It’s the 100 Day Dress Challenge!
The Wool Dress Challenge is a challenge created by the clothing company Wool& and Wool&Prince to urge their customers to be responsible consumers and get creative with their clothing to understand you don’t need a lot to get by. Wool& aims to design the most practical, most wearable item in your wardrobe.
Wool&’s stated values are to live simply, consume carefully, and do good, which the challenge encompasses. In addition to creating a fun challenge for customers, Wool& is making waves in the fashion and wool industry.
This viral challenge along with other shorter ones are the primary form of marketing for the Wooland brand.
What is the 100-Day Wool Dress Challenge?
The 100 day wool dress challenge is a challenge to wear the same Wooland brand wool dress for 100 days in a row.
It’s not hot and itchy, it doesn’t smell, and it’s not bulky either. In fact, you can find a lot of merino wool T-shirts, dresses, and underwear that look and feel similar to conventional cotton. Wool does an excellent job resisting odor, dirt, and stains and regulating your body temperature.
Wool& created the challenge as a way to motivate people to live with less, all while earning a $100 gift card and promoting their brand. Wool&Prince has had a wool shirt challenge since 2012 after their founder famously wore a wool shirt for 100 days straight, which went viral.
After Wool& launched, they sent their Rowena Swing Dress to 50 people to complete the 100 days challenge. Thirteen individuals wore their dress for 100 days straight, and the brand has been offering the challenge ever since.
To start the challenge today, order your Wooland dress and wear it for 100 days straight. The requirements are to wear any Wool& dress (FAQs can be found here). They encourage you to post pictures on social media, but after completing the challenge, you will need to email them with a link to your 100 photos to receive a $100 gift card code.
What is the Wooland Email Address?
The Wooland email for customer service is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email Wooland with questions about your challenge or if you’ve completed the challenge and you’re claiming your prize.
Who owns Wool& and Wool&Prince?
Wool& was established in 2018 with headquarters in Portland, Oregon, as a sister brand to menswear brand Wool&Prince. Founder, Mac Bishop, created Wool&Prince in 2012 with a successful Kickstarter and viral 100-day t-shirt challenge.
Mac Bishop has roots in the wool industry since his family owns the famous Pendleton Wool Mill, but he wanted something of his own. He called to let his parents know he was quitting his corporate job and starting his own company.
To prove the efficacy of wool, he started wearing a Pendleton wool shirt for 100 days and began Wool&Prince shortly after that.
What is the point of the 100-day dress challenge?
The stated purpose of the challenge is to encourage contentment in a life of less. In a world full of over-consumerism, the 100-day dress challenge pushes you to get creative and, in return, acquire more sustainable habits. Past participants have discovered some of these insights after completing the challenge.
- They don’t need more clothes; they need better clothes.
- Refocusing on what’s most important in life is imperative.
- There is a subtle, but real benefit of limiting daily decisions.
- We need to pause and remember what really makes us, us.
This is a powerful, motivational marketing message. But ultimately, I think the real driver for most people is to get the $100 voucher at the end – to be put towards more Wool& purchases. (Otherwise I think people might be intrigued by the 100-day concept, but far less likely to complete it.)
And Wool& offers a $30 voucher for completing a 30-day dress challenge once a year. Vouchers can only be awarded for buying new merchandise from the Wool& site that is not purchased during the Mystery Warehouse Sale.
My own motivation for doing the 100 day dress challenge are not entirely noble
My own personal reasons for doing the 100 day dress challenge, I confess, are not entirely noble. I am trying to be a more thoughtful consumer and make decisions better for the planet and more sustainable living. But I eat meat, drive a car, and I love on-trend fashion – especially for my kids.
Over the past few years, I’ve started changing some of my consumption habits. With clothing, for example, everything I buy has to go with everything else and must be something that can be worn at least 14 times. Even for used clothing because I’m very active in the buy-sell-trade world. My goals are:
- To challenge myself to do something really hard.
- To go on a fashion detox. I think of it like food: ask me to go vegan the rest of my life and I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t give up buying trendy clothing for the rest of my life – but I can take a temporary break from it. (And really, you can buy whatever you want during the challenge. The challenge is just about wearing the same wool dress every day.)
- To be more creative with style. I may be wearing the same dress everyday for 100 days straight, but I do not want to wear the same outfit 100 days in a row.
- To have something fun to write about. I enjoy writing – it’s been a wonderful and transformative outlet for me. Often, I get stuck looking for writing prompts. I know that I’ve got an easy writing cue for 100 days in a row.
I think everyone has their own motivations for trying the challenge and these are mine. And another motivation that’s emerged a week into the challenge:
- 5. To prove (to myself) that good-for-the-earth clothing can be stylish and fun and
- 6. Of course to get that gift card!
Some people love the simplicity of having a daily uniform to wear, like the same black turtleneck every single day. It eliminates decision fatigue. You don’t have to think about what to wear and can put that mental energy towards something else.
I am not of that ilk. I find that a lot of earth-friendly garments look quite bland and period agnostic. Like the garment could have been made four years ago or forty years ago. And not in a classic, timeless sort of way. More like it’s not quite in style but it’s not glaringly out of style either. For this challenge, I want to try and make good-for-the-earth wool clothing look contemporary and cool.
How do you wear a dress? How can you get lots of outfits out of one dress?
You can wear the dress anyway you want! There are endless possibilities of combinations and looks that you can create with one dress.
Wool& has style guides where previous challenge participants share their looks. You can also see ideas in the Wool& Journal.
Finally, Wool& also has a Facebook page where the participants can share their photos, style ideas, and inspiration. Personally, I’ve also found their Facebook group a great place to find and give encouragement.
A week and a half into the challenge, I’ve worn the Clara dress with:
- Knit bright ivory vest and heels
- Wide leg loose fit jeans and OddBird belt
- Striped linen belt and flats
- Birkenstock sandals and no waist belt
- Wool lined skirt
- Striped blue, navy, and white skirt
- White cotton fisherman knit sweater
- Oversized black sweater-cardigan from Vetta Capsule
- White leather platform sneakers and the purple wrap belt the dress comes with
Can you really wear wool every day?
Yes! From a comfort and durability perspective, wool is a great fabric to wear on a day-to-day basis. Lots of wool clothing is lightweight and comfortable. You can find wool workout clothes, jeans, t-shirts, boxers, underpants, bras, and other garments that look and feel just like cotton.
Before meeting my wool-fabric-loving husband, I had thought of wool as a thick and chunky fabric made for wintertime wear. Something hot and itchy that you wouldn’t wear on your skin. While wool is an excellent fabric for cold weather garments and outwear, it’s versatile enough to be worn in the summer too.
But wool clothing doesn’t have to feel like or resemble the coarse, wiry coat you see on sheep. A chlorination process is used to “burn” away the scales for a smoother feeling on your skin. For some, this process is controversial because of the chemicals used. (Some are safer and less toxic than others.)
Wool is comfortable and sustainable
While there is debate as to whether wool is truly sustainable and eco-friendly, wool has benefits when it comes to regulating body temperature and resisting stains and odors. Wool clothing requires fewer washings and far less water for garment care. With acute water shortages, that is good news for the planet.
Wool is durable
Wool (vs cotton) is also the clear winner when it comes to durability. Wool can withstand more wear: woolen fibers can be bent and stretched over 20,000 times before they break while cotton can only withstand 3,000 bends or abraisons.
Valuing comfort (he sweats easily), my husband wears a merino wool shirt most days of the week. He doesn’t own a capsule wardrobe, per se, but it factors into his everyday dress.
Wool does cost more than cotton
One downside of wool is that it’s more expensive than other clothes made of cotton, polyester, or other textiles. Brands that manufacture wool apparel tend to place an emphasis on slow fashion and building a quality wardrobe over time.
You can save money by shopping for wool garments at thrift stores and secondhand marketplaces. I recently found an all-wool Pendleton top for $12 on ThredUp. I use a lot of used clothing apps, and ThredUp seems to have the best assortment and prices for wool and linen garments.
What is the 30-Day Dress Challenge?
The 30-Day Dress Challenge is just a shorter version of the 100-Day Dress Challenge. You can wear a Wool& dress every day for 30 days to win a $30 Gift Card by documenting your journey along the way and following other challenge rules.
Many women do the 30-day dress challenge to kick the tires and see if they can wear the same dress day in and day out. After the 30 days, they may move up to the 100 day challenge.
Other women will do the 30-day challenge because they’ve already completed the 100 day challenge and you can only do the 100 day challenge once. You can do the 30 day dress challenge once every calendar year.
Can kids do the Wooland Dress Challenge?
Yes! Kids may participate in the challenge by wearing a wool&kids dress. Kids can do a 30 dress challenge. It’s 30 days for a $30 Gift Card.
Margot is currently doing the challenge, and I’ve shared the first few days. She is doing the Twyla dress in vintage blue for her 30 day kids’ challenge.
Does wool need to be washed? How often do you need to wash wool?
Wool is a performance fiber with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, making it odor resistant and durable for wearing multiple times without laundering. You will likely still need (and want) to launder your dress, but the frequency will vary from person to person.
Some participants take a spotclean-only approach. Others wash it every several days. And some go 100 full days without washing their garment. If an area starts to smell, you can wet it with warm water and let it dry overnight. You should always hang your garment in a well-ventilated area when not wearing it. Full care instructions can be found on Wool& website.
How do you wash a wool dress?
There are several ways to launder a wool dress, which gives you the flexibility to wash how you prefer. You can dry clean, machine wash, or handwash your wool dress, and Wool& provides full cleaning instructions and tips on their website.
- Dry Cleaning – Ensure they “dry clean only” so no harsh chemicals are used.
- Machine Wash – Wash on a gentle cycle with cold water and line dry.
- Hand Wash – Fill a sink with cold water, add a couple of drops of detergent, and rinse well.
Previous participants have been shocked at how little their wool items need laundering. The general rule of thumb is the less you can wash it, the better.
What are some other wool dresses you can wear for 100 days?
Here are some beautiful options if you’re looking for other wool dress brands. Many of these dresses could be worn for your own personal 100-day challenge, but they would not qualify for Wool&’s challenge.
When researching brands to purchase wool items, consider their transparency on where and how they get their wool and how the brand’s ethics align with your own.
- Theory Wool Jumpsuit
- Banana Republic Merino Wool Boxy Cut Tee
- Eileen Fisher Merino Sweater Dress (featured on Garnet Hill)
- Icebreaker Merino Wool Granary Everyday Dress
- Elie Tahari Merino Wool Sweater Dress
- Frank and Oak Merino Wool Clay Colored Cardigan
- Longline Sweater Dress
- Ridge Merino Wool Dress
There are a couple of items on this short list that aren’t dresses or one-pieces, but since you can style the cardigan or tee in so many different ways I think you could get 100 days of consecutive wear out of them.
Let me know if you’ve done the challenge or are thinking about doing it. Or if you have strong opinions for or against.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links wherein I may earn a commission from any purchase made.