The Dress Up Shop's assortment of wear-anywhere dresses is priced at $40 to $100, with most pieces exclusively available online (a few items will be stocked in physical stores). Conrad's expansion into bags will run you $39 to $89, while her first-ever fine jewelry collection is priced at $340 to $2,525. The Dress Up Shop's assortment of dresses, plus the debut LC Lauren Conrad handbags, are available today, but you'll have to wait until early March to shop the fine jewelry offerings.
Ahead, Conrad fills us in on the trio of new collections, and reminisces about some of her own memorable fancy-gown-clad memories. (Prom, anyone?)
Your latest Kohl’s drop includes the Dress Up Shop capsule. Why did you launch it?
"I spent a lot of time thinking about what I like to wear to special occasions, and where there was a void in the market. So we made a lot of beautiful dresses that can be worn to showers, weddings, and special events — but can also be incorporated into your everyday wardrobe."
Weddings definitely rank pretty high as far as special occasion dressing goes. What's the backstory of the dress you got hitched in?
“I was very fortunate, because my dress was Badgley Mischka; Mark [Badgley] and James [Mischka] created it for me. I was never someone who had something very specific in mind for my wedding, and the first time I went in, I just tried on every style imaginable; I gravitated towards more simple, closer-to-the-body styles, and I liked lace. So I knew those things, and then I met with Mark and James, and talked about my ideas; it was sort of based on a design they’d done in the past: it was lace with light embellishments.
“The one thing they were really cool about is that I wanted a really long train. The silhouette was simpler, so I wanted something dramatic. I had Mark and James put a 10-foot train on it — I only wore it during the ceremony, so I just let it really drag down the aisle. My friend [and Paper Crown co-founder], Maura, had to practice picking up the train really quickly and throwing it behind me because it was so long. She was up to the challenge.”
What’s the story behind your favorite prom dress?
“I was so excited to get my first prom dress, I went for the most literal 'prom dress' prom dress, ever. It was long, poofy, satin and very orange. I don’t know why I went with that color. I was just so excited to go to a dance, I guess, so I took it really seriously. I sort of looked like a pumpkin.”
As for a more ordinary special occasion, what’s your definition of a “date night” outfit?
“I’m a bit simpler for date night: I tend to do a fun heel with a leather pant and whatever top is suitable. If it’s a nicer restaurant, I’ll do something simpler, but if it’s somewhere I can have fun, I’ll do something that has movement to it, like one of the tops in the Dress Up Shop that’s covered with paillettes.”
You’re also launching fine jewelry for the first time. Why did you want to branch out into bigger-ticket baubles?
“It was exciting to work with some different materials; we wanted to do very classic, chic shapes. One of the designs is inspired by my own wedding ring: it's a simple solitaire in rose gold instead of yellow gold, because I love rose gold, too. Then, we have some colors, like green and purple amethysts, which I absolutely love, and morganite, which is a rosy, champagne hue. Plus diamonds, of course. The necklaces, bracelets, and earrings are very dainty so you can wear them alone or layered; the whole collection's very vintage inspired; it's very true to my personal style."
What's it like to know someone could be wearing something as significant as an engagement ring designed by you?
"That's something I love about designing wedding-related things, because you get to be a part of that memory in a small way, which is cool. It's very special! I know how much I love my engagement ring, and it's something you wear every day, hopefully for the rest of your life."
Since you're expecting, how have you navigated maternity fashion?
"My style hasn't changed too much; it's just dressing for a different body type. I've stuck with the same layering pieces and accessories. I'm just wearing a lot more stretchy fabrics. So I wear a lot of easy knit dresses and layer over those. I honestly haven't purchased a lot of maternity items, because I've had a bit of trouble finding things that are my style. The options are a bit limited, but I've been able to buy things from [non-maternity] labels, for the most part."
Your fellow Hills costar-turned fashion designer, Whitney Port, is also pregnant. Have you exchanged any maternity style tips or gripes?
"No, I have not, but I'm sure she has a has a lot of tips! She's very fashionable."
Click through to check out the entire Dress Up Shop collection.