Embracing My Inner Stevie Nicks

inner stevie nicksSometimes a $10 purchase is a really good idea. I’ve been looking for more “throw and go” dresses – is that a thing? I’m going to pretend like it is. You know, something that you don’t have to iron that you can just throw on with some cute shoes and maybe a necklace and walk out the door looking like you planned the whole thing. This $10 black dress from H&M totally fit the bill.

Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan 232webWhen I was buying this gorgeous $39 coat from H&M, I needed something else in my cart so I could get free shipping. Because why pay $7 shipping when you can pay $10 for another item? #logic

Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan 270web This black dress was my everything. Nice and long, full length sleeves and a crew neck meant I didn’t have to worry about wardrobe malfunctions or undergarment issues and the fact that it’s oversized meant that it would almost certainly fit. And it did! Admittedly, it’s not the most “flattering” dress but sometimes that really doesn’t matter. Actually most of the time that doesn’t matter, if you like wearing oversized clothes 24/7 you do you.

For this shoot I knew I wanted to wear the tattoo choker that Sevi provided us with for Stephanie’s 90s themed roller skating party. I threw on a hat and I was really feeling like Stevie Nicks in the best way possible. My favorite metallic heeled booties from Target finished off the look. I headed out the door, husband and camera in tow.

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Hat: Forever 21 ($20; similar & on sale!) | Dress: H&M ($10; exact, I’m wearing a L but could have easily sized down) | Necklace: Gifted (exact & literally $.20) | Booties: Target ($30; exact)

Simple. Comfy. Easy to wear. This outfit had it all.

Oh, what else did it have? It also doubled as a peep show for everyone I encountered in public. Not until I was already having my photos taken did I realize that the dress is semi sheer. Not like see through, but sheer enough that when the light hit me just right, you could see my entire leg and underpants. COOL.

Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan 224webIt made choosing photos for this post easy though – “Can I see my underwear? No? Okay, I’ll use this one!”

Honestly, I’d still recommend this dress. It’s seriously insanely comfortable and the see through problem can easily be remedied with a slip or some shorts (or not if that’s what you’re into). I’m sad though because now it requires a lot more thought – I have to plan my undergarments which goes against my whole reasoning for buying the dress.

The moral of the story is, sometimes you really need to step outside in the sun and do an undergarment check before you go to the park with lots of people. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

xoxo
Valery


How a Texan Survived Chicago Winter Weather

how to dress for winter weatherWhen I was packing for Chicago, I was honestly freaking out a bit. I’ve lived in Texas my whole life and a Chicago winter (even if it’s been mild this year) was nothing short of terrifying to me! Everyone I talked to said the key was layering – which is not something I excel at, if we’re being honest. Also I knew my short peacoat was not going to cut it and (even though I LOVE it), there was no way I was going to travel with my beloved vintage faux fur coat. So basically packing led to a meltdown. Okay maybe “meltdown” is a little melodramatic but STILL.

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Photos by Tek Chung

Here’s how this Texas girl survived – nay, dominated – four days in Chicago.

  1. Black and white. To keep things simple, I decided to pack all black and white. That’s what I wear most often these days anyway and I knew I could mix and match easily and add more layers in if necessary. Some button down shirts, a sweater, leggings, a t shirt dress and jeans were all I needed. Everything matched so I didn’t have to worry much about “outfits.”
  2. Smart shoes. As much as I desperately wanted to wear some cute loafers or even booties, I’m glad I listened to my gut. A snowy Chicago winter means you NEED boots and they have to be waterproof. A pair of faux patent combat boots and some duck boots served me well. Admittedly, I could have survived with one pair but I knew I would be taking outfit photos and wanted a bit of variety.
  3. Ridiculous scarves. I packed two scarves – a VERY long scarf that I could wrap around my neck and a faux fur infinity scarf. The faux fur scarf was a life saver because it also blocked the wind from my face.
  4. Layering. No matter what you think, one layer on your legs is NOT enough. With my coat and a long sleeved shirt, my torso was always warm but my legs were always FREEZING. Even leggings underneath jeans or two pairs of leggings wasn’t enough. You really need long socks and at least two layers of pants – three if you can swing it.
  5. Hoods. Have a hood available at all time. You will wear it often and it will seriously make all the difference in the world.
  6. Warm hands and feet. I got lucky and picked up a pair of leather gloves at Target on clearance right before we left and I’m SO glad I did. Without gloves I seriously would have been miserable and believe me when I tell you cotton gloves are NOT enough. Also regular socks probably aren’t going to do the trip. Try to bring at least one pair of long wool socks and layer your regular socks underneath.
  7. The right coat. Do NOT underestimate the power of a good coat. I’m bummed this particular coat is only available in a few sizes now but I cannot recommend it enough! It wasn’t super heavy or bulky but provided the warmth I needed – also it’s on sale for $39.99! Total steal.

Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan19-web Dallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan63-webDallas Fashion Blogger Valery Brennan21-webBy the way, you may or may not know the story of this “little black dress” – if you’re unfamiliar you have to go read this post before you go any further.

Now that we’re all caught up – you may think it’s insane that I’m wearing it again on this blog. I kind of do, honestly. But y’all this dress is SO comfy and so perfect for layering! I knew I was going to be wearing black jeans or leggings every day and I really wanted to try to work in a dress. With this dress, I was still able to wear two layers of leggings and still be relatively warm. The short sleeves meant I could highlight my white button down underneath. It’s always plenty warm inside buildings so I wanted to make sure I could take my coat off and still look pulled together.

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Click on any of the bold links below to shop!

Coat: H&M ($39.99; exact) | Dress: Zaful ($10; exact; similar) | Button Down: Gifted (similar) | Bag: TJ Maxx ($29.99; similar; similar; similar) | Lips: NYX Matte Lipstick in Minx ($6.99; exact) | Leggings: Charlotte Russe ($10; exact) | Boots: Target ($20; similar) | Glasses: Polette ($17; exact) | Necklace: BaubleBar ($16 on super sale; exact still available!)

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How do you survive the cold?! As much as I loved Chicago, the 65 degree weather here in Dallas wasn’t so bad either 🙂

xoxo
Valery


Thursday Threads | Happiness Boutique Statement Necklace

A t shirt dress, denim vest, combat boots and a statement necklace make this outfit simple and affordable but easy to pull together. Also included is a way to recreate this whole outfit for under $100! Click through for the details and to get even more affordable outfit ideas!

Statement necklaces are basically what my dreams are made of, and if you follow along here you know I have a pretty extensive collection. So of course when Happiness Boutique offered me a necklace to try their store I was overjoyed! After combing through their EXTENSIVE collection of necklaces, I chose the one that I felt fit my personal style best.

Photos by Stephanie Drenka | Necklace: c/o Happiness Boutique ($27.95; exact) | Dress: Forever 21 ($15; similar) | Denim Vest: Buffalo Exchange ($15; similar) | Boots: Target ($30; exact and on sale!)

A gorgeous statement necklace is an easy and simple way to dress up an otherwise simple outfit. Click through for the details on how to recreate this look for less than $100 and to get even more affordable outfit ideas!

A number of things attracted me to the Bold Silver Toned Statement Necklace: the size, shape, the sheer number of gems, the fact that the gems were grey and of course the art deco inspired design!

The best part about a statement necklace is it can take a super simple outfit to the next level. Exhibit A: I love my acid wash t shirt dress from Forever 21, but it’s not exactly the most exciting piece. A denim vest brings a little more excitement to the outfit but the statement necklace really knocks it out of the park. I balanced the formal statement necklace with combat boots to keep the outfit nice and casual.

A t shirt dress, denim vest, combat boots and a statement necklace make this outfit simple and affordable but easy to pull together. Also included is a way to recreate this whole outfit for under $100! Click through for the details and to get even more affordable outfit ideas! A gorgeous statement necklace is an easy and simple way to dress up an otherwise simple outfit. Click through for the details on how to recreate this look for less than $100 and to get even more affordable outfit ideas! A t shirt dress, denim vest, combat boots and a statement necklace make this outfit simple and affordable but easy to pull together. Also included is a way to recreate this whole outfit for under $100! Click through for the details and to get even more affordable outfit ideas!

Another great thing about Happiness Boutique (besides their eclectic selection and high quality necklaces) is they have a fantastic customer reward program! Not only do you own points for every dollar spent, you can also earn points by writing a review, adding a photo to your review, posting a photo on social media AND sharing your purchases on social media. Basically there are a lot of free ways to earn points and points = free jewelry. And you know I’m all about free!

Oh and did I mention free shipping? YEP!

Speaking of free, here’s how to steal my style for under $100! Click the links below the photo for the details on each item, several of them are on sale so snag them while you can!

Here’s everything you need to recreate this fantastic easy and edgy outfit for less than $100! A t shirt dress, denim vest, combat boots and a statement necklace make this outfit simple and affordable but easy to pull together. Click through for the details and to get even more affordable outfit ideas!

Dress ($12.90) | Denim vest  ($22.49) | Exact Necklace ($27.95) | Exact shoes ($26 on sale!)

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Thursday Threads | Going Gatsby

The perfect Great Gatsby costume that you could wear everyday too! The best part? All three main pieces were thrifted! Click through for the details and to see the entire Gatsby inspired flapper look.

You know how sometimes you just want to feel super glamorous like you don’t have a care in the world and no one can touch you? Come on, I know you’ve been there! Well, thankfully I run with some highly talented and creative folks, and one of them totally let me live out that dream for a day.

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In case you’re not aware, I have a side hustle selling Gatsby headbands on Etsy, the store is called With Love From Rigby. I like to call them “everyday Gatsby,” headbands because they can be dressed up, worn as part of a 20s costume or just worn with everyday wear! I’m taking things a little more seriously than I have in the past, and decided a lookbook would be the perfect thing to revamp the shop and introduce some brand new styles. For this particular shoot, we went with a “modern Gatsby” feel and I couldn’t be happier with how the photos turned out.

Stephanie Drenka is one of the most talented people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, and her willingness to help my vision come to fruition was a total dream come true. We opted for the dreamy white background of her studio, complimented by some Gatsby-inspired decor and all of the models wore black and gold. Jaclyn of Pretty Petals, Natalie of The Fashion Hour and one of my oldest friends, Chelsea all offered to model With Love From Rigby Gatsby headbands and I can’t imagine a better group of ladies to work with. How gorgeous are they?!

Photos by Stephanie Drenka

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Bubbly was a MUST for this photoshoot….you know, for the sake of accuracy….yeah, that’s why! 😉

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Of course, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to go all-out glam so even though it was 100 degrees outside, the fur coat made an appearance. My AMAZING flapper skirt ended up pairing perfectly with a sequin top that I almost sold to Plato’s Closet earlier that week! Probably the first time I’ve ever been thankful they didn’t take something of mine haha. Both the skirt and top were purchased secondhand – something I HIGHLY recommend! You get a great bargain + it’s green + you’re helping someone else out. I rounded out the look with simple earrings and my favorite Valentino knockoff shoes (less than $70 at DSW!)

Gatsby Headbands: With Love From Rigby, The Violet ($20; exact + discount code below) | Shirt: Secondhand ($15; similar) | Skirt: Secondhand ($36; similar; similar) | Jacket: Secondhand ($75; similar; similar) | Shoes: DSW ($70; exact) | Lips: NYX Simply Vamp in Enamored ($6; exact)

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If you like these Gatsby headbands and want one for yourself, you can check out my Etsy shop here! I’ve set up a special coupon code for my readers that will get you 25% off – just use the code ‘valerybrennan’ when you check out!

xoxo
Valery

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1. Subscribe to my newsletter and/or follow me on social media! (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)

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Thursday Threads | Everybody Walk the Dinosaur

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Just say the word dinosaur and I’m in. When my husband told me he was interested in getting a 3d printer, to be honest all I could think about was all the cool dinosaur stuff I could print. After some trial and error, he totally nailed it with this t rex necklace.

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Since the necklace is a little childish (in the best way), I needed to make the rest of the outfit a little more edgy to give the look some balance. I picked this fun geometric pencil skirt because it’s still playful enough for summer but still offers the slimming benefits of wearing black. Also I just love it.

WANT MORE: Click here for more Thursday Threads outfit posts!

Typically when I wear this tank top, I put a camisole on but I opted to wear a bralette instead this time, pairing that with a high waisted bottom allows you to show a little bit of skin without going overboard. I kept the rest of my accessories to a minimum because with a statement necklace like that, you want to keep everything else as simple as possible! My tiny studs and stackable rings from my latest Rocksbox were absolutely perfect!

3D Printed T Rex Necklace: Poly|Gen Studios ($20; exact) | Shirt: Target ($4 – SUPER old; similar; similar) | Skirt: Forever 21 ($15; similar) | Bralette: Forever 21 ($3; similar) | Shoes: Charlotte Russe ($20; similar) | Earrings & Ring: Rocksbox – Try a month of Rocksbox FREE with the code valerybrennanxoxo

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Got an outfit post to share? Link it up below!!! Here’s what to do:

1. Subscribe to my newsletter and/or follow me on social media! (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)

2. Link up a favorite outfit post from your blog! If it is made of threads, it works for Thursday Threads!

3. Visit some other blogs from the link up!

ThursdayThreads