100 Day Challenge: Merino Wool Magic
You may have noticed in a lot of our photos over the last few months that I, Emily, am always wearing the same turquoise dress. It may be over leggings, tied up like a shirt or tunic, paired with different sweaters, shawls, scarfs and jewelry, but always a knit wrap dress, always turquoise.
On the other hand, maybe you have looked through our site and on our social media and never had the thought cross your mind that I look remarkably similar in all recent pictures.
There is no wrong answer to this one, but for those of you who are curious, I just finished the 100 day dress challenge in a Wool& merino dress…yes that particular turquoise number is the Ellie midi wrap dress in ocean teal.
In our effort to constantly embrace simple living, our family has been trying to limit unnecessary purchases for a while, especially impulse buys that are not going to last. Considering our movement toward more travel (even full time travel someday) it seemed like this would be a fun COVID winter 2021 challenge. The deal is, buy a Wool& dress in any style (they have a bunch), wear it every day for 100 days, send a photo of yourself in the dress for 100 days to the company, and earn bragging rights and $100 toward your next purchase. Click here for more information of the 100 day Challenge.
Sound boring to you? Some days it was, although the fit, color, and style themselves are all beautiful. And pockets! Pockets big enough for a phone, keys, dog treats…all the things you need for a successful day!
Sound intriguing to you? Well, here are a few observations:
It was restful in a weird way to not put as much thought into what to wear. Although I am in healthcare as a career (and have spent literal years of my life wearing scrubs and uniforms) to have a “civilian uniform” each day for 100 days was really eye opening. This wasn’t a uniform signifying belonging to a healthcare company, or worn in case of an encounter with body fluids (a pretty regular happening in the life of a healthcare provider). This was a “uniform” chosen just because…it had no connection to work or a job role.
It was also a pretty quiet challenge. Of course Zach knew what was up, and a few people at work caught on, but overall it really seemed like nobody noticed. Wool& talks about something called the spotlight effect, which is a psychological phenomenon describing how people tend to believe they are being noticed more than they really are. This confirmed that very few people noticed or, if they did notice, cared what their friend/coworker/mom wore every day for 100 days. (Yes, the boys were pretty oblivious)
Being a knitter and sewer and generally crafty kind of person, there were a lot of cool things to learn about the Wool& dress fabric, merino wool:
Merino wool is a somewhat magical cloth that has really great properties. It does not absorb odor, meaning you don’t have to wash it as often as other clothing items. It doesn’t hold wrinkles so even if you’ve been stuck on the road for hours you won’t look like a disheveled mess when arriving at your destination (how could anyone look disheveled in that turquoise anyway?)
The fabric is difficult to stain. It survived red wine, chocolate, and motor oil (Thanks Taos)! It’s machine washable, it never pilled even with 100 days of consecutive wear. Is this the perfect travel dress or what?!?
And it can either keep you warm or keep you cool, depending on the outside temperature. Natural fibers are great like that, and even though there is a tiny bit of nylon in this particular Wool& dress, the temperature regulation was awesome in both Kansas February cold snaps, 85 degree spring days, and South Texas on the beach. What more can you ask for?
Our goal is simple living so there won’t be any kind of merino wool shopping spree at our house. But for those times when we can get a new piece of clothing, it makes sense to get something that will last for years, hold up to wear and tear, and is made sustainably. Wool& items are from family farms in Australia. They are very transparent in their supply chain. And the fact that the dress is beautiful, easy to wear, and super comfortable, means there is no question that there is some more Wool& in our family’s future.
This may seem like a strange thing to talk about on a travel blog under Gear and Reviews, but for this traveller, the turquoise merino wool dress was a major fixture on multiple getaways this spring. For future thoughts of living small and traveling full time, the properties and durability of the Wool& dress make it an outstanding piece of gear to throw in your camper, carry on, or backpack.