One Dress One Hundred Plus Days
Around the 16th of March, 2023 I started my 'Wool Challenge'. As it was around St Patrick's celebration here in Dublin Ireland, I went with the Green, from long-sleeved t-shirt, scarf, and one of my many me-made, felted hats!
What is it?
What is a 'wool challenge'? It is the brillant marketing idea of the Wool+ company. Customers purchase and wear ONE wool dress for 100 days straight, so that they can experience the multiple benefits of wearing wool and simplifying their closet. Admittedly, their dresses are more money than I would typically spend, being a wearer of ancient stuff-in-my-closet. However, as a reward, the wearer receives a gift certifcate to be used on her next purchase.
My Wool Challenge took 14 weeks / 4 months to complete, with only a few days skipped*. (The company allows skipped days to be made up at the end of the wearing challenge).
To this day, I continue to wear My Dress, a scarf, tights if the weather allows, AND a hat from my sizeable personal collection*. After all, if this hatmaker cannot wear hats, then what can I expect from other people?!
Let's call it my Challenge a daily #HatAttack, i.e. from Judith Boyd's StyleCrone.
Weeks 1 to 4 of my Wool Challenge
Here is what I wrote for the Wool And Challenge's Facebook page -
Since completing the 100-Day Challenge a few months ago, my experience with my black Willow dress has been nothing short of fascinating. While I abstain from wearing it in "dangerous" situations like hiking through bramble-filled paths, it has become a staple in my daily wardrobe.
Natural fibre love
As someone who has spent years felting Merino wool roving into various items, particularly hats, I have long been captivated by the remarkable qualities of wool. (The Irish website WoolinSchool.com has GREAT explanations about the amazing qualities of wool ). Hence, Wool+'s perspective beautifully intersects with my existing passions of sustainability and natural fibres.
Weeks 5 to 8 of my Wool Challenge
Surprisingly, the challenge has profoundly shifted my perception of wool. In the past, when I sold my felted creations at craft fairs in the USA, I would advise customers to simply give their hats a shake, spot-clean, or, if necessary, gently hand wash in cold water. This was because I had read that wool didn't require frequent washing. But truth be told, I hadn't actually put the antimicrobial properties of wool to the test.
Hardly ever washed
Through the 100-Day Challenge, I experienced firsthand the magic of this fibre and its ability to remain clean for extended periods. Like other natural fibres such as cotton, it breathes. But unlike my wool dress, my cotton nightgown requires frequent washing. Throughout the challenge, I only washed my dress about seven times. Starting on the Ides of March through the second week of July, the weather in Ireland played its symphony of warm, cold, sunny, and rainy weather all in one day. Yet, I have always felt comfortable in my dress.
Weeks 9 to 12 of my Wool Challenge
Beyond the practical aspects of having functional pockets in a dress, there's something enchanting about how it makes me feel to be dressed up. Before to the challenge, my wardrobe mainly consisted of black leggings and colourful long-sleeved T-shirts. I now don my black dress daily, along with a vibrant scarf and one of the many hats I have made over time. I find myself feeling incomplete without these accessories, reminiscent of how a woman in the 1950s might feel without her gloves. (For week 14, the last seven days of the challenge I ‘borrowed’ some of the more unusual, wizard hats from my FeltHappiness Shop).
The transformation I've experienced through the 100-Day Challenge goes far beyond simply wearing a wool dress. It has opened my eyes to the versatile and resilient nature of wool, giving me a newfound appreciation for this remarkable fibre. Not only does it align with my sustainable values, but it has also infused a touch of elegance and charm into my daily life. With each wear, I find myself embracing the unique qualities of wool and celebrating its ability to enhance both style and comfort. The black Willow dress has genuinely become my sartorial companion, a symbol of my journey and a testament to the enduring allure of wool. Plus, it has pockets!
Finally, a fun video of my dress wearing!
@wool.and #wooland #100daydresschallenge #memade #ahataday