In our college days, we stumbled to our 8 a.m. class clad in yoga pants and a hoodie (and that's when we were feelin' fancy). Not so for Lauren Maxwell, the 19 year-old blogger behind daily must-read Life Without Tanlines. She puts our school-day style to shame with her sophisticated (but never stuffy) twist on campus classics. Mixing high and low like a pro, Maxwell makes crazy-chic looks out of chain-store staples — and inspires us to step up our campus style (even if our school days are long behind us.)
And, since 'tis the season for giving, we got Maxwell to give us the skinny on her favorite holiday looks. Starting with her fave everyday staple — the denim shirt — Maxwell whipped up three chic looks perfect for you...or that super-stylish, impossible-to-gift friend. Ready to snag some major gift-giving and outfit inspiration? Click on to see Maxwell's must-haves!
Photo: Courtesy of Lauren Maxwell
Great style starts with a great statement piece — like this chic, Western-style denim shirt. Trust us, this baby's flattering on every body, and can be dressed down for an all-night study sesh — or way up for dancing 'til dawn with your girls. Click on to see Maxwell's brill styling tips — you'll never look at a denim shirt the same way again.
Girls' Night Out
"Sure, it's fun to go out in your tightest dress and highest heels — but sometimes it's more fun to dress for yourself and forget about who's watching. Girl's night is a time to catch up on celeb gossip, compare shoes...and rock your new favorite statement piece, the denim button-down. This vibrant dress is amazing on its own — but layered with the denim shirt, it's even cooler. This playful clutch doesn't just hold all of your essentials — it's essential to your evening. And these heels are so effortlessly sexy — your friends'll wish they had 'em. Bonus: Black eyeliner is a must for any night out — create a simple smokey eye or cat eye, and I promise, you'll never go unnoticed."
American Eagle Denim Western Shirt, $44.95, available at American Eagle; Alice and Olivia Adrienne Sleeveless Fitted Dress, $275, available at Alice and Olivia; Charlotte Olympia Domino Pandora Clutch, $1,100 Charlotte Olympia; Jeffrey Campbell Soiree Platform, $120, available at Nasty Gal; H&M Highlighter Bracelet, $6, available at H&M; Bobbi Brown Kohl Eyeliner in Black, $24, available at Bobbi Brown.
"When you're cramming for finals — or anytime you want to feel confident and comfortable — this denim top gets you out of the door fast...while still looking picture-perfect. I'm all about denim on denim — it's twice the comfort and style, especially with a fun floral print. This bag is so spacious it'd make Mary Poppins jealous — use it to tote study supplies to the library, then sling it over your shoulder for a dinner break. No time to break? Pack your favorite soup in this adorable thermos to squash the study munchies. And keep an eye on the time with this sporty watch — it's so cute, you'll never want to leave home without it!"
American Eagle Denim Western Shirt, $44.95, available at American Eagle; Free People Ditzy Floral Ankle Crop Jean, $78, available at Free People; Topshop Acrobatics Dalmation Sneaker $90, available at Nordstrom; Proenza Schouler PS11 Large Textured Leather Tote, $2,350, available at Net-A-Porter; Kate Spade Polka Dot Thermos, $35, available at Kate Spade; Juicy Couture Rich Girl 41 Watch, $195, available at Juicy Couture.
"Whether you're ice skating or drinking hot cocoa by the fire, holidays are the perfect time to go on a date with someone special — while looking your best, of course? I love these pants because they can be dressed up or down depending on the mood of the date. This vest completes the outfit and keeps you cozy, to boot. These shoes and necklace are the perfect accessories to dress up your denim — who doesn't love a little bit of sparkle? And this nail polish's festive burst of red is sure to grab some attention."
American Eagle Denim Western Shirt, $44.95, available at American Eagle; Alice by Temperley Liberty Faux Leather Skinny Pants, $330, available at Temperley London; DKNY Faux Fur Vest, $295, available at Saks Fifth Avenue; Charlotte Olympia Kitty Embroidered Velvet Flats, $595, available at Net-A-Porter; J.Crew Crystal Circle Necklace, $135, available at J.Crew; Chanel Nail Colour in Coromandel, $26, available at Chanel.