A lot of Lauren Maxwell's world is about artistic expression. The 24-year-old Aiken, S.C., native is finishing her master's degree in opera at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. She also uses her personal style to express herself. "I think of my style as a way to express myself artistically. Hopefully, it reflects my attitude of being warm and fun." We certainly thought so when we "Glimpsed" the Mount Vernon resident meeting a friend for dinner at City Cafe.

The look: Cream and magenta cotton long-sleeve knit top. Mustard wool zippered Lux cardigan. Dark-wash BDG skinny jeans. Khaki leather flat boots. Biodegradable hemp burlap wristlet.

Where it came from: She found the top at Anthropologie. Her cardigan, jeans and boots came from Urban Outfitters. She bought the purse at Red Tree in Hampden.

Her artistic style: "What I would like to be is elegant-meets-funky. I like vivid, vibrant colors. ... When I get dressed, I choose one piece and build around it. ... I like to incorporate different textures. I like to put together colors that are unconventional."

How she shops: "I am a graduate student, so my budget plays a large role. ... I am always scouring the sales racks. ... My favorite shops are Anthropologie, Target and Urban Outfitters. I like to visit a lot of boutiques in Hampden and Fells Point. I like Doubledutch [Boutique]."

What she looks for: "I always find myself going for mustardy yellows and lighter oranges - things that are in that warm, sunny family. I love wearing interesting skirts with fun tights. ... But jeans are always the most versatile and comfortable option. ... I like to find dresses that have that perfect mix of comfort and elegance."

Her favorites: "I really like interesting hair accessories, whether they're flowers or glitzy headbands. ... I'm really into artisan jewelry that's one-of-a-kind. I have a really long black necklace from Ten Thousand Villages. It has big red glass beads spaced around it and two yellow ones. I love wintertime because boots are so versatile ... I love sweater tights because they're really warm, and they come in interesting patterns. ..."

Her dog ate her handbag. Really: "I had just gotten a new puppy ... and he chewed up my handbag. Because of the budget thing, I had to go into my closet and find something that would work. It's a bit too small. But, I've been making it work."

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