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A Week of Outfits: Valerie Metz

A Week of Outfits: Valerie Metz

There are a handful of people on Instagram I routinely turn to for outfit inspiration, and Costa-Mesa-based photographer Valerie Metz is one of them. Each of her outfits features warm, inviting colors and pays homage to her Latina roots. “Lately, I’ve been really into 90’s Chicana style with the baggy jeans, the tanks, the Nikes,” she says. “I love looking at old photos of the Chicana culture.” Here are five looks she wore in a week…

A Week of Outfits: Valerie Metz

Dress: Lisa Says Gah, similar. Shoes: Lisa Says Gah. Child’s dress: Zara, similar. Child’s sweater: Zara, similar. Shoes: Vintage, similar.

“Years ago, around the time I first became a mom, everyone around me seemed to be wearing the trend of neutral linens and wide brimmed hats. I tried to dress that way and did not feel like myself at all. Then I started looking at my own mom’s wardrobe and photos of her as a younger mom with my sister and me as toddlers. Her style was so cool; she rocked the high-waisted baggy jeans. And she’s still really stylish. She’s 56 and wears Free People and ’70s-style overalls. Seeing her stick to what she likes over time has helped me embrace wearing clothes that feel natural to me, instead of what’s trending. ”

A Week of Outfits: Valerie Metz

Shirt: Urban Outfitters, similar. Skirt: Depop. Shoes: Steve Madden. Child’s romper: All Small, similar. Child’s shoes: Crocs.

“Four years ago, I got into the psychology of color. Colors have different meanings and affect your energy, so I want to wear colors that project my aura – inclusive and inviting. I wear a lot of yellow and orange, which radiate warmth. It’s cool to see how my colors are changing. Before, I thought red was too intense. But now I’m about to hit my 30s and feel like a woman and very confident. I’m ready to wear red. ”

A Week of Outfits: Valerie Metz

“I also take cues from my Hispanic culture. There is so much color and richness. And how we wear a bunch of gold jewelry, like hoops and the big Esclava necklaces. Growing up, I was embarrassed to wear my name on my neck. In school, I would get made fun of for wearing gold; people said it made me look ‘too’ hispanic or Latina. It makes me sad that I grew up during a time that was extremely close minded towards POC, so now I fully embrace it. I proudly wear all my gold! ”

A Week of Outfits: Valerie Metz

Vest: Vintage, similar. T-shirt: All the Babies. Jeans: Vintage Levi’s. Shoes: Steve Madden. Sunglasses: vintage via Landers Supply House.

“When I was 18, I moved from my hometown to Orange County. I was a broke girl trying to get through college, so that’s when I started thrifting. Back then, I fell in love with the affordability and individuality. Now I thrift because it’s sustainable. Some of my favorite pieces are my 90s leather jacket and a denim dress that makes me feel like J.Lo. And this pink sweater vest! ”

A Week of Outfits: Valerie Metz

Child’s jumpsuit: All Small, similar. Child’s shoes: Crocs.

“My thrifting advice is to go in with a specific purpose. I create mood boards of the colors and eras of clothing I want to find. This makes it easier to step into a store and find what I want without getting sidetracked, because most stores have their clothes divided by colors and eras. If you go into a thrift store without any idea what you’re looking for, that’s when it gets overwhelming because everything screams at you. ”

A Week of Outfits: Valerie Metz

Shirt: Vintage, similar. Bandeau top: Arraei Collective. Shorts: Purre Boutique. Boots: Vintage via Landers Supply House, similar. Child’s dress: Vintage. Child’s boots: Mercari, similar.

“Online thrifting has become really great, too. I love Depop, and Mercari has good picks for kids. That’s where I found cowboy boots for my daughter. Vintage clothes on kids is seriously the cutest thing. ”

A Week of Outfits: Valerie Metz

“My son usually doesn’t care what I put him in, but he does have moments where he wants a ‘Lightning McQueen’ shirt, and I’m like ‘ugh.’ But I don’t want to be a fun sucker, so I go with it. Rio is more opinionated about her style; she’s an icon. She loves wearing boots with hats and frilly dresses, and I’m like, ‘Yes, girl, do it! ‘”

A Week of Outfits: Valerie Metz

Shirt: Vintage, similar. Sports bra: Backbeat Co. Biker shorts: Aritzia. Shoes: Hoka. Child’s T-shirt: Cotton: On. Child’s shorts: Target. Child’s sneakers: Nike.

“I get energy and inspiration from music. My Valentine’s Day playlist got me inspired with pinks and reds. And I find inspiration from people I follow on Instagram, like April Lockhart. She’s doing a reel series that focuses on normalizing seeing disabled people in your feed. Riyah Taylor does her makeup so well and has the nostalgic 90s look down. And Alani Figueroa is a woman of color who wears a LOT of color. You can tell she has fun with her style, and I love that. ”

A Week of Outfits: Valerie Metz

Thank you so much, Valerie! (Follow her on Instagram and see her photography here, if you’d like.)

PS More women share their weeks of outfits, including a Toronto attorney with great workwear and a Seattle consultant who loves prints.

(Photos by Nicki Sebastian for Cup of Jo.)

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