The Only Item Lauren Conrad Kept From Laguna Beach & The Hills

Photo: Courtesy of Kohl's.
Lauren Conrad, the star of our favorite early-aughts reality shows turned lifestyle guru, is constantly turning out new, affordable collections, be it for dressy occasions or everyday wear, thanks to her long-running pair-up with Kohl's. Her latest collection of her LC Lauren Conrad line is festival-themed, though there's plenty of use for the summery pieces even if you're not headed to Bonnaroo or Governor's Ball. (FYI, Conrad herself isn't actually a festival fanatic, as you'll see below.) Normally, Conrad stars in all of the campaigns for her two lines with the retailer, but since she's pregnant right now, she cast a member of the Kohl's Yes2You loyalty program (who's also a big LC fan), Ohio-based style and beauty blogger, Kayla Watters, to model her festival-ready designs.
You can shop the collection today; click through to check out some looks from the collection. But first, Conrad talked us through her newest threads for Kohl's, her biggest festival fashion pet peeve, and some nostalgia-filled trends she's not going to be attired in anytime soon. Oh, and if you're just getting into spring cleaning mode now, you're in luck: The star did a massive cleanse of her wardrobe recently, and has some useful tips for making the process bearable if you're a self-proclaimed packrat like her. Though there is a particular, probably quite recognizable item from when we first meet Conrad, many years ago — attention, fellow O.G. Laguna Beach and The Hills fanatics — that didn't get scrapped in the clean-out, which you can also check out in the slideshow ahead.
Why did you want to work on a festival collection?
“I’ve always loved boho, free-flowing styles that you see all over at festivals. It’s very California and summery-feeling. I really like the dresses — there’s nothing better in the summer than throwing on a dress, some flats, and going out the door. We did one really beautiful maxi, and a couple tiered dresses with a little bit of subtle metallic, and a sunny palette with a lot of yellow.”
Are there any festival trends you’re totally over?
“I only did one year at Coachella, actually! I like going to concerts, but it’s a lot. Half the reason I went was for the outfits — it’s really hot, there are big crowds; honestly, I’m not a big fan of Coachella, but putting together my looks was the most fun part, so I got to do the part I enjoy while working on this collection.
"But something that’s overdone — and I’m finally seeing it die down — is the giant flower crowns. They started out so dainty, like daisy chains, and now they’ve just gotten bigger and bigger; they look so crazy now. Some of them are the size of peoples’ heads — it looks like they’ll tip over!”
What are your thoughts on chokers, which Taylor Swift dubbed the new flower crown of the festival circuit last year?
"I really like chokers, but I’m not great about pulling them off. I wore them the first time around, in middle school, and now that the trend is back, I feel too old to wear it. I wear them every once in a while, but mostly, I like them on other people.”
Any other throwback trends that you're not here for?
“I was shopping the other day, and I saw Rocket Dogs again — I was like, oh no! We’re going back to those? All the rolled ankles. I just can’t.”
Did you wear those super-high flip flops back in the day?
“Yeah, I did, and I wore them with my Juicy Couture velour suit. My parents wouldn’t buy Rocket Dogs for me; I had to buy them for myself. I loved my Frankie Bs, too.”
Where do you stand on flip-flops in general? They can be a pretty divisive footwear choice…
“Oh, I love flip-flops! I always have. Not for every day; I won’t wear them if I’m going out to dinner or somewhere more dressed up, but I wear them pretty often; several days a week. I have lots of pairs. Do people really not like flip-flips?! Maybe it’s a California thing. My friends that live out of the state often don’t own flip-flops, and it’s always so funny to me. I steal them when I do Kohl’s shoots, actually, and give them to my friends when they visit. Listen, if flip-flops are wrong, I don’t want to be right.”
Lots of people get really into spring cleaning — what, from your days on Laguna Beach and The Hills, are you probably never throwing away?
"Something I have that I just can’t part with, and will probably never wear again, is a pair of jeans that I wore when I was filming both Laguna Beach and The Hills: A capri-length, cuffed, heavily-distressed pair. They're in the opening of The Hills; I wore them to move into my first apartment in L.A., and I don’t know why, but I just can’t break up with them. They’re still in my closet. That’s probably the only piece that survived from high school — this year, I got rid of, like, 70% of my clothing."
Have you worn them since?
"I haven't; I doubt they would fit anymore! Especially now that I'm pregnant. But they’re also a little too short — they’re not even, like, a pedal pusher length. They’re cut right below the knee. I don’t know if that length is coming back anytime soon. Although they probably will, now that I’ve said that!”
Back to that epic closet clean-out — how did you purge so much?
“I started reading that book The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, and it was too aggressive for me because I’m a bit of a packrat. But the one piece of advice I took from that book was to shop your own closet, meaning don’t go through everything and say, ‘keep this,’ ‘get rid of that’ — instead, go through your closet and basically pull out everything you still wear and really like, and get rid of everything else.
"I’ve always taken the opposite approach, but I’m the person who’s like, 'I might need this some day!’ even though there’s just zero chance. So I tried to be pretty cutthroat. Everything I was iffy about, I packed up in a bag and stored in a spare closet. The deal is, if I don’t open the bag in six months, then I’m just going to donate it all.”
We’ve discussed how you’ve been less than thrilled with maternity clothing. What are you most eager to wear again after giving birth?
“Anything with a waist! I’ve always loved high-waisted pieces or nipped-at-the-natural-waist looks, because I have shorter legs. I’ll be excited to break out those pieces again.”
Is your swimwear repertoire different now that you’re pregnant?
“Not really. I've had to size up a little, but wearing the same bikinis. I’m kind of a fan of a pregnant body, so I don’t feel the need to cover it up. A lot of the maternity swim options are tankinis, which I just couldn’t get on board with. If you’re going with a tankini, why not just do a one-piece instead of having one inch of skin showing? I don’t think I’ve worn a tankini since childhood. A trend that looks really awesome but I can’t get into personally is really strappy one-pieces. My skin just tans really fast, so I’ll instantly get a crazy design, and then have weird stripes for the next couple weeks.”
Have you bought much baby clothing yet?
“I have — that’s the first thing I got [once I was pregnant]. These tiny people need so much stuff! I actually went a little crazy early on. I bought so many clothes, I had to cool it. But I have a bunch of other friends that are pregnant, so if it’s too much stuff, I can gift some of it. Tiny clothes are just so cute.”