There are a handful of people on Instagram that I regularly turn to for inspiration for my outfits, and Costa-Mesa-based photographer Valérie Metz is one of them. Each of her outfits features warm, inviting colors and pays homage to her Latin roots. “Lately, I’ve been really into the 90s Chicana style with the baggy jeans, the tank tops, the Nikes,” she says. “I love looking at old photos of Chicana culture.” Here are five looks she’s worn in a week…
Dress: Lisa Says Gah, similar. Shoes: Lisa says Gah. Children’s dress: Zara, similar. Children’s sweater: Zara, similar. Footwear: Vintage, similar.
“Years ago, around the time I became a mom, everyone around me seemed to be wearing the trend of neutral sheets and wide-brimmed hats. I tried to dress that way and I didn’t feel like myself at all. Then I started looking at my own mother’s wardrobe and pictures of her as a young mother with my sister and I as a toddler. Her style was so cool; she rocked the high waisted baggy jeans. And she’s still super stylish. She’s 56 and wears Free People and 70s style overalls. See her sticking to what she loves over the years. time has helped me adopt clothes that feel natural to me, instead of what’s trendy.
Shirt: Urban Outfitters, similar. Skirt: Depop. Shoes: Steve Madden. Children’s romper: All small, similar. Children’s shoes: Crocs.
“Four years ago, I got into color psychology. 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 change. Before, I thought the red was too intense. But now I’m about to turn 30 and I feel like a woman and very confident. I’m ready to wear red.
“I am also inspired by my Hispanic culture. There is so much color and richness. And how we wear lots of gold jewelry, like hoops and the big Slave necklaces. Growing up, I was embarrassed to wear my name on my neck. At school, people made fun of me for wearing gold; people said it made me look “too” Hispanic or Latina. It makes me sad that I grew up in a time extremely close to POC, so now I fully accept it. I proudly wear all my gold!
Vest: Vintage, similar. T-shirt: All babies. Jeans: Levi’s vintage. 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 to college, so that’s when I started doing savings. Back then I fell in love with affordability and individuality. Now I save because it’s sustainable. Some of my favorite pieces are my 90s leather jacket and a dress in jeans that make me feel like J.Lo. And that pink sweater cardigan!
Children’s suit: Very small, similar. Children’s shoes: Crocs.
“My savings advice is to enter with a purpose. I create mood boards of the colors and eras of clothing I want to find. This makes it easier to walk into a store and find what I want without get distracted because most stores have their clothes divided by color and era, if you walk into a thrift store not having a clue what you’re looking for, that’s when it gets overwhelming because everything is screaming at you .
Shirt: Vintage, similar. Bandeau top: Arraei Collective. Shorts: Purre Boutique. Boots: Vintage via Landers Supply House, similar. Children’s dress: Vintage. Children’s boots: Mercari, similar.
“Thrift online has gotten really awesome too. I love Depop and Mercari has some great choices for kids. That’s where I found some cowboy boots for my daughter. The vintage clothes on kids are really great. cutest thing.
“My son doesn’t usually care what I put on him, but he has times when he wants a ‘Lightning McQueen’ shirt, and I’m like ‘ugh’. But I don’t want to be a fun sucker, so I Rio is more opinionated about her style; she’s an icon. She loves to wear boots with hats and frilly dresses, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, girl, To do this!'”
Shirt: Vintage, similar. Sports bra: Backbeat Co. Bike shorts: Aritzia. Shoes: Hoka. Children’s t-shirt: Cotton:On. Children’s shorts: Target. Children’s sneakers: Nike.
“I draw energy and inspiration from music. My Valentine’s Day playlist inspired me with pinks and reds. And I’m inspired by the people I follow on Instagram, like April Lockhart. She does a series of reels that focus on normalizing the presence of people with disabilities in your stream. Riyah Taylor wears makeup so well and has the nostalgic 90s down look. And Alani Figueroa is a woman of color who wears A LOT of color. You can tell she’s having fun with her style, and I love it.
Thank you very much, Valerie! (Follow her on Instagram and see her photos here, if you like.)
PS More women are sharing their weeks of outfits, including a lawyer from Toronto with great work clothes and a consultant from Seattle who loves prints.
(Photos by Nicki Sebastian for Cup of Jo.)