In January of 2019 I set out to complete a 30 wears challenge and on December 31st 2019 that challenge was complete.
I did call this a 30 wears challenge and yes, it was challenging at times. I often reach, almost unconsciously, for the black in my wardrobe, and often something with a bit more length (usually the v dress) so consciously reaching for a shorter, coloured dress was a little out of my comfort zone at times but not too much of a stretch. You’ll have seen that I often would pair the dress with a black dress or skirt, this was usually on the windier or cooler days that I wanted to wear it. This mindless wearing (and consumption) of clothes is something that we can all fall into and something I wanted to challenge myself against, which is why I chose a coloured dress; there’s no doubt that I wear my black KoiNo dresses well beyond 30 times each year (and some of them are nearly 3 years old).
I have worn my 3 Dress 30 times over the last year, and I’ll keep on wearing it for sure, each time bringing down the cost per wear of the dress. The dress has worn and washed really well, there is some fading of the fabric, it is still really close to the original colour, just without the brightness that it starts with. There is some minor pilling of the fabric under the arms after 30 wears, though it’s hardly noticeable. The dress has shrunk 4cm/5% in length, the fabric is predominantly cotton, which will shrink in the first couple of washes, but otherwise the shape of the dress has not changed much when compared to a new dress in the same style and size, the 5% elastane in the fabric has helped it keep its shape.
I washed the dress after nearly every wear, as I would a t-shirt. I washed it in a cold wash with washing powder and with all of my other laundry (yes, even my merino, I’ll talk about that in a later blog post). I nearly always line dry in the shade for all of my washing, occasionally I’ll hang it in the sun for a couple of hours if I happen to do washing on a fine day. I didn’t iron the dress between wears at all, if there were some wrinkles in the fabric I would find that they would drop out after an hour or so of wearing the dress (I’ve started doing this with my linen dresses too…). Full disclosure, I did press the dress before taking the “after” photos here as I took these photos post-wash, pre-wear.
I really enjoyed challenging myself and documenting the wears of this dress over the past year. If mindful or slow fashion is something that you’ve been thinking about or interested in, why not challenge yourself to consciously wearing a garment at least 30 times, it doesn’t have to be within a year but I did find that the time frame did make me be more mindful of wearing the dress often.