POPSUGAR Fashion

Lauren Conrad's Essential Style Lessons

Feb 1 2014 - 8:00am

Known for her starring roles on Laguna Beach and The Hills, Lauren Conrad [1] has blossomed into an author, designer, and beauty guru — not to mention one of our favorite celebrity social media fixtures [2]. What we love most about the blond beauty's style is how laid-back, put-together, and incredibly accessible it is. She's got a serious knack for fusing high fashion with California beach babe, which is an aesthetic that we can all get behind. From embellished party dresses to glamorous red carpet confections, Lauren's signature style continues to evolve — and she's taught us more than a few styling lessons along the way. It's been a big year for Conrad thanks to the launch of The Little Market [3], her XO(eco) collection with BlueAvocado, and, most importantly, her recently announced engagement [4]. So get a pen and grab a seat, then take note of LC's most stylish looks over the years.

— Additional reporting by Brittney Stephens

Lauren Conrad [5] arrived at Us Weekly's 2007 Hot Hollywood party in a kelly-green-and-orange embellished mini.

Lesson from Lauren: pair green with orange for an eye-catching color combo.

For the LA premiere of Cloverfield, Conrad wowed in a high-octane creation, complete with beaded embellishments.

Lesson from Lauren: let your mini take center stage with minimal accessories and a no-fuss ponytail.

Looking ravishing in a ruffled red dress, Conrad partied the night away at a 2007 pre-Grammys soiree in LA.

Lesson from Lauren: red always turns heads.

Conrad sparkled in an embellished silver minidress with matching sandals at the 2007 MTV VMAs in Las Vegas.

Lesson from Lauren: keep your add-ons minimal when wearing a sequined dress.

LC glowed in a strapless, teal bubble dress, designed by Conrad herself, at the 2007 Teen Choice Awards.

Lesson from Lauren: teal complements every skin tone.

At the 2008 MTV VMAs, Lauren owned the red carpet in a plunging dual-texture mini and glittery peep-toe pumps.

Lesson from Lauren: juxtapose a sexy mini with a sweet updo for the perfect party balance.

In 2008, LC worked the blue-on-blue trend long before it was popular.

Lesson from Lauren: add intrigue to your monochrome looks by mixing various shades.

At a 2008 Us Weekly party, the blond stunner wowed in a turquoise paillette creation and patent pumps.

Lesson from Lauren: every girl needs a pair of classic black pumps.

During a 2008 LA shopping spree, LC went back to basics in a white maxi dress and black sandals.

Lesson from Lauren: steer clear of the bride vibe by keeping your white maxi simple.

Lauren topped her flirty black minidress with breezy beach waves and a bow headband at the D&G [6] flagship boutique opening in Beverly Hills in 2008.

Lesson from Lauren: turn up the sweetness with a bow accessory.

LC downplayed her full ruffled skirt with a green tee and black Mary Jane pumps while out and about in Hollywood in 2008.

Lesson from Lauren: counterbalance a full skirt with a simple formfitting top.

Conrad amped up her tank and jeans with a printed scarf, quilted Chanel bag, and oversize shades in Beverly Hills.

Lesson from Lauren: breathe new life into your closet staples with printed and textured accessories.

In 2008, Lauren went bold in a colorful creation at The Hills season four finale in NYC. Though we love her embellished mini, her faux bob is what really caught our eye.

Lesson from Lauren: instantly freshen up your go-to pieces with an unexpected hairdo.

Lauren cinched her breezy printed maxidress with a thin leather belt at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards.

Lesson from Lauren: a colorful maxi is a welcome change from standard minis.

Lauren attended a Hollywood party in a velvet Jeffrey Monteiro mini dress, a Joie [7] sequined jacket, and strappy Topshop [8] heels in 2009.

Lesson from Lauren: elevate a simple slip dress with a sequined topper for an effortlessly glam pairing.

LC opted for edgy glamour, topping her sequined dress with a leather bomber jacket at the Late Show With David Letterman in 2009.

Lesson from Lauren: don't be afraid to pair unconventional textures, as they create the coolest combos.

LC posed in a printed Lela Rose [9] mini while sitting front row at the designer's show during New York Fashion Week in 2009.

Lesson from Lauren: accentuate your dress's embellishments with coordinating nail polish.

Donning a tie-dyed maxi with breezy beach waves and a signature braid, Lauren Conrad [10] was the epitome of California cool at an AIDS Foundation party in LA in 2009.

Lesson from Lauren: maxi dresses transition easily from day to night, so make them your Summer go-to.

LC attended New York Fashion Week in a mint green dress in 2009.

Lesson from Lauren: pastels play up a sun-kissed glow.

At the 2009 MTV Movie Awards, LC went goth glam in a ruffled rose-print Moschino [11] dress and lace-up leather sandals.

Lesson from Lauren: swap your pretty party style for a punk-chic look — don't forget the dark red lip.

Lauren sported this splashy floral Mara Hoffman [12] dress for the Hollywood Style Awards in 2009.

Lesson from Lauren: balance a high-wattage creation with beach waves and neutral pumps.

LC sparkled in this green sequined Alice + Olivia minidress in 2009.

Lesson from Lauren: for an updated party look, swap your basic black sequins for a gem hue.

LC went for a grown-up look for an Avon [13] event in 2009, wearing a curve-hugging Hervé Léger dress and YSL Tribute pumps.

Lesson from Lauren: a red lip and coordinating nail polish oozes ladylike sophistication.

Another classic Lauren look: white tee, ruffle-accented skirt, and tan leather sandals, complete with a matching satchel and oversize shades.

Lesson from Lauren: there are millions of ways to jazz up a basic white tee.

California-girl cool in a drapey black tee, shorts, and gladiator heels in 2009.

Lesson from Lauren: black on black is forever fashionable.

Lauren juxtaposed her curve-hugging cobalt bandage skirt with a rough leather jacket while heading to Lo Bosworth [14]'s 23rd birthday party in LA.

Lesson from Lauren: don't be afraid to mix trends.

Lauren Conrad [15] attended the opening of LA's Hyde Lounge in DVF leather leggings, a slouchy white blouse, and sexy Givenchy [16] heels.

Lesson from Lauren: black and white is a tried-and-true staple.

LC went black on black for a party in 2009.

Lesson from Lauren: ruffles can be sweet and sexy.

Lauren hit the town in polka dots and liquid leather in 2009 — we love the bright blue clutch!

Lesson from Lauren: sometimes it's all about the accessories.

Lauren looked sweet and business casual at a Lucky event in 2009.

Lesson from Lauren: a crisp blazer will refine any look.

LC channeled '40s-inspired chic for the VH1 Save the Music Gala in 2010 — she wore a gorgeous, low-cut blue Topshop [17] dress and deep red lipstick.

Lesson from Lauren: it's not only about the dress when channeling Old Hollywood glamour — take it up a notch with a chic chignon.

Lauren looked casual chic in a sweater and leggings at Disney on Ice in 2010.

Lesson from Lauren: stay toasty and trendy with a slouchy beanie.

While out and about in NYC, Conrad worked a bright yellow coat, complete with ruffle detail.

Lesson from Lauren: never underestimate the power of a statement coat.

Lauren looked red hot in body-conscious Hervé Léger for her book party in 2010.

Lesson from Lauren: a sexy silhouette in a look-at-me hue always makes a statement.

She wore a short-sleeved, draped blue BCBG Max Azria dress for a book signing in 2010.

Lesson from Lauren: pairing blue with black is no longer off limits [18].

Promoting her book in a psychedelic-print Nanette Lepore [19] dress in 2010.

Lesson from Lauren: balance bold prints with streamlined shoes.

For the finale party of The Hills in 2010, Lauren wore a long-sleeved, printed Mandalay dress with nude pumps from Aldo.

Lesson from Lauren: give your printed mini a playful touch with a no-fuss ponytail.

Lovely in a white lace Marchesa [20] dress for a book signing in 2010.

Lesson from Lauren: white lace is always welcome.

Donning a tan dress cinched with a yellow belt for an NYC event in 2010.

Lesson from Lauren: tan and yellow fuse well together.

For Teen Vogue's Young Hollywood party in 2010, Lauren sported an olive green Myne [21] blouse tucked into high-waisted black shorts.

Lesson from Lauren: give your minidresses a rest and try a structured blouse and high-waisted shorts.

Sleek and sophisticated in a blue kimono top and scalloped shorts for an event in 2010.

Lesson from Lauren: play with proportions — a draping top and fitted shorts.

We're loving Lauren's cool 3.1 Phillip Lim high-waisted shorts.

Lesson from Lauren: cinch your high-waisted shorts to accentuate your fit figure.

Rocking a navy blue 3.1 Phillip Lim jumpsuit and Christian Louboutin [22] heels for the launch of her Got Milk! ad in 2010.

Lesson from Lauren: jumpsuits are suitable for day or night.

For a day spent running errands in 2010, Lauren wore a blousey tank, skinny jeans, and her ever-present Chanel chain-strap bag.

Lesson from Lauren: take the time to primp a bit, even while running errands.

At a 2012 book signing, Lauren posed in a watercolor maxi dress.

Lesson from Lauren: cinch your flowing dresses to create a sexier silhouette.

For the CoverGirl 50th Anniversary party in 2011, Lauren looked pretty and sophisticated in a nude silk wrap dress and Jimmy Choo [23] heels.

Lesson from Lauren: monochrome is anything but boring.

Conrad topped her denim cutoffs with a flowing striped top on her way to the salon in LA.

Lesson from Lauren: stripes are always in style.

For a Hollywood event in 2011, Lauren went edgy-cool in a pair of black leather Current/Elliott [24] pants with a white blazer and drapey top from her Paper Crown collection.

Lesson from Lauren: leather pants inject rock-chic edge to any ensemble.

Lauren celebrated her 25th birthday in a bronze sequined Farah Khan frock and pretty ballerina bun.

Lesson from Lauren: sequins are a birthday essential.

Sweet, girlie florals for an Alice + Olivia launch party in 2011.

Lesson from Lauren: you're never too old to play dress-up (check out Lauren's Grecian headband).

Lauren sported a pretty cream-colored BCBG Max Azria paillette frock for an event in 2011.

Lesson from Lauren: don't be afraid to mix textures.

For the InStyle Golden Globes afterparty in 2012, LC wore a navy blue Paper Crown dress with strappy Jimmy Choo [25] sandals.

Lesson from Lauren: every girl needs a LND — little navy dress — in her closet.

Lauren celebrated her 26th birthday in a bold blue sequined Alice + Olivia dress in 2012.

Lesson from Lauren: you'll be dance floor ready at any party with a sky-high ponytail.

Lauren bundled up in a long gray trenchcoat, rain-proof boots, and an oversize Balenciaga [26] bag at LAX.

Lesson from Lauren: it's all about layers for a fashionable and functional travel style.

Lauren took New York Fashion Week by storm in September 2012 wearing a slew of feminine floral looks — she paired this gorgeous Badgley Mischka [27] dress with a ballet bun and red lipstick.

Lesson from Lauren: a floral sheath, nude pumps, and slick top knot are a winning combo.

Lauren attended Jenny Packham [28]'s Spring 2013 runway show in a flirty dress by the designer, which she paired with nude Christian Louboutin [29] pumps.

Lesson from Lauren: coordinating your bag and shoes is no longer a fashion faux pas.

For the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in 2012, Lauren wore a sweet polka-dot dress from her Paper Crown collection.

Lesson from Lauren: go girlie with a polka-dot dress and platform Mary Janes.

Lauren hopped on the leather dress train in a knee-length Johanna Johnson dress in 2012.

Lesson from Lauren: a leather fit-and-flare is equal parts edgy and feminine.

Lauren exited the NBC Studios in an aztec-print Tibi [30] blouse and peach chiffon skirt in 2012.

Lesson from Lauren: double-up on pastels for a feminine combo.

For a ShoeMint event in 2012, Lauren wore a cream-colored lace dress with her beloved nude Christian Louboutins.

Lesson from Lauren: get a double dose of sweetness with a lace mini and bow belt.

Conrad styled her leather shorts with a mustard sweater and strappy leather sandals during a Hollywood outing in 2012.

Lesson from Lauren: counterbalance short shorts with a conservative top.

On a 2012 promotional book tour, Lauren chose an orange Harlyn fit-and-flare to greet fans and sign copies in Bal Harbour, FL.

Lesson from Lauren: embrace Summer with an orange fit-n-flare.

Lauren was all smiles in a mixed-print Rebecca Minkoff [31] maxi for NYFW Spring 2013.

Lesson from Lauren: black, white, and red is a trendy triple threat.

LC opted for a quirky printed Kate Spade [32] fit-and-flare at the designer's Spring 2013 presentation during NYFW.

Lesson from Lauren: don't be afraid to capitalize on your love of cheeky prints.

Lauren partied alongside Lea Michele [33] at Coachella in 2012 — we love her striped Free People [34] shorts and straw hat.

Lesson from Lauren: add a personal twist when dressing for the occasion.

Lauren Conrad [35] got back to basics with a textured floral dress by Lela Rose [36] and nude platform pumps at a book signing in NYC.

Lesson from Lauren: accentuate your gorgeous gams with leg-lengthening pumps.

Lauren rocked a crisp white-on-white ensemble (and a hot-pink ponytail) for a book signing in 2012.

Lesson from Lauren: white on white is crisp, clean, and chic.

Lauren showed off a sweet, sophisticated Topshop [37] and Paper Crown pairing for a party in Beverly Hills in 2012.

Lesson from Lauren: a draping maxi skirt evokes elegance.

Lauren married camel and black in a crisp blazer, leather pants, and perforated booties in 2011.

Lesson from Lauren: camel and black make a powerful pair.

Lauren paired her dark denim skinnies with a white lace top and basic black flats in LA.

Lesson from Lauren: a few posh accessories elevate casual separates.

In 2012, Lauren exuded retro glamour in a black and white gown, red lip, and cascading curls, complete with jeweled hair pin, at the Susan G. Komen Foundation's Designs For the Cure Gala.

Lesson from Lauren: colorblocking is always a hit.

Flower shopping in flared jeans and a pretty blue button-down blouse.

Lesson from Lauren: give your skinny jeans a break by swapping for flared denim.

Lauren wore a bright yellow Yoana Baraschi [38] party dress for a book signing at Barnes & Noble in 2012.

Lesson from Lauren: no need to over-accessorize a gorgeous dress.

We love Lauren's fun take on holiday dressing — she wore this Lot78 sweater with leather leggings and pumps in 2012.

Lesson from Lauren: aim to be fashionable and festive.

Lauren made an LA outing look completely chic in 2012 — she styled a cheetah-print from C. Wonder with black skinny jeans and flats.

Lesson from Lauren: a pop of leopard is paramount.

Lauren took in a day of errands in 2013, looking cute and enjoying the warm LA weather in a MINKPINK [39] shirtdress and Christian Louboutin [40] heels.

Lesson from Lauren: give structure to a printed shirtdress with a thin belt.

Lauren looked ravishing in a red cotton minidress and tan wedges for an outdoor Miami event in 2013.

Lesson from Lauren: when in Miami, do as the Miamians do — go for the bold.

For a Miami runway show in March, Lauren went Old Hollywood. She wore a black halter-style gown from Camilla and Marc [41], which she paired with red lipstick and '40s-style waves.

Lesson from Lauren: switch your classic LBD for a long black dress.

Lauren wore a strapless gown from her own Paper Crown collection on the red carpet at the Unbridled Eve Gala ahead of the Kentucky Derby in May.

Lesson from Lauren: bows can be sweet and sophisticated.

Lauren went all out for the Kentucky Derby in 2013, staying true to the dress code in a tan sheath dress from her Paper Crown collection. She paired the look with nude heels from her LC For Kohl's line, as well as a Derby-appropriate oversize hat.

Lesson from Lauren: embrace the occasion while staying true to your signature style.

Lauren was the picture of sexy sophistication at a Malibu Rum event in May — she wore a black collared dress with two thigh-high slits, which she paired with nude sandals and hot-pink lipstick.

Lesson from Lauren: make your monochrome look standout by incorporating a dash of sex appeal — like the perfectly placed slits in Lauren's maxi skirt.

Conrad was high tea ready in a blossoming Paper Crown holiday collection sheath for the launch of her BlueAvocado XO(eco) collection in September 2013.

Lesson from Lauren: lend a playful touch to your sophisticated sheath with a high ponytail.

Looking minimalist-chic, Lauren styled her cuffed denim with an off-the-shoulder camel sweater and nude flip flops in West Hollywood.

Lesson from Lauren: sometimes it's good to get back to basics.


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