Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Review: Lauren Conrad Style

     I'm actually a bit surprised that it has taken me this long to gush about my fashion crush on Lauren Conrad, but I guess there's no time like the present. She takes up a good amount of my Inspiration Board for Pete's sake. And like an avid fan, I've been impatiently waiting for the release of this book the moment that I heard that she was going to be coming out with a style look along with the third and final installment of her LA candy series. I remember the day well. It was October 5, 2010 and like an obsessed teenager, the first thing I did that morning was call Barnes and Noble to have the books waiting for me at the register. How lame was I?!?! The publishing company Harper Teen actually released a preview of it online before it hit book shelves nationwide so that made me even more excited about its debut. And the moment that I finally flipped through my own copy, it was everything that I thought it would be and much more. 

     I've been a fan of Lauren Conrad since her friends called her LC and when was madly in love with Stephen Colletti. I've watched her evolved and matured as a person and in her fashion through two seasons of Laguna Beach and five seasons on The Hills. She went from that nervous intern at Teen Vogue with blonde streaks in her hair to this sophisticated designer often spotted with her black quilted Chanel chain handbag and suede Christian Louboutin heels. And that grown up and successful Lauren Conrad is the product of this very style book. The book is divided by three main sections -- Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle which consists of events like work, school, travel, and parties. 

Key Pieces 

Chapter 1: Building Your Wardrobe

     The first thing that will catch your attention about this book is how organized the chapters are and the beautiful images that appropriately corresponds with each chapter. Lauren used the photographer Matt Jones who also shoots her LC Lauren Conrad Collection for Kohls.  I love how her first chapter is dedicated to the key pieces that you should have in your closet. These so called 'key pieces,' as seen above, like a little black dress, jeans, a collared button down, a skirt, tailored blazer, and basic black pump are going to be "the foundation around which you'll build your wardrobe." The great thing about these basic essentials that every woman should have in her wardrobe is that each piece should suit your personal style in that it naturally varies for every woman. Check out Lauren's Go-To pieces below! What's more is that you're suppose to love each and everyone of these pieces so that you can come back to them over and over again. Once you have this foundation you will have the basic staples of building a versatile, fool-proof wardrobe. Who knew, right? It's such a no brainer. 

Lauren's Go-To Pieces

Chapter 2: The All-American Uniform -- Jeans and T-Shirts

     Growing up in a beach town in the east coast, all I wore in my teens were surf tees, jeans, and flip flops. Aside from the fact that it's extremely comfortable, it really is the classic American uniform. This chapter is great because it covers the basic need-to-know-information about jeans and t-shirts like finding the right pair, maintaining the wash of your jeans, hole repair, how to hem your own jeans, the perfect shoe and jean pairings, and how to layer t-shirts. It's filled with great advice for something as simple as jeans and a t-shirt. I know that when I'm out and about running errands and I'm in too much of a rush to put a decent outfit together, the first thing that I grab out of my closet are my skinny BDG jeans from Urban Outfitters, a white tee, and my Deeana and Ozzy gladiator sandals. It's way better than the pajamas that I wore to bed or sweat pants. 

Chapter 3: The Hunt -- How to Shop
     The one thing that we don't need a lesson from is how to shop. But the crucial thing that we do need to learn about shopping is how to avoid buyer's remorse and impulse purchases. I'm definitely guilty of this as I'm sure all of us are. I've left stores thinking, "do I really like/want/need this?" Lauren offers two great tips to avoid these situations. One -- shop based on instinct. Make a lap around the store and buy pieces that catch your eye upon first glance, because chances are, it will have the same effect when that specific piece is hanging in your closet. Two -- Don't buy something just because the price is right or simply because it's on sale. I love a good bargain and saving money when I shop, but there have definitely been moments when I've bought something from the sale section of Urban Outfitters only to find it being worn once and forever lost in my closet. You're better off investing that money in something that you really like and will wear often than on something on sale just because of it's 'you're-saving-money-appeal.' 

Chapter 4: Mastering Your Closet 

     I must admit that the most useful advice that I got out of this style book is from the section titled "Editing Your Closet." If you were to take a peek at my closet right now it's not very hard to notice that it's overflowing. It's because I have a bad habit of holding on to things. And do you want to know the most ridiculous part? Since my first year of college in 2006, I've gotten rid of so many clothes, five times to be exact, and it's still stuffed to the brim! Try out the Lauren Conrad method of tackling this problem: 

Take out every single thing in your closet and move it  all to a corner of the room. Make sure you have a clear work space for a large duffle, two canvas totes, and some trash bags. And then TRY EVERY SINGLE THING ON:
  • If you try on anything that's ripped or stained beyond repair, it goes in the trash bag. 
  • If you try on something and you're over it at first glance, place it in a second, separate trash bag, which will go to charity, like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. 
  • If you try on something that's ill-fitting but cool, put it in a tote bag, which is destined for a visit to the tailor's. 
  • If you try on something and it's not great on you but would be perfect on a friend, place it in the second bag. 
  • If you try on something and realize you haven't worn it in at least a year but don't feel quite ready to part with it, place it in the duffle bag. 
  • If you try on something that's a clear winner, it's earned a spot back in the closet. 
So what happens to the clothes you've put in the duffle bag? It goes under your bed and after six months or so have passed and you haven't been missing those pieces, it's time to donate them. This slowly induces the panic for those of us who have a really hard time parting with those clothes, aka ME. 

     The fifth chapter about accessories such as shoes, bags, jewelry, gloves, scarves, and nail polish is just as brilliant, but nothing that I already don't do or techniques that I already know about. It's a vast display of her personal favorite pieces like those before-mentioned black suede Christian Louboutin pumps that we often see her in and her vintage, beige quilted Chanel bag. In addition, the entire section dedicated to beauty is also one of my favorites. Her hair stylist Kristin Ess and make up artist Amy Nadine lets us in the secret to Lauren's famous side braid that she's often sporting during her time on The Hills and the classic liquid liner cat-eye that she never goes without and many other useful hair and make up tips. 

     Every page of this style book is an absolute delight, or at least to me. I know that statement might be a tad bit biased because I love and adore her style, but it really is filled with great tips and advice that all of us can find useful. It's a great reference book especially if you want a fashion do-over or a beginner's style guide. You guys are gonna love it.  I know you're going to love it! 

Love, KB

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I was on the fence about buying this book but I think it may be a fun read.