also other food like carrots, onions)
2014: Stella Jean – Tropical fruits
2016: Bertrand Guyon – cherries and strawberries
2017: David Lynch – cherries and lemons
2017: Alessandro Michele – pineapples
Thom Browne – cherry and pineapple appliques
2020: Daniel Lee – pineapple

My Fruity Summer Clothes

When I was in high school, we sewed a nightgown in our sewing class. I had picked a flanel fabric in printed in print with strawberries being left out in white. Later, in my 20s, I owned a PJ in navy and white featuring rows of blue cherries on the top, while the bottom were navy shorts. Otherwise, all my fruit-related prints have been paisley.

influencer in vegetable patterned tunic dress in pruple, pink, fuchsia and white
Modalu Pipa bag, Very Fine Dance Shoes sandals, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Rebecca Collins necklace (all own) sunglasses c/o SUNGAIT and tunic c/o Coolibar.

How Fashion Bloggers Style the Fruity Summer Print

See this video to see what fashion bloggers wear with their fruit print garments.

fashion bloggers over 50 in trendy summer dresses

Welcome to the June Stylish Monday Fruity Summer Style linkup party. Join my fashionable friends at the

June Stylish Monday Fruity Summer Dresses Party

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Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2021 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Claire Justine

    I love your dress 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Mondays. I hope you can join us again tomorrow, Friday or next week for our next parties 🙂 #CreativeMondays

  2. Lucy Bertoldi

    I love this post! Fashion history is my passion- so I found this extremely interesting. Love the print on your dress and the history behind paisley as well! Beautiful!

  3. Amy Johnson

    What a great history of fruit prints. Love your dress too!

  4. shelbeeontheedge1

    I love how you tied paisley into the fruity theme! I love paisley prints and had no idea that the first ones were made by using fruit as stamps! So interesting. This was a really great read as well. I love learning the history of different trends and where specific prints originated. I also love your paisley dress!


  5. Jodie

    How funny because I just bought and wore a lemon skirt…it’s in my IG stories in fact!!!

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