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As We Say A Fond Farewell to The Hills, A Look Back At Lauren Conrad's Standout Style

Lauren Conrad made a rare appearance with the entire cast of The Hills last night on the series' finale special. Among all of the girls on the show,

Lauren Conrad made a rare appearance with the entire cast of The Hills last night on the series' finale special. Among all of the girls on the show, Lauren has come to the forefront as the breakout style star. Teenagers all over the country emulate her looks (especially that side braid), and the phrase "as seen on Lauren Conrad" can cause an item to swiftly sell out. We've watched her taste evolve from that of a sporty high-school senior to a sophisticated young woman who counts Marc Jacobs and Phillip Lim among her favorites. She's no Jane Birkin, and we aren't sure that she should be considered a fashion "expert" as her yet-to-be-released

Laguna Beach Babe:

Here's a photo of Lauren from very early on in her career. While we loved her for being "the nice girl" and hoped she would prevail in the battle for Steven's heart, her style fell a little flat. Her bleach-blonde hair and layered racer-back tank tops were typical of a beach girl - I should know, I come from a beach town myself - but we had higher expectations for the TV star. She's even rocking dark roots and a mini-poof! Sorry, Snooki, we're not into it. Luckily for us, Lauren's style quickly evolved, and it's all uphill from here.

She Keeps It Classic:

Whether she's going out with friends or just running errands, Lauren keeps it simple by mixing fitted basics and adding killer accessories. Even if she's wearing jeans and a t-shirt, she will dress them up by adding a great pair of YSL Tributes or a Chanel bag, both seen here. Her polished, elegant style consistently lands her in magazines and has garnered her a huge following of young fans.

She's A Trendsetter:

Here are two photos of Lauren in 2007 wearing dresses by Alexander Wang. I'm willing to bet that very few people outside of the fashion circles had any idea who Alex was until over a year later, when his dresses started popping up on red carpets and Mary-Kate was spotted with his Rocco duffel. Since Lauren is a young designer herself (we're using that term loosely), it's great to see her supporting burgeoning talents before they're on everyone else's radar.

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She's Not Afraid to Take A Risk:

It seems that Lauren's style rule of thumb is to keep it casual, with a California-cool edge. We rarely see her in garments that are too tight, revealing, or overly trendy. However, she will spice it up every now and again on the red carpet, which is an exciting change from her consistent girly look. Almost anything she wears is a hit because she always carries herself with confidence and a smile.

She's Perfected Unfussy Glamour:

Practice makes perfect, and over the years, Lauren has truly mastered the art of undone glam. We all know that a stylist probably helps with her hair, but she never looks stuffy or too coiffed. We also give her credit for the popularity of that side-braid, which she wore in a number of different ways throughout her stint on The Hills.

She Has Killer Street Style:

It's a rare occurrence when Lauren is caught in a "natural setting", rather, without TV cameras following her and not in the middle of some staged scenario. When the paparazzi do unexpectedly snap her, she always looks one hundred percent put together, which is not an easy task. The scarf, the sunnies, the plaid shirt - she looks too adorable for words.