A 100 Day WOOL& Dress Challenge

Back in May my newsfeed posted an article from The Guardian about wearing the same dress for 100 days. The company, Wool& offers a 100-Day Challenge for you to wear one of their wool dresses for 100 days in a row. The minimalism and natural fiber intrigued me. The article’s mention of support for women by women really reeled me and I signed up for the Facebook group to see what this was all about in real time.

I am not a fan of clothes shopping. I’ve done it, it’s how my mom and I bond (though we don’t buy a lot; it’s mostly looking), but if there’s a way to make it easier and more sustainable I’m all for it. I have a stocky petite build. I’m 5’1″ with wide shoulders, a large rib cage, gymnast thighs and German calves. I’m not criticizing myself, these are observations I had to learn to help me purchase and fit clothes. Even though I’m petite, petite clothes can still be too long and my waist to thigh ratio always makes pants frustrating. Then I had a child. So now I have a tummy and finding clothes that are comfortable and last a long time is very difficult. I felt like before the challenge, if I could live in exercise capris and tanks I would but I can’t. So after several months of watching the Wool& Facebook group, repeatedly reading the Wool& website and purchase reviews, and prayer I decided to start.

Some of the details of the 100 Day Challenge:

  • Wear any Wool& dress for 100 days straight. It must be bought from Wool&. They’ll check.
    • If you wear a uniform most of the day, you can relax and sleep in your dress and that will count. They would like you to wear the dress for 8 hours a day. There are doctors, nurses, etc. in the challenge so it’s doable. Make sure this is still allowed if you fall in this category.
  • After completing the challenge you’ll email a link to your 100 photos via your preferred file sharing platform (Google Drive/Photos, Dropbox, etc.) or your social media account (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc.).
  • Once Wool& confirms that you’ve completed the challenge, they’ll send you a survey and a gift card code for a $100 valid for any of their adult dresses.

Wool& also allows kids to participate; they get a $50 gift card. The men’s version over at Wool & Prince will give you a new shirt if you wear one of their shirts for 100 days.

I’ve been working on my image and a capsule wardrobe in 2021 so I already had an Amazon Album of all the pictures of myself that I liked. This was to reference for haircuts, how I worn my bangs, and what colors I liked on myself. I highly recommend you do this. When I was looking at the Wool& dress options it helped me make some quick eliminations. One of the biggest topics in the Wool& Facebook group is asking for recommendations on which dress to start with.

  • I get hot or am hot and I like layers so I wanted a sleeveless dress.
  • I look best (in my opinion) in black and true (a bluer) red.
  • I wanted a heavier weight wool so it would be more versatile. A heavier fabric looks less casual to me.
  • I’ve tried wrap dresses before and I know they don’t wrap well on me, even when I had a defined waist and flat stomach.
  • I know where waists and waistbands drive me nuts so I was looking out for were those fell on the dress.
  • I didn’t want a long sleeve because I will literally push my sleeves up to 3/4 in the middle of winter anyway.
  • I am more comfortable with my knees covered standing and especially sitting so I wanted the Long version of whatever I bought, even though I am only 5’1″. Several of the dresses come in regular and long versions.

The packaging is great. It’s minimalist and easily recycled curbside. Wool& offers free shipping and free returns. This works great in the U.S. though women in a few other counties sometimes have a few hiccups. If you don’t live in the U.S., make sure to ask the Wool& Facebook group for advice on how to order especially around customs. Sometimes the dresses are backordered and have a set ship date on the website. Sometimes the dresses ship sooner and you’ll be surprised! My dresses shipped two weeks earlier than the website proclaimed so that was very exciting.

Based on customer reviews and the Wool& Facebook group feedback, and how my body is just difficult, I ordered a medium and a large. Depending on what I am wearing it can run from a medium to an extra-large. The admins do recommend you use a fabric measuring tape and match the measurements, but again that doesn’t normally work for my body so I ordered two. These come by and return via FedEx in the U.S. if that matters.

I chose to keep my medium black Sierra Tank Dress Long. It fit perfect as soon as I put it on. It’s black which is one of my favorite colors on myself, sleeveless, a heavier weight (so it will look dressier with not much effort), no set waist, has the sleeveless silhouette that looks better on me (a racerback style looks better on me than the boxier/wider traditional tank style), and came in long which covers my knees standing and sitting. When it’s not COVID, I serve in my church’s children’s ministry and while I can add capris or shorts to my dress, a longer dress also makes kid watching easier. I was kind of eh on the pockets, and reviewers are mixed, but I love them! The Sierra looks great on a lot of women and pairs well with cardigans, jean jackets, leggings and belts, all the ways I plan on wearing my dress.

A few things to share:

  • These dresses are not hot or itchy. Many people in hot places like Texas and Arizona participate fine. If you live in a colder area, they layer well.
  • Read everything on the website and follow the Facebook group for a bit.
  • When the ladies throw out a name, it’s the dress name. “Me and my Sierra went to get ice cream today” as an example. You can search for the name of the dress to see tips and how the dress is worn. Some of the dresses it’s recommended to size down, so search on your style interest. Many ladies are quite creative with the reversible dresses and sleeved dresses.
  • The dresses are not 100% wool, they include nylon and a few have a third fiber. My Sierra is 75% merino wool / 22% nylon / 3% spandex.
  • You may need to prep, especially as regards to deodorant. Wool& recommends wearing only deodorant, not aluminum-based anti-perspirant. I changed my deodorant over to Lume several weeks before starting. It’s in a plastic dispenser (which I can curbside recycle) but as I was losing effectiveness in my other more zero waste deodorant bars and glass jar options, we’re giving this a go. Hubby loves it too.
  • Read the Care Tips to see if you can maintain the care during the challenge.
  • Many Wool& Facebook group members recommend wearing an apron to help protect your dress. This is a good idea while cooking, cleaning, gardening and possibly even eating. I’m kind of messy so, truth bomb, I already do this. Heh, it beats “recycling”* clothes because I can’t get the oil or food stain out.

*I quote recycling, “recycling,” above to remind you that recycling of most items either only works one or two times (unless its metal or glass which are infinitely recyclable), it’s not easily recycled (i.e. a facility is not available nearby or in your country), or it’s not really recycled. For example a standard polyester shirt that is not wearable is going to be trashed. It’s not wearable so it can’t be bought to wear or sold to wear; polyester does not absorb well so it can’t be used for industrial rags; I have not read that anyone uses polyester fabric for insulation or any other reuse; and the process to recycle polyester fabric is just starting and extremely expensive. So it’s going in the landfill. I’m sorry to be really blunt but fast fashion and our shopping habits are just getting so ridiculous in the waste created.

One of the comments I’ve already received is on the cost of one dress. Calculating the cost of what I spent on my capsule clothes the last year and that I wear them until they are no longer wearable (stain or irreplaceable issue), the cost works out for me. It’s also saving me from buying a bunch of new clothes, and there should be less laundry, more closet space, less decision fatigue, etc.

Even though alittlemore.green is primarily a zero waste blog, I hope it’s also a place where we can encourage one another, normalize non-traditional choices, and be supportive and loving. If you do not have a community or group that you can go to, I recommend that you try this group out. Of course I want to encourage you to purchase less items, of higher quality, that are more sustainable choices, but I also want you to be recognized and get support for you and what you choose to do. The Wool& community may help you with this. I myself have been through women’s recovery and I’m currently in a women’s life group and I can tell you that listening and sharing your struggles and successes with the same gender identity can be so life giving and healing. Even with these blessed experiences, I still had no idea that so many women were hating on themselves (or getting hated on by others) for our arms, our legs, our tummies, butts, wearing the same thing everyday, trying a new idea, changing a lifestyle etc. So the support found on the Wool& Facebook group is amazing. The group really builds us up for change, confidence and love.

I’ll be posting daily pictures on the blog’s social media site so follow them if you want to see the live pictures. I’ll do some recap articles too.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alittlemoregreen
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alittlemore.green/

I am loving Wool&’s values so I will leave you with them:

live simply.

consume carefully.

do good.

#wooland, @wool.and, #100daydresschallenge

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