Lauren Conrad’s timing couldn’t be any better. After all, “save the date” cards and invitations are just beginning to trickle in for everything from weddings to dinner parties and everything in between. With spring just around the corner, there’s also a promise of nights out that don’t require a jacket and impromptu after-work drinks on the closest rooftop bar. Thankfully, with all this in mind, LC’s Dress Up Shop has just arrived today at Kohl’s.
The line is Conrad’s latest way to offer up affordable, sophisticated, and pretty styles that are perfect for every RSVP you have. And to get a better idea of Conrad’s new collection, we chatted one-on-one with the designer and style savant. Because if one thing’s for certain, despite an upcoming fine jewelry launch and waiting for her family to grow by one more this year, Conrad knows her way around a party.
>Keep scrolling to check out our conversation and Conrad's best advice.
WHO WHAT WEAR: Congrats on the launch of your new line! What makes this one special from other collections you’ve had in the past?
LAUREN CONRAD: The thing that’s so exciting about the Dress Up Shop is that it all pieces that are meant for special occasions. Weddings, showers, birthday parties, girls’ nights out, whatever it is—we put a lot of thought into the items that we want to wear on these special nights and how do we want to wear them.
WWW: What’s one of the biggest party dressing challenges that you personally face? And how have you navigated your way around it now?
LC: Like most people, when I receive an invite to any sort of occasion, one of my first thoughts is “What am I going to wear?” And it’s sort of bittersweet because I get excited—I get to go shopping and find something—but I also feel a little bit stressed to find the right look that’s appropriate to that occasion and something I’ll feel nice in. I think that appropriateness is super important, and that’s something we really took into consideration here.
WWW: Speaking of appropriate, we’d love to get your own dos and don’ts of party dressing. For instance, besides wearing white, what’s something you should never wear as a wedding guest?
LC: I think when it comes to weddings, there’s a few things to consider. Again, appropriateness is really important. So, if a ceremony is being held in a church. I think it’s good to find out the type of establishment where maybe shoulders need to be covered, so you need to plan for a layering piece. Also, wearing anything loud—that could be anything from color to hemline—is usually not appropriate. I think anything that distracts from the bride is good to avoid.
WWW: So many pieces in the collection some in an array of really soft, pretty colors. However, so many women’s go-to part look is an LBD. Can you suggest an alternative that works as well in a pinch?
LC: I’m also a fan of a little black dress, we actually have a little black minidress in the collection. It tends to be a safe option—black looks good on everybody. But I think when it comes to weddings, with the exception of once when I was actually in a wedding and asked to wear black, I don’t think I’ve ever actually worn black to a wedding. To me, a wedding is such a romantic event, so I like to wear softer, more washed-out colors. I think a neutral is really nice because it’s easy to accessorize with, so if you want to stay away from black, maybe look at something nude, or a nice blue, just one of those colors that look good on everybody.
WWW: Switching gears a bit, is there something you would never wear to a work party in a professional setting?
LC: That’s hard because the work parties that I go to are usually my own, so there’s not a lot of rules, and I’m usually barefoot pretty quickly [laughs]. Honestly, it depends. You work in fashion, so I’m sure there are fewer rules than it would if it was a more corporate office. I think it really depends on where you work, but again, just making sure that you’re not making anybody uncomfortable, but at the same time I don’t think you have to lose your sense of style.
WWW: In general, any party that has a specific dress code (like “cocktail” or “festive”) can be kind of confusing. What was the trickiest dress code that you have had to abide by, and what did you end up wearing?
LC: One of them—and I feel bad using them as an example because they’re so wonderful—is my parents and my in-laws, who threw William and I an engagement party, and it was so sweet of them but the dress code was “California casual,” and we had no idea what it meant, and we gave them such a hard time about it. Fortunately for me, I already had my outfit picked out—I was wearing white—but we definitely had some phone calls, and we had to clarify a bit. And actually when I was writing my book, Celebrate, I included a section on that too because the whole point of a dress code is to make sure that everybody is on the same page. So while it’s fun to get creative, it’s good to stick with a more traditional dress code that everyone understands.
What’s your best piece of wedding guest advice? Let us know in the comments.