100 Days And One Dress

kay newton 100 days dress challenge

Simplicity & Connection Thought Leader –  Kay Newton

When simplicity is your key motivation for life, there is nothing better than coming across a concept that resonates deeply.

“The challenge was simple, wear your dress for 100 days..”

Wearing the same dress for 100 days straight. After the sudden “wrong” turn of some events in the summer, the 100-day challenge created a daily focus for me. It was a challenge I was eager to take. Here are my significant findings. 

Wool &100-Day Challenge:

If you go to the Wool& website, you will find the details of the challenge. So far, over 3,500 women have taken part. The challenge was simple, wear your dress for 100 days, at least 8 hours and share a daily image on social media to earn $100’s off your next purchase. Yet it wasn’t the money that interested me. 

I was keen to spend less time doing laundry (therefore saving time and money) and reduce my clothing impact on the planet. (92 million tonnes) of garments end up in landfill each year). I also wanted time to focus on what matters most to me – engaging with others and lighting a path of inspiration and motivation for those who wish to follow. 

The Dress Chosen:

The Teal Willow Swing dress (size large, long length) became my daily ‘uniform’. The dress, fitted at the chest with a generous material swing, is suitable for any body shape or size.

“Most importantly for me, it is a natural and sustainable product.”

The dress contains 78% merino wool. Merino wool provides good insulation in hot and cold weather, transports moisture and has anti-static properties. Merino is also lightweight, does not itch, smell or crease much and keeps its shape. Most importantly for me, it is a natural and sustainable product. 

Although the dress is basic in style, the design and simple block of colour meant it was easy to dress up or down depending on the occasion. It did match anything already in my wardrobe. The care instructions state to wash with like colours on a cold and gentle cycle and then line dry. 

The Dress Challenges Positives – Seasons, Surgery and Sauces:

  • The spotlight effect was a phenomenon I had never heard of before. It means that people believe they are noticed by others more than they are. Within the Facebook Wool& group, there were lots of hilarious comments about husbands being oblivious to women wearing the same dress day in and day out.
  • Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barak Obama wear the same style/colour clothes daily and are admired for doing so. Yet even if celebrity women wear a signature style or colour, it won’t be the same garment. Women take note – we can be more frugal with clothing as no one is noticing! Less is more.
  • The dress was versatile enough to be used through the different seasons, layering up or down. My package arrived when the daily temperatures of 30ºC here in Mallorca, Spain. It took a while to get used to wearing sleeves!
  • It was easy to travel with and saved even more space in my carry-on bag. I used it occasionally as pj’s. It even accompanied me to surgery.
  • During the 100 days, I hand-washed my garment twice and machine-washed it twice. There were times I had to emergency sauce stain wash urgently and dry it quickly with the use of the hairdryer.

“The choice of a baggy-styled dress meant I changed one focus for another.”

The Dress Challenges Negatives – Teal, Turquoise and Tediousness:

  • When I downsized my wardrobe whilst living in a two-roomed, tinned-roof house near the beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania, seven years ago, I decided one theme colour would work the best for me. The colour was teal green/ turquoise. Over the 100 days, I became fed up with the colour.
  • As I am no longer a green/blue person, I am not sure this should be in the negative section. In 2023 I want to be brighter and bolder. With this comes a new wardrobe challenge – to swap some of my pieces for red and orange. Yet I will only do this if it feels ethical and in line with saving the planet.
  • My husband became my go-to photographer when my walking friend was not available. He hates taking photos, which led to occasional friction between us, yet he has become quite good at taking them over the 100 days – so again, maybe this should not be in this section either.
  • The choice of a baggy-styled dress meant I changed one focus for another. My eating habits slipped slightly. I now have a few extra kilos. My lesson learned means I will choose a tighter dress as my reward dress.
  • Time some days seemed to be on my side, and other times it dragged. I can understand why some of the participants noted days 30-60 as the hardest. It was very tempting to wear the dress for 8 hours in bed!
  • After 100 days, the dress is still in perfect shape but with some discolouration around the armpits. I can see it will be in my wardrobe for several years, even if I dye it!

The Best Gem of All:

For me, the unexpected and the diamond of the whole process was the community of like-minded women I met along the way. I have laughed, cried and been inspired by the comments in the dedicated Facebook group.

The group taught me how to spot clean with vodka and use the dress pockets or elastic bands to create a tunic for the days I wanted a change from a dress. I have never felt more at home with this group of women. 

Never underestimate the power of one daily action.”

Instagram became my social media platform for sharing my dress challenge journey. The ladies who supported me and shared their journeys were so inspiring. I hope we continue to keep in touch.

Finally:

Never underestimate the power of one daily action. Over time it creates life-changing habits. A 100-day Challenge can be foundational to anything and everything you do. It is neither easy nor hard and takes effort, yet it is doable. For example, if you want to lose weight or write a book, ask yourself – what will I focus on over the next 100 days?

Simplicity in itself. Happy New Year!

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Kay Newton

About the Author:

Kay is the founder of Midlife Strategies, an award-winning International Speaker, and enthusiastic author. She is an acknowledged expert guiding women to find their mojo, through the Midlife Squeeze.

Kay’s books include: 

Today, Kay lives a simple life next to a beach in Mallorca, Spain. You can find Kay here: www.KayNewton.com.

8 thoughts on “100 Days And One Dress

  1. Hilary says:

    Looking forward to seeing it resurrected as a LBD! Congrats on your creativity and persistence. It was great seeing all the photos!

    • Kay says:

      Hilary, it’s on the line as I type. The dress is black with a hint of Teal below. I am going to love wearing it once dried.

  2. Jan Edwards says:

    I enjoyed reading this, Kay. You’ve made what seemed to me to be quite a daunting task into a successful and informative challenge. And you cracked it! Looking forward to seeing you in red!

    • Kay says:

      Thanks, Jan, I chose a burgundy hoodie as my challenge reward. Hopefully, I will be wearing it the next time we meet.

  3. Maureen Hemingway-McLeod says:

    Well done lovely lady. I have followed your progress and admire your reasons and determination for this challenge. A great article too.
    PS. I am seriously looking into finally moving house to live in Spain at the grand old age of 80 ! Even Vicki thinks is a good idea !!

    • Kay says:

      Thank you, Maureen. I love how we all have challenges in life. Good luck with moving homes and country, may it be a smooth-flowing process.

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