100 Day Dress Challenge Reward Dress

I’m sharing my Wool& “reward” wool dress with you all. As you may or may not know, I participated in Wool&’s 100 Day Dress Challenge last year. I wore the same dress (I washed it regularly) for 100 days in a row. Following the rules of the challenge, I was awarded a coupon for $100 towards a new dress.

Originally I ordered the willow swing dress long in plum. I loved the idea of a v-neck and I loved the color, I have a lot of purple and black pieces I thought would go well with it. I was too excited about the v-neck and didn’t realize the dress had 3/4 sleeves, which isn’t an issue for me since I typically push up all my sleeves anyway, but I wanted to share that oversight to help remind you to take it slower in choosing than I did. I returned willow for several reasons. 1) willow sizing is not the same as sierra sizing (my challenge dress style and size) and the medium was too tight. 2) the v-neck was one of those bigger deeper v-necks which I’m not fond of and 3) the 3/4 sleeves seemed short, closer to my elbow, and I kept wanting to pull them down. So I actually asked my husband for his opinion based on my short list of those I was interested in and he picked from my list the ellie midi wrap dress, and I chose both pine and modern red to try since my sierra was black. I really wanted both colors. I love red and it’s one of my new staple wardrobe colors. I also love green because it’s pretty and my blog is about being greener. I geek that way. I did order a size up from my sierra and the willow, so I have a large ellie.

I kept the ellie pine. I LOVE IT. The shade of green is perfect. The 3/4 sleeves are longer than willow’s and also perfect. They lay where I would normally push up long sleeves onto my low forearm. The wrap style provides a good size v-neck and it layers so well with everything. My husband loves it so much! I really really wanted the modern red to work too and while it looks amazing on the website, a dark and true, a more blue red, when I put it on it looked more brick red to me. I don’t do orange or rust or anything like that so I returned it. A note if you’re wondering, the reward coupon only covers one dress so I was going to pay to keep the second ellie if both colors worked out. I will share that even I forgot that wool comes in different weights and weaves. My sierra is a light terry cloth type weave that is thicker and lays well. Willow and ellie are both light, thin like nice t-shirts. If you are are new to wool as performance/sustainable wear and worried about the thickness of wool fabric, they’re good dresses to try. I started with sierra because I wanted a sleeveless dress that wouldn’t show lines. These thinner dresses can sometimes show lines.

I want to share a tip/trick with you. It may also be cost saving (save your green) as this is cheaper than a top and more multi-purpose for your wardrobe. If you are worried about the neck on ellie, or any other v-neck or surplice bodice dress or top, I recommend you try a chemisette, sometimes called a cleavage cover or modesty panel. You can find these online, mine are from Amazon. I’ve never seen them in a brick and mortar store but that doesn’t mean no one has them. A chemisette is a little piece of fabric that you can button around your bra or I safety pin mine to the dress. It covers your cleavage line basically. It’s great for offices or more conservative space, or of you like lower necklines but feel a little drafty or exposed sometimes. I bought a black and a white one back in 2008 and those work out perfectly for all my dresses. I thought white for light colors and black for dark colors. Most of my wardrobe at the time was lighter blue or purples and my darks colors were black, navy or purple so this worked well.

On the wool ellie dress, you can see the chemisette’s outline edges a little bit from this thicker weave chemisette, which do come in thinner styles. So think about all the dress or top colors you have, and how thin your dresses/tops are and choose chemisettes that will work with your colors and fabrics, there are thinner ones available. This is a great trick for Texas weather. You get the extra coverage without having to have an extra layer. I get hot easily so I don’t want to be wearing a real camisole or tank under my dresses or sweaters, I just want a bit of extra coverage if I bend over. Chemisettes and surplice/wrap dresses are also great as they are flexible with weight changes. I’d have to purchase/find new camisoles or more fitted/loose clothes with some of the weight changes I’ve gone through. You’ll see here that this style of dress is “greener” since it does allow for so much change in shape that it even works during pregnancy. Below are a few more examples with both chemisette colors in different, non-wool dresses.

I’ve read wrap dresses are flattering for a lot of people, as well as surplice bodices which is why I like those. If the neck is a bit low for you, you can also “tack” or sew a stich or two where the fabric crosses to keep it closed at the level you are comfortable with. That would be a greener option as well since you can use thread you already have for mending and not need to purchase/find/create a chemisette or camisole.

I am still very comfortable in Texas fall and winter in both my sierra and ellie wool dresses from Wool&. I really recommend these are comfortable, sustainable, performance, sturdy, well made options to create a greener wardrobe. They’re great for capsule wardrobes and minimalist wardrobes. Wool& also started making leggings and tops which would be great layering or single pieces to try when you are ready to replace or add a new piece. The timing on my discovery of Wool& was great as I went into a different clothing size and body shape so I’ve been very grateful for the timing.

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