Four years ago, my husband and I drastically downsized our possessions to find a more fulfilling life with less. Over the last few years I’ve seen many material objects in my life come and go. The most notable is clothing. Why was I constantly purchasing clothes only to donate them six months or a year later?
I’ve declutter my wardrobe down to less than 60 pieces including clothing, shoes, and accessories. But it still was lacking something… cohesion perhaps. Looking for the perfect garment was exhausting because I couldn’t find something that was in my price range that would last years, not months. Then I found Wool&.
Wool& is a clothing company that makes dresses made from quality merino wool. They pose a 100 day dress challenge to their customers. Wear the same dress 100 days in a row, styling how every you’d like, and washing when needed. It sounded exactly like what I needed in my wardrobe.
So that’s how I got started wearing the same thing for 100 days in a row. Here I’m going to let you in on what I’ve learned in the first 30 days of wearing the same thing and what I’m looking forward to in the next 70 days of the challenge.
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Why bother in trying to wear the same thing for 30 days… let alone 100?
There’s was something bothering me for the last year that I couldn’t quite pick out. I didn’t realize it had everything to do with what I was wearing and what went along with getting dressed in the morning.
When I found Wool&, it was by chance. I quickly dismissed the dresses they sold based on price alone. Then the dress haunted me (mostly thanks to the ad algorithm of Instagram). The challenge that Wool& posed was all too tempting.
Could I really be happy wearing the same thing for 100 days in a row?
I knew it was meant to happen once my husband brought it up to me. So I bit the bullet and purchased the Rowena swing dress in heather gray. Basic? You bet. That was my intent.
Quite happily, I packed up the majority of my clothing and stowed it in my dresser drawers for use after the challenge is over. While packing up, I decluttered at least 30% of my already small wardrobe. It felt great.
And that feeling of a weight lifted from my clothed shoulders continued for the next 30 days. This is why I wanted to do the challenge: to see how few clothes I was actually happy with and to eliminate decision fatigue. With 70 more days to go in this 100 day challenge, I look forward to what else I can learn.
What I learned from wearing the same thing for 30 days
Over the last year, I have craved comfort over anything else. Practically forgotten are my blazer, jeans, and more formal dresses. Even with those items out of reach, I was still searching for the most perfect and most comfortable things to wear. Most days, I ended up in athletic leggings and a t-shirt.
Restless I grew with wearing leggings and worn-out shirts. I wanted something comfortable that wasn’t sweatpants that could easily go from being home to going to the grocery store to date night (just kidding on that last one, but I still want to look nice!).
With comfort in mind, I can easily get dressed with this wool dress. I am comfortable wearing it as a dress or knotted up as a shirt. There’s no fuss with yanking or pulling on it to stay in place. I’m rarely too hot or too cold. It’s quiet perfect. The items I paired with the dress were of equal comfort and easy to pick out from my pared down wardrobe.
Uniform creation = less decision fatigue
Never would I have thought I would call myself an adopter of the everyday uniform. But here we are.
An everyday uniform doesn’t have to be the literal exact same thing everyday. Nor do you need to own multiples of the same item in order to adopt a uniform.
My uniform formula is:
- Leggings for cold weather, bare legs in warm weather
- Layer = scarf or cardigan
- 1 piece of jewelry if wearing a cardigan
As I’m typing this out, I keep asking myself “Is that really it?!”
Indeed, uniforms should be designed to be simple and easy to replicate everyday. This uniform of dress/leggings/scarf has simplified my morning routine. I no longer dread putting on “real clothes” to start the day. The decision is already made for me of what to wear and give my brain the break that it needs.
I don’t actually like a whole lot in my wardrobe…
Over the last year I became really invested with thrifting. A little too much perhaps. Every chance I got, I was in a thrift store searching for something perfect to wear. I found some really great things that I still really love. But I also purchased a lot of items that I wore once and donated (for shame, I know).
With every purchase I made that wasn’t well thought out in terms of what I actually wanted to wear, how the garment was made, the fit, or how much wear the garment already had – it brought down the happiness I had within my wardrobe.
Whenever I packed it all away thirty days ago, I noticed a trend. There were of course items that just didn’t fit well that I couldn’t return. And then there were items that I loved!… but wore so terribly that I don’t think I can even donate them. That’s what I get for thrifting fast fashion I suppose.
Going forward, I will try to find well-made clothing either secondhand or purchased directly from the company. Yes, well-made, more sustainable clothing is more expensive but the quality is worth it. With more invested in each piece, I am more likely to purchase something I love rather than just grab it off the rack.
Contentment with wearing the same thing everyday.
In the beginning of the thirty days, I very much felt that I would be bored with wearing the same gray dress over and over again. But in fact, the opposite has happened.
Wearing the same thing for 30 days has made me very content with not having a huge wardrobe. I am content in the same gray dress. I feel good in the same dress, same leggings, and same scarf.
More self-aware (rather than clothing aware).
Pre-uniform, I was very aware of what I was wearing and less aware of how my body was feeling. Now that I wear the same thing everyday, I am more easily able to see when I’m dehydrated, ate too much sugar, or need to eat more protein.
Is it weird to be able to see these things now instead of looking at how clothes fit on my body? No! Becoming more self aware has been one of the most surprising things I’ve learned in these first 30 days of wearing the same thing.
Can you wash the dress? Yep! Should you wash the dress (and other garments) after only one wear? No!… except underwear, please wash that after one wear. 🙂
Wearing the same thing for 30 days does not mean you can’t wash it. Washing it to be clean and for it to go back to its original shape is encouraged.
After learning how to get mascara out (wash from the reverse side of the fabric) and how to remove pit-stains from wearing aluminum deodorant (scrub the reverse side of the fabric with Dawn and rinse), I am washing the dress as a whole a lot less than everything else in my closet.
Washing your clothing less not only extends the life of the garment, but it saves water and your time! Our laundry load has been reduced by roughly 30% over the last month because I’ve been wearing the same thing everyday.
I only wore 27 different items in the last 30 days.
Out of the 55 items I currently have out in my closet right now, including clothing items, shoes, jewelry, and accessories, I’ve only worn 27. That’s just about 50% of my wardrobe. The number would be a lot lower if I wore my dress and leggings all day then just put pajamas on. But I’ve taken to putting a t-shirt or sweater on at night before bed to do chores and lounge in.
There are also items I wore once and didn’t like how they went with my dress, or only wore half a day that I include in this 27 number.
What does this mean? It means I can do a lot more with a lot smaller wardrobe. As we get closer to a new season, I will declutter more items from my wardrobe and very intentionally add new ones.
What I’m looking forward to in the next 70 days.
Yes, this 100 day challenge seems to go on for ages, but the first 30 days of wearing the same thing flew by. In the next two and a half months, I look forward to wearing the dress in a variety of new ways. The weather will be warmer which means I can’t rely on leggings and scarves to make it more interesting.
We’ll also be doing a bit of traveling (hopefully) that is in a completely different climate than ours. Wearing the dress for the duration of the trip will make packing a breeze!
And again, I’m looking forward to less decision fatigue and knowing exactly what I’m going to wear for the day. Gone are the days of standing in my closet and not knowing what to wear or what I’ll be comfortable in that day.
So would you wear the same thing for 30 days in order to simplify your life?