what i wore

Welcome to “what i wore”!  I have been doing this post weekly for what feels like a hundred years (other than my recent hiatus – oops!).  I originally started these posts to motivate myself to get out of my sweats and into some regular clothes.  I type this as I am literally still in my sweats from my workout this morning – ha!  As a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom, I have always found it to be a struggle to put fashion before comfort – I’d rather stay cozy and lounge in grubby clothes all day – are you with me?!  But really, I don’t actually feel better.  I feel unmotivated and lazy, and my clothing encouraged that.  Over the years, I have found things that I feel good in and that feel good to be in – I have not sacrificed comfort for style, but found a way to marry them.  I have also had a lot of fails over the years, and have really started to hone what my style really is, while still giving myself freedom to have fun and try new things.

So many of you have been following this series with me for years – thank you!  I apologize for my absence and inconsistency lately, but my real life (kids, husband, homeschool, work) took priority, as it should, and required me to step back from this space for a little bit.  I’m sure you can relate!

But I’m back, sharing some outfits from the last couple months, and some more recent – enjoy!  and as always, link up with me below your own fashion posts, and be sure to check out others’.

Just before Thanksgiving, I found a few dresses that I knew would be great through the holidays – not too dressy, not too holiday-y, and could be worn a few different ways.

target dress


This one felt the most “holiday-ish” because of the metallic gold details, but the long sleeves and high neck made it feel really casual to me, too.  And its super comfy!  I wore this for our New Year’s Eve party (that I didn’t get a single picture of – boo).  I wore it with opaque black tights and black t-strap heeled clogs.  Shoot – its not available online anymore!

target dress


This one I didn’t end up wearing for an event, but wore it for a date night and for church.  It feels a little shorter than I’d normally wear, but the high neck and longer sleeves make it feel more conservative, so it balanced out.  I also wore this with opaque black tights, which makes showing legs feel less showy.  This dress isn’t available anymore online, but still in some stores – go check yours in the clearance section!

target dress

This dress I love!  The girls and I joked that it was a bit “witchy”, but so pretty and flattering on.  I wore this for our work Christmas party with bare legs and pointy-toe heels with an ankle strap.  Its no longer available online, but is in some stores.  Here’s something similar.

what i wore at the pleated poppy

earrings // shirt {similar} // vest // jeans {similar & similar} // shoes

Yes, I am really into this pale pink/blush color!  I am so drawn to it right now!  We have the weirdest weather right now – 40* in the morning, 75* in the afternoon – how do you dress for that?!  (ps – the vest also comes in an amazing mustardy-olivey color)

This striped shirt has been a favorite of mine for years!  I got it at forever 21 and then found its almost-twin at shein, but even that is no longer available!

The vest is newish from Old Navy.  I don’t wear it a ton because if I’m cold I like to keep my arms warm, too, but I love how it looks.

The jeans are also forever old and from forever 21.  After the holes got too bog for me, I patched them up with an older pair of jeans that I chopped up – I love how they turned out and wear these all the time!

White converse are my go-to.  They just work and are comfy.  I am about ready for a new pair.  When they get dirty, I toss them in the washer and dryer and they come out nice and bright, but after a couple few years of doing this the rubber sides start pulling away from the canvas.

what i wore at the pleated poppy

dress {only the red plaid is still available, here’s a similar one} // tights // boots {slightly different color than mine}

I have worn this dress so many times already!  I got it just before Thanksgiving and it is a new staple for me.  I love a good forgiving dress.

I also love a good pair of cable knit tights!  These dark charcoal ones work great, aren’t too dressy but also don’t make me feel like a little girl.  They keep my legs warm and add a bit of modesty to my slightly short dress.

I love these wedge booties (but hate the word booties!).  They look great with skinny jeans, cuffed jeans, flared jeans, and dresses.

what i wore at the pleated poppy

jacket {I love this version & it comes in a variety of colors – and this one, too!} // sweater {similar} // jeans // boots // earrings

This jacket is a standard for me.  It works with just about any outfit, and adds just enough warmth if I’m already wearing other layers.  It was a Stitch Fix find from long ago, but I still see similar styles often.  Stitch fix is hit or miss with me, which I think is actually fine.  I often only like maybe one thing from a fix, but that one thing is often a staple like this jacket, or a great pair of jeans, or sandals, and it makes all those bad fixes worth it!

The jeans are new from Old Navy.  I have a hard time getting their pants to fit right – they tend to be tight on my calves for some reason.  I don’t think I have unusually large calves?  But these pants feel like I’m pulling on a pair of leggings.  They are super soft and cozy.  They look like jeans and feel like pajamas.  I do have to wear a belt with them though because they really like to slide down my bum.  But the color is amazing!

The sweater is a simple black v-neck sweater from Target (old, sorry).  It has a thin, tight weave that can easily dress up.

And of course my Nickel & Suede earrings.  I wear a pair probably 4-5 days a week.  I love them!

what i wore at the pleated poppy

See, the jacket works again!

what i wore at the pleated poppy

sweater // jeans // boots {similar & similar}

I got this sweater at Zara a few years ago when Sean & I went to Monte Carlo – whenever I wear it, it reminds me of the trip!  I love this sweater because its thin and is a fine knit, and it has a pretty neckline.  But I can’t find anything similar to link to – sorry!

These black jeans (even though they look blue in the picture) were steals from Forever 21 – like under $10!  They have held up surprisingly well and fit great.

These boots are another favorite of mine.  For longer days, I prefer this flatter heel.

what i wore at the pleated poppy

what i wore at the pleated poppy

cardigan {similar} // shirt // jeans {similar} // boots {similar & similar} // earrings

My sister-in-law handed down this shirt (dress?) to me.  I love the look of it, but am just not sure if its right for me.  I tried to balance the brightness of the colors with neutrals.

These black jeans were another great Stitch Fix find – super slim, but with a higher waist, and super black.

The boots were inexpensive finds that are good basics, but I’ve never really loved them – I think maybe they are a little wide on my feet…  On the hunt for a great pair!

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do you wanna join me for “what i wore“?  yay!  just follow the rules:

1. link to your specific blog post, not your blog’s main page. ex: http://thepleatedpoppy.com/2011/09/what-i-wore-wednesday-fall-inspiration/ not http://thepleatedpoppy.com/blog/.

2. please only link outfit related posts. your craft project may be adorable, or that may be a great giveaway, but this linky is for outfit related posts only – thank you! ) ps – i WILL delete the super random posts that have nothing to do with outfits)

3. please please please link back here to me so all this wiww stuff makes sense to your readers. and its just nice to do ;)

4. check out as many links as possible! i am constantly inspired by so many outfits each week! and you will definitely find some new blogs that you’ve never stumbled upon before – so fun!

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updating an old dresser

One of my more popular posts from years ago was when I painted a sweet vintage dresser from white to mustard yellow.  French Pale Gold by Behr, to be exact.  It was a total statement piece, and generally stood in our entryway, so it was a bright sunny welcome to everyone!  I love that dresser.  It was one of the very first pieces I got garage sale-ing when we first got married.  It was a dark cream color and I painted it white, because I was deep into the shabby chic thing (those over-used words now make me cringe), and I painted everything white.  Then chipped off some of the paint, of course.


The dresser has bounced from house to house and room to room.   Once we moved to our current house, it was a chance for me to figure out what my design aesthetic really was.  It had been changing over time, and my previous house hadn’t really been reflecting that for awhile.  In this new house, it’s been a time of slowly discovering what I love for my home.  And French Pale Gold was not it anymore.

Give me all the woods, creams, whites (am I going shabby chic again?!), black, grey (nope, definitely not shabby chic), and then pile loads of texture on top of that.  Yes, thats more of the direction I’m heading.  So that meant I either was going to repaint the dresser AGAIN, or strip it.  So I stripped it!  I had no idea the condition or quality of the wood underneath, whether the top would be melamine or veneer or solid wood.  But I knew if it was really bad, a couple coats of white paint would cover a multitude of sins.


My dad helped, of course.  He always helps.  I rarely start a project unless he’s visiting (my parents live with us about a week out of every month), so naturally, I waited for his help and expertise.  I knew he had stripped furniture in the past, so I was relying on his experience.  It totally paid off!  He suggested using a citrus based stripper called Citristrip from Home Depot.  (Definitely get the 1/2 gallon size rather than the quart because it takes a couple applications.)  The stuff was amazing!  The paint bubbled up and after testing a couple spots and waiting longer, it came off really easily.  We used flat scrapers and for the indented areas and curves, we used a wire bristle disc on a drill.  After the majority of the paint was off, we sanded it down and cleaned it off.



There is still a little bit of paint pocketed deep in some spots, but I am totally ok with that.  I love a little imperfection.


And that is all!  I really should give at least the top a clear coat to protect it, but I really love the way the wood looks now, but as soon as it is wet (like it would be with a clear coat, it had a strong reddish/pinkish tint, which I didn’t love.  So I’m keeping it raw.  In the picture below, you can see how i=different the woods are between the drawers and the trim, but I actually really love t!


The next dilemma was what to do about the handles.  We lived with blue tape handles for about 6 months, which got a little annoying immediately.  The previous handles were original to the piece and super ornate and dated.  I really wanted to find a mix of all the styles I love: Warm woods, vintage shape, and modern handles.  The problem was that there are 9 drawers, and 3 different handle sizes.  After lots of searching, I realized I’d have to come up with my own solution because I couldn’t find coordinating handles to fit the various opening sizes I had.

The center 3 drawers just needed knobs – easy fix.  I found these great brass knobs on a trip to Target (where I find everything I never knew I needed!).


Then I had to devise some pulls that could vary in size, depending on the hole spacing on each of the drawers.  I have seen some leather handles lately that I love, so I decided to try to make them on my own.  I ordered a long strip of 1″ wide leather.  It came raw, which means it was undyed, so I experiemented with some old shoe polishes I had on hand.  The dye soaked in quickly and was such a quick project.  I rubbed on the polish, buffed it in, and haven’t had any issues with the color coming off at all.  I had enough leather to experiment with the length a little, and made a size that was just big enough to comfortable fit my hand in without sticking out too far.  I have a leather punch leftover from my old business, and it comes in handy pretty often.  If you don’t happen to have one, you can always use a hammer and thick nail to punch holes in leather.



Then I went to Home Depot and found some screws long enough to fit through the leather and the drawer, with just a tiny bit left to screw on a nut on the inside of the drawer.  I found brass screws that looked great, although I was really hoping to find some with a cool hex shape – no luck.



The total cost of the whole project, stripping and adding hardware, was maybe $55 (the Citristrip isn’t cheap, but worth it).  Not too bad!